Janet M. Odeshoo is the Deputy Regional Administrator of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V in Chicago, Illinois. She is responsible for coordinating FEMA preparedness, mitigation and disaster response and recovery activities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Mrs. Odeshoo has been with FEMA for 32 years, most of which in management positions. She has held the position of Deputy Regional Administrator since 1996. Mrs. Odeshoo has extensive experience in all of FEMA’s programs, having worked in a variety of positions including Disaster Assistance Program Manager, Emergency Analyst, Director of the Natural and Technological Hazards Division and Director of the Mitigation Division. She is responsible for many improvements made in damage assessment, estimating, response, recovery and mitigation strategies, policies and procedures. In January 2000, Mrs. Odeshoo was invited to Nicaragua to assess that country’s emergency management capability and recommend programs and technical assistance necessary to improve that capability and to build disaster resistant communities.
Mrs. Odeshoo has participated in response and recovery operations for scores of major disasters and emergencies, including Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the Great Midwest Floods of 1993, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the 2008 Midwest floods and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. She has served in numerous management and leadership positions during response and recovery operations, including being named Federal Coordinating Officer by President Bush subsequent to Hurricane Katrina to oversee and coordinate the assistance provided to the more than 25,000 evacuees that came to all six states in Region V.
In September, 2009, Mrs. Odeshoo was named the Senior FEMA Official on the H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Regional Coordination Team for Region C, which includes FEMA Regions V and VIII. In this role she was responsible for overseeing numerous actions to ensure a prompt and effective Federal response to a pandemic including regional and state coordination, situational awareness, identifying and prioritizing resources, planning and training.
Mrs. Odeshoo has served on numerous committees, task forces and advisory councils, including the Executive Committee of the Chicago Federal Executive Board, the Chicago Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council, the Great Lakes Hazard Coalition and FEMA’s Region V Advisory Council.
She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including the FEMA Director’s Award.
A native of Chicago, Mrs. Odeshoo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois, in Champaign-Urbana.