By Susie Webb, FEMA External Affairs, DR-4085-NY
The New York Joint Field Office, Queens, N.Y., recently hosted a delegation from Stockholm, Sweden, as part of the Joint Field Office’s International Visitors Monthly Briefing Program.
FEMA’s International Affairs Division developed the once-a-month JFO-based briefings to minimize the impact on recovery operations while addressing the large number of requests from the international community to learn about FEMA’s response to Hurricane Sandy and exchange best practices.
The group, made up of fire, police, health and security officials, along with city and county managers and academics from the Swedish National Defense College, received briefings from Michael Byrne, field coordinating officer, and program leads on FEMA’s massive response to Hurricane Sandy.
“We’ve been able to engage in constructive discussions in which we’ve learned about the challenges faced by other countries,” Byrne said. “I think the global profession of emergency management is enhanced through these types of exchanges.”
Byrne also said these briefings allow the JFO team to share insights into the processes and challenges in responding to Hurricane Sandy.
In addition, Ken Curtin, federal disaster recovery coordinator, discussed FEMA’s implementation of long-term recovery for Sandy survivors and their communities through the National Disaster Recovery Framework.
The final briefing will be held May 30. At that point, 77 visitors representing 12 countries will have participated in the New York JFO pilot program.