FEMA Podcast

The FEMA Podcast is an audio series available to anyone interested in learning more about the agency, hearing about innovation in the field of emergency management, and listening to stories about communities and individuals recovering after disasters.

The FEMA Podcast is available on Apple iTunes and Google Play to stream or download. Approximately 20 to 30 minutes in length, the podcast will be updated with a new episode semi-weekly. Occasionally, we will post episodes more often. Also included in the weekly podcast is a link to the transcript. Listeners will have the ability to subscribe to new episodes, which will then automatically update on a listener's device.

We encourage emergency management professionals and the general public to listen in and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you can join the conversation every time a new episode is posted. To submit ideas for a FEMA podcast topic, send us an email at FEMA-podcast@fema.dhs.gov.

Episode 87: A Message from Acting Administrator Bob Fenton

We sit down with Acting Administrator Bob Fenton to discuss going through leadership transition within the agency and how it impacts FEMA’s mission.

Episode 86: Oregon Wildfires - Benefit Brews

On this episode we talk to two Oregon based breweries, one owned by a wildland firefighter and another family operated, about how they are helping wildfire recovery through their craft.

Episode 85: Oregon Wildfires - Candy Christmas Tree

On this episode, we talk with Eric and Candice Page, Christmas tree farmers and residents of Marion County, Oregon, who are helping fellow Oregonians recover from the historic wildfires that burned throughout the state.

Episode 84: 2020 In Review, With Administrator Pete Gaynor

2020 was an unprecedented year filled with immense challenges for the nation. As an agency, FEMA responded to floods, severe storms, wildfires and a historic hurricane season – all while fighting the ubiquitous COVID-19 pandemic. In this week’s episode, we talk with FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor about the work FEMA has done, innovations and improvements we’ve made and the challenges we met head-on this year.

Episode 83: After the Disaster- How to Donate & Volunteer Responsibly

On this episode, we’ll talk to Stacy Lamb from Convoy of Hope & FEMA’s donations management lead Don Bonchack about what you should know to most effectively volunteer your time after a disaster or how to ensure your donation makes the greatest impact for those who need it the most.

Episode 82: Meeting Unmet Needs Through Disaster Case Management

For individuals affected by disasters, recovery can often be a daunting task. What people may not realize though is many times there are individuals who can walk you through that process, help you understand what your options might be and assist in finding resources to help you return to a new normally of life. On this episode, we'll talk to experts about disaster case management or recovery navigators who partner with survivors and provide much needed support to sort through the many facets of disaster recovery.

Episode 81: Oregon Wildfires - Disaster Survivor Assistance in Southern Oregon

On this episode, FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor visits southern Oregon to view damage caused by historic wildfires that nearly destroyed small towns around the state, and we speak to a Disaster Survivor Assistance representative about her work with Spanish speaking survivors.

Episode 80: Tsunami Survivor Encourages Tsunami Awareness

In commemoration of World Tsunami Awareness Day, we speak to a tsunami survivor on her experience, work in tsunami education, and on the importance of tsunami awareness.

Episode 79: Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

In September, FEMA announced an application period for $660 million is hazard mitigation grant funding for states, local communities, tribes and territories to be used on projects that will reduce future disaster losses and strengthen the nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness. On this episode we speak to two individuals leading the team within FEMA to offer the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant and discuss what the future holds for communities committed to reducing future disaster recovery costs.

Episode 78: ShakeOut 2020

Earthquakes can happen anywhere and at any time. And because an earthquake is considered a no notice incident—one that occurs unexpectedly or with minimal warning—it is even more important that everyone be prepared for what to do when one occurs. This year’s International ShakeOut Day will be held on October 15 when everyone is encouraged to practice the Drop, Cover, and Hold On response to an earthquake. On this episode, we discuss earthquake preparedness and what to expect during this year’s Shakeout.

Episode 77: FEMA and the SBA – Supporting Disaster Survivors

Perhaps FEMA’s closest partner in providing federal disaster recovery assistance is the U.S. Small Business Administration, the SBA. When a federal disaster is declared, the SBA is authorized to offer low interest loans to businesses of all sizes and to individual homeowners, renters, and private nonprofit organizations that have sustained damage in a disaster. On this episode, we sit down with the SBA to learn more about their programs, some misconceptions about disaster assistance and how the SBA and FEMA are working together every day to help Americans recover from disasters around the country.

Episode 76: Team Preparedness with a Disaster Resilient University

On this episode, we visit the University of Oregon campus to talk to members of a network that is dedicated to improving disaster preparedness in higher education. Featured speakers include Andre Le Duc, Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President of Safety and Risk Services at University of Oregon, Amy Rasmussen, Emergency Manager and Business Continuity Manager at Pacific University, and Steve Charvat, Emergency Management Director at University of Washington.

Episode 75: 2020 National Preparedness Month - Flood Insurance

September is National Preparedness Month. While 2020 may feel different for many Americans, one thing remains the same – disasters can and will happen. In this episode, we sit down with Paul Huang from the National Flood Insurance Program to discuss how purchasing flood insurance is one easy way homeowners and renters can prepare for future disasters.

Episode 74: Agency Update - Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura made landfall last week in Louisiana and areas of Eastern Texas as a powerful category 4 storm. Causing widespread damage and destructions throughout the area. We check in with David Bibo, Associated Administrator for Response and Recovery about what disaster survivors can expect from FEMA as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic and how the agency has been planning for storms just like Hurricane Laura since March.

Episode 73: Women in Emergency Management - Riding the Tides of Change

Back in early March, FEMA joined the nation in celebrating Women’s History Month. To commemorate the month, and to honor the contributions of the many women serving in Emergency Management, FEMA hosted a panel discussion on “Women in Emergency Management: Riding the Tides of Change.” On this episode, which airs on Women’s Equality Day, we go back to that conversation and hear from the four incredible women that participated in that panel about their candid thoughts on the early days of FEMA and emergency management and how women have and will shape the evolution of disaster response, recovery and preparedness.

Featured on this episode are Kay Goss, former Associate Administrator in Charge of National Preparedness, Training and Exercises; Ms. Libby Turner, Federal Coordinating Officer; Ms. Jane Cage, Chairman of the Joplin Citizens Advisory Recovery Team; and Chauncia Willis, CEO of the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management.

Episode 72: Partnership Month 2020

For the past 5 years, in July, volunteers from around the country travel to FEMA Headquarters in Washington D.C. to celebrate Partnership Day. This year, like many celebrations and gatherings around the country, Partnership Day is a virtual – and longer – a month-long celebration. On this episode we speak with Greg Forrester, President and CEO at National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Geoff Plague from Feeding America, and Chris Smith from FEMA Individual Assistance Program about how collaborative work in disaster response and recovery is making a difference in the lives of disaster survivors ever day.

Episode 71: FEMA.gov Gets A Redesign

FEMA’s website (FEMA.gov) went through a major redesign. This is a critical step towards making our programs more accessible. On this week's podcast, we join FEMA's Office of External Affairs to talk about how the redesign will support FEMA's partners and disaster survivors.

Episode 70: FEMA and the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)- The civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by federally funded entities. To mark the 30th anniversary of the legislation, we sat down with the director of FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration, Linda Mastandrea, to hear about how emergency management has worked to serve people with disabilities over the last 30 years and how we're looking ahead in the COVID environment to ensure we're best serving all disaster survivors.

Episode 69: 40th Anniversary of Mt. St. Helens Eruption

It was 40 years ago today that Mount St. Helens in Washington State erupted. Ash and steam poured out and avalanches of snow and ice thundered down the mountain's sides for two months, and then on May 18, 1980 the volcano blew its top. Fifty-seven people were killed, many others injured, and many buildings were destroyed. The huge blast of rock, ash and hot gases devastated an area about 230 square miles. Similar to our experiences of quarantining at home during the coronavirus pandemic, residents in many states also were confined to their homes. If they ventured outside, they would wear masks to protect themselves from the ash. This went on for several weeks. In this episode, FEMA speaks with current and former FEMA staff who experienced the eruption and subsequent ash that blew east into Spokane and Montana where our speakers lived. Chris Jonientz-Trisler, Volcanologist and retired-FEMA Division Director; Jay LaPlante, Region 10 Tribal Liaison; and Elaine Ike, former FEMA Community Relations Specialist, share their unique experiences.

Episode 68: FEMA Corps-The AmeriCorps Teams Supporting Disaster Recovery

On today’s episode, we celebrate AmeriCorps Week by highlighting one of our very own FEMA Corps teams. We sit down to discuss what the FEMA Corps program is all about and we talk about their important role in helping communities recovering from disasters.

Last updated January 26, 2021