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Author: Kevin Smith, Director, DHS Center for Faith and Opportunities Initiatives
I grew up the son of two pastors in The Salvation Army.  While other kids I knew were riding bikes, playing newly released Atari and Commodore 64’s, I was often at the church preparing for midweek events like youth activities and Wednesday night prayer meetings. Setting up chairs, sweeping floors, organizing construction paper and scissors for kids’ activities kept me busy while my parents prepared for service.  During the holidays, these roles turned to setting up toy shops and packing food boxes for distribution, working in warehouses sorting donations of new and used...
Posted On: July 14, 2020
Author: FEMA Office of External Affairs
Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on making sure health services are accessible to all.Online Mental Wellness Sessions To mitigate a potential increase in psychological distress among Native American communities as a result of social isolation and health and economic impacts of the pandemic, the Native Wellness Institute launched a daily online Power Hour for healing and wellness...
Posted On: July 10, 2020
Author: FEMA Office of External Affairs
The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic introduces new challenges to hurricane season.  To prepare the nation, FEMA is holding webinars to expand awareness and understanding of the recently released COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season and the Exercise Starter Kits for Preparedness in a Pandemic. The operational guidance document provides actionable information to state, local, tribal and territorial officials to prepare for response and recovery operations amidst the ongoing pandemic. While it focuses on hurricane season preparedness, the planning...
Posted On: June 22, 2020
Author: FEMA Office of External Affairs
Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on unique ways communities are educating children about COVID-19.“COVID-19! How Can I Protect Myself and Others?” The Smithsonian Institution is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) to develop an educational tool for young people that blends inquiry-based science, social and...
Posted On: June 18, 2020
Author: FEMA Office of External Affairs
Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on ways organizations are helping their communities stay safe.Safe Practices During Protests To encourage safe practices during protests, some health departments and experts have posted health recommendations on social media, such as wearing a face covering and using eye protection, using hand sanitizer, maintaining adequate social distancing from...
Posted On: June 12, 2020
Author: Christopher B. Smith, Director, Individual Assistance Division
As the nation faces many new challenges amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one of the toughest is also a consistent one: providing food and shelter for those in need. The National Board of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was formed to meet challenges such as these. This week, the program began disbursing $200 million in grants from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help people and communities across the country that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will support local social service agencies and organizations dedicated...
Posted On: June 10, 2020
Author: FEMA Office of External Affairs
Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19). Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on unique ways communities are helping to inform and protect one another. Protect the Sacred CampaignNavajo Nation youth have launched a social media campaign called "Protect the Sacred." The campaign targets tech-savvy youth, with internet or electricity access, to spread accurate information about COVID-19 to their families and elders. Since March, the...
Posted On: June 5, 2020
Author: FEMA Office of External Affairs
Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on communities that have found new, virtual ways to get people the help they need.Smart911 Application New Orleans is using a new technology that relies on artificial intelligence and cloud computing to provide 911 and 311 call centers with enhanced location, videoand chat capabilities. Callers can volunteer personal data via app-based profiles that...
Posted On: May 29, 2020
Author: FEMA Office of External Affairs
Around the world, communities are using innovative approaches to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on collaboration that goes the extra mile to help people stay connected, safe and informed.Stanford Pet PartnersIn collaboration with Stanford Health Care's Professional Animal Workers program, therapy dogs at Stanford Hospital, and Stanford University have moved to online video communication applications such as Zoom and Instagram to continue...
Posted On: May 26, 2020
Author: Carlos J. Castillo, Acting Deputy Administrator of Resilience
As we prepare for the upcoming hurricane season during response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may want to consider the importance of building codes. One thing COVID-19 has reminded us is that home or essential office spaces are the places we may feel safest. It puts a finer point on why the structural safety of these places must be of the highest standard.Every year FEMA recognizes the month of May as Building Safety Month. This year’s theme Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World is a reminder that the use and enforcement of up-to-date building codes,...
Posted On: May 26, 2020