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Updates from the National Preparedness Symposium


Our National Preparedness Symposium is currently going on and includes stakeholders across all areas and levels of emergency management, discussing how to increase emergency preparedness in a way that builds community resiliency.  We will continually update this blog post throughout the Symposium as we get perspectives from those on the forefront of making their communities and America better prepared for emergencies.

(Posted 10:40 a.m. Eastern, August 9)


richard flores speaks at fema national preparedness symposium

Arlington, Va., Aug. 9, 2012 -- Richard Flores, FEMA's Special Adviser for National Tribal Affairs, provides an overview of emergency management practices in Indian Country as part of the FEMA National Preparednes Symposium.


Mike Pickerel, a planner with the Missouri Emergency Management Agency, discusses two tips for emergency managers when managing donations and volunteers after a disaster: controlling the message and documentation.


(Posted 5:30 p.m. Eastern, August 8)

jon carson speaks at the national preparedness symposium

Arlington, Va., Aug. 8, 2012 -- To wrap up the second day, John Carson, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, spoke about the importance of local communities connecting and building strong relationships.

elizabeth harman speaks at the national preparedness symposium

Arlington, Va., Aug. 8, 2012 -- Elizabeth Harman, Assistant Administrator, FEMA Grants Program Directorate, addresses the FEMA National Preparedness Symposium. Her remarks emphasized the importance of face-to-face meetings between partners and stakeholders in emergency management.


Herman Schaffer, Director of Community Outreach at the New York City Office of Emergency Management, discusses the efforts of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in New York City reaching out to their entire community.

Major General Darryll Wong, Hawaii Homeland Security Adviser, talks about the successes of planning for and responding to emergencies in geographically separated communities.

(Posted 10:30 a.m. Eastern, August 8)

Lesleyanne Ezelle, FEMA Disability Integration Specialist, demonstrates several of the technologies used in Disaster Recovery Centers to assist people with access and functional needs. 

(Posted 8:45 a.m. Eastern, August 8)

June Kailes, Associate Director for the Center for Disability and Health Policy at Western University of Health, provides an overview of Functional Assistance Service Teams (FAST). These teams use locally available assistive technologies to reach out to those affected by disasters, especially those staying in shelters. More information about FAST at //

Updates from Tuesday, August 7

(Posted at 5:40 p.m. Eastern, August 7)

congressional staff take a question at the national preparedness symposium

A panel of Congressional staff members takes a question from a National Preparedness Symposium attendee. Their discussion at 1 p.m. Eastern centered around Department of Homeland Security and FEMA appropriations, as well as their efforts to support building capacity related to emergency preparedness.

(Posted at 2:50 p.m. Eastern, August 7)

paulette aniskoff speaks at the national preparedness symposium

Paulette Aniskoff, Director of the Individual and Community Preparedness Division, led a breakout session on strategy and here's a recap of our tweets during her session. (Click the links below to go directly to each tweet.)

  • Aniskoff: "What motivates people to get prepared and how can we apply it?" #NatlPrep
  • Aniskoff discusses how we get preparedness into the mainstream media including an earned media plan & using multiple channels. #NatlPrep
  • Aniskoff: "Aligning a relevant campaign & localizing the information so folks know the hazards that are most impactful to them." #NatlPrep
  • Successful preparedness campaigns include 1-be affordable 2-unify a message 3-target schools & workplace 4-target social networks #NatlPrep
  • Sept. is Natl Preparedness Month-empower the leaders & help reach more people w/ discussion boards, hub of resources & events. #NatlPrep
  • Aniskoff discusses using IDEA SCALE. Visit //  and join the conversation. #NatlPrep
  • FEMA working to align to share information & make decisions about community preparedness together w/ state & local partners. #NatlPrep
  • Demonstration is key to teaching emergency preparedness. Get hands-on training into the hands of community leaders. #NatlPrep

(Posted at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, August 7)

panelists speak at the national preparedness symposium

John Madden, Director, Alaska Division of Homeland Security (L) and Richard Reed, Vice President, Preparedness and Resilience Strategy, American Red Cross (R), participate on a discussion panel about national preparedness.

fema administrator craig fugate speaking

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate gives the keynote speech as he kicks off the Symposium.  In his remarks, Administrator Fugate talked about the need to clearly define what emergency preparedness is, who should be involved, and what the end goal of our preparedness efforts are.  A few themes from his speech:

  • "A jurisdictional approach to preparedness isn't the most effective - disasters don't know borders or boundaries - we need a national level view to build capacity."
  • "Reporting on preparedness is more than saying 'This is what we spent, this is what we bought.  If you can't quantify an outcome that you are changing with your preparedness efforts, you're just adding stuff."

Learn more about the Presidential Policy Directive 8, which sets a strategic, national-level vision for emergency preparedness.

(Posted at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, August 7)

We grabbed Administrator Craig Fugate right after he stepped off the stage at 9:45 a.m. ET:

Last Updated: 
06/02/2017 - 09:26