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Author: Ken Murphy
There is a lot of buzz and interest surrounding this week’s New Yorker article The Really Big One: An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when. The science in the article isn’t new. The fact that there are people outside of the emergency management community  talking about this hazard and their own personal preparedness is a good thing. It’s a conversation that needs to be had.If the article got your attention, then you’ve  already taken the first step to get better prepared, because you are better informed...
Posted On: July 15, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Volunteers are some of the most important players when it comes to an emergency management team. Their importance is magnified during disasters, such as the recent flooding in Texas, where over 30 counties were declared major disaster areas by the President. As a former national service volunteer, I have a special appreciation for the work volunteers selflessly do after a disaster.Here are a few photos that demonstrate some of the diverse work of these volunteers:As the pictures show, volunteers are making a difference all over Texas in a variety of ways, doing anything from providing meals...
Posted On: July 13, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
The Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency behind AmeriCorps NCCC and our partner in creating and maintaining FEMA Corps, has deployed many of their program members to help respond to the recent Texas flooding. They wrote up a breakdown of how teams from their Southwest Region campus of AmeriCorps NCCC in Denver, Colorado have been helping in Texas.Here’s an excerpt:From late May through mid-June, Texas was inundated by flooding due to a series of severe storms.  Of the more than 220 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members responding to date, 64 are Denver-based...
Posted On: July 8, 2015
Author: Jana Baldwin
The 4th of July in Washington, DC is one of my most epic days of the year -- thousands of tourists and locals flock to the nation’s capital to check out the fireworks on the National Mall.  Who wouldn’t?  They are absolutely beautiful! This year, I will attend the Nationals baseball game (Let’s go Nats!) and then head over to the National Mall to check out the fireworks.I will make sure that I am prepared to enjoy the day.  I have been accused over the years by many friends of being “overly prepared” for a day of fun, until one of my friends needs...
Posted On: July 1, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
We work with groups of all different sizes here at FEMA--organizations that have a handful of employees and those that have teams of thousands. Last week we teamed up with a range of groups to launch Tech Corps: a way to formally link organizations with technology expertise to the disaster response efforts happening at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels.Tech Corps can bring tangible benefits to communities and individuals impacted by disasters or emergencies.  It’s designed to leverage technology expertise in organizations so they can offer their existing skills,...
Posted On: June 25, 2015
Author: Eilis Maynard
In case you missed it, NASA heliophysicist Yari Collado-Vega (pictured above) took the keys to our Instagram account this week and she’s posting cool space weather photos all week long!What’s space weather?It’s what happens when the sun’s space environment interacts with Earth’s and creates effects that we can sometimes feel here on Earth.Intrigued?Head on over to our Instagram or check out the recap below to get the full lowdown on how space weather works, what it looks like, and how it can affect us here on Earth. Yari also shared a video depicting a...
Posted On: June 24, 2015
Author: Tony Russell
Many people know that FEMA provides training for emergency responders, but I’d like to share a training partner that may surprise you: Major League Baseball.  Emergency preparedness is an effort Major League Baseball takes seriously.  Recently, personnel from the New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, and Houston Astros baseball organizations participated in the Emergency Management Institute’s Virtual Tabletop Exercise  which focused on an active shooter scenario to help them prepare for the unexpected...
Posted On: June 16, 2015
Author: Claire Thomas
I grew up in Florida. While students in the mid-West learned about green sky warnings and the West learned about earthquake safety, we spent our school days discussing emergency kits and flood zones. As a kid, I remember sheltering in place with board games, flashlights, and emergency radios.I am really grateful for this preparedness education because it helped my family through the terrible 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. Because my parents stocked up on bottled water and non-perishable foods in advance, they were able to make it through the extended power outage that followed Hurricane...
Posted On: June 14, 2015
Author: Craig Fugate
FEMA collects data from disasters.  We look at various hazards over time, and a question we get a lot when we’re trying to talk about what can happen is what has happened previously?Providing data in its raw format and also building visualization tools allows people to look at their past history, look at what kind of hazards they are vulnerable to, and look at the frequency of disaster declarations and the impacts. These are useful tools to give people context to what their past looks like when they are planning for future risk.Not everyone is a programmer. Some people can take our...
Posted On: June 12, 2015
Author: Jessica Stapf
Picture it: a warm and sunny Saturday morning in Maryland, about a half-hour outside of Washington, DC. Blaring bagpipes and snare drum rattles provide an interesting soundtrack; it’s evident you’re in a sea of first responders. Dogs from all over the country have travelled with their handlers to the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy to complete the rubble pile portion of the Canine Search Specialist Certification exam.It’s a pressure-packed situation; each team has successfully completed the first four tests to arrive here and they are one set of simulated...
Posted On: June 11, 2015
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