Main Content

Blog

Author: Jessica Stapf
Year in review. Top 100 [albums or songs or articles—you name it, there’s a list]. It’s, once again, the time of year where publications big and small, and even individuals take a step back and look at the last twelve months and all that has happened.2017, to put it in the most rudimentary terms, has been monumental, particularly as it pertains to disasters; it was one for the record books.With the first storm of the year occurring in late April with Arlene, prior to the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, the stage was set for a season that would be out of the...
Posted On: January 3, 2018
Author: Nancy Rebek
“I know these people, and I can tell you they gave with their hearts.”Surrounded by over 100 colleagues, Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn presented members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with bins of donated new toys, including over 10 new bikes and helmets.  The toys were collected by employees deployed in support of Hurricane Irma at the Joint Field Office in Orlando and branch offices throughout the state of Florida.“Our people work under difficult conditions; they are away from home and loved ones during the holiday season,” said Nunn. “Through...
Posted On: November 29, 2017
Author: Brig. Gen. Diana Holland
I will never forget the sadness I felt when I first flew over Puerto Rico in the days following Hurricane Maria. It looked as though a fireball had made landfall and burned a path through the center of the island. It was heartbreaking. As the commander of the South Atlantic Division, with responsibility for the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and the landmass south of the US-Mexico border, I felt responsible and obligated to do whatever possible to make a difference here and restore normalcy.The Corps is performing many important missions in Puerto Rico in support of FEMA and the...
Posted On: October 14, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
Editor's Note: On October 7, we updated the title of this blog to reflect the new status of the storm. October for many brings thoughts of postseason baseball and pumpkin spice lattes. For us, it doesn’t change a whole lot, just the page of the calendar and maybe our coffee preferences, as we continue to monitor the potential for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic.Hurricane season doesn’t actually end until November—after the revelry of Thanksgiving has finished and some places in northern parts of the country have already seen their first snowfalls.This...
Posted On: October 5, 2017
Author: Roy Wright
Normally, I spend my days at work sitting (or standing) at a desk in a windowless office in Washington, D.C., answering email, taking conference calls, and talking to experts about flood insurance and risk reduction. These are topics I am passionate about, but let’s be honest, most people don’t spend their days thinking about floods and risk. It’s a little different—a little out of the ordinary.But flooding is important. And its consequences are devastating. When flood waters enter a home, they don’t flow like treated water from a swimming pool. Floodwaters...
Posted On: September 21, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
I’ve always had a knack for remembering random tidbits of information, including memories that many would assume I would’ve long forgotten. The one I’m thinking of this week includes butterflies.In first grade, we studied the development of monarch butterflies—from an egg to the completed, gorgeous and fluttery state. The project culminated in the release of cages of monarchs on the playground. With their wings fluttering above the blacktop where we played hopscotch, the butterflies were never to be seen again. It was sad, but also beautiful, and it’s stuck with...
Posted On: June 21, 2017
Author: Kaylyn Beck
Over the last two years I’ve spent a lot of time looking at weather forecasts (especially during hurricane season) because they’re pretty important to the work I do. Despite this, I had never thought much about the science behind predicting hurricanes or what it means to be a Hurricane Hunter pilot.Then I went to the Hurricane Awareness Tour stop in Washington, D.C., and had the opportunity to tour one of the aircraft that fly directly into storms and meet the brave souls who pilot them. Here’s what I learned, thanks to the expertise of Lt. Col. Drew Clark and Major Devon...
Posted On: June 1, 2017
Author: Jocelyn Augustino
As much as a natural disaster can physically tear a community apart, Mother Nature cannot strip away the resilience, perseverance, and hope that surrounds a community following her devastating wrath.As a photographer for FEMA, I have had the unique opportunity to document her fury firsthand on many occasions over the span of twenty-one years as a disaster reservist.On a recent visit to Kinston, North Carolina, while documenting Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts, I stumbled upon the Neuseway Nature Center. I was reminded of the scope of people, places, and surprisingly, the small creatures,...
Posted On: November 4, 2016
Author: Eileen Lainez
My first deployment to a disaster response wasn't the typical first day. But then again, is anything “typical” when it comes to disaster response?My first order of business was to accompany Federal Coordinating Officer Terry Quarles and State Coordinating Officer (Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management) Bryan Koon, to survey and assess Hurricane Matthew damage across the coast.Over the course of three long days (what disaster day isn't long), we visited several counties and saw hundreds of homes. The official objectives were to document first-hand...
Posted On: October 14, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Bravest and finest. Two words you’ve seen associated with police officers and firefighters. (In fact, that’s what they’re referred to in New York City. New York’s bravest are those with the FDNY, the finest are with NYPD.)Those are also two words we’d often use to describe the first responders with know and work with.As floodwaters leftover from Hurricane Matthew continue to rise in some places, we have deployed some of the country’s bravest and finest into those waters to help impacted communities.Over the last several days, the ten teams we’ve...
Posted On: October 10, 2016