I am proud to share with you the 2022-2026 FEMA Strategic Plan — a bold approach to building the FEMA our nation needs and deserves.
The field of emergency management is at a pivotal moment. We are seeing tremendous change in the landscape of risk and in our professional roles. While our mission of helping people before, during, and after disasters has not changed, our operating environment has. Ten years ago, we managed an average of 108 disasters a year. Today, we are managing 311 — including the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have taken on this growing mission because it is in our DNA as emergency managers to help people. And it is a point of pride for FEMA to deliver its mission while embodying our core values of compassion, fairness, integrity, and respect.
However, much remains to be done. Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of disasters. Meanwhile, structural inequities in our society compound the impacts of disasters for historically underserved communities. Left unaddressed, these challenges pose unacceptable risks to the nation — and to us as emergency managers.
This Strategic Plan identifies three ambitious goals we must achieve to address these challenges and to ensure we continue to be the FEMA our nation needs and deserves.
First, we must instill equity as a foundation of emergency management. Systems that foster inequality serve no one, especially in times of crisis. We must recognize that disasters affect individuals and communities differently, commit ourselves to reducing barriers to access, and deliver equitable outcomes for all whom we serve.
Second, we must lead the whole of community in climate resilience. We must recognize that we are facing a climate crisis and educate ourselves and the nation about the impacts our changing climate pose to the field of emergency management. We must integrate planning for future conditions, move away from incremental mitigation measures, and focus on large projects that protect infrastructure and community systems.
Third, we must promote and sustain a ready FEMA and prepared nation. We must recognize that the demands on emergency managers will only continue to increase. We must lean into this as a shared responsibility to prepare the nation’s emergency managers and ready ourselves and the larger federal government to meet an expanding mission.
We have so many opportunities in front of us — to reimagine our systems, evolve our work, and build up our teams. After the last few years — after all that we have been through and achieved as emergency managers — the way forward is clear: we will continue to do what we do best, lean on our experience and expertise, and step into the future, define it, and lead the way.
"Meeting people where they are."