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Welcome to the first-ever FEMA blog

Posted by: Administrator Craig Fugate

At FEMA we have a Facebook page, Twitter page, I tweet and earlier this year we launched our first-ever mobile website, but what we didn’t have was a blog. Well, now that we have one, you’re probably wondering what you can expect.

Plain and simple, this will be another tool we’ll use to communicate and let you know what we’re up to. This won’t be another way to put out our press releases - this is a way to communicate directly with you.

You’ll eventually hear from team members from across our agency, from our regional offices to our field offices, supporting local disaster recovery efforts. We will provide information before, during and after disaster strikes and we will highlight best practices, innovative ideas, and insights that are being used across emergency management and across the country.

So as we get our blog up and running, we’ll also be looking to you for ideas, tips and feedback. If you have a question you’d like us to address, send it our way. If you have a creative idea you’d like us to highlight, let us know. We’re looking to you – the rest of our team – to be our partners in this endeavor. Leave a comment below and let’s start the conversation.

- Craig
Last Updated: 
06/15/2012 - 22:19


Great idea, Craig. Having an interactive blog instead of one sided press releases will provide opportunity for a change in how many perceive FEMA. It is dismaying to see so many people posting and sharing blogs and articles on "FEMA camps" (nazi Germany rhetoric) totally devoid of any comprehension of planning and preparedness. I'd like to see the blog reach those people and not only emergency management professionals. A blog may just do that. It will at least provide the opening for understanding to grow.

I'm impressed! At least many agencies are starting to change to meet the needs of the public. Looking forward to see how it catches on.

Awesome! I love that FEMA is evolving with the times. I can't wait to see where this is headed. Great job :)

Craig, <br /><br />Glad to see that you are leading by example with social media. Keep up the great work. <br /><br />Mike Ellis<br />ECN/CodeRED<br />Ormond Beach, FL

Fantastic and an excellent way to interact and gain input from everyone! Bill and I are citizen advocates trying to help spread the word about disaster prep and first aid with our collaborative programs .. but, as you are very well aware, there is a resistance / aversion to this topic. Plus funding is very tight so groups are vying for the same grants or donations in communities so we help combine funding resources from public and private sectors to keep everyone's bookkeeping records clean .. and customize the data so everyone gets accolades.<br /><br />And Tamra's right - it's so frustrating to see the negative comments about this topic. Also, if anyone preps too much they're considered whackos or hoarders .. yet they are the ones who won't put additional strain on local First Responders since they are self-sufficient. They should be commended for taking personal responsibility and being prepared! But they also don't want attention since that puts a big bulls-eye on them if a disaster does strike their area so most stay quiet.<br /><br />One of the biggest hurdles is getting the "I'll just call 911" crowd to take those initial steps to prepare and learn how to incorporate that "prepper" mindset into everyday living .. and one good way to encourage it is thru schools and kids (which is why we also have a school / youth group fundraiser).<br /><br />It's a tough sell but we appreciate your efforts Administrator Fugate in reaching out to the peeps thru social networking .. and just know there are many groups and companies like ours that are doing all we can to help prepare the nation too. :) j & B

Echo the great idea sentiment and hope to see you within the year replicate what Cg Adm Thad Allen introduced as a "Social Media Initiative" in a Directive to put an end to all the counter productive ramblings with SMEM and what is clearly a disconnect from what is being extolled by this Administration. Also believe the pervasive "us and then" mentality coming from some, is what is fueling what Tamra was speaking of and now it's SM "Cardinal Rules for Citizens". Change comes from within and see important first steps in that direction thanks to your support and leadership. Thank you . . .

GREAT! <br /><br />It's good to have an interactive use of Social Media. It's also good to notice that Twitter and Facebook are not the ONLY social media available.<br /><br />Thanks for making the blog. I look forward to lots of information coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Preston Cook<br /><br />Great Job Craig! Another great way to stay connected and share informtion.

Craig,<br />May I suggest blog tabs for each Region and a National tab for items of more widespread interest.

During disasters one of the primary needs of the public is for the flow of information from emergency managers. Where it is lacking there is chaos and confusion. One can predict how successful a local community's disaster response will be based upon the mechanisms it has set up prior to the disaster to communicate the disaster message to the public. Mr. Fugate is the first director of FEMA to have demonstrated that he understands that direct communication with the public is necessary.

Craig - Thanks much for getting this up and going. Having had one at the State level, I know this will be a great tool for FEMA and will provide everyone a good forum for discussion, ideas, and perspectives.<br /><br />Ken Murphy<br />Administrator<br />FEMA Region X

chaos and confusion is right. We can't just depend on the same ole radio and TV outlets anymore half the population does not listen or pay attention to them. <br />Wishing the Florida county I was in would pay more attention to social media and not just rely on the PIO/PAO and old school outlets. We need to be more proactive with our outreach...<br />Good Job looking forward to reading the blog.<br /><br />On So Fla coast

Christopher, You are so right. For whatever reason, our local emergency manager treats the subject like classified information with a bit of "it can't happen here" and "if we have an emergency, we'll call the State" plan as the core of our EOP. Personally I want every citizen to understand and participate in planning and preparedness. For some reason, that isn't what everyone in local emergency management positions want. It wasn't in Louisiana pre 2005 and isn't here where I am now and so I am THRILLED that Mr. Fugate is setting the trend for engaging citizens and hopefully removing any territoriality mentality from Emergency Managers and professionals.

Craig,<br /><br />Thank you for making this an interactive blog. We look forward to learning more about how FEMA is making geospatial technology operational with local public safety & emergency responders. This blog will be a great resource for FEMA to share their work and gain feedback from the practitioner community in an informal capacity. And how organizations like ours can identify how we can support FEMA in their efforts.<br />Thank you for launching this interactive blog!<br />Rebecca Harned<br />Programs Director<br />National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation<br />

I'd like to see a lot more interaction at -- particularly for "Preparing our Communities Before a Disaster Strikes" (// Especially some indication from FEMA that it is receiving submissions for the Challenge. I know of two that have been submitted but no indication from FEMA of that. If FEMA doesn't want to list any details, at least a counter for how many Challenge ideas have been submitted.<br /><br />Ric Skinner, GISP<br />The Stoneybrook Group LLC<br />Sturbridge, MA

Super! If you ever need guest bloggers-- you've already got a huge fan base to start with!

Excellent. As the author of a blog which is really pushing for the uptake of social media in emergency management, I'm really encouraged by what FEMA is doing in this area, and this is a great addition. I just wrote a blog post about it: //

Congratulations to Craig and FEMA for launching a blog. See my blog posting on this event:<br />//<br /><br />Eric Holdeman

Craig - Thanks for starting up the blog. This will be a very useful way to encourage discussions while communicating important information to everyone. Region IV and the Earthquake Program are excited for this wonderful tool.<br /><br />Regards,<br /><br />Gene Longenecker<br />Physical Scientist<br />Earthquake Program Manager<br />FEMA Region IV

We are very excited that FEMA launched our first-ever blog, which will be another tool we use to communicate directly with you – our partners in emergency management – and with our customers: the American people.It will feature daily posts from our Administrator, Craig Fugate and other senior leaders across our agency; check out his inaugural post at<br /> <br />As Administrator Fugate explains, our blog will provide key resources for families and communities before, during and after a disaster. It will be a place to check for the latest information on what we are doing to prepare for, respond to, or recover from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and the many other hazards we face. It will allow us to highlight the great work that all members of our nation’s emergency management team do every day to keep our country safe, from state and local officials to volunteer groups to the private sector to everyday citizens. And we will use it as a tool to better inform all of our stakeholders about our mission, our daily operations and debunk misinformation.<br /><br />If you have a good idea for a post, or a topic you’d like to see covered, please let us know. <br /><br />We hope you’ll find this new tool useful as you continue to report on FEMA – and hope you’ll help us spread the word. Please feel free to subscribe to the blog by signing up for our RSS feeds, and please share our URL with your colleagues, viewers and readers. As always, we encourage your feedback, especially as we get the blog up and running.

Every city big enough to have a police force should have a short range emergency FM radio transmitter that the local residents can tune into to get emergency information. Most communtities don't have a local dedicated station that will keep them informed. Every police force should have someone that could get on the air for a few minutes every hour to let the public know what is happening. When we lost power for a week as soon as I could get out of town I left the state. But nothing is more frustrating than hanging around for hours or days not knowing anything.

All of these comments are fake and I will reveal it to EVERYONE. We will fight back.

Greetings,<br /><br />I am a Marine Vietnam Veteran, Combat Intelligence NCO, and compliment the use of social media to enhance FEMA's communications strategy.<br /><br />However, stating the obvious, ALL electronic communications are vulnerable to attack and/or failure which will reck havoc on responses especially at the local level.<br /><br />During a fierce firefight in Vietnam, a Marine company's radio networks failed! The company commander (whom I served with) created a team of runners using hand and arm signals to direct his men which prevented them from being overrun and decimated.<br /><br />This should serve as an example for ALL responders and communities to have Plan B, C, D... without electronic communications. Strategize and practice with runners and hand and arm signals.<br /><br />Semper Fidelis,<br /><br />David DeChant

Good work Craig. Thank your team in making this a reality. Now let's have some coffee and do a thunderbolt to see if works in a disaster.

Craig, this is great. It brings the upper levels of government down to local level. I have worked at both city and county government, and you are on the front lines with the citizenry working at the city government level. At the county, you are more insulated. Even more so at the state and federal levels. So this open, two way communication is fantastic. I look forward to its usefulness in the future as the public uses it more both during quiet times and when disasters strike. We've needed this for a long time here in Florida.<br /><br />Mike Taylor

Excellent idea opening this blog. Not everyone Tweets, Twitters, or Faces. You will probably reap the rewards of many good ideas and creative solutions. Thumbs UP to Craig Fugate, FEMA, and Homeland Security. Citizens working with Community.

As many have stated, and I agree, this blog seems like a great idea but its real value would be enhanced significantly if Craig (or someone from FEMA Administration) would respond to some of the comments. Otherwise it's a one way "discussion."

To Craig and all the FEMA folks: thanks for setting this up. It will grow into a great way to share ideas and experiences. As chair of our new Citizen Corps Council, I will place the RSS feed on our webpage.<br />I am also a FEMA retiree who is staying involved in emergency management. Thanks!<br /><br />Ron Sherman, Chair<br />River Forest (IL) Citizen Corps

This is an excellent place to share ideas and opinions regarding FEMA and its practices. It's a resource that is much needed. I agree with poster Ric Skinner in that Craig or someone from FEMA should be responding to the comments, so it is more of a conversation.<br /><br />The Webmaster at //

Craig<br />Good idea! Will you accept blogs from DAEs? Next week I will be revisiting Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast to reconnect with some of the locals I worked with during the Katrina recovery efforts in 2005. Would some info on how they have rebuilt since then be welcome?

Some of the best input and ideas come from keeping an open mind and getting info and input from those who are in the public as ordinary citizens. This allows for thousands of ideas coming from a different point of view being the protected as opposed to leaving it all to the protectors. In this way, first-hand ideas from those who experience the actual problems and concerns out there assist government and help them come up with real-world solutions.

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