By Brad Loar, FEMA RIV Mitigation Division Director
Dr. Reginald DesRoches of Georgia Tech addresses the Partners in Mitigation workshop Tuesday (Photo by Kathleen Moore, Georgia Tech)
Last week, FEMA Region IV held its second annual “Partners in Mitigation” workshop at the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center in Downtown Atlanta.
More than 120 FEMA, regional and State mitigators attended the event from all over the Southeast, representing various components of mitigation including Risk Analysis; Floodplain Management and Insurance; Hazard Mitigation Assistance; and Environmental and Historic Preservation.
This workshop is a great example of how mitigation embraces the “Whole Community.” Attendees gained a better understanding of all mitigation program areas, how they interconnect, and how pooling resources and skills together help us better support local communities and the public to understand their risks, and take steps to mitigate them.
Throughout the week, attendees shared information on program vision, new guidance, best practices and lessons learned. These presentations exemplified that when we build synergy among the various mitigation programs, we are helping make more resilient, safer communities.
Our partnership last week with Georgia Tech, and the use of its facility is also an example of how we work in the “Whole Community”, as academic organizations are an instrumental member of the emergency management team. Dr. Reginald DesRoches, the Karen and John Huff School Chair and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech, addressed workshop attendees and highlighted the school’s various engineering disciplines that support mitigation efforts and community resilience.
This is the second year Region IV has consolidated its annual conferences to incorporate various mitigation components into a single meeting, integrating goals and capitalizing on the vast experiences from each component. I know attendees again walked away with several ideas and best practices that they can share with their organizations and communities to ultimately save lives and property.