Justo “Tito” Hernández is currently the Director of the Operational Coordination Division in the Field Operations
Directorate with a dual role as Acting Caribbean Area Division Director in Puerto Rico response to Hurricane Maria.
Mr. Hernandez is the senior member of the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) cadre of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Hernández joined the cadre in 1999. In 2014, Mr. Hernandez became a member of the Senior Executive Service and accepted the Team Leader position for the third National Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) which responds to large scale natural or man-made events, including Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRNE) events. Prior to accepting the official Team Leader position, Mr. Hernandez was detailed to the National IMAT and mentored three teams through Incident Management training and numerous high profile disaster responses. Mr. Hernandez has been deployed to over 210 events throughout his career, making him one of the most experienced Coordinators in the nation.
With over 200 deployments in his career, Mr. Hernández is the most senior FCO in the cadre; he has served in disaster and emergency operations throughout the nation, including many large-scale events. He has engaged lead roles as FCO, Deputy FCO, and other key positions in numerous disaster operations, including the 9/11 World Trade Center response, the NASA Shuttle Discovery disaster, Typhoon Pongsona in Guam, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, and natural disasters in many states. He is currently and has in the past also served as the FCO is his native Puerto Rico following widespread flooding on the island. Recently he has been designated to lead as Coordinator for Non-Stafford Act declarations such as the Unaccompanied Children operation in 2014, an Economy Act declaration as well as leading his team in Atlanta, assisting the Centers for Disease Control in their fight with Ebola and Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer in 2017 Puerto Rico response to Hurricane Maria.
Mr. Hernández’s performance has resulted in various commendations from state and local emergency management directors and elected officials, including the governors of Vermont, West Virginia, North Dakota and Florida.
In 2009, Mr. Hernandez coordinated the response and recovery efforts in North Dakota following unprecedented statewide flooding – response efforts alone lasted more than three months. He returned to North Dakota in 2010 to lead and coordinate response to and recovery from four disasters – another round of flooding, preceded by a series of destructive winter storms.
Prior to joining the FCO cadre Mr. Hernández developed a wealth of experience as a Field Inspector, Human Services Branch Chief, and Response Operations Chief, working major events including hurricanes Andrew, Georges, Hortense and Marilyn, the 1993 Midwest Floods and the Northridge Earthquake. Additionally, Mr. Hernández was a member of the Automated Construction Estimates (ACE) Task Force which developed the cutting-edge electronic inspection system used by the Disaster Housing Program.