FEMA’s International Affairs prioritizes international engagements with our Neighbors, those who share our borders or are otherwise geographically proximate to the U.S. The highest impact IAD can deliver to support FEMA’s mission is establishing mutual assistance agreements with countries who can and will deploy emergency management capabilities and resources to the U.S., when requested.
We promote international engagements that will deliver the highest impact to the FEMA and DHS missions. IAD partners with countries and multilateral organizations offering the greatest strategic alignment to FEMA’s priorities. To achieve a high return on investment, we prioritize engagements with multilateral organizations because they enable FEMA to discuss a variety of topics with multiple international partners, which can be more efficient than bilateral discussions.
International Assistance System (IAS) and IAS Concept of Operations (IAS CONOPS)
The International Assistance System is a set of policies and procedures designed to manage review and acceptance or declination of offers of international assistance, as well as requests for international resources during domestic U.S. disasters declared pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. FEMA International Affairs coordinates the International Assistance System to support communities with international resources during domestic disasters.
COVID-19 Response Initial Assessment Report
From March through September 2020, FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center Chief and Advisory Section International Affairs Advisor (CAS IAA) Cadre supported the federal COVID-19 response by facilitating foreign offers of assistance and procurement from foreign governments and partners. A recently released Initial Assessment Report details the CAS IAA Cadre’s tailored expertise in navigating international affairs and emergency management — while also focusing on leadership’s response priorities, decision-making and resource allocation.
FEMA’s Consular Roundtable Program connects the foreign consular community with essential information and resources about disaster assistance available to foreign residents and visitors in the United States. The program highlights the consular community’s vital role during a U.S. domestic emergency. Foreign embassies and consulates are key resources and information nodes for temporary residents and foreign visitors impacted by disasters in the U.S.
Welcoming International Visitors to FEMA
FEMA International Affairs leads the Agency’s International Visitor Program. In 2019, FEMA hosted 546 representatives and officials from 63 countries to exchange lessons learned, technical expertise, and best practices in emergency management. FEMA hosts international visitors at our Headquarters, Regional Offices, and other facilities such as the Emergency Management Institute and the Center for Domestic Preparedness.
IAD collaborates with appropriate FEMA offices to determine if a specific visit request can be accommodated. International delegations planning a visit to a FEMA facility should include their specific areas of interest when contacting us. All international visits requests should be e-mailed to FEMAfirstname.lastname@example.org at least 45 days prior to the proposed visit.
Please note that weapons, recording devices, and photography are not permitted during international visits to any FEMA facility. Upon arrival, foreign guests must present their passport and be screened by security. A passport is the only acceptable form of identification for foreign visitors to FEMA facilities.