BOULDER, CO -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, Deputy Administrator Tim Manning, and Associate Administrator Bill Carwile joined representatives from the NOAA National Weather Service, Swedish emergency management agencies, and representatives from the European Commission for a workshop in Boulder this week to discuss preparedness and ways to ensure effective communication in the event of a widespread catastrophic disaster. In addition to sharing ideas and best practices, the workshop included discussions designed to improve response plans for space-weather incidents that could disrupt communications networks and other infrastructure in the U.S. and Europe.
“Emergency management is a team effort, and never is that more true than when you’re working across international lines,” said Administrator Fugate. “This week’s workshop provided an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and improve lines of communication so we can better respond to large scale emergencies. Disasters don’t recognize borders, so working together is crucial for keeping both Americans and people around the world safe.”
“Governments around the world all have a stake in preparing for a geomagnetic event,” added Tom Bogdan, Director of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center. “NOAA – the nation’s official source for space weather watches and warnings – is thrilled to partner with FEMA and our European counterparts to ensure our readiness.”
“We are challenged by global risks and threats, and can no longer draw a sharp line between national, European, and global security,” added Helena Lindberg, Director General of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. “Our efforts must acknowledge not only known threats, such as floods and hurricanes, but also the infrequent and unknown ones. This workshop is an important opportunity to increase and facilitate transatlantic cooperation in emergency management.”
While FEMA continues to coordinate with its international partners in preparing for the next emergency, it is critical that families and communities do all they can to prepare as well. FEMA encourages all Americans to take a few simple steps now, like developing a family disaster plan. For more information on how to better prepare please visit www.Ready.gov.
Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts available at www.fema.gov/medialibrary and www.youtube.com/fema; follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femainfocus and on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/fema.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.