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FEMA Creates Pilot Program for Long-term Emergency Management

Release date: 
February 20, 2019
Release Number: 

Guaynabo, Puerto RicoTo better prepare Puerto Rico’s disaster response capabilities, FEMA has created a pilot program that has been providing trainings since last April to the Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau’s emergency managers and interagency coordinators across the island.


This program will help build a solid emergency management team for the Government of Puerto Rico through theoretical and hands-on training following FEMA’s Incident Command System­. This system provides an orderly, systematic planning process and uses a common, flexible management structure to effectively handle incident management efforts.


These trainings aim to improve capabilities of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau staff, so they can better respond to a wide range of events including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other no notice events. Trainings may last from one to four days.


To date, through this effort FEMA has offered approximately 87 trainings to more than 2,000 participants. They include:

  • Emergency Operations Planning: Review of basic concepts and planning steps to those new to the field of emergency management.
  • Debris Management Plan: Includes concepts of debris management and involved components to respond and recover from a major debris-generating event.
  • Guide to point of distribution: How to manage commodity planning and distribution.
  • Threat and hazard identification and risk assessment: How to identify and manage risks associated with human-caused, natural and technological disasters.

Future trainings include American Sign Language courses taught by Movimiento para el Alcance de Vida Independiente, a local nonprofit that promotes independence, equality and empowerment for people with disabilities. This training will be essential in ensuring disaster response workers can communicate and understand the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.


The training program will include Train the Trainer courses that will teach the Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau’s staff how to train other local emergency managers on multiple disaster response activities. This effort will further help to identify additional training needs and manage training activities in Puerto Rico.


For more information on the Hurricane María recovery, visit


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service. Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.

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Last Updated: 
February 27, 2019 - 13:50