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#229958 - 08/17/11 02:42 PM FEMA rethinks its approach...
Andy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
Watched this video on C-SPAN this morning. The approach that Mr. Fugate lays out I think is both thoughtful, pragmatic and aligns with what many of us think about both preparedness and shared responses to a natural or man made disasters.

I know there are cynics out there who will find fault with whatever the government says but I work with senior government managers everyday and this guy impressed me as being both smart and sincere.

Worth the time to view.
_________________________
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

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#229962 - 08/17/11 03:32 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Andy]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1544
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
those of us in the state of Florida, hated to lose his management expertise, but he left us a model of what an emergency management system should look like

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#229970 - 08/17/11 05:28 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Andy]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
From your experience though, how much of Fugate's common sense approach has filtered down through the organisation or is it just a case that some poor fellow (no doubt a Business and Emergency Management postgraduate degree holder wink ) was tasked with editing the FEMA management documentation that is already in place to replace the words 'Victim' and 'Special Needs' for political correctness etc.

Is it possible that Fugates approach that as prepared folks (preppers) within a community affected by a large scale disaster impact less FEMA's ability to provide limited resources, will just end up on deaf ears for the rest who expect that they get value for money from FEMA because they are tax payers and it should be themselves that get assistance first and foremost over the poorer sections of the affected community.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyPzGUsYyKM Part 4-Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering.

The bottom line approach of the profit and loss accounts by local and national business organisations during FEMA negotiations (bringing them into the team fold) are just an indication of the intractable problems to the new approach Fugate is trying to implement. i.e. these private businesses will not help unless its helps the bottom line.



Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (08/17/11 05:31 PM)

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#230106 - 08/20/11 12:46 AM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Andy]
nurit Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 191
Loc: NYC
Andy, thanks very much for posting this. I found it well worth the time.

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#230113 - 08/20/11 01:24 AM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
From your experience though, how much of Fugate's common sense approach has filtered down through the organisation or is it just a case that some poor fellow (no doubt a Business and Emergency Management postgraduate degree holder wink ) was tasked with editing the FEMA management documentation that is already in place to replace the words 'Victim' and 'Special Needs' for political correctness etc.


FWIW, words matter, and one man's poison is another man's passion. Special needs connotes that folks who have disabilities have some sort of special need - where as if society provided an accommodation which is the law in the US, there would be no 'special need.' Special need, handicapped - it takes about an hour to do a search / replace for the new accepted and neutral term, "functional need". The fact is that folks who aid in disaster response need to respond to functional needs, section 508, ADA provisions etc, and this is a relatively new realization. But words matter, at least to those who get labeled 'special need.' No matter what the term used, we will just address real human needs in this instance. Same goes with the label 'victim' - I deal with folks affected by disasters every day, and very few are what I would consider to be victims of the disaster. Most have more spine than to be victimized. I don't care what FEMA wants to call them, I can't legitimately call them victims.

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#231386 - 09/04/11 08:06 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Andy]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 851
Loc: Southern California
I wonder if this explains the formations of local NEC (Neighborhood Emergency Corps). They're still in their formation stage, but it looks their purpose is to have time zero boots on the ground in the form of neighborhood volunteers. Their job is to get things going and keep then going until the heavy resources (National Guard, FEMA, etc) are on site.

Mission statement
Quote:
In Terms of Preparedness Activities, We Will:

• Disseminate emergency preparedness information for various emergency scenarios

• Participate in and/or conduct training seminars/workshops with local response agencies

• Participate in and/or conduct drills for various emergency scenarios

• Stockpile and encourage individuals to stockpile emergency supplies (food, water, batteries, etc.)

In Terms Of Response And/Or Recovery Activities, We Will Provide/Coordinate Community-Based:

• Communication and information services

• Housing/temporary shelter (community-based ARC trained teams

• Animal Shelter/Services (Large Animal Support Team Volunteers)

• Food and meals for survivors and/or volunteers*

• Medical health services/first aid*

• Volunteer center services (at neighborhood/micro level)

• Search and rescue teams (encourage CERT volunteers)

• Special needs care for the elderly & handicapped*

• Transportation for survivors and their families”

• Interpretation/translation resource location

• Mental health services:

• Advocacy services*

• Insurance advocacy*

*=Identification of community resources only; serve as interface for resources


Edited by Mark_R (09/04/11 08:08 PM)
Edit Reason: Add mission statement
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Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#231394 - 09/04/11 09:45 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Mark_R]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3059
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_R
I wonder if this explains the formations of local NEC (Neighborhood Emergency Corps).


It seems like there's significant overlap with CERT.

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#231479 - 09/06/11 02:07 AM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: chaosmagnet]
ratbert42 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Florida
It sounds like an add-on for CERT volunteers. Even within my (now defunct) CERT group, there was a lot of interest in 'going further' and getting more training. I think it's a good thing, but volunteers are always a mixed bag. There are always a few 'yahoos' that want to jump right into the middle of the action but have never been tested. That's where you need strong leadership and a structure to handle them as well as a way to get the volunteers some experience before 'the big one' hits. CERT has generally not been very good at that, at least in my experience. They get people through the training and participate in a drill or three a year but most volunteers have little experience and are not very connected to the organization. I can't really blame CERT for that because it's not really within their charter. Their focus is training a team in each neighborhood that can work with their untrained neighbors to handle minor problems during a wide-spread disaster.

But I've worked with very competent disaster volunteers that have been 'battle tested' in groups like Salvation Army, Red Cross, and amateur radio. Red Cross volunteers keep busy with assisting families affected by house / apartment fires, so they are constantly getting experience. Ham radio groups often stay busy doing communications for 'public service' events like charity walks and bike rides. (They sound easy but I've seen hams handle events with heart attacks, a cyclist hit by an 18-wheeler, etc.) No amount of table-top exercises or even simulated drills can build up volunteers as much as real-world experiences.

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#231498 - 09/06/11 11:22 AM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: ratbert42]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3059
Loc: USA
Well said, ratbert.

I've been thinking about working with my local RACES group for that reason among others, but I haven't been able to make the time. Maybe next year.

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#232359 - 09/17/11 08:59 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Andy]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1361
Andy ... I'm glad to hear that there's some practical, independent thinking happening at FEMA.

If L.A. or San Francisco are hit ever by a devastating earthquake - and it is coming sooner or later - tell them to do just ONE thing first. Figure out a plan to get as much fresh water as possible to residents of the city. They need to collect water containers from across the USA and get them into the city ... to as many different locations within the city boundaries as possible.

That one action is most likely to minimize rioting and ensure the best survival for the urban population. It won't be easy to accomplish, but it will be effective.

Pete2

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