FEMA’s Missions and Goals FEMA has been working with many groups including schools, non-profit organizations, Federal, State and local areas, faith-based groups and general public to meet their goals. FEMAs goal is to stand united to effectively stand with the community to help with any disaster that may affect the area. FEMA works within the communities with the general public, to stand united in the face of a crisis and to bring help to those who need it the most.
FEMA has come to the realization that they need to have the best equipment to help those who need it. Being first on the scene is an important factor in improving how effective they are in helping those around them. Having the best equipment and knowledge how to help during the biggest disasters is also important to FEMA and they continue to improve and research regularly.
FEMA learned very quickly how one year can test thestrengths of a company. In 2011 FEMA was stretched to itslimits with the record amount of disasters and emergencies.FEMA has learned that even though no one would wish forany disaster let alone the amount of disasters that happenedin 2011, they need to prepare for another record amount.
A short Video from Tuscaloosa Tornadofrom 4/27/2011.
FEMA is working with many different communities locally and nationally. FEMA has led the efforts in National Preparedness goal which is a national vision of how a country can prepare and work together to different risk that may happen.
FEMA is constantly looking to expand their knowledge and their resources to help those who need it. With the experience that FEMA has been getting over the last couple of years their goals have been reached and some could say even doubled with the amount of success they have done. FEMA gives a lot of credit to the Federal, state and local support without them they could never have achieved such success. FEMA will continue to evaluate each situation and determine the best way to they can effectively to the best of their ability.
How FEMA first started In 1979 the United States Department of Homeland Security created an agency called The Federal Management Emergency Agency known as FEMA. Their purpose was extremely clear, they were created to go in after a disaster and help out when the local and state got completely overwhelmed and had very little resources left to help out those who needed it. FEMA could only go in to help after that state declared a State of Emergency and must submit a request to the president to have help from agencies like FEMA. FEMA can also help out not just inside the United States but also to territories of the United States such as Hawaii.
The one exception to thisoccurs if a disaster happens onFederal Property, an exampleof this would be the 1995Oklahoma City Bombing.
Before FEMA was established in 1979 the UnitedStates has always had a smaller version but nothingofficial. Between 1803-1930 legislation was passedover a 100 times for different states helping themwith relief from different disasters that those statescould not afford to pay for.
Prior to FEMA there was an agency that cameabout called Reconstruction Finance Corporation.The RFC was created to help and give financialrelief to banks and other financial institutions duringa disaster. The Bureau of Public Roads was givingauthority in 1934 to help give relief when it came torebuilding public roads after a major disaster.
Organization and Structurewithin FEMA
Eventually the government decided they wanted tohave one agency that housed all the needs wewould need under “one roof”so FEMA was created.In 1993 President Bill Clinton hired James Lee Witt asthe director of FEMA.
When FEMA was first established it was given theresponsibilities to run the Nations Civil Defense.When the Cold War ended FEMA could now turn itsattention from the Civil Defense to the NaturalDisaster Relief. FEMA has joined with 22 otheragencies in order to grow and expand underHomeland Security. FEMA has not always beensuccessful in their mission but has taken thoseopportunities to help learn from their mistakes andteach others how to effectively help quickly andefficiently to those who need it.
FEMA is made up of over 7,400 employees as ofOctober 2011. FEMA has locations located all overthe United States. There are many componentswithin the FEMA organization. Within the Office ofAdministration there is National Advisory Council(NAC). NAC was established after Hurricane Katrinaand its goal is to help the Federal government bemore prepared for a natural disaster like this one.NAC advises the administration inside of FEMA on allemergencies strategies
One component inside of FEMA is the Office of Response andRecovery (ORR). “The Office of Response and Recovery(ORR) provides leadership to build, sustain, and improve thecoordination and delivery of support to citizens and State,local, tribal and territorial governments to save lives, reducesuffering, protect property and recover from all hazards.”
Disaster Emergency Communication Division isanother component to FEMA. DEC specializes in alltechnical communication between the federalagencies. This includes law enforcement,firefighters, EMTs, ect. DEC helps maintain all modesof communication during a disaster to help bringsupport to those who need it.
“The Disaster Emergency Communications Divisionestablishes, maintains, and coordinates effectivedisaster emergency communications services andinformation systems critical to FEMA’s role incoordinating the Federal government’s response,continuity efforts, and restoration of essential servicesbefore, during, and after an incident or plannedevent.”
The Office of Federal Disaster Coordination is alsoanother component to FEMA. The Federal Disasteroffice has assigned Federal Coordinating Officers(FCO) to each site when there is a major disaster.“The mission of the Office of Federal DisasterCoordination (OFDC) is to lead, train, equip, andmanage FEMAs Federal Coordinating Officers(FCO) to ensure their availability for rapiddeployment in response to any disaster; delivertraining to develop and sustain FCO professionalcompetencies; and coordinate FCO assignments tomeet the on-scene needs of FEMA and itsemergency management partners.”
FEMA has many moving parts within theirorganization. I did not get into the whole structure ofwhat makes up FEMA but each part plays a majorrole before, during and after a disaster. Thesedifferent structures all work together as one to makeFEMA the successful agencies that it has becometoday that we see arriving to help those who needthem.
Career Opportunities withFEMA
FEMA offers many different career opportunitieswithin its agency. You can find anything from apart-time/full time position to 1-4 year temp position.FEMA has many different branches that are alwayshiring and looking for people who have the samegoal in mind as they do.
FEMA has a new program called Wounded Warriors.FEMA is looking to hire those who have served ourcountry. “FEMA is working to help those that haveserved our Nation, including those who have service-connected disabilities, to find suitable employmentwhile maintaining a sense of self-worth
FEMA’s diversity outreach efforts, including thosedirectly targeted to veterans, have continued as itworks to remain connected to veterans supportgroups, as well as education and employmentorganizations. This Agency realizes the importanceof developing employment opportunities forveterans and remains committed to this effort. “
FEMA also has Operation Warfighter. This is something that I havenever heard of and was very interested to learn about. This is aprogram that FEMA has setup that gives temporary jobs to thosewho are currently serving for our Country who are residing in amedical facility. This allows the employee to slowly get used toworking back in a civilian environment without just being thrownback and fending for themselves.
Even though FEMA can not promises a permanentposition they are kept long enough that it benefitsthese men and women significantly. This programnot only allows the candidates to get out of thehospital but to build their resumes, get workexperience inside a federal agency and to feel likethey are helping out others who need them. FEMAallows them to work around 20 hours a week andwill also provide transportation to and from themedical facility with no cost to the candidate.
FEMA has many job opportunities listed on theirwebsite. They make it very simple to locate thecareer link and to research what openings are openat that time. Each job posting comes with thelocation, the job description, the qualifications, andwhat is needed in order to apply. All you have to dois click on the link and follow the instructions foreach one.
Plans for Before, During andAfter a Disaster – Per FEMA
FEMA talks about how there should be actions thatare taken before, during, and after an event thatare unique to each hazard. You should alwayshave a plan of what could occur in your area andhow to prepare for them. You can contact yourLocal Emergency management office to helpidentify these hazards, and the local recommendedplans for each one. You should then share this withall family members, and make sure they are in yourfamily disaster plan. This is part of one of thebiggest steps in making a Disaster plan. You shouldalways be informed. Being informed is one of thebest ways to be prepared. You will not know whatto do, what you’ll need, or how to react withoutknowing everything you can about the hazards thatmight affect your area.
Now that you have your information, youneed to make a plan. Planning in advance helpsyou know, how you will get to a safe place, contactone another, how to get back together, and whatto do in different situations. When you make yourplan, FEMA also suggests that you include youreveryday lives, such as traveling to school, or work,so that it will be a realistic situation. You can alsoask your current community, work place, or schoolswhat their emergency plans are. If they do not, askif you can discuss getting one put in place. All ofthis is the same as having a fire escape drill with yourfamily. You need to plan escapes routes, where tomeet, and what to do afterwards. The more youtalk about it, and know the plan, the more effectiveit will be when or if one of these situations occur.
The next thing you have to have is a disaster supplykit. This is just a collection of basic items yourhousehold may need in the event of anemergency. This kit should include items that youmight need if you have no notice of evacuation.These also should include supplies that could helpsustain you during outages, and times that you areunable to reach anyone for up to a few days. Youalso have to make sure to maintain your kit. If youhave items such as canned food, you need tomake sure they are kept in a cool dry place.
You need to keep an eye on other food to makesure it has not gone bad, such as boxed food, orcans that look bloated or damaged. You also needto change your water supplies every six months, andmake sure you write down and change the dateevery time you change it. You need to know thatyou should have one gallon of water per person,per day. Lastly, make sure that you update your kitwhen things change, probably every year. Your kitsshould always include at least three days’ worth ofessential food, and water. Every person in the familyshould know where this kit is located, and be able tograb it in case you need to leave quickly. It is also agood idea to have a 24 hour kit at work.
How FEMA responds Duringand After a Disaster
After a major disaster occurs there are a few thingsset up to help get response teams, and recoveryefforts started. One of them is the National DisasterRecovery Framework. This is a guide that enableseffective recovery support to impacted states.There is also the CERT program which is CommunityEmergency Response Team. This is a program thathelps educate people about disaster preparednessfor hazards that may impact their area. They thentrain them in basic disaster response skills.
CERT members can help assist other in theirneighborhood or workplace for a disaster whenthere are no professional responders around.“Urban Search and Rescue involves the location,rescue, and initial medical stabilization of victimstrapped in confined spaces. “(4) This group is goodin multiple situations such as natural disaster, ortechnological accidents, terrorist activities, andeven hazardous material releases.
How YOU can help FEMA
There are a few ways that you can help. You canvolunteer with an affiliate organization that isproviding help to survivors. Some of those currentare Hands on Network, for hurricane Sandy. Youcan also go to Serve.gov/sandy for opportunities tohelp hurricane Sandy survivors. FEMA is currentlyfunded by tax payer’s money.
Latest Events the FEMA hasbeen involved with
Most people do not realize that FEMA covers Indiannations as well. In January 2013, the Eastern Band ofCherokee Indians suffered from severe storms thatcaused flooding, landslides, and mudslides. InMarch of 2013, the President declared it was amajor disaster. One of the biggest disasters in thenews recently that FEMA was involved with wasHurricane Sandy. “According to FEMA, 256,900affected residents have already registered for stateand federal disaster assistance through t heirorganization or the Small Business Association.”
FEMA is helping with temporary housing, and grantsto repair or replace storm damaged residences.They also help provide grants to help replace orrepair personal property, such as cars. Right nowFEMA has approved more than $780 million indisaster assistance since Hurricane Sandy.
In February the Presidentdeclared a state of Emergencyfor the state of Connecticut.This allowed FEMA to go out toprovide relief and to take awaythe hardship the the snowstorm caused to thesurrounding areas. “FEMAsmission is to support our citizensand first responders to ensurethat as a nation we worktogether to build, sustain, andimprove our capability toprepare for, protect against,respond to, recover from, andmitigate all hazards.”
Disaster Assistance website allows you to apply fordifferent relief efforts that FEMA can supply. Whenyou apply for help from FEMA they will review yourapplication and send the necessary help that isdeemed required by FEMA
As quoted by Delaware Governor Jack MarkellMSNBC in Augst 7th, 2011: “The Administrationsresponse to Hurricane Irene has been great; thereare already FEMA first responders on the groundcoordinating with local first responders, and theyare doing a great job with response and recoveryefforts.” This shows that people notice howimportant and valuable FEMA has become to ourcountry. We have come to rely on them whenevera major disaster has rocked our world and turned itupside down
Many people have had a hand in shaping FEMA to theagency that it is today. FEMA continues to grow andlearn from their failures to their successes. With eachturn of event FEMA becomes more and more lookedto as the future of what our country is about. Helpingthose who need it, when they need it.