Tag Archive | Federal Emergency Management Agency

ASFPM Releases Report on Cost of Flood Mapping for the Nation

Flood Mapping for the Nation: A Cost Analysis for the Nation’s Flood Map Inventory

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) urges national investment in a comprehensive, updated flood map inventory for every community in the US. This will drive down costs and suffering from flooding on our nation and its citizens, as well as providing the best tool for managing flood risk and building sustainable communities.

For full text and to download a copy of the report, visit The Association of State Floodplain Managers | ASFPM.

How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better

by Jennifer Chan, US News and World Report, Op-Eds, November 23, 2012

Dr. Jennifer Chan, a Public Voices fellow at the OpEd Project, is the director of Global Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an associate faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

In the wake of Sandy’s destruction, digital volunteers mobilized again. From their homes and offices, using iPads and laptops, hundreds of volunteers crowd-sourced information and took on microtasks to help FEMA and other agencies process large swaths of information and speed humanitarian response.

For instance, in the first 48 hours after the hurricane, 381 aerial photos collected by the Civil Air Patrol were viewed by hundreds of volunteers, with the goal of quickly giving an overview of the extent of storm and flood damage. This project was called the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap MapMill project. In response to a request from FEMA, project developer Schuyler Erle volunteered to launch and lead the project. By mid-afternoon November 2nd, more than 3,000 volunteers had assessed 5,131 images, viewing them more than 12,000 times. Just a week later, more than 24,000 images had been assessed. Each view from a digital volunteer—a mother, a researcher, a friend, a colleague—helped FEMA determine the degree of damage along the eastern seaboard, assessing the condition of buildings, roads, and houses, with the aim of helping the agency in its post-disaster recovery and planning. That’s an amazing effort.

But did it actually help?

For full text of the op-ed, visit How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better – US News and World Report.

 

Of Hurricanes and Hashtags: Disaster Relief in the Social-Media Age

by Adam Mazmanian, National Journal, June 3, 2012

Just hours after a tornado devastated parts of Joplin, Mo., in the late afternoon of May 22, 2011, the mother-daughter team of Rebecca and Genevieve Williams of the nearby town of Neosho went to work on a Facebook page. … In the days that followed, the page became a clearinghouse for information on recovery, how to volunteer, where to donate supplies, media updates, and requests for information about loved ones. Eventually, administrator privileges were extended to 30 volunteers, including public-information officials at the local gas, electric, and water utilities. It was one big piece of a spontaneous eruption of social media that helped those survivors who relied on their smartphones for access to information. …

If the House version of the bill appropriating FEMA’s budget for 2013 becomes law, Fugate will have to show that the agency has a plan for deploying social media. A provision requires FEMA to improve its ability to collect data in real time through social-media monitoring and messaging and directs the agency to produce a report on the utility of social media in disaster response. …

For full text of this article, please visit Of Hurricanes and Hashtags: Disaster Relief in the Social-Media Age – Adam Mazmanian – NationalJournal.com.

FEMA’s David Kaufman Addresses Technology Foresight for Emergency Management

Federal Emergency Management Agency

by Eric Holdeman, Disaster Zone, Emergency Management Magazine, March 19, 2012

David J. Kaufman serves as the director of FEMA’s Office of Policy and Program Analysis. He is responsible for providing leadership, analysis, coordination and decision-making support to the FEMA administrator on a wide range of agency policies, plans, programs and key initiatives. … In his current position, he led the coordination effort to develop the Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI). This initiative brought together a wide cross-section of the emergency management community to explore key future issues, trends and other factors, and to work through their implications. The result is a 36-page document titled Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030: Forging Strategic Action in an Age of Uncertainty. …

For the full text of the interview with David Kaufman, conducted by Eric Holdeman of Emergency Management Magazine, visit FEMA’s David Kaufman Addresses Emergency Management Trends.

FEMA Strategic Foresight Initiative Releases New Report, To Host Webinar

Federal Emergency Management Agency

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From: FEMA-OPPA-SFI
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:03 PM
Subject: Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) – January Newsletter

Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) Community Members;

Hello, and happy new year to you!  The SFI team is pleased to announce the release of the Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030 report, which highlights the initial findings of the SFI to date. As you know, this report is the result of an extensive community-wide effort that many of you have contributed to, which included more than 800 professionals, members of the academic community, and interested parties from all layers of the public and private sector.

The Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience2030 report includes insights on the future role of emergency and disaster management; strategic needs and gaps the community will have to address; and a look into the emergency management community of 2030.  The strategic needs, highlighted in the report, in particular – focused around essential capabilities, innovative models and tools, and dynamic partnerships – are intended to be a catalyst for leadership throughout the emergency management community and to prepare us, and the Nation at large, for whatever challenges and opportunities the future holds.  The report is now available for public consumption through the FEMA website.

Dave Kaufman, the Director of the Office of Policy and Program Analysis at FEMA will be presenting on the SFI findings at the IDCE Conference in New Orleans on January 18th. If you are attending the conference, we encourage you to join his presentation to learn more about SFI.

Additionally, Dave Kaufman is hosting a webinar session on Thursday, January 26, 2012 from 2:00-3p:00m EST. This webinar session will offer an opportunity to learn about the SFI findings presented in the Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030 report as well as participants to ask questions directly from Mr. Kaufman.  For more information on the webinar, please visit http://www.emforum.org/SFI/moreinfo.htm.

Read More…

FCC, FEMA offer new tech tips for emergencies – CNN.com

By Amy Gahran, Special to CNN, September 22, 2011

(CNN) — In an emergency, do you know how to best use your cell phone to stay safe, informed and in touch? Recognizing that Americans have been getting mixed messages from many sources, this week the Federal Communication Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Administration teamed up to publish a new list of tips for communicating before, during and after a disaster. … For full text of the article, visit FCC, FEMA offer new tech tips for emergencies – CNN.com

New CRS Report: Considerations for a Catastrophic Declaration – Stafford Act

Bruce R. Lindsay, Analyst in Emergency Management Policy
Francis X. McCarthy, Analyst in Emergency Management Policy

Congressional Research Service, June 21, 2011

SUMMARY: The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) is the principal authority governing federal emergency and disaster response in the United States. The act authorizes the President to issue three categories of declaration: (1) major disaster, (2) emergency, or (3) fire assistance declarations in response to incidents that overwhelm the resources of state and local governments. Once a declaration is issued, a wide range of federal disaster assistance becomes available to eligible individuals and households, public entities, and certain nonprofit organizations. Disaster assistance authorized by the Stafford Act is appropriated by Congress and provided through the Disaster Relief Fund.

Emergency declarations supplement and promote coordination of local and state efforts such as evacuations and protection of public assets. They may also be declared prior to the impact of an incident to protect property, public health and safety and lessen or avert the threat of a major disaster or catastrophe. Major disaster declarations are issued after an incident and constitute broader authority to help states and localities, as well as families and individuals, recover from the damage caused by the event. Fire assistance declarations provide grants to state and localities to manage fires that threaten to cause major disasters.

Recently there has been discussion that the Stafford Act should be amended to include a fourth category, generally called a “catastrophic declaration.” If approved, catastrophic declarations could be invoked for high-profile, large-scale incidents that threaten the lives of many people, create tremendous damage, and pose significant challenges to timely recovery efforts.

This report examines concerns expressed by policymakers and experts that current Stafford Act declarations are inadequate to respond to, and recover from, highly destructive events, and presents the arguments for and against amending the act to add a catastrophic declaration amendment. This report also includes data analyses of past and potential disasters to determine what incidents might be deemed as catastrophic, and explores alternative policy options that might obviate the need for catastrophic declarations.

For full text of the article, visit the Federation of American Scientists‘ Website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R41884.pdf

Social Media and Emergency Management: Top 10 Questions

Kim Stephens provides a nice 101 on social media and its use for emergency management.

Post by: Kim Stephens, iDisaster 2.0, June 6, 2011

Warm weather seems to bring numerous conferences. After speaking to various groups I am reminded that there is a large contingent of people in response organizations that have heard of social media, but might not understand some of the basics. If you fall into that camp, this post is for you. I have outlined the top ten questions that I often hear, both through speaking and even through our Social Media and Emergency Management chats. …

For full text of the article, via Social Media and Emergency Management: Top 10 Questions | idisaster 2.0.

New CRS Report on Text Messaging, Section on Using SMS to Support Law Enforcement and Emergency Response

Seal of the United States Congressional Resear...

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The Congressional Research Service issued a new report for Congress on Text and Multimedia Messaging on May 18, 2011. Page 12 of the report describes FEMA‘s new Emergency Response Alerting Network (PLAN) implementation plan.

Using SMS to Support Law Enforcement and Emergency Response

In May 2011, the FCC and FEMA announced the implementation of a Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN). This program was previously called the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), which has been under development since April 2008 under rules developed by the FCC. …

For full text of the article in PDF, visit FAS website here.

How Social Media is Changing Disaster Response – TIME

By Erin SkardaTime online, June 09, 2011

…With cell-phone service largely unavailable and a distance of several thousand miles between her house in Amsterdam, N.Y., and Joplin, Williamson-Smith posted photos of James on several Facebook pages that were created in the aftermath of the tornado. Less than 24 hours later, she saw a comment on a page called “Joplin Tornado Citizen Checks” that said James had been found and was volunteering with search-and-rescue teams. “Even though at that point we hadn’t spoken to him directly, it was comforting to know that someone out there had seen him and that he was O.K.,” says Williamson-Smith. …

For full text of the article visist Facebook to the Rescue! How Social Media is Changing Disaster Response – TIME.

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