REDIRECT Infobox Govt Agency The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of FEMA (begun by Presidential Order on April 1, 1979)[1][2] is to coordinate the response to a disaster which has occurred in the United States and which overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities. The governor of the state in which the disaster occurred must declare a state of emergency and formally request from the President that FEMA and the federal government respond to the disaster. The only exception is when an emergency or disaster occurs on federal property or to a federal asset, for example, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the 1995 bombing, or the Space Shuttle Columbia in the 2003 return-flight disaster.

While on-the-ground support of disaster recovery efforts is a major part of FEMA's charter, the agency provides state and local governments with experts in specialized fields and funding for rebuilding efforts and relief funds for infrastructure, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration. FEMA also assists individuals and businesses with low interest loans. In addition to this, FEMA provides funds for training of response personnel throughout the United States and its territories as part of the agency's preparedness effort.

History Edit

Federal emergency management in the United States has existed in one form or another for over 200 years. The history of FEMA can be divided into the following parts.

Prior to 1930s Edit

A series of devastating fires struck the port city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, early in the 19th century. The 7th U.S. Congress passed a number of measures in the Congressional Act of 1803 that provided relief for Portsmouth merchants by waiving duties and tariffs on imported goods. This is widely considered the first piece of legislation passed by the federal government that provided relief after a disaster.[3]

Between 1803 and 1930, ad hoc legislation was passed more than 100 times for relief or compensation after a disaster. Examples of these include the waiving of duties and tariffs to the merchants of New York City after a fire in the mid 1830s. After President Abraham Lincoln's assassination at John T. Ford's Theatre, the 54th Congress passed legislation compensating those who were injured in the theatre.

Piecemeal approach (1930s–1960s) Edit

After the start of the Great Depression in 1929, President Herbert Hoover had commissioned the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1932.[4] The purpose of the RFC was to lend money to banks and institutions to stimulate economic activity. RFC was also responsible for dispensing federal dollars in the wake of a disaster. RFC can be considered the first organized federal disaster response agency.

The Bureau of Public Roads in 1934 was given authority to finance the reconstruction of highways and roads after a disaster. The Flood Control Act of 1944 also gave the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authority over flood control and irrigation projects and thus played a major role in disaster recovery from flooding.

This "piecemeal approach" to disaster recovery was troubled by poor inter agency cooperation and bureaucratic red tape.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (1960–1979) Edit

By the start of the 1960s, federal disaster relief and recovery was brought under the umbrella of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which created the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration. This agency would oversee disasters such as Hurricane Carla in 1961, Hurricane Betsy in 1965, Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Agnes in 1972, the Alaskan (Good Friday) Earthquake of 1964 and the San Fernando Earthquake of 1971.

Many government agencies were still involved in disaster relief; in some cases, more than 100 separate agencies might be jockeying for control and jurisdiction of a disaster.

Congress met the nation’s needs for disaster preparedness and assistance somewhat reactively, by enacting various forms of legislation in response to recognized needs.[5]

Over the years, Congress increasingly extended the range of covered categories for assistance, and several presidential executive orders did the same. By enacting these various forms of legislative direction, Congress established a category for annual budgetary amounts of assistance to victims of various types of hazards or disasters, it specified the qualifications, and then it established or delegated the responsibilities to various federal and non-federal agencies.[6]

In time, this expanded array of agencies themselves required reorganization, as the evidence of their history reflects. One of the first such federal agencies was the Federal Civil Defense Administration, which operated within the Executive Office of the President. Then, functions to administer disaster relief were given to the President himself, who delegated to the Housing and Home Finance Administration; subsequently, a new office of the Office of Defense Mobilization was created; then, the new Office of Defense and Civilian Mobilization, managed by the EOP; after that, the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, which renamed the former agency; then, the Office of Civil Defense, under the Department of Defense (DoD); the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW); the Department of Agriculture; the Office of Emergency Planning (OEmP); the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency (replacing the OCD in the DoD); the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the General Services Administration (GSA) (upon termination of the OEmP).[6]

These actions demonstrated that during those years, the nation’s domestic preparedness was addressed by several disparate legislative actions, motivated by policy and budgetary earmarking, and not by a single, unifying, comprehensive strategy to meet the nation’s needs over time.[5] Then, in 1978 an effort was made to consolidate the several singular functions; FEMA was created to house civil defense and disaster preparedness under one roof. This was a very controversial decision.[6] Many felt the coordination of federal preparedness functions would be too challenging, and the needs of developing civil defense preparedness might lose its priority if it was included within the same organization handling natural disaster response. In the end, FEMA was created as the primary federal source for both financial and technical support assistance to victims in need of emergency aid. The controversy was not resolved by the decision, though. Those who managed the mandates of the agency still held their particular points of view concerning which function of FEMA was more important, civil defense or natural disaster preparedness, and the issue failed to resolve itself due to Congress’ prior history of placing value on policy and the budgetary concerns of the times. Eventually, these points of view developed their separate cultures within FEMA, causing a “stovepiping” within the agency, thus creating insularity and preventing a mutuality and collegial sharing of interests and resources.[6] Many feel that the hybrid that FEMA became never was able to meld the two separate and distinct functions, those of counter terrorism and natural disaster management. They feel that this essentially unyielding dichotomy has created the several problems for which FEMA has been criticized over the years.[5]

Until April 1, 1979,[2] there was no single federal agency to carry out the various functions of disaster assistance and civil defense.

FEMA as an independent agency (1979–2003) Edit


FEMA was established under the 1978 Reorganization Plan No. 3, and activated April 1, 1979 by Jimmy Carter in his Executive Order 12127.[1] In July, Carter signed Executive Order 12148 putting the new agency in charge of coordinating all disaster relief efforts at the federal level. FEMA absorbed the Federal Insurance Administration, the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration, the National Weather Service Community Preparedness Program, the Federal Preparedness Agency of the General Services Administration and the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration activities from HUD. FEMA was also given the responsibility for overseeing the nation's Civil Defense, a function which had previously been performed by the Department of Defense's Defense Civil Preparedness Agency.

One of the first disasters FEMA responded to was the dumping of toxic waste into Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York in the late 1970s. FEMA also responded to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident where the nuclear generating station suffered a partial core meltdown. These disasters, while showing the agency could function properly, also uncovered some inefficiencies.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton elevated FEMA to a cabinet level position and appointed James Lee Witt as FEMA Director. Witt initiated reforms that would help to streamline the disaster recovery and mitigation process. The end of the Cold War also allowed the agency’s resources to be turned away from civil defense to natural disaster preparedness.

After FEMA’s creation through reorganization and executive orders, Congress continued to expand FEMA’s authority by assigning responsibilities to it. Those responsibilities include dam safety under the National Dam Safety Program Act; disaster assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; earthquake hazards reduction under the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 and further expanded by Executive Order 12699, regarding safety requirements for federal buildings and Executive Order 12941, concerning the need for cost estimates to seismically retrofit federal buildings; emergency food and shelter under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987; fire control, under the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974; hazardous materials, under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986; insurance, under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968; national security, under the National Security Act of 1947, the Defense Production Act of 1950; and various executive orders under presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, H. W. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush.[6] In addition, FEMA received authority for counter terrorism through the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici amendment under the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996, which was a response to the recognized vulnerabilities of the U.S. after the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.[5] These actions reveal that no real effort was made to seriously unify the nation’s continuing and evolving needs for homeland security, beyond the act of creating a single agency to manage these different functions. Again, there was no overarching strategy to streamline and consolidate the functions and focus of FEMA. The actions of Congress continued to show a pattern of short-term responses to long-term needs. FEMA had to manage its expanding responsibilities while sources of funding would vary year-after-year, as Congress would react and respond to various natural disasters and national security threats. Various mandates would have their own budgets, and even those were not dedicated from year to year. They were subject to revisions and reallocations as various other needs superseded them, requiring financial adjustments to budgetary limitations.[7]

FEMA under Department of Homeland Security (2003-present) Edit

File:Appropriations Act of 2004.jpg

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to better coordinate among the different federal agencies that deal with law enforcement, disaster preparedness and recovery, border protection and civil defense. FEMA was absorbed into DHS as of 2003. As a result, FEMA became part of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate of Department of Homeland Security, and employs more than 2,600 full time employees. In September 2003, Michael D. Brown, FEMA’s director and Department Of Homeland Security Undersecretary, warned that the shift would make a mockery of FEMA’s new motto, "A Nation Prepared", and would "fundamentally sever FEMA from its core functions", "shatter agency morale" and "break longstanding, effective and tested relationships with states and first responder stakeholders". The inevitable result of the reorganization of 2003, warned Brown, would be "an ineffective and uncoordinated response" to a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.[8]

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 demonstrated that the vision of further unification of functions and another reorganization could not address the problems FEMA had previously faced. The "Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina", released February 15, 2006 by the U.S. Government Printing Office, revealed that federal funding to states for “all hazards” disaster preparedness needs was not awarded unless the local agencies made the purposes for the funding a “just terrorism” function.[9] Emergency management professionals testified that funds for preparedness for natural hazards was given less priority than preparations for counter terrorism measures. Testimony also expressed the opinion that the mission to mitigate vulnerability and prepare for natural hazard disasters before they occurred had been separated from disaster preparedness functions, making the nation more vulnerable to known hazards, like hurricanes.[10] These issues continue to be debated, and have not been resolved with FEMA’s inclusion in Department Of Homeland Security.

Response to major disasters Edit

Hurricane Andrew – 1992 Edit

See also: Hurricane Andrew
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck the Florida and Louisiana coasts with 165 mph (265 km/h) sustained winds. FEMA was widely criticized for the agency’s response to Andrew, summed up by the famous exclamation, "Where in the hell is the cavalry on this one?" by Dade County, Florida, emergency management director Kate Hale. FEMA and the federal government at large were accused of not responding fast enough to house, feed and sustain the approximately 250,000 people left homeless in the affected areas. Within five days the federal government and neighboring states had dispatched 20,000 National Guard and active duty troops to South Dade County to set up temporary housing. FEMA had previously been criticized for its response to Hurricane Hugo, which hit South Carolina in September 1989, and many of the same issues that plagued the agency during Hurricane Andrew were also evident during the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 Edit

See also: September 11, 2001 attacks
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

In the minutes after the first hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center towers, FEMA, as well as emergency services all over the city and state of New York, were mobilized. FEMA had deployed 25 of the 28 Urban Search and Rescue teams at its disposal to the World Trade Center site; however, the New York City Office of Emergency Management was in charge of the WTC recovery effort. FEMA played its largest role in the appropriation of federal funds to aid local and state governments in paying for the disaster. As of 2003, FEMA had received $5.5 billion USD to distribute among local and state agencies to help offset the cost of recovery. Within the $5.5 billion, FEMA was also allotted funds to pay for its own recovery efforts.

Southern Florida Hurricanes - 2004 Edit

South Florida newspaper Sun-Sentinel has an extensive list of documented criticisms of FEMA during the four hurricanes that hit the region in 2004.[11] Some of the criticisms include:

  • When Hurricane Frances hit South Florida on Labor Day weekend (over 100 miles north of Miami-Dade County), 9,800 Miami-Dade applicants were approved by FEMA for $28 million in storm claims for new furniture; clothes; thousands of new televisions, microwaves and refrigerators; cars; dental bills; and a funeral even though the Medical Examiner recorded no deaths from Frances. A U.S. Senate committee and the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security found that FEMA inappropriately declared Miami-Dade county a disaster area and then awarded millions, often without verifying storm damage or a need for assistance.[12][13]
  • FEMA used hurricane aid money to pay funeral expenses for at least 203 Floridians whose deaths were not caused by the 2004 Hurricanes, the state's coroners have concluded. Ten of the people whose funerals were paid for were not even in Florida at the time of their deaths.[14]

Hurricane Katrina – 2005 Edit

See also: Criticism of government response to Hurricane Katrina
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

August 2005 saw one of the worst natural disasters in United States history. FEMA received intense criticism for its response to the disaster. FEMA had pre-positioned response personnel in the Gulf Coast region. However, many were only able to report on the dire situation along the Gulf Coast, especially from New Orleans. FEMA was responsible for the evacuation of thousands of people who had remained in New Orleans during the storm, as well as for initial recovery work and appropriations. Within three days, a large contingent of National Guard and active duty troops were deployed to the region.

The enormous number of evacuees simply overwhelmed rescue personnel. The situation was compounded by flood waters in the city that hampered transportation and poor communication among the federal government, state and local entities. FEMA was widely criticized for what is seen as a slow initial response to the disaster and an inability to effectively manage, care for and move those trying to leave the city.

Then-FEMA Director Michael D. Brown was criticized personally for a slow response and an apparent disconnection with the situation. Michael Brown would eventually be relieved of command of the Katrina disaster and soon thereafter resigned.

Katrina was seen as the first major test of the nation’s new disaster response plan under DHS. It is widely held that many things did not function as planned.

According to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina:[15]

  • "The Secretary Department of Homeland Security should have designated the Principal Federal Official on Saturday, two days prior to landfall, from the roster of PFOs who had successfully completed the required training, unlike then FEMA Director Michael Brown. Considerable confusion was caused by the Secretary’s PFO decisions."
  • "DHS and FEMA lacked adequate trained and experienced staff for the Katrina response."
  • "The readiness of FEMA’s national emergency response teams was inadequate and reduced the effectiveness of the federal response."
  • "Long-standing weaknesses and the magnitude of the disaster overwhelmed FEMA’s ability to provide emergency shelter and temporary housing."
  • "FEMA logistics and contracting systems did not support a targeted, massive, and sustained provision of commodities."
  • "Before Katrina, FEMA suffered from a lack of sufficiently trained procurement professionals."

Other failings were also noted. The Committee devoted an entire section of the report to listing the actions of FEMA.[16] Their conclusion was:

"For years emergency management professionals have been warning that FEMA’s preparedness has eroded. Many believe this erosion is a result of the separation of the preparedness function from FEMA, the drain of long-term professional staff along with their institutional knowledge and expertise, and the inadequate readiness of FEMA’s national emergency response teams. The combination of these staffing, training, and organizational structures made FEMA’s inadequate performance in the face of a disaster the size of Katrina all but inevitable."[16]

Pursuant to a temporary restraining order issued by Hon. Stanwood R. Duval, United States District Court Judge, Eastern District of Louisiana as a result of the McWaters v. FEMA class-action, February 7, 2006 was set as the deadline for the official end of any further coverage of temporary housing costs for Katrina victims.[17][18]

After the February 7 deadline, Katrina victims were left to their own devices either to find permanent housing for the long term, or to continue in social welfare programs set up by other organizations. There are many Katrina evacuees living in temporary shelters and/or trailer parks set up by FEMA and other relief organizations in the first months after the disaster hit, but many more are still unable to find housing.

In July 2007, ice that had been ordered for Katrina victims and never used and had been kept in storage facilities at a cost of $12.5 million was melted down.[19]

The telephone number to receive disaster assistance from FEMA is 1-800-621-3362. Survivors of Katrina can learn more about FEMA assistance, and get forms for FEMA recertification, at a wiki web site

Buffalo snowstorm – 2006 Edit

FEMA came under attack for their response to the October 13, 2006 snowstorm in Buffalo, New York. Claims state that FEMA officials did not arrive until October 16, three days after the storm hit. The damage by this time included downed power wires, downed trees, and structural damage to homes and businesses. FEMA responded that as per procedure, the Governor of the state of New York had not asked for FEMA's assistance. FEMA Headquarters had been in constant contact with State congressional offices providing them with the latest information available.[20]

Dumas, Arkansas tornadoes - 2007 Edit

Many people of Dumas, Arkansas, especially victims of the February 24, 2007 tornadoes, criticized FEMA's response, not supplying the amount of new trailers they needed, only sending a set of used trailers, lower than the needed quantity. Following the storm, U.S Senator Mark Pryor had criticized FEMA's response to the recovery and cleanup efforts.[21]

California wildfires - 2007 Edit

See also: Harvey E. Johnson, Jr.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

FEMA came under intense criticism when it was revealed that a press conference on the California wildfires of October 2007 was staged. Deputy Administrator Harvey E. Johnson was answering questions from FEMA employees who were posing as reporters. Many of these questions were "soft ball" questions (i.e. "Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?"), intentionally asked in a way that would evoke a positive response giving the impression that FEMA was doing everything right. In this way, any scrutiny from real reporters (many of whom were only given a 15 minute notice) would have been avoided. Fox News, MSNBC, and other media outlets aired the staged press briefing live.[22] Real reporters were notified only 15 minutes in advance and were only able to call in to a conference line, which was set to "listen-only" mode. The only people there were primarily FEMA public affairs employees. [23]

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino criticized the agency for the incident, stating "It's not something I would have condoned, and they, I'm sure, will not do it again."[24] Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, who oversees FEMA, said, "I think it was one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I've ever seen since I've been in government." Following the incident, FEMA's external affairs director, John P. "Pat" Philbin, lost a planned position as Director of Public Affairs for the Director of National Intelligence.[25]

According to an article in TIME following the incident, FEMA responded exactly as it had trained to respond. Since 2003, an international PR firm has been paid to hold fake press conferences as part of simulated terrorist attacks. The government had held their last major exercise shortly before the wildfires press conference. At all of these simulations the real media have only been able to watch from afar.[26]

Criticism Edit

In 1997, James Bovard criticized FEMA for not following and subsidizing rebuilding in places that are vulnerable to natural disasters, asking, "[D]o we really want to help rebuild homes and government property in areas that should never have been built on in the first place?" He also claimed that localities are less likely to fund their own snow removal if they know the federal government will bail them out in the event of snow emergencies.[27] Moreover, he said that FEMA is used by incumbent presidents to shore up political support.[28] The Cato Institute's Handbook for Congress argues that private companies could perform the tasks carried about by FEMA, and that this would encourage home construction in safer areas:

Any time there is a natural disaster FEMA is trotted out as an example of how well government programs work. In reality, by using taxpayer dollars to provide disaster relief and subsidized insurance, FEMA itself encourages Americans to build in disaster-prone areas and makes the rest of us pick up the tab for those risk decisions. In a well-functioning private marketplace, individuals who chose to build houses in flood plains or hurricane zones would bear the cost of the increased risk through higher insurance premiums. FEMA's activities undermine that process. Americans should not be forced to pay the cost of rebuilding oceanfront summer homes. This $4 billion-a-year agency should be abolished.[29]

FEMA does encourage disaster victims to reduce future losses by considering "taking steps to rebuild safer and smarter", advising them to:

  • Take measures to reduce losses in the future;
  • Encourage community to participate in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP);
  • Consider buying flood insurance.[30]

Since Hurricane Katrina, some critics have called for FEMA to be removed from the Department of Homeland Security, saying that its position in the department badly hindered the agency's response, and that FEMA is beyond repair. Sen. Joe Lieberman called for Congress to dissolve FEMA and rebuild it from scratch, but within the Department of Health and Human Services.

A Senate panel has also come to the conclusion that it would be better to abolish FEMA. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who was the leader of an inquiry by the Senate said FEMA was in "shambles and beyond repair". The panel called for a new agency which will be called the National Preparedness and Response Authority if FEMA is abolished. The rest of the Senate panel's recommendations included less dramatic changes, such as creating a Homeland Security Academy, which would better prepare FEMA officials.

Organization Edit

Today FEMA exists as a major agency of the Department of Homeland Security. The Administrator for Federal Emergency Management reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

FEMA currently manages the National Flood Insurance Program. Other programs FEMA previously administered have since been internalized or shifted under direct DHS control.

The Administrator for Federal Emergency Management is R. David Paulison, who was confirmed to fill the position.

FEMA is home to the National Continuity Programs Directorate (formerly the Office of National Security Coordination). ONSC was responsible for developing, exercising, and validating agency wide continuity of operations (COOP) and continuity of government (COG) plans as well as overseeing and maintaining COOP and COG readiness including the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center. ONSC also coordinated the COOP and COG efforts of other Federal Executive Agencies.

Leadership Edit

  • Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, R. David Paulison
    • National Advisory Council
    • Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer, Harvey E. Johnson, Jr.
    • Associate Deputy Administrator for Gulf Coast Recovery
    • Associate Deputy Administrator
    • Chief Financial Officer
    • Director of Management and Chief Acquisition Officer
      • Director, Human Capital Division
      • Chief Administrative Services Officer
      • Chief Information Officer
    • Deputy Administrator, National Preparedness
      • Small State and Rural Advocate and Director, Community Preparedness Division
    • Assistant Administrator, Disaster Operations
    • Assistant Administrator, Disaster Assistance
    • Assistant Administrator, Mitigation
    • Assistant Administrator, Logistics Management Directorate
    • Assistant Administrator, National Continuity Programs Directorate
    • Director – NIMS Integration Center Training
    • Superintendent, Emergency Management Institute
    • Assistant Administrator, United States Fire Administration
    • Director of Policy and Program Analysis
      • Director of Strategic Planning & Evaluation
    • Director,Office of External Affairs
      • Director of Legislative Affairs
      • Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
      • Director of International Affairs
    • Chief Counsel
    • Director, Office of National Capital Region Coordination
    • Counselor to the Administrator and Deputy Administrator
    • Executive Secretary, Office of the Executive Secretariat
    • Director, Office of Equal Rights
      • Disability Coordinator

Regional administrators Edit

Response capabilities Edit

FEMA's emergency response is based around small, decentralized teams trained in such as the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team (DMORT), Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), and Mobile Emergency Resource Support (MERS).

National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Edit

The NDMS was recently transferred from the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Health and Human Services, under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, signed by President George W. Bush, on December 18, 2006.

NDMS is made of teams that provide medical and allied care to disaster victims. These teams include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc., and are typically sponsored by hospitals, public safety agencies or private organizations. Also, Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) teams, composed of officers of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, were developed to assist with the NDMS.

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) provide medical care at disasters and are typically made up of doctors and paramedics. There are also National Nursing Response Teams (NNRT), National Pharmacy Response Teams (NPRT) and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT). Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORT) provide mortuary and forensic services. National Medical Response Teams (NMRT) are equipped to decontaminate victims of chemical and biological agents.

Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Edit

The Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces perform rescue of victims from structural collapses, confined spaces, and other disasters, for example mine collapses and earthquakes.

Mobile Emergency Resource Support (MERS) Edit

These teams provide communications support to local public safety. For instance, they may operate a truck with satellite uplink, computers, telephone and power generation at a staging area near a disaster so that the responders can communicate with the outside world. There are also Mobile Air Transportable Telecommunications System (MATTS) assets which can be airlifted in. Also portable Cellphone towers can be erected to allow local responders to access telephone systems.

Training Edit

FEMA offers a large number of training classes, either at its own centers, through programs at the state level, in cooperation with colleges and universities, or online. The latter are free classes available to anyone, although only those with U.S. residency or work eligibility can take the final examinations. More information is available on the FEMA website under the "Emergency Personnel" and "Training" subheadings. Other emergency response information for citizens is also available at its website.

The Training and Education Division within FEMA's National Integration Center directly funds training for responders and provides guidance on training-related expenditures under FEMA's grant programs. Catalog available at TED Course Catalog. Information on designing effective training for first responders is available from the Training and Education Division at First Responder Training. Emergency managers and other interested members of the public can take independent study courses for certification at FEMA's online Emergency Management Institute.

Donations Management Edit

FEMA has led a Public-Private Partnership in creating a National Donations Management Program making it easier for corporations or individuals not previously engaged to make offers of free assitance to States and the Federal Government in times of disaster. The program is a partnership among FEMA, relief agencies, corporations/corporate associations and participating state governments. The technical backbone of the program is an online technology solution called The Aidmatrix Network which is managed by the independent nonprofit organization, Aidmatrix.

List of FEMA heads Edit

As director: Office of Emergency Preparedness

Agency Director From To
James K. Hafer May-1975 Apr-1979
Gordon Vickery (acting) Apr-1979 Jul-1979
Thomas Casey (acting) Jul-1979 Aug-1979
John Macy Aug-1979 Jan-1981
Bernard Gallagher (acting) Jan-1981 Apr-1981
John W. McConnell (acting) Apr-1981 May-1981
Louis O. Giuffrida May-1981 Sep-1985
Robert H. Morris (acting) Sep-1985 Nov-1985
Julius W. Becton, Jr. Nov-1985 Jun-1989
Robert H. Morris (acting) Jun-1989 May-1990
Jerry D. Jennings (acting) May-1990 Aug-1990
Wallace E. Stickney Aug-1990 Jan-1993
William C. Tidball (acting) Jan-1993 Apr-1993

As director: Cabinet level agency

Agency Director From To
James Lee Witt Apr-1993 Jan-2001
John Magaw (acting) Jan-2001 Feb-2001
Joe M. Allbaugh Feb-2001 Mar-2003

As Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response
(within the Department of Homeland Security)

Agency Undersecretary From To
Michael D. Brown Mar-2003 Sep-2005
R. David Paulison (acting) Sep-2005 Sep-2005

As Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(within the Department of Homeland Security)

Agency Director From To
R. David Paulison (acting) Sep-2005 Sep-2005

As Undersecretary for Federal Emergency Management
(within the Department of Homeland Security)

Agency Undersecretary From To
R. David Paulison (acting) Sep-2005 May-2006
R. David Paulison May-2006 Mar-2007

As Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(within the Department of Homeland Security)

Agency Administrator From To
R. David Paulison Mar-2007 present

Contact InformationEdit

500 C Street SW
D.C. 20472
Phone: (800) 621-FEMA

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ExecOrder-12127
  2. 2.0 2.1 Woolley, Lynn. "[ FEMA - Disaster of an Agency gay but sex]", 12 September 2005. Retrieved on 2007-12-12. "And so it has been since Jimmy Carter created FEMA by executive order on March 30, 1979." 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
    See Federation of American Scientists reference above for effective date of April 1, 1979 stated in Executive Order 12127.
  3. [ A History of Emergency Management]
  4. Article on the RFC from EH.NET's Encyclopedia
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Falkenrath, Richard S., "Problems of Preparedness: U.S. Readiness for a Domestic Terrorist Attack" (2001)International Security, Boston.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Bea, Keith, "Proposed Transfer of FEMA to the Department of Homeland Security", Order Code RL31510 (updated July 29, 2002), Report for Congress, Congressional Research Service: Library of Congress.
  7. Murry, Justin (updated July 10, 2006). "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Legislation for Disaster Assistance: Summary Data FY1989 to FY2006", CRS Report for Congress, Congressional Research Service: The Library of Congress.
  8. Grunwald, Michael, and Susan B. Glasser. "Brown's Turf Wars Sapped FEMA's Strength", Washington Post, December 23, 2005, p. A01. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  9. Senate Bipartisan Committee (February 15, 2006), "The Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington D.C.
  10. Senate Bipartisan Committee, 2006, p. 208
  11. "Sun-Sentinel Investigation: FEMA", Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  12. Kestin, Sally, and Megan O'Matz. "FEMA gave $21 million in Miami-Dade, where storms were 'like a severe thunderstorm'", Sun-Sentinel, October 10, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  13. Kestin, Sally. "Homestead women sentenced to probation for cheating FEMA", Sun-Sentinel, June 8, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  14. Kestin, Sally; Megan O'Matz; and Jon Burstein. "FEMA paid for at least 203 funerals not related to 2004 hurricanes", Sun-Sentinel, August 10, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  15. Executive Summary, Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, 2006-2-15, U.S. Government Printing Office, Retrieved 2007-6-11
  16. 16.0 16.1 FEMA, Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, 2006-2-15, U.S. Government Printing Office, Retrieved 2007-6-11
  17. Duval, Stanwood R., Jr.; United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (December 12, 2005). "Order of December 12, 2005" (Rec. Doc. No. 63) (PDF). "Beatrice B. Mcwaters, et al. v. Federal Emergency Management Section 'K' (3)" (No. 05-5488). Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  18. Duval, Stanwood R., Jr.; United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. "Modified Order of January 12, 2006" (Ref. Doc. No. 74) (PDF). "Beatrice B. Mcwaters, et al. v. Federal Emergency Management Section 'K' (3)" (No. 05-5488). Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  19. FEMA To Melt Ice Stored Since Katrina
  20. FEMA Replies To Unjustified Claims Regarding FEMA's Response To Early Snowstorm In Western New York
  21. USA Today: Ark. pols blast FEMA for tornado response
  22. FEMA Stages Press Conference: Staff Pose As Journalists And Ask ‘Softball’ Questions
  23. Why FEMA Fakes it With the Press Amanda Ripley. Time. October 28, 2007.
  24. Press Briefing by Dana Perino (October 26, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-10-29.
  25. "FEMA PR chief loses new job after fake news briefing", CNN, 2007-10-29. Retrieved on 2007-10-29. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  26. Why FEMA Fakes it With the Press Amanda Ripley. Time. October 28, 2007.
  27. Bovard, James (February 19, 1997). The FEMA Snow Job. Cato Institute. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  28. Bovard, James (September 1996). FEMA Money! Come & Get It!. The American Spectator. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  29. Cato Institute (January 1997). "15. Costly Agencies", Cato Handbook for Congress: 105th Congress, spiral edition, Cato Institute. ISBN 1882577515. Retrieved on 2007-04-18. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
  30. FEMA (July 2004). Help After a Disaster: Applicant's Guide to the Individuals & Households Program (text (PDF version)) (in English (Spanish, Korean available)), FEMA. 
    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

External links Edit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
ar:الوكالة الفيدرالية للتصرف في الطوارئ

da:FEMA de:Federal Emergency Management Agency et:Federal Emergency Management Agency es:Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias fr:Agence fédérale des situations d'urgence ko:연방 긴급 사태 관리국 nl:Federal Emergency Management Agency ja:アメリカ合衆国連邦緊急事態管理庁 no:Federal Emergency Management Agency pl:FEMA pt:Federal Emergency Management Agency ru:Федеральное агентство по управлению в чрезвычайных ситуациях (США) simple:Federal Emergency Management Agency fi:FEMA

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.