How States Are Changing the Face of Emergency Management
Every disaster or emergency presents a challenge to emergency managers – what resources to commit, who is needed to respond, when to pull what levers for support, where to put people, and how to recover. Lessons from past events inform how we respond to future emergencies but are only part of the equation. As emergency managers, we need to look at innovative methods, technologies, and tools to prepare for disasters and make our communities more resilient. It takes a village, and our roles are unique in that we work every day to pull that village together.
Part of how emergency managers innovate and improve is through networking, identifying best practices, and working with our counterparts across the country to learn from one another. The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) is one organization and gathering that allows emergency managers to do just that. Meeting annually, the group allows members to come together and examine recent disaster response and recovery operations and talk about the ways we are preparing for the next one. The same is true of public information officers in emergency management. From July 17-18, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III office in Philadelphia is hosting the annual NEMA PIO Meeting to share skillsets, identify new opportunities for growth in the field of public information, and develop new practices to take back to our jurisdictions for the next emergency.
In preparation for this meeting, FEMA asked our state counterparts in emergency management to answer a simple question: How is your state changing emergency management? By pulling together these responses, our hope is to show the progress we are making and the change in focus across the nation on emergency preparedness. Not only looking at what went right in an emergency, but what we are doing before the next one to prepare our communities. Whether it’s unique websites, school curriculum programs, or a focus on exercises and training (to name a few), every day new things are being done to help prepare for tomorrow’s emergency. One disaster can affect a community forever, and our job has never been more important, but we continue to make strides in how well we can respond. Our communities, families, and nation depend on it.
And with that, we are proud to share how FEMA and our state partners are changing emergency management.