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FEMA’s Fugate Refocuses on Disaffected, not Able-Bodied

Jul 8

Written by:
7/8/2011 7:23 PM  RssIcon

President Obama and FEMA Administrator Fugate at White HouseThe key Washington insider’s news organization has a new positive interview with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. It sounds like he wants to involve the community, and actually go beyond the lowest level first responders – and even beyond “able-bodied adults who have the financial means to meet basic needs“ – and instead focus on those the disasters typically impacts most: those less fortunate, pets and others they’ve had to previously specially address with annexes to the main plans. The new plans are supposedly much more oriented to those least resilient.

Reading between the lines, it also sounds like he’s going to use social media and direct community information to be more responsive – when it really counts. After Tom Miner’s indication that federal help can take 10-14 days to arrive, this would be a huge objective.

Some excerpts:

In a major shift at FEMA, Fugate is looking beyond the information provided by professional first responders during an emergency, instead creating a two-way dialogue with the public, media and private sector to help provide quicker disaster assessments.

[…]

Fugate said he’s learned during his years of battling floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires at the local, state and now federal level that any agency’s response is slowed mainly by a lack of information.

“I’ve learned that by the time I have all the facts to make the perfect decision, I was too late to respond,” he said.

Attention to one of the largest costs of disasters – debris removal – is another new initiative. There’s more too, it is a good read! Check it out at: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/170299-fema-chief-craig-fugate-rewrites-the-disaster-relief-playbook

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