Browsing: FEMA

FEMA partners with AmeriCorps to create FEMA Corps

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has joined forces with the Corporation for National And Community service to create a new program that takes 18 to 24 year old volunteers and trains them to be the next generation of FEMA managers, according to the agency. The program would draw upon 1,600 members of AmeriCorps who will spend a minimum of 1,700 hours working directly in disaster response. The first members will begin serving in this August and the program will reach its full capacity within 18 months, according to FEMA. FEMA says the program will “enhance the federal government’s disaster capabilities,…

FEMA knows what kids want: proofreading photo captions!

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The FEMA for Kids website is an endless source of entertainment for me. There’s no other site that so perfectly encapsulates how clueless the government can be when it attempts to pander to children, as last year’s 9/11 coloring book kerfuffle showed. I just stumbled upon its “Careers for Kids” page, which apparently seeks to get elementary school-age children excited about jobs in disaster response. But most of the photos are of feds sitting at their desks, doing work they describe in stultifying government-ese. Take William Koplitz here, FEMA’s photo desk coordinator. Part of his job is taking photos for…

Preparedness…not just for scouts anymore

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Happy first day of hurricane season everyone! Your fellow feds at the National Weather Service are predicting a “near-normal Atlantic hurricane season” this year, with “nine to 14 named storms, of which four to seven could become hurricanes, including one to three major hurricanes.” With this news, both the National Weather Service and FEMA remind us that “be prepared” should be everyone’s motto, not just the Boy Scouts’ motto.  FEMA had this to say in a news release today: Everyone, even, those living outside of hurricane-risk areas, should check personal preparations such as emergency kit supplies (enough to last at least…

FEMA will stay in DHS

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President Barack Obama’s administration put an end to years of debate Wednesday when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will stay within DHS. FEMA had been an independent agency before the creation of DHS after Sept. 11, 2001, and many have argued that it could respond to disasters best by being removed from the bureaucracy of DHS. For a full story, check back with Federal Times shortly.

Hold lifted on FEMA nominee

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Sen. David Vitter, R-La., announced Tuesday he’s lifted his hold on the nomination of W. Craig Fugate as administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Vitter had put the hold on Fugate’s nomination as an effort to get answers from FEMA officials over rebuilding coastal areas, V-Zones, decimated during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He lifted the hold after recieving a letter from FEMA Acting Administration Nancy Ward promising to resolve the rebuilding issue quickly. He said he was pleased that FEMA responded to his concerns. Louisianans have gotten way too many easy spoken assurances from FEMA over the last four…

Hey kids! It's a 9/11 coloring book!

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The Smoking Gun reports that FEMA pulled a children’s coloring book from its Web site earlier this week after it drew criticism for including images of the World Trade Center attacks. The coloring book, “A Scary Thing Happened,” was intended to teach children about disasters and the emotional turmoil they cause. But some felt that showing the smoldering Twin Towers might be going too far. “Oh gosh, that was on the front of a coloring book?” Kim Pressley-Herrick, founder of Coloring Away Pain, told Fox News. Pressley-Herrick’s company produces coloring books intended to help children deal with traumatic events. “As…

More nominations head to Senate floor

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The Senate could vote this week on more of President Barack Obama’s nominees. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee approved two nominations by voice vote Monday: W. Craig Fugate for Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator and John Morton for assistant secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Senate may vote this week on their nominations, which aren’t controversial. No vote has been scheduled. Meanwhile, senators are debating the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for secretary of Health and Human Services Tuesday, with a vote expected later in the day. The vote on her nomination has been delayed…

Support for FEMA in DHS

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The president-elect hinted on Monday that he would keep FEMA inside the Homeland Security Department. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said yesterday that the alternative — pulling FEMA out as a separate agency  — would be a mistake. Today, two prominent senators voiced their support for keeping FEMA where it is. In a letter to the New York Times, Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine — the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee — said FEMA needs to stay inside DHS. The agency still needs improvement, but our reforms are working: FEMA’s…

A hint about FEMA's future?

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No surprises from the president-elect’s press conference this morning. You can read about Obama’s national security team, and watch the conference, on the transition Web site. But there was an interesting bit of language in Obama’s introduction of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, his nomination for Homeland Security secretary: She understands the need for a homeland security department that can respond to terrorist attacks and respond to catastrophes. What’s interesting is the part about “respond[ing] to catastrophes.” That’s the responsibility of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. And there’s been a lot of talk about removing FEMA from DHS and restoring it…