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Telling the story of what FEMA does and how we do it, and providing a call to action for the nation to prepare for potential disasters.

Telling the story of what FEMA does and how we do it, and providing a call to action for the nation to prepare for potential disasters.
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Telling the story of what FEMA does and how we do it, and providing a call to action for the nation to prepare for potential disasters.




Faith and Community Partners

On this episode, Kevin Smith, director of the DHS center for faith and opportunity initiatives joins the FEMA podcast for a conversation on how FEMA partners with faith based and community groups before, during and after disasters. We talk about how FEMA is looking to it's nongovernmental partners to help shape a national culture of preparedness, but also to help make America more resilient in the face of disasters.


DRRA: Transformational Legislation for Emergency Management

On October 5, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA) into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. FEMA worked closely with Congress over the past year as they considered, and ultimately passed, important reforms to federal disaster programs. These reforms acknowledge the shared responsibility of disaster response and recovery, aim to reduce the complexity of FEMA and build the nation’s capacity for the next...


My Preparedness Initiative (MyPI): Teaching Preparedness to America's Youth

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. We discuss with individuals who are helping youth become part of this initiative throughout a program called My Preparedness Initiative (MyPI).


Beatrice Nebraska: Successful Disaster Mitigation

A discussion with some experts in mitigation and review an actual example of how mitigation is preventing risk to lives and property in the City of Beatrice, Nebraska during flooding events.


Podcast - EAS WEA Test

On October 3rd, 2018 at approximately 2:20 PM eastern time. FEMA will conduct a national test of the integrated public alert and warning system. This national system which includes the emergency alert system and the wireless emergency alerts will provide authenticated emergency information from emergency officials to the public through radio, television, cellular phones and some internet applications. We sat down with Antwan Johnson, the director of the integrated public alert and warning...


One Year Lookback on the Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Efforts

A year ago, Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and since that time, FEMA, and numerous federal partners and the government of Puerto Rico have undertaken one of the largest post disaster reconstruction and humanitarian efforts in U.S. history. Major portions of the island’s infrastructure are being rebuilt as federal agencies support the government of Puerto Rico's plan to restore the island's lifeline systems, and enable Puerto Rico to withstand the storms to come. Never...


National Preparedness Month – Disasters Happen. Prepare Now, Learn How.

On this episode, we spoke to Matt Lyttle from FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division about some key areas of preparedness.


Surge Capacity Force

In the aftermath of a catastrophic event, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) turns to its Surge Capacity Force, a cadre of federal employees who help affected communities by supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) urgent response and recovery efforts. The Surge Capacity Force is made up of federal employees from every department or agency in the federal government.


NFIP 50 Year Anniversary

This is an interview by Ryan Ike, FEMA Region 10 External Affairs Branch Chief, with Carl Cook and Chuck Steele, both founding employees and program leaders with the National Flood Insurance Program. In this interview they discuss what it was like in the early days of the program and how they worked to grow the program and get communities involved.


Series Preview: A Look Back at the 1993 & 2008 Midwest Floods

This preview kicks off a week long commemoration of two flooding events remembered as some of the most devastating our nation has ever endured. While the magnitude and severity of the Great Midwest Flood of 1993 and the 2008 Midwest floods broke a long list of historic records during the months of deluge they wrought to America’s Heartland, it was the resiliency and hard-fought recovery of the communities that were impacted that remain the lasting memory of these events.


From the Bottoms to a Bluff

After 15 feet of floodwater inundated Valmeyer, Illinois in 1993, the town knew they wanted to revive the community, but in a smart, resilient way. On this episode, we talk to former Valmeyer mayor, Dennis Knobloch, and long-time local, Lucy Engbring, to learn how a community of determined residents and city leaders successfully moved their entire town two miles away, and 400 feet in the air.


Agency Update: National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Turns 50

August 1st, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the National Flood Insurance Act, the guiding legislation for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). On this agency update, we talk to David Maurstad, chief executive of the National Flood Insurance Program, about the history and the future of the NFIP.


Disaster Planning

On this episode, Josh Dozer, Director of the Planning and Exercise Division at FEMA Headquarters, joins the podcast for a look at how FEMA, and its partners, plan for a variety of disaster and emergency scenarios, including some you would expect, but others you might be surprised by. From hurricanes, to space weather, or tornadoes to Ebola - this episode of the FEMA podcast is all about disaster planning.


Living History: How Two Devastating Disasters Changed Iowa and the Nation – For the Better

The summers of 1993 and 2008 have one thing in common: Historic, devastating floods. The state of Iowa was severely impacted by both events. John Miller had a unique, front-row seat to both disasters – first as a FEMA Regional Administrator who oversaw the agency’s role in much of the 1993 flood recovery for four Midwestern states – and then as a local official for Black Hawk County, Iowa in 2008 when floods would again devastate the state. Hear his unique perspective of how two events, 15...


10 Years After Disaster: The University of Iowa Stands Tall in Flood Protection

In the summer of 2008, the University of Iowa suffered a disaster beyond imagination. The usually scenic Iowa River that winds through campus became a formidable enemy to the state’s largest higher-education institution when it raged beyond its banks to historic flood levels, damaging more than 22 campus buildings. The university had to move quickly – not only to stay in business but to begin what would become an eight-year journey of recovery. University Architect Rod Lehnertz, who led the...


10 Years After Disaster: A First-Hand Look at Iowa’s Historic Flood Recovery

In the summer of 2008, much of the state of Iowa was under siege from tornadoes, severe storms and flooding. As a result, 85 of Iowa’s 99 counties were designated for federal disaster assistance. Beth Freeman experienced the 2008 flooding first-hand when her community of Cedar Rapids was devastated. She then went on to oversee FEMA funding for thousands of recovery projects throughout the state. Hear her story … and how a decade of resilient actions has better prepared Iowa for future...


28 Years of the ADA

This year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is 28 years old and FEMA remains committed to ensuring that all Americans have access to its programs and the programs we coordinate during disasters. This week we discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act with Linda Mastandrea, FEMA’s Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC).


Roundtable Discussion Live at the Youth Preparedness Council Summit

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC supports FEMA’s commitment to involve America’s youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback and opinions. On this episode of...


Agency Update: FEMA Releases the 2017 Hurricane Season FEMA After-Action Report

FEMA recently released its 2017 Hurricane Season After-Action Report. The report examines the agency’s performance during the record breaking season. Last year, hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria devastated the nation at a time when FEMA was already supporting 692 federally declared disasters. During response to the three catastrophic hurricanes, FEMA also responded to the historic wildfires in California. The report captures transformative insights from a historic hurricane season that will...


Waverly, Indiana – Transforming a Community with Vision, Determination … and Mitigation

How do you move a whole town out of harm’s way while preserving the town’s history and keeping it as a functional community space? For more than 100 years, a small riverside town in Waverly, Indiana, endured repeated flooding. By 2005, state and local officials began to address the problem, and over the last decade the community has transformed into a living history park with restored and reclaimed historical structures, added walking paths, canoe/kayak portage sites, and other amenities....