Prepare for Worst Case Scenario
"Historically in emergency management we have only planned for what our capabilities can handle or only looked at what we can do to respond as government," said Fugate. "But what we really need to be doing is planning for disasters that go beyond our capabilities. That's why we have to look beyond our government-centric approach and see what outside resources we can bring to the table. We need to better engage our volunteer and non-profit partners, work with the private sector, and most importantly involve the public. And through all this planning we can't lose focus on the communities we serve. We have to remember: It's not about process, it's about the products; it's not about the incident, it's about the individual."
Fugate made his remarks during the National Emergency Management Association's annual conference, which brings together state emergency management officials from around the country.
Fugate also pointed out that FEMA is trying to lead by example in these areas, having recently hosted the first ever National "Getting Real" Conference to bring together leaders from the emergency management and disability communities to discuss strategies to integrate the entire community into emergency planning. Also, last month, FEMA hosted a Latino Leadership Summit, and in May FEMA hosted the Black Leadership Forum. Both gatherings were designed to engage stakeholders in discussions about how to better involve the entire community in emergency planning.
Prior to joining FEMA 18 months ago, Administrator Fugate served as the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Fugate began his emergency management career as a volunteer firefighter, Emergency Paramedic, and finally as a Lieutenant with the Alachua County Fire Rescue.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond