FEMA and Business Roundtable team favour private sector's role in strengthening resilience
New Podcast series part of FEMA's expanded outreach with private sector
As part of its ongoing partnership with businesses and private sector organizations around this country, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recently participated in the Business Roundtable's first ever podcast series focused specifically on how the private sector can help strengthen the nation's disaster resilience. In the interview, hosted by Karl Matzke of Stanford University's Center for Social Innovation, Fugate discussed how individuals, business, and government all share responsibility for making our communities better prepared for and more resilient to all hazards.
"The private sector is an integral part of our nation's emergency management team," said Fugate. "Whether it's supplying water and food or providing other essential services, getting businesses up and running after a disaster hits is critical to the financial health of a community and its long-term recovery. This podcast series is another important way we are continuing to work with the private sector to strengthen our overall preparedness and make sure that, as a country, we are bringing every resource to bear to help people and communities recover from tragedies."
This podcast is one in a series of executive interviews produced by the Business Roundtable's Partnership for Disaster Response in partnership with Stanford, to highlight disaster resilience as National Preparedness Month 2010 wraps up.
Under Administrator Fugate's leadership, FEMA has significantly strengthened its outreach to the private sector. For the first time ever, FEMA is working to place staff to focus specifically on private sector outreach in each of its 10 regional offices across the country. The addition of this staff will enable FEMA to conduct more direct and widespread collaboration with the private sector, in close coordination with states and other levels of government. Through FEMA Headquarters' Private Sector Division, in the Office of External Affairs, additional resources have been dedicated to support the development of regional strategies, pilot programs, events, and other activities that will further strengthen regional efforts to fully integrate the private sector as an active part of the national emergency management team.
In August, FEMA began including private sector representatives for the first time in one-day, short-notice "Thunderbolt" exercises. These exercises test the agency's ability to prepare and respond to disaster scenarios. By bringing in a broad spectrum of industry representatives and voluntary organizations, FEMA is able to examine a range of complex issues - such as temporary housing, and short- to long-term recovery - with the organizations that would be participating in a disaster response. In September, FEMA held a meeting in Washington with national associations and companies in an effort to advance public-private coordination in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
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