Emergency Response Guidelines

Leveraging AI for Effective Emergency Management and Crisis Response

AI can help emergency response agencies provide personalized care to match the large scale of modern crises.

Wildfires, bridge collapses, epidemics, intense hurricanes. Disasters seem to be getting more severe and more frequent. Yet, budgets and workforces remain largely stagnant for many emergency preparedness and response (EP&R) organizations, which include public health, disaster, and other professionals that help the public prepare for and respond to emergencies. Estimates project a need for the US public health workforce to grow by 80%.1 However, the workforce has lost more than 45,000 workers in a little over a decade.2 Many organizations are strained to unprecedented levels trying to match the enormous scale of disasters while still delivering the individualized care each survivor needs.

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Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 Transforms Field of Emergency Management

The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA) 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 catastrophic event.  Highlights from the DRRA include:

  • Greater investment in mitigation, before a disaster: Authorizing the National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, funded through the Disaster Relief Fund as a six percent set aside from disaster expenses.
  • Reducing risk from future disasters after fire: Providing hazard mitigation grant funding in areas that received Fire Management Assistance Grants as a result of wildfire.  Adding 14 new mitigation project types associated with wildfires and windstorms.
  • Increasing state capacity to manage disaster recovery: Allowing for higher rates of reimbursement to state, local, tribal and territorial partners for their administrative costs when implementing public assistance and hazard mitigation projects.  Additionally, the legislation provides flexibility for states and tribes to administer their own post-disaster housing missions, while encouraging the development of disaster housing strategies.
  • Providing greater flexibility to survivors with disabilities: Increasing the amount of assistance available to individuals and households affected by disasters, including allowing accessibility repairs for people with disabilities, without counting those repairs against their maximum disaster assistance grant award.
  • Retaining skilled response and recovery personnel: Authorizing FEMA to appoint certain types of temporary employees who have been with the agency for three continuous years to full time positions in the same manner as federal employees with competitive status.  This allows the agency to retain and promote talented, experienced emergency managers.

FEMA Releases Emergency Management Guide for Local Elected and Appointed Officials

FEMA released the “Local Elected and Appointed Officials Guide: Roles and Resources in Emergency Management.” FEMA is releasing the “Local Elected and Appointed Officials Guide: Roles and Resources in Emergency Management”. This guide makes it easier for senior officials to understand, prepare for and execute their leadership responsibilities to help mitigate community risks; save lives; protect property; and recover from disasters.






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