FEMA Think Tank

Editor’s note: this topic will close on Wednesday, August 27. Thank you to everyone who participated.

FEMA wants to hear your ideas and suggestions on how to improve the emergency management system at all levels. We recognize that the best solutions to the challenges we all face are generated by the people and the communities who are closest to these challenges. That is why we are asking for input on a variety of emergency management issues, such as how as we prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate against all types of disasters.

Submit your own ideas, comment on others, or participate in conversations that will help to generate creative ideas.

And again, thank you for participating.

Campaign: FEMA Think Tank

Sandbags and rising waters

In most areas on the news you see a community slowly stacking bags near an area that will flood soon to keep water or other erosion from destroying their homes. While in remote areas this is usually done because logisticly speaking this is the best method for the lowest cost ratio, but there is another way.... Every state and county has barricades, and those barricades (especially the solid cement or plastic water barricades) ...more »

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16 up votes
8 down votes
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School issues

In an emergency everyone turns to the schools, unfortunately most are not prepared, not trained, and emergency responders run up against rules that are frustrating at the least and life threatening at the worse. It would be nice if some how FEMA could offer the training because it won't be done at the school level, not because it isn't needed, but because of drastic budget cuts in education. When something happens the ...more »

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102 votes
121 up votes
19 down votes
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Individual Preparedness

FEMA HQ should approach Congress with a proposal to create a tax credit for individuals who purchase emergency kits from an approved list of kits and providers. Each kit should be a sealed five gallon plastic paint type bucket, color coded. Kit types should include; 1) Food-dehydrated (suitable for long term storage, 2) water purification with instructions (both tablets and water filter pump), 3) emergency medical (with ...more »

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8 votes
33 up votes
25 down votes
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Taking emergency preparedness into communities www.HOTeam.org

Hello, I am program director for Health Operations Team, Inc a 501 c 3, in Atlanta, GA. One of our core programs is Emergency Preparedness Planning. We all know that this information is out there, especially on the internet, and yet, there is still a disconnect when it comes to people taking the necessary steps to get prepared. It is reported that only 27% of Americans are fully prepared, meaning: They have a plan ...more »

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25 votes
34 up votes
9 down votes
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Emergency Alert system - National Tests

Last week a national test was conducted with mixed results. Measuring what worked or did not work would provide information that could greatly improve effectiveness of the systems. I went about my day away from my home city (with TV, Radio, Smartphone - all on at the time of the test). Even though I did not hear or see the test occur on any media, nor did I receive an email from an EM fed, state or local office...there ...more »

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2 votes
9 up votes
7 down votes
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K-12 School Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)

In 2007 Enterprise High School was heavily damaged by a F-4 tornado rendering it unusable and disrupting the educational process. The same happened in April in Joplin Missouri with several school being damaged or destroyed. COOPs are not mandated at this level of academic endeavors and in a great deal of cases not even considered. There are some states that mandate COOPS for university and governmental entities. With ...more »

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27 votes
32 up votes
5 down votes
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FEMA IA Inspectors

The inspectors should not be paid per inspection, i.e. piece work. They need to be trained better. If FEMA is spending money for repairs, the damage inspections need to be done well, and they are not.

I used to work at a Community Action Program where I did many, many flood inspections, and the FEMA private contractor inspectors don't reflect a quality one would expect in the expediture of FEMA moneys.

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28 votes
38 up votes
10 down votes
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Campaign: FEMA Think Tank

EM Coffee Break Training

Similar to the USFA Coffee Break Training Program; a FEMA Coffee Break Training Program would foster an common awareness and understanding of important emergency management and homeland security laws/regulations, principles, history, definitions, etc. This fast growing discipline it is essential to provide a common framework that all EM professionals can agree upon. The EM Coffee Break Training could provide this platform ...more »

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139 votes
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17 down votes
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Alert Systems

Many cities have or belong to an Emergency Alert system. I did not see any alerts during your testing. Normally I am alerted via text message and/or phone alert to my home phone. Nor did I see anything on facebook or twitter until the test was over and everyone was asking if it worked. I think we as a nation have to realize how to communicate with the public. Social Network sites are imperative, text messaging, local ...more »

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42 votes
49 up votes
7 down votes
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Campaign: FEMA Think Tank

Utilize Industry

I'd recommend for most catastrophic needs for FEMA that the services/commodities industries be contacted for better ideas on how to utilize them. For example FEMA could provide average hurricane losses in homes each year, 5 years, etc. Industry could put together a plan in partnership with FEMA to keep so much plywood and other building materials stockpiles somewhere to fill that need. The actual suppliers may need to ...more »

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24 votes
26 up votes
2 down votes
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colaboration between groups

In Puerto Rico we get many incidents every storm season. The local Emergency Response Agency (AEMEAD acronym in spanish), should make MoU's (Memorandum of Understanding) with several groups such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, FEMA, the ARRL and local hams (FCC licensed Amateur Radio Stations/Operators). All of this should be monitored by FEMA or other Federal Agencies. It seems to me as if they (AEMEAD) are disconnected ...more »

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9 votes
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Early Preparedness

Since rising waters in many areas of the country are a danger and damaging; I suggest that paid and volunteer peoples prebag sand units for bulk delivery to sites in need. Also have equipment available to load and unload the sandbags. Also mentioned by another sumitter; make use of the concrete road baracades to backup your sandbags and have them available in bulk as mentioned in the sandbag senerio above. Done over ...more »

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-14 votes
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