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.

FEMA Think Tank

DOCUMENT INITIAL CR TEAM DEPLOYMENT PROCESS & IMPROVE IT

For Hurricane SANDY/NJ Community Relations actions an ad-hoc staff recieved 500+ FEMA personnel into Trenton NJ plus 200+ FEMA corp personnel and assigned them out into teams focused on individal counties. It Started with 30 on Monday and went up by the hundreds each day. Put together practiced/equipped surge CR teams (3-5 mbr) for this effort and prepare/train emergency managers at the state and county/local level ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

10 votes
11 up votes
1 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Complacency leads to infastructure vulnerability

Most all of the public sector US power and communications infrastructure was built under the pretense that we would never sustain a foreign atttack. Since 9/11 occurred we know this to be incorrect. However, little has been done in the private sector to harden our infrastructure against foreign or terrorist attack. Additionally the reliance on computers, electronics and communications infrastructure for just in time ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

12 votes
14 up votes
2 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Power outages and reliability issues

Recent disasters have caused extended power outages in certain areas beyond what would be considered normal. This is a result of power companies trying to maximize profits for stockholders while complying with carbon reduction mandates. The easiest way to do this is to mothball or close down power plants and defer upgrades to transmission and distribution lines feeding residential areas/customers. This has resulted ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

10 votes
12 up votes
2 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Fear Mitigation

Perhaps the largest single problem in any disaster whether it be natural disaster (floods, fires, hurricanes, blizzards) environmental (chemical spills, oil spills, radiation leaks) or civil (riots, school shootings, etc) is fear. Fear causes an unending chain of irrational behavior which prevents adequate preparation, exacerbates damage, extends recovery time and prevents the most helpless from being helped in time ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

7 votes
12 up votes
5 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Intermodal Shipping Container Temporary Disaster Housing

FEMA: While numerous people have suggested Intermodal Shipping Container Housing, what I wanted to propose is using non-dedicated shipping containers that could be leased from normal shipping container companies after a disaster, where families are displaced, and outfitted with interior components that FEMA would own and have stockpiled, and once they were no longer needed the containers could be returned to their owners ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

5 votes
11 up votes
6 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

HURRICANE PROOF SATELLITE COMMS FOR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The DEFI Hurricane Proof Satellite Antenna System was developed by Agiosat to operate and maintain communications before during and after a hurricane (as big as a CAT 5) or other events that could compromise terrestrial based communication systems. Communications are a critical necessity in disaster response. Additionally, the speed of deployment of first responders in a disaster response is directly related to the ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

5 votes
13 up votes
8 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Improvement of Management

At demobilization, every deployed employee completes an on-line evaluation of their immediate 3 levels of management, This evaluation is name specific and the results are collated and summarized by an independent reviewer. This could easily and inexpensively be done by a private vendor like the one Enterprise uses. The results are used to identify employees who are to continue and advance in management, and those who ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

14 votes
15 up votes
1 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Realistic expectations

People need a more realistic level of expectation on what can be done. We can mitigate to minimize impact, but we can't prevent all disasters. In isolated areas, people could be on their own for over a month. People need to prepare with their local communities and not rely on government being there immediately to bail them out.

Submitted by

Voting

21 votes
22 up votes
1 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

FEMA-Tested Damage Assessment Reporting Mobile App

RunMobile DARS (Damage Assessment Reporting Solution) combines a mobile app for creating damage assessment reports on a smartphone or tablet with a backend database and web-based dashboard for viewing aggregate data in a Command Center environment. Compared to traditional paper and pen assessment gathering, DARS speeds report collection, while improving accuracy and legibility. Assessors can submit reports in real-time ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

11 votes
14 up votes
3 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Major Disasters

Most recently colleagues were part of the Surge workers brought on from DHS agencies. I spent a short stent with FEMA at the Call Center in Denton before joining the IRS. My colleague was trained in registering victims of Sandy and then spent many hours with others in van attempting to navigate to get to locations to assist victims by registering them...my thought is cross train USCIS Service Center (SC)employees who ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

5 votes
8 up votes
3 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Disaster housing unit that can be expanded to permanent housing

Produce disaster housing units that meet the International Building Code, with a flat roof and pre-framed door/hall openings that allows expansion modules and a permanent pitched roof to be added at a later date. In so doing, FEMA can leverage its investment in temporary housing to create long term permanent housing for impacted communities. The initial base modules must be rapidly deployable, as are current FEMA housing ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

6 votes
10 up votes
4 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Use Portable Cell Phone Towers in Search & Rescue in Remote Area

I just read another story where two people got stuck in the snow in a remote area in the Sierra Nevada mountains without cell phone service. They were reported missing two days after they got stuck. Paula Lane was found after 6 days by her brother who didn't give up after the official search was suspended. But unfortunately her boy friend did not survive. Over the years I have heard of other tragedies like this where ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

9 votes
17 up votes
8 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

HURRICANE DESTROYER (cyclone destroyer)

When the machine reaches the cyclone area, the fiber balloon is sucked towards the center area of the cyclone because of the centripetal action and since the balloon is oval in shape, its floating capacity on air is more and also more at a lower height over the sea level. During this time, since the balloon slants, the angle set on the Gimballing system switches off the propeller. If the movement of the speed exceeds ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-15 votes
2 up votes
17 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Follow up on social media ideas

A powerful new free social networking pp, Locist, can be used for organizing disaster recovery efforts. It includes smartphone app that allows users to post geo-tagged messages with pictures about local situations like disrupted power and flooded areas or events like resource deliveries to affected areas. The messages that can be viewed by all users. The app can also be used to track the position of field teams.There ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

7 votes
9 up votes
2 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Temporary Housing

Temporary Housing for those who lost their homes during a disaster still appears to be problematic in the wake of Hurrican Sandy. Apartment vouchers do not do any good when the apartments have also been destroyed. But this issue seems to occur after every disaster and there needs to be an on going solution which can be reused. If money was invested into railroad type sleeping cars, these cars could be brought in by ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
8 up votes
4 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Build awareness of ESF-2/NCC for State & Locals

After our recent deployment to Hurricane Sandy in NY and NJ, it became clear that public safety agencies at the local level had poor understanding of how to roll up their communications needs to the carriers at the NCC. (ncs.gov/ncc) - there were communities who had disabled PSAPs, EOCs and the like, and could have used the resources of carriers with COLTs, COWs, VSATs and other carrier-grade technology. At the same ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-4 votes
4 up votes
8 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

A Safer Emergency Preparedness Tool

One week after Hurricane Sandy and millions were still living without electricity. Batteries were gone and fuel for generators was unavailable. Are Emergency Relief Organizations dropping the ball by NOT supporting Kevin's Kandles as an Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Tool? There were 6 reported "accidental paraffin candle fires" in NYC in the first week! If a Kevin's Kandle is left unattended - it will go ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-8 votes
4 up votes
12 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

FEMA Provided Deployable Generators

Part 2 of 2. I've said here before, FEMA has a phone list of Waffle Houses and they call each of them in the damaged areas; they use a matrix of menu availability (full menu=full commercial power, limited menu=generator power, not open and no menu=no power) to decide where the FOOD/Electricity impact is prioritized. A similar matrix (drawn from GasBuddy?) with the same independent variables could be used to determine ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-9 votes
2 up votes
11 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Straight talk between contractors and disaster victims

When so many need so much work done, honest contractors as well as those that seek to take advantage of others come from all around. Under these circumstances, efficiently performing due diligence in hiring the right contractor is difficult. Unique service that helps indivduals and contractors efficiently communicate and in just a few minutes, contractors can get a good look at the job at hand without ever leaving their ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-7 votes
3 up votes
10 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

rapid post mortems to speed up insurance claims

Insurance companies use dilatory tactics to avoid paying simple insurance claims - my lost business income claim is being held up while Travelers still investigates what caused Con Edison's blackout in Lower Manhattan. Mind you it occured over two weeks ago and despite the press coverage and video of the explosion. (Basically the claim hinges on flood related losses not being covered, while losses related to explosions ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

3 votes
7 up votes
4 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Tumbleweed tiny & portable homes for temporary housing

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (www.tumbleweedhouses.com) is an organization that builds “Homes to Go” that range from 89 to 172 square feet. These homes on wheels are perfect for any weather condition since they are well insulated and very cost efficient. The tiny homes have similar benefits as an RV i.e. shower, toilet, heat/air, beds, etc. Each home can be stored, on standby, in several locations throughout the United ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

0 votes
5 up votes
5 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

Relocation of Fl & Lease Cruise Ships

Suggestion for Storm Victims:

1) lease 4 cruise ships, doc them in NYC

and put homeless victims in the ships for 90 days. Charge $10

a day.

2) offer relocation to Florida. In Hernando and Pasco County on the West Coast,foreclosed homes

are selling for $17500

to $32000. Offer to lease them as nothing is selling in the Rick Scott Depression.

Submitted by

Voting

-6 votes
5 up votes
11 down votes

FEMA Think Tank

OUT OF CONTROL WILDFIRES INCREASING EXPONENTIALY EACH YEAR

Augmenting the current wild fire fighting methods by utilizing dry ice pellets on wild fires could give firefighters an unprecedented edge. PLANE AND HELICOPTER DROPS of volumes of dry ice pellets, similar to slurry and water drops from aircraft, followed by what could then be more effective water drops on 'cooled', less intense fire zones. BLASTING DRY ICE FROM WILD FIRE TRUCKS with equipment similar to that used to ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-8 votes
2 up votes
10 down votes