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.

(@maggiemeyer26)

FEMA Think Tank

Incorporate Preparedness in School Curriculums

Disaster preparedness should be taught as part of the school curriculum for children of all ages. I remember being taught about 911, "Stop, Drop, and Roll" and "Only YOU can prevent Forest Fires" in grade school. My homework was to find my household fire extinguisher, check the batteries in the smoke detector, and create a fire escape plan with my parents. These lessons were incorporated in lessons on science and spatial ...more »

Voting

231 votes
233 up votes
2 down votes
Active
(@sdswazee)

FEMA Think Tank

U.S. National Grid as the Response Language of Location

Through NIMS and ICS, the leadership of DHS and FEMA have directed the phased introduction of numerous operational standards designed to promote and facilitate interoperability for the Emergency Services Sector. Yet, to date, they are without voice when it comes to the single most important element of response – the ability to communicate “where”. As a result, we are geospatially adrift as a nation – every responder ...more »

Voting

182 votes
197 up votes
15 down votes
Active
(@nicksloan)

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 »

Voting

139 votes
156 up votes
17 down votes
Active
(@peter.locke)

FEMA Think Tank

Let the locals do the thinking

I have been involved with Emer. Mgt. for 20 years. I have managed 7 Presidential disasters and many more local emergencies. My biggest problem is FEMA/Homeland Security and the State. The federal and state government has placed a mountain of paperwork on my desk that restricts my ability to complete the real work within my community. A 10 minute piece of paperwork to report an exercise 20 years ago has escalated into ...more »

Voting

105 votes
130 up votes
25 down votes
Active
(@henrykz)

FEMA Think Tank

Amateur Radio in Disaster Preparedness

Place Amateur Radio stations in all hospitals, police stations and fire departments, and emergency shelters. Katrina should have taught the value of Amateur Radio. President Bush needed to get a message to Mayor Nagin in New Orleans. Amateur Radio was the only means of communications to get the message through. Everyone in the Preparedness field talks about doing this and doing that to be prepared, but no one pays ...more »

Voting

105 votes
109 up votes
4 down votes
Active
(@hross0)

FEMA Think Tank

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 »

Voting

102 votes
121 up votes
19 down votes
Active

FEMA Think Tank

"Be Prepared" campaign

One of the things I heard from the leaders of FEMA was: the citizens need to be ready to help themselves. Not just that, but specifically stated: the federal government is not going to be there for you right away. Unfortunately, I only heard this for about a week before it was abandoned. You can spend all you want on CERTs, exercises, equipment, etc, etc. You can spend fractions of that money on an information ...more »

Voting

81 votes
87 up votes
6 down votes
Active
(@nickjadams)

FEMA Think Tank

Bring Back Project Impact

Bring Back Project Impact Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt created Project Impact in 1997 with the goal to create “disaster resilient communities”. Overall the program was considered a resounding success; not only did it help communities become more disaster resilient, but it also was a success at “bringing people from diverse sectors of the community together to address mitigation issues”. Some say that the program ...more »

Voting

73 votes
90 up votes
17 down votes
Active
(@felomalachi)

FEMA Think Tank

Utilize resources already in disaster zone..

During Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart gave their employees approval days in advance to do "whatever they had to help the citizens". I think to help with disaster relief at any level, the government should partner up with larger community based retailers that are already in the areas. For example, Wal-Mart, they have stores everywhere, they helped pass out supplies to the victims of Katrina before the government even got ...more »

Voting

71 votes
75 up votes
4 down votes
Active
(@jc0000)

FEMA Think Tank

24/7 Field Triage Preparedness

The recognition & adoption of a standardized national illuminated color coded system for triaging MCI patients 24/7. Today different States & organizations use different triage cards and tapes for triaging patients. The one thing they all have in common is not the language or format of the triage cards but it is the color given to each priority. If a national color code standard is adopted then no State or Agency would ...more »

Voting

64 votes
65 up votes
1 down votes
Active
(@anjdayal)

FEMA Think Tank

Community Mapping to implement the Whole Community Concept

In addition to mapping of risk and protective factors, this process makes the whole community more resilient by: a) Bringing the community together to collectively plan, which increases the sense of ownership and responsibility on the disaster response and recovery activities b) Addressing issues that have been ignored for a long time c) Giving voice to the marginalized groups including those with access and functional ...more »

Voting

63 votes
66 up votes
3 down votes
Active
(@ethanpdx)

FEMA Think Tank

Preparedness and Sustainability Linkage

Many sustainable practices pay dividends in a disaster. Bicycle transportation, gardening, water catchment, canning, solar power etc are all examples of activities which make communities better places to live AND make communities more self-relient when infrastructure and critical supplies are halted. Connecting the dots under the banner of community "resilience" should be a focus of FEMA activity. If no disaster strikes, ...more »

Voting

62 votes
67 up votes
5 down votes
Active
(@lfoster)

FEMA Think Tank

Utilizing 2-1-1 in Disasters

I work for an NGO in Columbus, Ohio. One of the greatest skills we can bring to a disaster is assistance in Emergency Public Informaiton via our 24/7/365 Information and Referral line, 2-1-1. 2-1-1 is an easy, three digit number for citizens to call to get assistance with rent, utilities, food, etc. (during normal operations). During H1N1, we helped citizens schedule their appointments for vaccinations, during extreme ...more »

Voting

61 votes
66 up votes
5 down votes
Active