When a disaster occurs, oftentimes relief efforts can put significant stress onto a municipality's emergency response workers. In order to address this issue and provide valuable support for existing emergency personnel, it was announced today by The White House that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is collaborating with the Corporation for National and Community Services to facilitate a new sub-unit within the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corp.
According to a press release, the sub-unit will be composed of roughly 1,600 individuals dedicated solely to disaster preparedness and response initiatives.
As Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated, this initiative will harness the energy and dedication of tomorrow's emergency management professionals in order to provide critical assistance to citizens in disaster situations and crucial support for recovery centers.
"We know from experience that quick deployment of trained personnel is critical during a crisis," said Secretary Napolitano. "The FEMA Corps will provide a pool of trained personnel, and it will also pay long-term dividends by adding depth to our reserves – individuals trained in every aspect of disaster response who augment our full-time FEMA staff."
While this initiative will enhance the number of personnel available to assist municipalities prepare for and cope with disaster, local government and business officials will still want to optimize internal preparedness by having an updated continuity of operations plan so as to not be entirely dependant on federal aid.
In order to do so, officials would benefit from sending a representative to the Continuity Insights Management Conference 2012 taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona, this April. At this conference, representatives will enjoy in-depth forums from disaster preparedness professionals who can provide valuable information and consultation regarding the best practices to maximize internal preparedness should a disaster strike.