FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U. S. Fire Administration. The 1960s and early 1970s brought massive disasters requiring major federal response and recovery operations by the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration, established within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
There were hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. In 1968, the National Flood Insurance Act offered new flood protection to homeowners, and in 1974 the Disaster Relief Act firmly established the process of Presidential disaster declarations. When hazards associated with nuclear power plants and the transportation of hazardous substances were added to natural disasters, more than 100 federal agencies were involved in some aspect of disasters, hazards and emergencies.
To reduce the complexity of disaster relief work, these agencies asked President Jimmy Carter to centralize federal emergency functions. President Carters 1979 executive order merged many of the separate disaster-related responsibilities into a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA began development of an Integrated Emergency Management System with an all-hazards approach that included direction, control and warning systems which are common to the full range of emergencies from small isolated events to the ultimate emergency war. The terrorist attacks of Sept.
11th focused the agency on issues of national preparedness and homeland security, and tested the agency in unprecedented ways. The agency coordinated its activities with the newly formed Office of Homeland Security. Today, FEMA is one of four major branches of DHS. About 2,500 full-time employees in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate are supplemented by more than 5,000 stand-by disaster reservists. FEMAs mission remains: to lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of A Nation Prepared.
FEMA works in partnership with CDC. Together, they offer the Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) which is a 4? -day exercise-based training activity that places public officials and emergency personnel in a realistic crisis situation within a structured learning environment. The course has been sponsored and conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) since 1982. In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) incorporated a bioterrorism component into the IEMC.
In 2005, CDCs Coordinating Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response allocated funding to the National Center for Environmental Health to add environmental public health elements to the course. Six FEMA/CDC IEMCs for Communities are currently being scheduled as part of a fully integrated partnership between CDC and FEMA. The course builds the awareness and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans, and procedures to protect life and property by applying sound emergency management principles in all phases of emergency management.
The course will increase the level of overall preparedness of participants by helping them understand the roles of environmental public health and other disciplines in an integrated emergency response framework. Additionally, the course will provide chemical, radiological, and natural hazard training modules and interactive exercises for state and local communities. The training program is meant for State, local, and tribal officials from various disciplines; public health practitioners; hospital staff and other health care providers; elected/appointed officials; management personnel; and media representatives.
Here is an example of how FEMA(branch of DHS) and CDC are working together in disaster Management: When many victims of Hurricane Katrina returned to their homes they found themselves without electrical power. For residents purchasing generators to provide heat and electricity, the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned of the danger of running the generator inside the house or an attached garage or carport.
Bill Lokey, FEMAs federal coordinating officer and Jeff Smith, state coordinating officer for the Louisiana disaster recovery effort, advised residents that the improper use of generators, other gas-powered tools and pressure washers can have serious results. The CDC offers the following cautions on the use of gas-powered generators: Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside, or even outside near an open window. If you must use one of these devices, use it only outside and away from open windows.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas you cant smell or see that comes from these items. It can build up inside your home or enclosed space and poison the people and animals inside. Exposure to CO can cause you to pass out or die. The most common symptoms of exposure are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. In addition, residents should make certain that their homes have a carbon monoxide alarm that meets current safety Underwriters Laboratories standards. FEMA and CDC warn that there is also a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if gas ranges are used to heat homes.