FEMA’s Covid-19 Initial Assessment Report

FEMA has just released its “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Initial Assessment Report” which assesses the agency’s initial response to the global pandemic. Highlighted items in the report show the challenges the agency faced, including needing to clarify roles and authorities between responding agencies and managing complex interagency coordination while still protecting its own workforce.

The report covers FEMA’s response from mid-March through Sept. 30, 2020 and provides 32 key findings and 57 recommendations in five areas. FEMA partnered with the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other federal agencies to better manage the complex logistical operations. To drastically speed up the arrival of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the domestic market, FEMA chartered privately owned planes for medical distributors, reducing the transit time between manufacturer and customer from 30–45 days via ocean freight to approximately five days via air freight. Project Airbridge chartered 249 flights over a span of 92 days and delivered roughly 1.73 billion units of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to prioritized areas.

While coordinating the federal COVID-19 response, FEMA responded to multiple disasters. The year 2020 was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history with 25 named Atlantic Ocean storms, three of which were declared major disasters across seven states.  

FEMA’s COVID-19 operations led to innovations for coordination with government and non-government partners on implementing national distribution networks and innovative solutions to data management and analysis and manufacturing and procuring scarce resources. The agency’s adaptive workforce enabled it to facilitate an effective operational response to the pandemic.

The report findings and recommendations will be used to inform FEMA and the emergency management community and improve existing and future responses to pandemics. The Initial Assessment Report represents part of FEMA’s continuous improvement process, helping the agency learn faster and to communicate to the emergency management community where there are opportunities to build greater capacity.

[Thanks to Dana Bres for this citation.]

Note that current TV news indicates that FEMA is scheduled to have a major role in the distribution of the vaccine during the Biden administration.

Upcoming Webinars

Disaster Social Services Research on Serving Vulnerable populations
Jan 22, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
In the second seminar speakers will discuss the importance of disaster social science research for response and recovery efforts, especially social service delivery for vulnerable populations. A 15 minute Q&A session will follow the panel presentations.
Register here/

Center for Homeland Defense and Security
Executive Education Program Lecture and Webinar Series
Building Trust in a Disinformation Age
Friday, January 29, 2021

[Thanks for Dr. Lois Cohen for this citation.]

In Memoriam: Larry Pearce of B.C. Canada

I just learned of the recent passing of Larry Pearce from his wife Laurie. Both have been notable contributors to emergency management in Canada. Thanks to annual conferences in Colorado, the Diva got to know them both – Larry’s experiences in Boulder led to the creation of CRHNet and the “Meet the Canadians” lunch at the conference. What follows is a brief version of the notice posted in the site www.crhnet.ca

For Larry, emergency management was a second career, after military service. It culminated in positions as Regional Director for BC and the Yukon for Emergency Preparedness Canada. He then devoted himself to volunteer work, as the Ex. Director of Pan-Pacific Hazards ’96, President of the Emergency Social Services Association, Director of the Emergency Preparedness of Commerce and Industry Council of BC and the Sunshine Falls Road Society. He served as Executive Director for the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network for many years and was proud to have had a student award named for him. Larry was always willing to help others and he mentored and guided many in government and in the emergency management field. He was a Friend of JIBC and has been the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards.

If you wish to make a donation in his memory to support the Larry Pearce Education Award for emergency management students at CRHNET. Please share your stories at the Larry Dale Pearce – ForeverMissed.com Online Memorials.

To donate to the Larry Pearce Educational Aware please click here: https://crhnet.ca/donations/donate-larry-pearce/

Case Study Repository

Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM) Cases Repository; Development & Special Collections by acob Fast, Antoine B. Richards, Jane Kushma, and David Thornton

“The utilization of case studies in Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM has a rich history across professional practice,research,and academic pursuits. Although there is little standardization in case study development and composition,the application of case studies to teaching is common. In order to best make use of case studies, it is critical to first locate and identify the resources.”

Another International Report

Globalization & Health – Integrating the social sciences in epidemic preparedness and response: A strategic framework to strengthen capacities and improve Global Health security

“…Based on data collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in this paper we analysed the variety of knowledge, infrastructure and funding gaps that hinder the full integration of the social sciences in epidemics and present a strategic framework for addressing them….”

Thanks to Dr. Lois Cohen for the citation.