Important New Report: Streamlining Emergency Management

A new report (44 pages) from RAND Corp for FEMA: Streamlining Emergency Management.

“The U.S. emergency management system has met a number of increasingly difficult challenges in recent years, such as extended wildfire seasons, more intense storms, and of course an ongoing global pandemic. In fact, FEMA noted that “the number of annual disasters that [they] have managed has tripled in the past ten years and highlights the pivotal moment that climate change and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have created.”

To combat this, FEMA and other agencies created constructs—programs, grants, assessments, doctrine, and coordination bodies—designed to help assess preparedness; support disaster response and recovery actions; enhance government capabilities through grant funding; and improve organization of emergency responses. However, the large amount of constructs that were created are “poorly integrated and not optimally structured for the current operating environment.” Poor integration can lead to confusion about when to use similar constructs, which can lead to disjointed reporting and a lack of shared situational awareness.

FEMA tasked the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), operated by the RAND Corporation, to conduct a review of 31 specific constructs to identify opportunities to streamline, simplify, and strengthen the system. Constructs include the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program, the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), and threat and hazard identification and risk assessments (THIRAs).”

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