From NBC News: FEMA preparing for possible coronavirus emergency declaration
“To me this is another indication that the president and the White House are finally aware of the gravity of the situation,” said former FEMA official Michael Coen.
Example of failure to plan and coordinate at all levels of government. From the WashPost; Coronavirus rumors and chaos in Alabama point to big problems as U.S. seeks to contain virus. Rumor mill, lack of communication by federal officials undermines trust in plan to relocate quarantined patients.
From the WashPost: Trump is ignoring the lessons of 1918 flu pandemic that killed millions, historian says.
One key quote: “I think the No. 1 lesson that came out of the experience is that if you want to prevent panic, you tell the truth,” Barry said.
The EM system for a medical emergency is explained here. Key roles for state and local government are described. See: If the coronavirus hits America, who’s responsible for protecting you? What the response to a Covid-19 outbreak in the US could look like.
Update: Here is another useful article about local EM involvement. Coronavirus: How Local Officials and Emergency Managers Respond
Emergency managers can and should help by lending their expertise in providing shelter and broadcasting good information to the public. Seattle use its AlertSeattle to inform residents about a local case.