Administrator Craig Fugate, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Before the United States House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, 'Improving the Nation's Response to Catastrophic Disasters: How to Minimize Costs and Streamline our Emergency Management Programs' [March 30, 2011] [open pdf - 342KB]
"Good morning Chairman Denham, Ranking Member Norton, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee. My name is Craig Fugate, and I am the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is an honor to appear before you today on behalf of FEMA to discuss our preparedness for catastrophic disasters. Planning and preparing for catastrophic disasters is a top priority at FEMA, and we appreciate the Subcommittee's attention to this important matter. As I sit before you today, our nation's hearts weigh heavy on the recent tragedy of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The U.S. government is supporting the Government of Japan in this response. FEMA is currently supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is the lead U.S. agency, by providing Urban Search and Rescue Teams from California and Virginia. FEMA teams are also working with U.S. states impacted by the tsunami to assess damages. While the world watches the response to what may be one of the largest disasters in history, our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy. In my testimony today, I will discuss how FEMA is working to improve our preparedness through the 'Whole Community' framework. This approach recognizes that FEMA is not the nation's emergency management team--FEMA is only a part of the team. In order to successfully prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards, we must work with the entire emergency management community. This 'Whole Community' includes FEMA and our partners at the federal level; our state, local, tribal and territorial governmental partners; non-governmental organizations like faith-based and non-profit groups and private sector industry; and most importantly, individuals, families, and communities, who continue to be our greatest assets and the key to our success."
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