FEMA Releases COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance

As the 2021 Atlantic and Pacific hurricane seasons as well as the peak Western wildfire season are fast approaching, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released new guidance for state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) officials as they prepare for another year of response and recovery operations amidst the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.

This new document, titled “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance; All-Hazards Incident Response and Recovery” builds upon the guidance released last year as well as:

  • Describes continued challenges to disaster operations posed by COVID-19 and planning considerations for emergency managers that are based on science and the best available data
  • Outlines considerations for SLTT jurisdictions related to planning COVID-19 testing and vaccination operations. This includes providing an overview of how FEMA supports SLTT partners in establishing and operating testing facilities and vaccination sites that ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines to all individuals
  • Provides up-to-date resources (e.g., checklists, reports)—reflecting current lessons learned for operating in a pandemic environment— to enable emergency managers to best adapt response and recovery plans
  • Outlines how FEMA plans to continue to adapt response and recovery operations to ensure prioritization for life safety, life sustainment, and workforce protection, and to maintain the delivery of FEMA programs in a pandemic environment


For more information on topics related to this piece, check out the COVID-19, Pandemics and Epidemics, Hurricanes, and Wildfires Special Collections.

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