Last week Joshua DuBois visited FEMA to meet with the DHS Center Director, FEMA Administrator and to receive briefings at the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC).
The highlight of DuBois’ visit was a one-hour meeting with Administrator Craig Fugate and the Director of the DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships David Myers, and members of the administrator’s staff, including Senior Advisor Alex Amparo.
DuBois and Administrator Fugate discussed, among other topics, how the DHS Center can work closely with FEMA in strengthening ties with state and the National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). This national organization -- with their state offices -- serves as a forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle -- preparation, response and recovery -- to help disaster survivors and their communities.
They also discussed FEMA Regional Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs) and best practices working with states that have full-time VALs. VALs serve as the principal FEMA point of contact for voluntary organizations at the national, state and regional levels. Key responsibilities include supporting state emergency management and the voluntary sector in building the disaster preparedness capacity of voluntary organizations, and providing FEMA technical assistance and leadership in disaster response and recovery operations.
Following the discussion with the Administrator and his staff, DuBois was a special guest at Fugate’s senior leadership staff meeting that included a national video teleconference with FEMA’s ten Regional Administrators and their staffs. DuBois was introduced and he responded with special thanks and greetings on behalf of the White House.
The final stop on DuBois’ visit was a private tour of the NRCC. The NRCC is a multi-agency center that provides overall federal support coordination for major disasters and emergencies, including catastrophic incidents and emergency management program implementation. The Center maintains a 24-hour, seven days a week national situational awareness of potential, developing, or ongoing situations with a Federal response to an incident/event.
If you have questions or comments about this blog please send an email to infofbci (at) dhs.gov.
David Myers serves as the Director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.