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Monday, January 30, 2023

National Preparedness Month Begins: Join Us to Help the Nation Prepare!

This year, while battling Hurricane Ida, the continued COVID-19 pandemic, and California wildfires, all of us in the emergency management community have had to respond to protect American citizens.

Welcome to National Preparedness Month!

As Hurricane Ida continues to pound the East Coast, I want to thank all of you for your service to our country – whether in the public or private sector, we thank you for your efforts to prepare, respond, and help our citizens recover from disaster.

Today is the start of National Preparedness Month, and at Homeland Security Today we are committed to helping communities across the country increase awareness around preparedness. This year, while battling Hurricane Ida, the continued COVID-19 pandemic, and California wildfires, all of us in the emergency management community have had to respond to protect American citizens.

I am writing today to invite you to submit your thoughts and ideas to forward the conversation and help our communities think ahead, think smarter, and think more strategically about what we do in both the public and private sectors to jointly meet increasingly devastating disasters.

I invite you to share with our community YOUR experiences preparing for and responding to disasters. How did your community handle an event that threatens the lives and property of your citizens? What novel approach did you take to prepare? To communicate with citizens? To respond to a crisis? What could you share that would help others learn from what happened in your neck of the woods?

How might you participate?

  • Submit a thought leadership piece on lessons learned, a novel strategy you employed, areas of concerns you’d like the community to discuss to editor@HSToday.us;
  • Suggest thought leaders that HSToday should reach out to for articles, or to join us in this communication;
  • Share us on social media and retweet us! Easy to do at TwitterFacebook, and our group on Linkedin. Help us spread the wisdom of our colleagues to protect every community;
  • Repost HSToday preparedness articles on your LinkedIn feed. Daily we have original, compelling pieces from some of the most esteemed voices in homeland security. Share those on your LinkedIn feed to encourage comments and conversation from our community.
  • Sign up for the Emergency Preparedness newsletter to read all the submissions (in case you haven’t already) at www.HSToday.us.
  • Let us know how we are doing! Share your thoughts on how we can improve this conversation so that every community is as prepared as they can be.

I look forward to reading your contributions and forwarding the nation’s conversation around preparing our communities.

Brock Long
Former Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Executive Chairman, Hagerty Consulting

Brock Long
Brock Long is the former Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Confirmed in June 2017 by the U.S. Senate with strong bipartisan support (95-4), Brock served as the nation’s principal advisor to the president responsible for coordinating the entire array of federal government resources down through 50 states, 573 tribal governments, and 16 island territories to assist them with executing disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. Brock is the 10th Administrator and the youngest to hold the office. While serving as Administrator, Brock coordinated the federal government’s response to over 144 presidentially declared disasters and 112 wildfires, including three of the nation’s most devastating hurricanes and five of the worst wildfires ever experienced. During this time, nearly $44 billion of disaster activity occurred under the various federal recovery programs. As the FEMA Administrator, Brock led major initiatives that will have long-lasting impacts on the emergency management community. He rapidly transformed the agency’s business enterprise by implementing innovative Community Lifeline and FEMA Integration Team concepts to strengthen public-private partnerships and permanently embed full-time staff within the offices of state and tribal governments to better meet constituent needs. Further, as the result of his effective advocacy and eight influential congressional testimonies, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) became law in October 2018, making pre-disaster mitigation a national priority with the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program. The DRRA also provided meaningful changes to the FEMA workforce and bolstered state and local emergency management capabilities. From 2008-2011, Brock served as Director of Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) under Governor Bob Riley. As Director, he served as the State Coordinating Officer for 14 disasters, including eight presidentially declared events. Brock also served as an on-scene State Incident Commander for the Alabama Unified Command during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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