Tennessee will now have FEMA staff assigned to its emergency management agency, continuing the federal agency’s rollout of the FEMA Integration Team (FIT) program. FIT will provide technical and training assistance on FEMA’s programs and continuous on-site support to the state.
While FEMA currently works closely with Tennessee Emergency Management Agency through the regional office in Atlanta, co-locating staff is a new enhancement of that cooperation.
“Emergency management is a collaborative endeavor, where state, local or federal agencies are expected to work as ‘one emergency management’ by Tennesseans. This is especially true in times of disaster,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “This closer day-to-day, shoulder-to-shoulder working relationship between FEMA and Tennessee’s emergency managers will foster better collaboration, improve coordination of plans and actions, and allow for faster problem solving.”
“FIT is a new way for FEMA to do business with our state partners, getting staff out of our regional offices and into the states,” said Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech. “We will talk to, and learn from, each other during blue sky days, not just when disaster strikes. Readying the nation for catastrophic disasters is done through the partnerships we build every day.”
For the remainder of fiscal year 2018, FEMA will embed staff in a minimum of 10 states.