FEMA getting new workforce of young people to help with disaster response and recovery.
The FEMA Blog had an item that covered the Creation of FEMA Corps
This announcement makes me happy and a bit sad. I like the concept and what it will do to introduce younger people to the field of emergency management and public service. It is a force multiplier for FEMA in order to be able to surge their capability when they need to be on scene at larger disasters around the nation. This will create a huge learning opportunity for the youth who will be put on the front lines delivering services. This is all good!
The part that tugs me in another direction is my lament that while this new capability is being added to enhance FEMA, the AmeriCorps program that has supported local emergency managers is waning. It has been declining for a number of years. I don't have the numbers for 2012, but with all the other cuts I can't imagine that the downward direction of that program over recent years has been reduced.
All disasters are local, right? Much of what will be accomplished by this new effort to support FEMA and expose a new generation of American workers to emergency management could also be done at the local level to support preparedness, mitigation and prevention. These are activities that are proactive and not reactive to disasters. Could we not do both? Is there another announcement coming? Probably not.