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An 'I Am FEMA' Segment

Making FEMA familiar.

I'm talking ancient history, but it was about 1993 when I went to a Western States Seismic meeting that was attended by state directors. My state director at the time could not attend, so I was there representing Washington state. 

The big surprise then was how those present hated the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) being led then by James Lee Witt, who for me was a hero because of his emphasis on disaster mitigation. Yikes! I sat there thinking, "These guys really don't like FEMA."

Fast-forward to today and FEMA has a relatively new effort to do short profiles on FEMA staff. It takes an unfamiliar bureaucracy and makes it more familiar. It is hard to hate someone you know!

See this short profile of Joan Rave who works on recovery issues for FEMA Region X. It makes it personal and not some remote bureaucrat locked in a basement somewhere. 

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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