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Disaster Zone Podcast: An Interview With the FEMA Administrator

Questions and answers about his career, and all the 2020 disasters.

by Eric Holdeman / November 1, 2020

I was recently able to do a Disaster Zone Podcast: "Interview with Peter Gaynor, FEMA Administrator" where I was able to quiz him on a number of topics.

Perhaps you might not be interested, but I always want to know how someone got into the emergency management career field. It is not like the current crop of emergency managers were replying to the question "What do you want to do when you grow up?" with "I want to be an emergency manager!" 

We also talked about his advice for state and local emergency managers, the 2020 crop of disasters, including the pandemic, the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, and then there was time to briefly explore how he defines disaster resilience. 

To elaborate on how Pete and I first met, it was via being in attendance at the Naval Postgraduate School's Executive Leadership Course for Homeland Security. I was at the Port of Tacoma as security director and he was the Providence Rhode Island City emergency management director. I had asked over breakfast, "How did you get into emergency management?" He had recently completed his military service as a Marine (you never say you retired — it makes you sound old) and a friend suggested that he apply for the city's emergency management director's position that had just been posted. The rest is history!

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