FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Associate Administrator Jeff Byard visited Alabama EMA

CLANTON – The staff of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) welcomed two special guests back to Alabama. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long and Associate Administrator Jeff Byard visited the EMA staff on Thursday and shared the message of building a true culture of preparedness, empowering citizens to see themselves as first responders and ensuring states are adequately prepared for no-notice events. A no-notice event will require states to engage in life-saving missions for up to 48-hours without the immediate assistance of the federal government.

Administrator Long also highlighted the importance of states and FEMA taking a different approach to the recovery process and becoming more focused on the outcome.

“If we are doing recovery right, we should be able to articulate what the recovery goals will be up front and then we work together to figure out what funding you all are entitled to-to achieve those goals,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said.

With the role of recovery being so critical to all disasters, the Administrator would like to see FEMA assist states by addressing potential issues ahead of the next disaster.

Administrator Long said, “We have to get a lot of recovery planning done up front, figuring out how are we going to do housing in these areas, how are we going to do logistics, how are we going to help you set up contracts, or even pre-event contracts or technical assistance or support. I would rather help you figure that out now than after the disaster.”

Associate Administrator Jeff Byard said of emergency managers, “We cannot do it all and be good at anything, what we do best and what or who can we partner with for the rest.”

DSC_5871The JFHQ-AL DOMS unit joined the agency in Clanton to hear the special presentations. The Alabama National Guard is an essential partner of AEMA as they plan, train and execute response missions throughout the state.

Byard started his career in emergency management in 2002, as the AEMA Mitigation Division Planner.

Long served as Director of Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency under Governor Bob Riley from 2008-2011

Visit Flickr.com/ Alabama EMA to view photos.