Hurricaine Earl did not turn out to be as severe as we might have feared, but there have been a number of disasters (both natural and man made) in recent years: floods, tornadoes, blizzards, wildfires. In fact, there have been 65 designated disasters in the United States in 2010 alone. In New York State, most of our disasters are from floods or snowstorms. Both the federal and state levels of government have administrative organizations to coordinate activities when disaster strikes.
FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Management agency. FEMA helps prepare for disasters and responds to them when they strike. The Congressional Act of 1803 was the very beginning of what FEMA is today. The Congressional Act of 1803 supplied assistance to a town in New Hampshire that had suffered from a devastating fire. After this act, many other disaster-related organizations were formed and FEMA was the merger of all of these in 1979. September 11th proved to be a great challenge for FEMA and homeland security has become a new focus of the agency. FEMA’s vision is “to lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from disasters with a vision of ‘A Nation Prepared’.��?
SEMO is the New York State Emergency Management Office. This office has been around for more than 50 years and coordinates the of the State agencies in order to keep the residents of New York State safe during disasters and emergencies. Similar to FEMA, SEMO is an agency on the state level that focuses on preparing and recovering from disasters.
For more information on FEMA and SEMO check out these articles:
Belasco, A. (2010). FY2010 supplemental for wars, disaster assistance, Haiti relief, and other programs. Retrieved from GalleryWatch CRS Reports database.
Jones, N.L. (2010). The Americans with Disabilities Act and emergency preparedness and response. Retrieved from GalleryWatch CRS Reports database.
McCarthy, F. & Keegan, N. (2010). FEMA’s pre-disaster mitigation program: overview and issues. Retrieved from GalleryWatch CRS Reports database.
McCarthy, F. (2008). FEMA disaster housing and Hurricane Katrina: overview, analysis, and congressional issues. Retrieved from GalleryWatch CRS Reports database.
Also check out these materials at the Dewey Library and online:
Anderson, C.V. (2002). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Hauppauge, NY : Nova Science Publishers. Dewey Library / HV 555 U6 F43 2002
Cooper, C. & Block, R. (2006). Disaster : Hurricane Katrina and the failure of Homeland Security. New York : Times Books. Dewey Library / HV 636 2005 G85 C66 2006
United States Congress. (2010) FEMA Independence Act of 2009 [electronic resource] : report (to accompany H.R. 1174) (including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office). Washington : U.S. G.P.O. Online / GovDoc: J 85 Y 1.1/8:111-459/
United States Congress. (2010). The new FEMA [electronic resource] : is the agency better prepared for a catastrophe now than it was in 2005? : hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Tenth Congress, second session, April 3, 2008. Washington : U.S. G.P.O. Online / GovDoc: J 85 Y 4.G 74/9:S.HRG.110-1021
For more information on researching disaster management in the United States please contact our Public Administration and Public Policy librarian Richard Irving at firstname.lastname@example.org or 442-3698.
Blog post created by Katie Farrell