What information is particularly important for the region your county is located in?

FEMA maintains National Situation Updates, designed to provide emergency managers with information and graphics drawn from myriad agencies, governmental, media, and other. The materials provided can be used to promote situational awareness or potentially have other applications.

For this unit’s discussion, visit http://www.fema.gov/emergency/reports/index.shtm. The situation updates start with today’s date and work backward. The site also lists archives for reports extending back to 2005 (and including Hurricane Katrina). Visit the report from June 7, 2011. Note how subordinate elements overlap or are incomplete and should be read with others. For example, “fire activity” lists a roll up of fires across the country, but “Fire Management Assistance Grant” details a few truly significant fires. Also, “flooding” is captured and reported by five separate regions, but the “Significant National Weather” details reveal that there are many rainstorms headed to those same regions.

Assignment Guidelines

  • In 4–5 paragraphs, address the following:
    • Read through the reports of the last week. What trends or patterns are worth noting for the nation?
      • What information is particularly important for the region your county is located in?
      • Do you anticipate that your county will be specifically impacted by any of the conditions that are listed for the week?
        • Why or why not?
        • In answering this, consider how conditions elsewhere might ultimately impact your region or county. (Be creative and think about environmental, political, economic, or other factors that are normally beyond an emergency manager’s concerns but certainly in the realm of community leaders.)
    • Visit reports from May 10, 2011.
      • Which is the most important event of the day, in your opinion?
        • Do any of the incidents have meaning for your county—how so or why not?
      • Name and detail at least two significant events of that day with which you heard little or nothing.
        • What might each of these incidents mean for that region, in terms of consequences beyond the precise incident?
      • Examine the section on disaster declaration activity for this day. Research independently one of the disaster declarations that is named (specify which one) and give details about its genesis and status. Reference the source that you used for your information.
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