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Federal Emergency Management is one of the well-known agencies in the United States. Its primary purpose is to coordinate the responses of local as well as state authorities in the case of any disaster. History shows that the federal government has been playing an important role in emergency management. There are hundreds of incidents that have been managed by Federal Emergency Management since the time of its foundation. No doubt this agency helps in resolving the issues as well as assist in coping with the challenges of any natural disaster. Though all the incidents are managed by following the federal emergency management principles, but unfortunately, there are some incidents which cast hazardous impacts on the United States since 2010.
One of the main incidents, operated by Federal Emergency Management is Hurricane Harvey that cast hazardous impacts on the United States in Texas. According to the records, with nearly 4.5 feet of rain and wind at 130 mph, Hurricane Harvey propelled a disaster response. It was the time, when not only government and non-profit organizations came on the front foot to save lives but also neighbors joined to mount an untiring effort for meeting needs of thousands of people (Van Oldenborgh,et,al,2017). Before the storm landed near Rockport, on Aug 25, Federal Emergency Management Agency beforehand prepositioned personnel and supplies in this state. FEMA joined local agencies and all other organizations for showing a response against the devastation caused by this storm.
Hurricane Harvey caused destruction at great level but FEMA managed all the disasters effectively by acting upon its principles. FEMA catered disasters and responded to the threats by following its fundamental principles i.e. mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Most of the time, things as per the plan and principles and add a lot in the success of FEMA. It assigned 28 Urban Search and Rescue teams to deploy to Texas for assisting state as well as local agencies for saving lives (Jonkman,et,al,2018). These teams rescued 6453 humans and 237 animals using high water trucks and boats. This rescue operation involved National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many other agencies. Huge funding was done by FEMA for the cost of protective measures and removal of debris. It also coordinated with National Business Emergency Operations Center calls among 150 companies that are working in the private sector.
There has been witnessed a historic need of housing following Hurricane Harvey, keeping the need in consideration, FEMA along with the state of Texas looked forward for making an agreement on establishing a state-managed mission and this is how the state of Texas provided homes to thousands of people on the behalf of FEMA. Due to the absence of grant-making authority, this agreement was created and it provided solutions that met disaster-specific objectives and also at the same time, FEMA developed more systematic long-term recovery plans. FEMA was already dealing with 692 open disasters (Goldberg,et,al,2018). FEMA deployed its Corps team (total 41 in numbers) that was prepared in 15 days of disaster declaration that started on 27 August. Hurricane Harvey stalled over parts in southern Texas, which resulted in flooding and weather conditions and it proved helpful as ports, roads and airports were closed and access to disastrous areas was prevented. Following Hurricane Harvey, the commodity was managed by Texas National Guard.
FEMA took an eye on the distribution efforts by taking help of Texas crisis management software platform for viewing the distribution points, inventory, commodity burn rates and required locations. The Environmental Protection Agency collaborated with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and completed a target of 625 assessments of drinking water along with 441 wastewater assessments. The Department of Energy provided support to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. It was seen that utility companies made a proper response in a coordinated manner for activating mutual support networks. They assigned more than 10,000 workers who belonged to different 21 states for recovery and response efforts.
Department of Defense provided support to more than 30 missions on the behalf of FEMA. These mission assignments included strategic airlifts, rescue team, evacuation, transportation, logistics, patient movement, and installations support. The Department of Agriculture activated the program for providing food benefits to the households that would not even qualify. Schools in the areas that struck with Hurricane Harvey allowed providing meals free of cost for all the students. Helicopters were used for identifying stranded livestock. FEMA also supported the Department of Transportation that begins with the idea of reshaping and returning transportation infrastructure into its pre-storm conditions. Federal Highway Administration focused upon activating the employee response effort and staff assisted in emergencies. Many of the people lost their jobs because of the Hurricane Harvey and FEMA activated Disaster Unemployment Assistance for citizens of Texas, the commission was formed by FEMA that processed insurance claims of 136,576 out of 17,714 people under the name of the program "DUA".
So as a whole, it could be concluded that FEMA managed many disasters that caused destruction at a great level. FEMA through the collaboration of many government and non-government organizations supported various fields for resolving the issues. Programs were made not only for identifying the issues but also recovery programs of FEMA severed best for reshaping infrastructure and bringing back life of people on the normal routine. FEMA managed to handle many natural disasters because it has been dealing with numbers of unpredictable situations. National Response Framework and National Incident Management have almost same kind of principles like that of FEMA so they all supported each other for saving thousands of lives.
Van Oldenborgh, G. J., Van Der Wiel, K., Sebastian, A., Singh, R., Arrighi, J., Otto, F., ... & Cullen, H. (2017). Attribution of extreme rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, August 2017. Environmental Research Letters, 12(12), 124009.
Goldberg, M., Li, S., Goodman, S., Lindsey, D., Sjoberg, B., & Sun, D. (2018). Contributions of operational satellites in monitoring the catastrophic floodwaters due to Hurricane Harvey. Remote Sensing, 10(8), 1256.
Jonkman, S. N., Godfroy, M., Sebastian, A., & Kolen, B. (2018). Brief communication: Loss of life due to Hurricane Harvey. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 18(4), 1073-1078.
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