WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President and CEO Benjamin Jealous signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the NAACP’s 104th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.
The Agreement will expand outreach to traditionally underserved communities through the NAACP network of more than 200,000 members. Through the MOA, FEMA and the NAACP have joined forces to ensure the needs of underrepresented communities are more fully incorporated into disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation-related activities. The two agencies also will share information such as lessons learned, best practices and training resources, to improve community resilience.
“As a nation, our resiliency depends on our ability to work together to empower communities as part of the emergency management team before, during and after a disaster,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Today’s agreement builds on a long-standing partnership between FEMA and the NAACP, and leverages both institutions’ resources and networks to improve the ‘Whole Community’s’ disaster preparedness, response and recovery.”
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with FEMA to ensure all communities are prepared when confronted with an emergency,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “This is a critical step toward providing underrepresented communities the tools and training they need to respond and recover after disasters.”
“From the Deepwater Horizon Incident, to the 2011 Tornadoes in Alabama, to Superstorm Sandy, we have seen the worst and best of disproportionate impact of disaster on marginalized communities and inspiring community resilience. Communities have been devastated by loss of life, property, culture and more,” said Jealous. “While at the same time there have been awesome examples of communities coming together to build stronger neighborhoods with cooperation between community members and equity and justice based allocation of resources. With this partnership we will work together to improve the ability of emergency management systems to serve people on the margins as well as strengthen community resilience,” said Jealous.
The NAACP has been an active member of the emergency management team through collaborative efforts including: NAACP senior leadership participation on FEMA’s National Advisory Council, hosting emergency preparedness engagement activities at the NAACP Annual Convention, and NAACP staff training on emergency management and community preparedness. The Agreement strengthens the “whole community” approach to emergency management and will greatly improve communities’ access to information to help individuals, families and communities stay safe before, during and after an emergency or disaster.