The recent Hurricane Ian is a timely reminder of the impact of severe weather events, and the consequences they have on communities. 157 people died in the disaster, with a damage bill expected to exceed $50 billion USD. The scale of this type of disaster is hard to comprehend.
Preparing communities for future disasters and influencing behaviour change in individuals is work often gone unseen. The United States of America has seen its fair share of disasters from hurricanes and tornadoes to flooding and wildfires, but how are they preparing their communities for unimaginable?
Today on the show, Andrew and Josh are joined by Aaron Levy and Shawn Lenore from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington D.C. Aaron is the Director of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division where he leads the Agency’s efforts to help people prepare for disasters. Aaron has deployed across the country in response to disasters, and prior to joining FEMA worked as an advisor to two members of Congress. Shawn is the Director of FEMA’s National Exercise Division, which conducts exercises across Government and with communities to validate readiness and assess capabilities. Shaun’s career’s has spanned many roles in Homeland Security, The Whitehouse and the US Army, where he received the Presidential Service badge.
The team discuss how FEMA is preparing American communities for the disasters of tomorrow and how they are looking to community participation as a method of empowering communities to mobilise in response to disasters, shifting social risk contracts.