FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was created in 1979 to bring together nearly two centuries of disaster support programming and funding. The agency is based in 10 regional offices throughout the United States, and they all have different functions but ultimately serve society and the American people in many ways.
FEMA helps disaster survivors and supports those who protect our communities. The agency does this by partnering with partners at every level of government to find new sources of help for those in need. They also work to become better stewards of resources and reduce the bureaucratic burdens that can impede those who really need help.
The agency’s history dates back to the infamous Love Canal toxic waste incident in 1978 and the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, both of which showed that the country needed a centralized organization to deal with large-scale disaster support. The agency was created through a series of laws and executive orders that brought the various federal agencies responsible for disaster support under one umbrella. The agency also coordinates the efforts of non-governmental organizations and private entities, which may offer specialized support services to the affected area.
In the aftermath of a disaster, FEMA staff conducts damage assessments and provides financial assistance to individuals or local governments. They also establish PODs (Points of Distribution) to distribute items like water and tarps, as well as provide disaster recovery centers where residents can go for information. They can also help residents rebuild their homes and recover from the loss of personal property.
Typically, FEMA aid can only cover what insurance or other sources of help do not. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, for example, some homeowners were denied aid because their home inspection indicated that they would not be able or willing to relocate. This is a common problem that arises in low-income neighborhoods where residents often do not have the means to take out mortgages or pay insurance premiums.
One of the best ways to help in the aftermath of a disaster is to donate money to a reputable disaster relief organization. These groups are geared to specific regions and disasters, and they usually receive financial contributions from local businesses and citizens who want to give back. They can then use the funds to pay for things like food, shelter, and equipment.
If you’re interested in donating to a disaster relief organization, contact your local or state emergency officials. They will be able to direct you to an organization that needs the most funding at a particular time. You can also check out your state’s website for information on the different disaster relief organizations available in your region.