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FEMA: Disaster Response Paper

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. According to FEMA, its mission is to “support United States citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards” (FEMA, 2015). Some of FEMA’s primary goals and objectives in regards to natural disasters include providing timely disaster response and assistance to affected areas, utilizing federal capabilities to aid state and local governments in recovery efforts, and to minimize the overall suffering felt by natural disasters. FEMA also assist state, tribal and local governments through…show more content…
The State of Hawaii was devastated by Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014, which required aid from the Public Assistance Grant program. Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii on August 07, 2014 and continued its rampage through August 10, 2014, affecting most of the Hawaiian Islands before subsiding. After the storm, there were numerous reports of flooding in many areas, downed power lines, structural damages to buildings and downed trees. Immediately following the storm, the United States Congress mandated a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) to assess the damages sustained to the State of Hawaii by Tropical Storm Iselle. This assessment was conducted to determine if any further aid was required beyond that of the State Government. After the assessment, it was determined that the State of Hawaii sustained an enormous amount of damages and needed government…show more content…
This step ensures that all approved projects are completed and brought up to code. In addition, projects that were disapproved during the application process can be appealed to FEMA for reconsideration. In addition to the Public Assistance Grant Program, States, Tribal and Local Governments affected by natural disasters are eligible to apply for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The HMGP is a program that offers long-term aid to affected areas strengthen weaknesses, address shortcomings and reduce risk to life and property. Tropical Storm Iselle exposed a lot of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the Hawaiian Islands. Though devastating, the storm revealed the areas of vulnerability in the state’s reaction to disasters, preventative measures, and emergency response. The downed power lines, downed trees and compromised structural integrity to public facilities is a clear indicator that Hawaii was not prepared for the
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