FEMA's Pathway to Resilience


  • Brittany J. Hood IUPUI


Federal Emergency Management Agency, Public Safety, Emergency Planning


The purpose of this paper is to explore the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) past decade of mitigation weaknesses and areas of improvement during Hurricane Katrina, the Northridge Earthquake, and Hurricane Ike. This outlines which best practices have been ignored, utilized, and forgotten through FEMA's mitigation efforts. Primarily the National Response Framework (NRF) has been placed on the backburner throughout the years despite a prior big push to implement the steps outlined by the NRF into all emergency responses. Mitigation efforts have made successful strides with the assistance of the new FEMA Director, Craig Fugate. Past and current FEMA directors are evaluated along with the roles that those individuals have played in historical natural disasters. Previous FEMA directors such as Robert Paulison and Michael Brown had limited emergency management expertise and misled FEMA, which became evident as natural disasters unfolded in the last decade that showed a lack of preparedness and planning on FEMA's part. Craig Fugate is the most recent FEMA Director and holds the knowledge that can bring future success to FEMA. In addition, this paper suggests where improvements can be made in regard to mitigation and examines what FEMA has done to improve itself throughout the years.