FEMA says neighborly assistance should be first resource in disaster

Emergency Management Alert, July 21, 2009

Rather than wait for government assistance, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says communities struck by disaster should realize their first line of defense is community response, reports Alabama Live News, or

"If neighbors aren't helping neighbors, nobody's going to get there fast enough," FEMA administrator Craig Fugate told the National Governors Association at their summer session meeting, which included the insurance and communication industries as well. Fugate encouraged local leaders to be trained to handle emergencies.

Other issues discussed at the session were wireless communication during disasters. Since Hurricane Katrina, wireless communications provider Motorala has begun building communication towers that can withstand stronger hurricanes. Also addressed was the concern about a potential rise in the H1N1 flu virus.

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