tv FEMA Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski CSPAN April 6, 2018 1:46pm-3:05pm EDT
>> congress and its easter recess next week. the house is back in session on tuesday. no official schedule has been released. they reconvene monday. on the agenda judicial and executive nominations and the swearing-in of a new senator. cindy hyde smith was selected to lead. the house will be live on the c-span network in senna is live on c-span2. >> next week, facebook ceo mark zuckerberg will testify on the handling of user information and data privacy. tuesday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span three, in a joint hearing and on wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three before the house energy and commerce committee.
watch live coverage on c-span three and c-span.org. >> the deputy administrator spoke recently about the agency's future strategic plan for disaster preparedness. >> good morning. if i could ask everyone to please silence their cell phone, something i always forget to do but we want to make sure we accommodate everyone here. let me welcome everyone this morning, let me welcome our viewers working from home from c-span. we are in for a real treat. we have a great privilege to
welcome back on campus doctor daniel, the deputy administrator for fema. dan, as many probably know has gotten his phd from george washington university, masters from the other georgia crosstown, georgetown university and his undergraduate here at george washington university. for complete transparency i've known dan for 20 years and i can tell you, without a doubt he has been preparing for precisely the job he is in today. i might be jumping to some of the sexy and hot issues grabbing the headlines and always made sure when he was my deputy at george washington university that we remember not only the mission of fema but the core missions that fema provides to enhance the
resilience of the american people. every time we were jumping in the other direction, he always pulled me back to remember our roots and the critical role that they play in that. i think 2017 was a major year in terms of natural disasters. i think it's costly in history and we care very deeply about those who have been impacted in major hurricanes, fires, floods, it seems like it's the year of the mega disaster, but i also think what you don't see is the hard work that goes into trying to build up resilience and enhance our safety and security. they will share fema's plan not only for the upcoming year but into the out years and we
will also discuss some of the lessons learned from some of these natural disasters in 2017 and also a sneak peek on what we should think about going forward. this was created largely in the threat of the soviet union and unfortunately some of those threats are back. without further do, let me introduce doctor daniel who will share 15 or 20 minutes and then we will get into q&a. please join me in welcoming dan. [applause] >> thank you. it's good to be back home. thank you for the warm welcome. i will really enjoy today. i'll enjoy sharing some lessons from the hurricane season and enjoy telling you about what we will do in the
future by sharing our strategic plan. let me take a step back. as many of you know 2017 was a record setting year. as many of you know i was awaiting senate confirmation and i watched as harvey and irv irma came ashore on tv just like many of you did. quite frankly it was killing me. and i wanted to be there and i wanted to help. quite frankly i thought i was going to miss hurricane season. it turns out my fears were unfounded as hurricane came ashore i was name the acting director of fema. so, let me share those lessons from hurricane katrina. first, let's put it in contact. hurricane maria was the largest air and sea mission in fema history. it was the largest commodity
mission in fema history. it was the largest medical response ever for the federal government. thanks for partners at hhs that you may recall moved in very quickly to restore function and order. it was al also the largest power restoration in u.s. history and on that point the u.s. army corps of engineers has worked tirelessly to restore power to a very aged and broken infrastructure. what are some of these lessons learned. first let me say that we are reviewing the lesson from the disaster, many of which are set fema and you hear has seen firsthand. we are not waiting to after disaster to look at those lessons. we were collecting the lessons in real time thanks to an innovative approach in collecting those lessons. let me share those.
logistics. while each has its own challenge, puerto rico was a particular challenge. puerto rico is a thousand miles off the coast. the scale and duration of the operation was unprecedented. they must be ready to support these requirements that may not be right here where we can send in commodities from one state and another, they might be in remote areas. the lesson learned is we need to be able to provide sustained logistics support for not just days but weeks and months and sometimes those might be in very difficult to reach areas like we saw in perrigo. it made it all the more complex.
two, sheltering and housing survivors. it was also a challenge. fema provided short-term assistance like putting survivors in hotel and in texas with hurricane harvey, we tried something innovative. we realize with harvey it was such a huge housing challenge and i was on the heels of a busy year for us. what many of you might not realize is that one hurricane harvey came ashore, fema had their personnel deployed over 32 different disasters across the u.s. i was prior to hurricane harvey and prior to irma and maria. in harvey, given the scale of the housing challenge there, we went to the state and saw an innovative approach which
we will see later, but the bottom line is fema and texas worked and in glove on that, texas stepped up to the plate and said we can manage this housing challenge with fema support. i'll talk about that in just a few minutes. let's move onto the next one. number three, adapting to long-term infrastructure outage outages. just like i discussed on how we must be able to support a region, we have to recognize that infrastructure outages before power and water and medications can come back online and in the case of maria, it was long-term. it wasn't hours and days, it was weeks and months. how can we and emergency management at all levels be
prepared to support the disaster survivors during these long-term infrastructure outages. number four surging resources and staff. to a greater extent than in previous disasters. remember when maria hit we had many other open disasters including two catastrophic with harvey in texas. harvey was the second costliest disaster. now, just overtaken by maria, but harvey was a huge disaster. it was a catastrophic disaster. we had deployed thousands of personnel, millions of meals and millions of other commodities. by the time maria hit we were
stretched thin. the innovation here was we went to our parent organization and said help, fema does not have enough personnel to respond to this hurricane in maria. our partners stepped up to the plate and sourced personnel from 15 different agencies. these are not trained responders. these are people who got an e-mail and said we need help with support missions like registering individuals for assistance. like being translators. we needed bilingual speakers. thank you to the federal workforce who stepped up to the plate and volunteered for that mission. i'll give you one example. when i went there shortly after maria, i went to the va hospital and i saw that what we were doing on the ground, hhs, fema and an individual
who told me about what we're doing in great detail how the federal badge and i assumed he was had a federal badge. this was wonderful context and you clearly know what you are talking about. thank you for being here for the disaster survivors and making sure it can be operational to meet their needs. i said i assume your hhs. he said no i'm from nasa. number five, land-use planning. in texas we saw the importance of land-use planning with building codes. it should be built away from high-risk areas to minimize impact. it's both how and where we build and how and where those decisions affect local and regional hazards. land use regulations are vital tools for local governments
and we encourage regional coordination to help make decisions. in addition to codes and standards development, local enforcement of those codes and standards is necessary. let's move on to where we go from here. our strategic priorities. you can see on the slide appear, a quick summary, but in some, it is, number one fostering a culture of preparedness. number two readying the nation for catastrophic disasters, and three reducing the complexity of the fema programs. i will go through each of those in turn now. number one, culture preparedness, something i'm very passionate about, specifically let's talk about individual preparedness. we need to acknowledge that during a disaster, individuals in the communities are the first responders.
very simple practical skills that can make a difference in a disaster. we talked about this for years. i hope you -- can provide accident guidance for those of you who may not been able to raise their hand on each of those question, go to ready.gov. we need to think a step ahead now. we need our citizens to be financially prepared for disaster. that means having an emergency cash fund so that you can buy the things that you need immediately after disaster or preparing for disaster. and you need insurance. there is no more valuable disaster recovery tool than insurance. and we need to dramatically increase coverage to close what i will call the insurance gap.
what is the insurance gap? it's the difference between what is currently insured and what is insurable, and that gap is huge. when i talk about an insurance gap and the need for insurance on talking about the national flood insurance program. everyone should have flood insurance, not just those in a one in a 100 year floodplain. many of the homes flooded in hurricane harvey in particular when the outside the 100 year floodplain. there was one in 250 or one in 500 or one and a thousand you floodplain and many of them lacked insurance. now it's not just let insurance. it's all types of interest, property and casualty insurance, car insurance. all the things are very important. we aim to transfer those risks off of your back, off of a disaster survivors back, off the federal tablets back. all of us should care about this. transfer those risks to the insurance and reinsurance
market. one thing is for certain. those with insurance are more likely to recover quickly and more fully from a disaster. would you like an example? hurricane harvey. i just mention many of those outside the floodplains did not have insurance, flood insurance. for those who lacked flood insurance and heather holmes damaged or destroyed, they recede fema assistance. that assistance averaged $4000. for those who have flood insurance, the average payout on their claim was $110,000. so unless you think you can rebuild your home for $4000 i suggest everyone have insurance, including flood insurance because amy home can flood. related to insurance, mitigatio
mitigation. we need to build more resilient communities to reduce the risks to people, property and taxpayer dollars. developing a resilient community at a time reduces loss of life and economic disruption. when communities are impacted they should focus on rebuilding infrastructure smarter and more resilient to reduce the risk of damages to protect taxpayer investments and promote economic stability. as we are aptly calling a moonshot, we aim to quadruple the nation's investment in mitigation by 2022. why are we focusing on mitigation? let me point to a study that will tell the story. many of you in this audience at least, our emergency management experts pick you know interfere with and talking about the one dollar invested in mitigation now say four dollars in a disaster for years, the past decade or more we've been
talking about that. that mantra is now changing. no longer is a one dollar invested now face four dollars later. thanks to the recently updated study by the independent national institute of building sciences, they are saying now one dollar invested will save six dollars with a disaster strikes. that's a a pretty good return n investment. let's move on to go to make. rating the nation for catastrophic disasters. the more prepared with our as a nation we can focus more of our efforts at fema on catastrophic. in other words, if we prepare our nation, prepare citizens, communities, state and local governments to be better prepared under goal one, fema should be able to focus its efforts on the truly catastrophic disasters. after all, fema is not a first responder. so let me give you a statistic.
according to the gao 80% of presidential declared disasters are under $41 million a year. 80% of disasters under 41, those are pretty small disasters. for those disasters, i'll call the non-catastrophic disasters, fema is looking for the state and local governments to step up and lead those recovery efforts. with fema support. so fema will continue to fund the recovery for smaller disasters but increasingly we will be looking for state and local governments to manage those programs. now, i will assert maybe that's a high goal. it depends on what state or you're talking about whether or not they can step up and manage those programs but let's go back to the example i gave earlier about housing in texas following hurricane harvey. i told you the governor stepped up to the play can sit we can manage this. that's exactly what he did.
the state stepped forward and is running the housing mission that is federally funded. this allows the state to administer innovative housing solutions that are appropriate for your state and local governments with full fema support. we have a term for this and this term i hope it goes viral. which is for the smaller disasters we hope to have federally supported, state managed, locally executed. cell federally supported, state managed and locally executed recovery programs. now to help those states that may not be at a level to manage even the smaller disasters, we are rolling out fema integration teams. again one of our objectives in the strategic plan. we can talk more about that in the q&a if you would like. i want to get to number three, reducing complexity. fema like any government agency
is by definition bureaucratic but that is not acceptable to a disaster survivor. a disaster survivor expects assistance quickly in the wake of a disaster that has upended their lives. so we at fema are committed to supply our recovery process, making fema programs is clear and as easy as possible for survivors. now, it's not just fema. we have our programs that we need to work across the entire federal interagency to make sure those programs are fully integrated into our stick in fact, you may not know this but the small business administration is providing many of the loans to homeowners to rebuild in the wake of these disasters that we work very closely with sba. that could would make it more seamless process for disaster survivors? absolutely we can and we are going to endeavor to do that. let me and there. i'd love to speak to frank now
as most continue the dialogue with all of you but i what to say one, , i appreciate you havg here. two, i appreciate for all of you here and those watching on c-span, we appreciate your partnership, whether you're at the federal government or other federal agencies, state governments, local governments, nongovernmental organizations, as well as the private sector. the private sector plays a key role here. i look forward to talking more about that right now. thank you. >> thank you, dan. [applause] >> thank you, dan. thank you for -- very short amount of time in terms of which are facing out you about going tackling. i thought i would start with where you ended, and that was a discussion about the role of the
private sector in particular and critical infrastructure writ large and the role it plays in ensuring vital services. i recently met and i will not name the company, but a very large oil and gas company that was planning to factor in many weeks in a worst-case scenario that the they need to be able o survive under the sorts of conditions. is that kind of unique that this company is looking in that direction? are you starting here from others, and should, is it even realistic to be able to think that far out? >> so yes, the private sector plays a critical role. it plays a critical role in a few different ways. one would be critical infrastructure owners and operators like you just mention, here in oil and gas, for example, fema doesn't control how the fuel is distributed.
but obviously they are following a disaster people need fuel. so we need to work in partnership, and we hit the macs really do that as well as other organizations, dhs, including our colleagues at -- the wounded infrastructure cyber, working very closely with those owners and operators that operate 85% of patients critical infrastructure. one, work with them now so that they are a good partner when i disaster strikes. two, we work regularly with retailers, big-box stores, hardware stores at a national level to make sure that we have a strong partnership. because the faster that home depot opens, the faster you can recover from that disaster. so we realize that the private sector is a key partner. we are embracing them in a way we never have before. we used to talk about a three-legged stool, federal
government, state government, local government. my colleague who runs response recovery operations force said it is actually a four-legged stool, private sector. it was apparent to us in these disasters. going back, even when you look at some of the lessons learned post-katrina come you would mention the importance of logistics, and there's an old marine adage, amateurs talk strategy. professionals talk logistics. what were some of the other potential lessons that you saying from a communications perspective? because when i looked back and walmart i think, up overnight because that such a sophisticated supply chain infrastructure to begin with. are there any lessons that fema is gleaning from that? something that gets lost in a lot of the discussion is where fema actually fits in to the
actual response. is it a first responder, or is it an enabler? i'd be curious to sort of hit on both those questions. >> i think i can answer that quite simply. yes, fema at the national level to working with these major retailers and large companies but when it comes down to disaster, all disasters are local. fema does not accrue directly supporting an individual grocery store or hardware store. it's beyond our ability to do that. the local and state government, local emergency managers should be working very closely with the retailers and most do. integrating those retail, local retail networks into the local emergency plan efforts. also those companies need to take that responsibility seriously, both to their shareholders as well as to disaster survivors, and have sophisticated business continuity plans in place. making sure that they have generators and fuel and other necessities that they will need
following a disaster. again, to protect both their shareholder and disaster survivors. you mention communication. let me give you an example. we lack of situational awareness. awareness. weaving the entire federal government, lacks situational awareness about what was going on in the early days after hurricane maria came ashore. quite simply it was because all of the communication infrastructure had been badly damaged or destroyed, almost 100%. we knew that we could not effectively respond to or recover from that disaster without solid communication networks. we at fema did everything we could to support that logistics effort but really it was, it was the cell companies that stepped up to the plate, , the cellular providers stepped up to the
plate and they saw this as a key mission. give you some more specifics. in puerto rico that towers were damaged, destroyed. they didn't have generators. they didn't have fuel, whatever it was. one of the cell companies would go in and not just fix their tower. they would fix all the towers in the surrounding area. many of these towns are unlike a hilltop, right? they would fix their competitors equipment. then they took a step further. the the cell provided then had open roaming. the matter which provided for your device you can see any anf the towers in every regardless of the provider. so those cell providers working to restore services jointly and repairing their competitors equipment and then allowing open roaming, that's incredible and that's the kind of support that, without that support i should say, the recovery would have been far more challenging than
what we experienced. >> i want to build on sort of the general, then general eisenhower, one of my favorite quotes in preparation for battle, i have found battle plans are useless. planning to be indispensable. how do you envision taking the concept into reality that you provide in your strategic plan? obviously will need to know what direction we are going in and i think it's great that you put the key components of that together but how do you execute upon that now? >> absolutely. i will say we thought a lot about this. we didn't want this landline of our plan to set up shop and we can't afford that. our operational plants plan stl sitting in shows. we consciously train and exercise. at fema and state and local governments to exactly the same thing. if you are not planning, training and exercising to this point you will fail when you
take the plane off the shelf the first time. so for the strategic plan with a couple things. with instrumentation plan for each of those goals and associate with that we have a goal lead. there is a senior executive at fema respondent for each one of those goals. they are an accountable executive and i assure you our boss administered along is holding us accountable. each of those objectives each have objectives and their performance metrics associate with each of those objectives that we're being very public about. you can go to our website, drill dentistry that you want and see how we're measuring ourselves, how we measure success. >> awesome, awesome. and when looking at planning and writing for catastrophic disasters, nationstates threats in addition to bedbugs, bad weather, that people, a combination of all of the above
what are you doing differently and how does that factor into some of the strategic planning and thinking? is that taking on greater priorities? you think of kim jong-un and north korea potential threats, maybe not for the united states outside. you think of space based kind of threats. where do states, state actors fit into this? >> we do talk about emerging threats in the plan. i'll give you more specifics. yes, as you mentioned, when you teach this up at the beginning you said that this was -- fema had a civil defense mission rather than a disaster response mission. in some sense we find ourselves going back to the future. we need to get back to some of our roots and look at that civil defense planning at fema historically did. that we as a nation did, quite
frankly back during the cold war, to prepare ironically enough for threats of today and tomorrow. one specific way, we are hosting national security emergency planning seminars. so we're doing a seminar for our federal partners, so anybody in the federal government that has a mission on this topic has been attending these seminars that fema has been hosting. again, think of it as us doing this in historical context for the new threat, for cyber though -- >> you know you can't escape -- >> i know. >> i would say to emerging threats nationstate is 31, cyber is another. cyber working very close with a dhs partners on this. we are looking for innovative ways we can leverage our grant programs to meet some of those objectives that dhs has. i think if there was someone from dhs or they would talk
about the need to secure election infrastructure would be a priority i know for the secretary and for the administration. we are looking at ways that we, the fema, can support that mission. >> just a thought, ultimately the need to articulate and implement deterrent strategies writ large is so critical and it's a little allusive in the cyber domain because i think we think of nuclear, but a critical part of any strategies to minimize impact of the adversaries intent. so resilience become so important and i think fema does have an important role to contribute to that overall cyber mission, especially with the convergence of physical and cyber risk and bad actors of coal use both needs. that drives me to the insurance question. i think you rightly highlighted the important role that insurance plays. can you elaborate on that a little bit, especially since as
far as i know you are the most senior fema official who come from insurance background. you look at this from a crunching and modeling perspective in the past as well, but what should we be thinking about their backs. >> so yes, one, an individual who has insurance will recover faster. it goes an individual level all the way up to the our level in the federal government. as far as the federal government goes the reason that insurance is important to us is manyfold. one is for everyone every one o is insured that's one less person that we have to manage to individual assistance program. if one more uninjured survivor that we could probably help better. you can help your fellow citizens by having insurance. for those who quite frank with her so who cannot afford insurance. that's what programs are meant for. they are not meant for people who can't afford and willingly choose not to. i want to educate everyone to say you need insurance. specifically on flood insurance
company home can flood. just because you're not required to have it with your mortgage, doesn't mean you should just completed a right of the idea flood insurance. as we saw in harvey, homes well outside the floodplain suffered total losses and a few thousand dollars from fema will not make them all. we had some innovations of flood insurance specifically and we just announced that this week i'm going to talk about it now if you don't mind. some of you may know that our flood insurance program is deeply in debt. without proper reforms from congress we will continue to go deeper and deeper into debt. we need those reforms from congress. but feeling those reforms we wih something building at fema to address some of these challenges. what is through reinsurance. reinsurance is exactly what it sounds like. it's the insurers of the insurer. so insurers can offload some of the risk, aggregate risk to a reinsurer.
fema just recently in the last year or so began a reinsurance program. we are transferring some of our risk. think of the nfip as a primary insurer. where offloading some of our risk to reinsurers in the private sector. we as taxpayers are not holding all of that risk anymore. just this week we took it to the next level. normally we transfer some of that risk to private reinsurers. we are transferring that risk to the capital markets through something called insurance linked securities. many of you have heard of catastrophe bonds. catastrophe bonds is a type of insurance white security. we just put out a notice this week that we intend to go to the capital market to transfer some of that risk through these insurance securities. that's innovative and that reduces the burden on fema and it reduces the exposure of the federal taxpayer and to make our
program stronger for those or insured by the national flood insurance program. >> let me pick up on that one thread at that i will open it up and pull a couple people in before we -- but when you think innovation and government, a lot of people think it's an oxymoron but i do think you are starting to see some very innovative approaches at fema. what else in addition to engaging the insurance sector? how are you cutting some of the bureaucratic labyrinth in some of these issues? because i mean, it is hard because you get graded on something that doesn't necessarily lend itself to innovation. as we all know, all success frees us from scar tissue. you don't write the first time. the government is in a hard place to be able to make a mistake, but how do we learn
from that? how do we build on that? how do we turn what some people may see as a pet store into a positive future? i think all success is based on some sense of failure in one sense or another. how are you fostering that. >> reducing complexity. we have piloted several programs throughout these disasters. there's no better time entering a disaster to pilot something innovative especially with tucker with texas housing. if you believe we don't have the ability to do it effectively ourselves. it's time for us to take a bit of risk and say this is likely, this innovation will likely be better than that as doing status go even though the status quo might be easier. long-term innovation will likely be better. examples, again on housing, for all programs whether it our individual assistance programs, our flood insurance programs for others, they require damage assessments. just like in the insurance
industry you have to have an insurance adjuster come out and look at your property. same thing with both are individual assistance programs and nist programs. would you believe those are separate? in some cases there are not one but two but three or four inspectors visiting the same residence from fema and from other federal agencies that delays assistance and just doesn't make sense. >> what are you doing about it? >> exactly. we can't change his overnight with some statutory requirements and others but we did highlight a couple programs. one program of flood and one in texas where we looked, in one state looked at insurance, flood insurance, and the other was. in both cases we found by being a little bit innovative, by giving our mitigation and insurance and individual assistance teams together prior to doing inspections and saying let's do it this way rather than
doing it separately, not only was it faster but it saved millions of dollars. those pilots were just done not because i would love to take credit for this, but it was because someone on the ground at fema in one of our joint field offices said this doesn't make any sense. i'm sitting here at the desk and the nfip versus of the aware both doing inspections. let's streamline this. we're going to take those best practices, let's say, tens of $90 just into pilots saved. that could translate into its much larger sums in the future and definitely streamline the survivor process. >> i think it's important that everyone enables some of that because one thing the military does exceedingly well is hot washes and after action. it's very complicated in a disaster response because you have federal, state, local, a lot of finger-pointing, it's a
complex issue that i think everyone owes a debt to allow some of these opportunities to change. let me pull in come to fore open up to question i want to pull in one of our board members, also had of homeland defense at dod. when we think of mission assurance, when we think of catastrophic types of risk and threat the homeland defense, homeland security mission sort of come together and you've done a lot of work on the grid and electric security in particular. when you think of critical infrastructure, not all critical infrastructure equally critical but there's a question if you don't have power nothing else will do matters. i want to pull you into some of this conversation, hall, , and t some of your thoughts on where we're going and where we should go. >> tanks, frank. let me start by saying, dan, you said you mentioned you felt lucky to get in the game by the
time maria rolled around. i want to thank you on behalf of the american people for having been there and contributed so much, you and the entire fema leadership team. my question is, what is fema going to do with its partners to strengthen cross sector resilience? different infrastructure sectors depend on each other in order to be able to sustain and rapidly restore service. you mentioned communications essential for power companies so they can send crews with the need to in order to restore power. everybody depends on financial sector. each sect is getting better at taking care of its own resilience. what is fema going to be able to do to support cross sector infrastructure restoration and support? >> thank you, paul. i was as a result of hurricane maria, again i wasn't there drink harvey and irma but there were lessons learned that that into marie. one of those lessons was the infrastructure always operated needed to be brought in the fold
earlier. brought in early at the state and local level, at fema and across the interagency. we may not have historically done that all that well. by the time maria struck, it was apparent to me that some have learned that lesson because we had many of the owners and operators asking the headquarters in her off-center during that disaster. but that doesn't really address your question. that's 1.0. that's vacation with a strong partnership, the esf needs to align to the sectors. so the emergency support functions that fema uses that are state and local partners use needs to align with the critical infrastructure sector. that's 1.0. when you do a better job of that. we learned a lot of lessons but we need to do a better job. job. 2.0 that you talk about israeli that cross sector synchronization, a bigger challenge no doubt but one i think that maybe ambitious but
achievable. let's take one esf for a couple of sectors for an example. i completely agree with you that power and communications and even water are all interconnected. without power even if you had water you can't help it so you should ever sit in the pipes. so power clearly impacts that. communications, if you want to be got when the power needs to be restored, where the lines are down you have to community with someone so you need communication towers of. like i said about communications, they got the private sector stepped up to the plate and restored communications very rapidly. because it enabled us to focus on power restoration and water restoration. again, i think it is ambitious but imminently achievable goals for us to have to say in the near term let's understand that
cross sector interdependencies of critical infrastructure so that we can better prepared in the future for these complex infrastructure outages especially when they're over a very long period of time. >> can i pull the thread one bit 30? is the interdependency of what i refer to as lifeline sectors the most critical of our critical infrastructure and there are for maybe five. telecommunications, financial services, electric, transportation and water resort is the outlet being on how you like that they are all critical. have you thought about and given the emphasis on the role of the private sector when the balloon goes up? obviously operationally they are part of that response instantaneously. but do you think that ought to have a bigger seat at the planning and at, if you're in the room dealing with the crisis, should the top folks from the electric company have a seat at the table?
should the top folks from the telecommunications firms have a seat at the table with the interagency? do you think that's something we should envision going forward? >> i think it's clear could thd have a seat at the table. that table is generally at dhs through the infrastructure protection division, and i can tell you during disasters they were at the table. the same way they need to be at the table during a cyber scenario. many, many exercises on these topics, great eggs and other -- hall, you are involved in that program. that's essentially the fed sitting at the private sector table to be honest. it's not just then being part of what we are doing but we need to have a better idea of what they're going to do during a disaster and, quite frankly, how we can support that and how we can together support disaster
survivors. >> i just think part of the nfip process is a good thinker i want to bring one of the person in and then we'll open it up. john who also sits over there behind, and is with icf and has been a huge proponent of our emergency preparedness and response efforts. in fact, all the way back to dan's days. you in new york when a catastrophic, horrific attacks of 9/11 occurred. look at it from a new capacity. i want to bring in your thoughts, you are another one of those who keeps his true to the homeland part of our mission and the prep response. please. >> thank you, frank. the question i had relates to the strategic priorities, one and two.
in three major areas i think fema is make immense progress over the years. one is a national preparedness and the assessment of state and local capabilities. connected to that are the efforts that fema is make to improve its own capacity to respond particularly after hurricane katrina with the regional disaster response planning efforts that are still ongoing. the third area is enhancements in disaster recovery policy and programs in partnership with state and local governments. i know it's early in the lessons learned stage, but as you look at the way fema administers those programs and engage with their partners, , what are the lessons learned for how we can better and more candidly assess state and local capability which then drives those into agencies federal response plans which in part need to be predicated upon gaffes and give those at the local level? and then how can we better prepare states that she mentioned texas and the states
readiness to take on the management of a statewide program and then delegate down for local execution as sort of a model. how can fema as it is in such a great job in terms of improving preparedness national also improve the capacity in terms of states ability to manage its response? so candid assessment of risk and preferred at the state and local level, reflections on the efficacy of the regional planning effort, then how are we helping states better prepare for managing recovery. >> both excellent questions. there's no better time to prepare for a disaster than prior to a disaster. but states need to understand how local governments need to understand where those gaps are. fema places avoidable. through our national preparedness assessment division we have the tools, the analytics both for us to understand how prepared states and localities are more important for them to understand, self-assessment for them to understand where this
gaps are so we can work together to fill those gaps. filling those gaps could be funding. millions of dollars a year that we provide tillman security funding to state and local governments. it's not just funding. it's training and exercises. it's having reports like a state preparedness report that all of us can agree to, that all of us can rally around and say, these are important priorities. to your point about what we can do maybe to prepare on response which i call readiness would be our fema integration team spirit we know every state is at the same baseline level trip we know every state will not handle a $41 million disaster. i meet management recovery programs with federal funding. so we have the team that we envision being in a handful of states that as part of a pilot but eventually rolling it out
more broadly across many states and potentially even to other levels of government. in the future. those integration teams would be handful of fema experts. let's use for example, so we talked a lot about logistics, a logistician. fema has some amazing logisticians. logisticians to understand how to get people, equipment and commodities in very quickly following a disaster. we want to embed those logisticians, for example, with the state emergency management agency and maybe hasn't given a lot of thought either to logistics with a have the capacity. they will have the experts. we want to buy them the experts, built at that level of capability so that that state at some point in the future could manage a recovery program on their own and fema would simply be providing financial support rather than administrative and personnel support. >> i'm going to ask the unfair question now if you brought up
regions. fema obviously has its regions. do you see any potential to integrate a broader dhs wide regionalization approach to whether it's disaster response or obviously cg threats and incident response there, or cyber critical infrastructure? is there any discussion about that? for transparency this has been a pet rock of my for way too many years. >> i would say our fema regions are a cornerstone of the federal response. the regions know the states better than anybody at headquarters will ever know. they are closer, literally and figuratively, to the states. those states needs, those state shortfalls and gaps and know what needs to happen before during and after a disaster. i would love to have a stronger
regional approach. we just focus on dhs. across the entire federal government. and many of those agencies do have regions. i will say at the very what they are not necessary -- some do a line to our regions so that's the lesser issue. the big issue is the operational capacity at the regional level. we have a very robust attribute at the regional level because we feel so strongly about regions being the cornerstone of our response that we have empowered regional administrator for very senior officials, ten very senior officials throughout fema with a robust staff and capability and a lot of experience. those experiences are regional. regions 19 or on the west coast. what you think they're they ard on? what you think they have been preparing for every day for the past 20 years?
earthquake, absolutely. the earthquakes whether in california or cascadia, these are their worst-case scenarios. those are not the hurricane cutesy in region for four or rn six, florida, texas. that regional approach is absolutely critical for us here we are seeing some of our federal partners stepping up to the plate as part of the lessons learned. can't mention which one but my equivalent at another federal agency came by last week and said we're going to do this. we're going to be there. we want to be there with you before, during, and after disaster. we're going to take a regional approach. >> that's good news. let's open it up to questions and a going to turn to folks, and please wait for a mic and identify yourself that we will start, , keith, then go there ad then there are, there appeared have a lot of questions. >> good morning. keith with eagle hill consulted for the last couple of years
situation when his team at red cross and one of the things we noticed a couple years ago when hurricane matthew was fighting florida official to population during the evacuation sort of this ho-hum, couple thousand people and children and in its last you would hurricane irma, similar forecast of 1. of course matthew took a right at the tail end of the forecast but as hurricane irma is coming ashore almost a quarter of nine people in evacuation shelters. hypothesis at the time was everyone was paying such close attention to disasters in general because they're right on the tail and of the hurricane harvey situation that it just taken place a couple of weeks prior to that. my question is you look at building a culture proper district it appears that doesn't take very long for the american attention span to turn to something else a few years or even months after one of these large disasters -- >> how about minutes? [laughing]
>> if you're on twitter or something like that. when you're building this how do you look to sustain during those times when we may not be experiencing disaster after disaster like we were last fall? >> houston as devastating as it was they were so many positive lessons that hopefully can be infected in a good way among others. >> in short we need a preparedness campaign. we need to get out there and be visible in a sustained way to the american public, whether it's talking about ready.gov or practical skills we talked about with the need for insurance which may be a new thing too many of us, or the fact that people need to take immediate action during disaster in the need to know where those shelters are. a testament for prepared as is the so many people in shelters. they evacuated. that's outstanding. anyway, how do we sustain this?
great question. one, i was heartened to see this on the shelves at a store when i was traveling to airport. i don't member went over, probably a month ago, march issue of popular mechanics. for those of you can't see it, how to survive the next disaster. the knowledge of equipment and inspiration you need. it's not going to be fema getting the message out. it's going to be all of you, our partners from the media and all of those organizations, community organizations that all of us are probably members of. we need to keep the conversation going. i'm happy to say we hired a real rock star on this area, natalie, she's here today. she's ahead of our individual and community preparedness division. she did know i was going to call on her. she is going to manage that campaign. in fact, it's only i think her second or third week on the job, and she was at a conference
recently up at northeastern university when they were talking about resilience strategies. you must have provided some inspiration to the. natalie texted me and said everybody seems to be a fan of this federal support of state managed locally executed idea. that's great. but and i'm like oh, no, but i think we should add something to it. maybe again at the risk of embarrassing natalie unmiss up because i have discussed this with the administrator yet, her addition edition is great. so it is federally supported from state matters, locally executed, individually prepared. genius so thank you, natalie. [applause] maybe it is de facto now. so thank you, natalie and thank you, to keep them you with the red cross. what a wonderful partner. many people don't realize what
ngos do, particularly with the red cross to do. housing and feeding survivors. not at fema mission. fema can do the trip we don't have the capacity to do it, finding to do it. red cross really stepped up to the plate along with our ngos to provide that sheltering and what wonderful partners. >> awesome. next question here. >> howard smith trump applied research associates and also form a colleague of dance at homeland security studies and analysis institute. picking up on that last comment that you made with regard to individual preparedness and how expectations play into that picky mention an insurance get. i think there's a significant expectations gap, and in fact, at the conference that we attended last week, rené
feelings, was the director of emergency services in boston, she's renaming her organization, expectations management, because there's so much of a difference in expectations between what individuals expect out of fema and what fema can actually delivered. to what extent are you going to work on, at the individual level, not at the institutional level? is that going to be a part of the strategy? >> thank you for pointing that term, expectation gap. this is being records of whom will know that you came up with this and not me when i use it in my future speeches. but i agree. the absolute is an expectation gap if there's an expectation en fema is a first responder. fema is not the first responder. some of this talk that maybe you haven't heard come from fema previously, expected. kaisha figured that out by now and what i said today, we are going to be blunt with the american public about what fema can and can't do, what the
federal government can a can't do there and help state and local governments take this forward as well. after all our strategic plan is called a fema strategic plan but it isn't. it's for the field of emergency medicine. what a dog that resonates with state and local emergency managers. many of the conferences are for the state and local managers and the come up to me afterwards and say i really like, can we take this? we make this our own? absolute. one state emergency manager from florida, college about specifically, came up to me and said that this was the bible. this is what he was going to use to galvanize the state emergency management effort on each of these topics. so whether you be the expectation gap or any of the other priorities we have in our strategic plan, we want to work with our states and local emergency partners to help get the word out to individuals and communities to know what we expect of them, what their
family members expect of each other. what the neighbors should expect from each other. neighbors should be helping neighbor. fema supports the states. we provide, very bureaucratically, when the staff at access, can what our statute says, we provide supplemental assistance to the governors during a disaster. it does not say we are going to be there for every citizen. i would love to be but the expectation of the citizen needs to be that they're all go for 72 hours. they need to have a plan. you need to have the food, water and medicine you need, all of these things, again, the monitor you've heard over and over. we just need to continue the conversation and maybe be more blunt, like i hope you have heard me be. >> russians upfront here and then we will go there. we will not get to everyone.
>> from your civil defense perspective, a lot of our adversaries are considering combined cyber and electronic, electromagnetic attacks. how would fema plate in that role in strengthening both the governmental and private sector preparedness for that? >> i would put emp and the same category as nationstate and cyber and all that is related i think as you just mentioned. under emerging threats. certainly a priority in our strategic plan. i will say quite simply that from fema's perspective since were managing the consequences it doesn't matter which factor cost that. frankly could've been an accident because and infrastructure outage or a natural disaster. it could've been a cyber attack. it could've been emp in jamaica. to us it doesn't matter so much of what matters is that we
emergency management community are prepared for long-term infrastructure outages. so one, that needs to be part of all of our planning efforts but, two, we need to make sure state and local partners are properly prepared for those contingencies as well and some of that is training exercise and equipment and some of it is sunday. it's all of those traditional activities focused in an area that may be new to all of us and may be new to fema but it really squarely within our core mission of an all hazards approach to emergency management. >> catastrophic potential implications. >> good morning, everybody. i am with a company called care systems and rockville, maryland. i have a phd from gw and i thought at northeastern university. >> wow. >> but that was before you come i'm sure. anyway, i'm interested in the response part of building resilience.
company and the software applications in england -- [inaudible] we've been there for about six years and i got contacted by the state of texas about getting involved in some of their activities. at the fema level, where do i find more details about various local, state entities that act, that have data from the past, et cetera? particularly in texas, but i just want -- [inaudible] someone at fema that i can reach? >> absolute. i agree that having data that is essentially a gold mine during a disaster response. i can also say there were
several efforts that fema undertook during these recent disasters to crowd source data. this might sound crazy. fema itself does have access to all of that data at the state and local level. the thousands of individual agencies that are responding to these disasters. so we rely on a lot of times publicly available information, social media feeds or other public data sets. we had volunteers focusing on that crowdsourcing mission. they're even looking at satellite imagery. there was some really interesting things that happened to this disaster. again, because in what at headquarters told them to do so. because down on the ground, whether they be federal-state or local emergency managers, ngos or just citizens themselves stepping up and saying here's some interesting data that might inform the emergency management communities response. we are very interested, we are
early days, definitely part of our strategic plan and taking some of those examples, called an informal pilots, and making them an actual part of how we do business every day. >> are you thinking about ways to integrate all the various data sets, feeds? not to fill buzzwords around, but machine learning, artificial intelligence, i mean to include geo- space. are you starting to look to what the military is able to do with great precision in hotspots overseas? do you feel that coming here? >> i deathly feel it comehither i would be like if i said we have now. just fema's alone, our systems are not communicate with each other. our public assistance and individual assisted of literature i think i mentioned about inspections, our systems are the same way. we have over 200 systems at
fema, 200 systems. so not all of them to make it with the others right now. we have a long ways to go purchase a known to fema leadership. we have known this year's and years of efforts have been underway to synchronize at least some of those systems. even just on grants. you know we obtain individual grant systems for all those different grants we have? we had several efforts underway. again multi-your efforts that involve both sourcing, procuring, , implementing those systems. we have a long way to go. on the positive side we have some great pilots that we're going to use as examples to hopefully achieve those ends, and listen, i would to silicon about a couple weeks ago and saw firsthand, they embraced us. they invited us and embraced as talking with some of these challenges. i was very open. i told them everything.
i said we have 200 system for this, system for that. we had all this great data during response and it was alle in a very ad hoc way. i think it silicon valley continues to embrace these ideas, we can potentially have partnerships that could get his to the end that you have talked about. >> what they do best and what you do best makes a lot of sense. the gentleman here, and we are coming on, we got to be quick on these questions, sorry. >> thank you, good morning. chris with grant thornton. many years ago i was involved with the creation of the pacific disaster center. i'd like to ask you to comment on, given that we've had a lot of advances in technology, analytic tools, collection of environmental data, can you comment on the potential for environmental intelligence to assist with the repositioning of response and recovery resources? >> that's great.
something again, something forward look like that is exactly what we desire. that would be a wonderful in-state for us to have. i would close? we are not. we are fema but that doesn't mean there is an innovation in the private sector, in academia and elsewhere again from my nose and interest industry i saw some of those advanced analytics. i knew it either exist or close to exist but how we can sink synchronize that with our needs really needs, is really a priority for us on the innovation site. so yes, we are very interested and those are some of the areas we are exploring. >> and one thing, i mean, technology is amazing but it's a means to an end. so one of the things i think that and, correct me if i'm wrong, the emergency management community writ large is a little more scar tissue operationally oriented, muddy boots, get on the ground, get things done but
it is sort of what the military may have been a few years back where now you're starting to see all that capability at the very pointy end of the spear. is that a fair -- culture matters is what i'm saying. people like to do things they have done well forever. hard to get them to change even if it can hence some of that capability. >> just moving from paper-based to electronic come something that may be the private sector has done 20 years ago. don't assume every local emergency management agency in this country has that capability. >> got a question right here. >> i've also with grant fortin. first of all with reducing complexity at fema i notice you are very streamlined with omb capitals especially comes to ranking experience as well as strengthen grant management. my question to you, you say you obtain individual grant systems, so where do you feel the current gaps are?
how it's not supporting or how it can be enhanced to fit your vision, i guess. >> it's a great question. again there are many -- there's been a multi-your plan evidence of the gulf gmm, grants modernization, and that is a major undertaking. i think if it could've been solved simply by not it would've been but it could still be several more years and a significant investment in i.t. infrastructure as well as what frank mentioned, culture. you bring together different programs that are not used to working together, maybe towards that particular and so grants management modernization, gmm, is just one example of where fema is attempting to consolidate its systems and have a unified approach so that it's really seamless to the disaster survivors as well as the state and local governments who
receive our grants. >> coming to the end of our time. do you have time for one more question? anyone have a burning question? we will go here for the last question. yes. >> i so much appreciate when you talked about earlier, reducing complexity, as he sought the linde of last year there were multiple events been handled not just hurricanes wildfires as well. what would you -- would you like to see those integrated into a rapidly developing integrated approach? ..
people lacked insurance and there wasn't a lack of flood insurance, obvious lyrics. just their property and casualty insurance, they were either underinsured, didn't cover their complete loss, or their policies didn't include fire and they didn't know it ahead of time. they're one thing is can do on the insurance side. go to ready.gov and learn how to turn your water and power and gas off. talk to your insurance agent. give them a call and say, am i properly insured for all these perils? that's ask questions about cyber. [laughter] >> do an accounting of what kind of -- your belongings. if you haven't not looked at your insurance poll? i several years, i'm betting your families have grown, maybe
bought new furniture. there's a high probability that many of us are underinsured. so whether it be the wildfires, the hurricanes, or the other risks that we face every day in some of these areas, we need to make sure that all of us are prepared for those hazards that are specific to our area or ones that we just haven't given a lot of thought to because we didn't see it as the danger we saw during the world war or because we're not all cyber geeks like frank. >> on behalf of all of us, join me in thanking can cancan -- thanking dan. the mission is really does affect and touch in we tend to
only think about it when something bad happens. i hope everyone thinks about it well in advance and whatever tools we can do to help you get the job done, we want to provide them. so thank you. >> appreciate it. >> great to have you back. tonight on c-span2, booktv in primetime. focusing on politics. we start at 8:00 p.m. eastern with the joseph califano,; his book, our damaged democracy. then republican national committee spokeswoman on grassroots populism in the u.s. her book is, the new american revolution. tonight tonight a discussion bit the republican party from the tucson festival of books, with conservative awe senator buying