RALEIGH – This week, North Carolina became the first state to have FEMA staff assigned to its emergency management agency. The FEMA Integration Team (FIT) will provide technical and training assistance on FEMA’s programs and continuous on-site support to the state.
While FEMA currently works closely with North Carolina Emergency Management through our Regional office in Atlanta, co-locating staff is a new initiative.
“This is a new way for FEMA to do business with our state partners, getting staff out of our regional offices and into the states.” said Administrator Brock Long. “We will talk to, and learn from, each other during blue sky days, not just when disaster strikes. Readying the nation for catastrophic disasters is about the partnerships we build every day.”
“There are real benefits to having FEMA staff embedded with us, right here where we can talk with them directly each day are enormous,” said Michael Sprayberry, Director, North Carolina Emergency Management.
For the remainder of fiscal year 2018, FEMA will embed FEMA staff in up to 10 states. Phase 2 will expand FITs to include up to 34 partners across all 10 regions. Phase 3 will reach full operating capability with FITs embedded in SLTT partner offices across all 10 regions throughout the Nation.
The 2017 disaster season was historic for federal disaster response and recovery, with 59 major disaster declarations and 16 emergency declarations across 34 states and four tribes. As these disasters have transitioned into longer term recovery, FEMA and its partners are working to increase capabilities and build resilience to fulfill our mission to help people before, during, and after disasters.