2017: A Disaster Filled Year
As we look back on 2017, the year was filled with unprecedented disasters throughout the nation. Texas and Florida was hammered by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which were the first two significant hurricanes to hit the United States in the past 12 years. California was torched by several wildfires including the Tubbs and Thomas Fire. At over 281,000 acres the Thomas fire now sits as the largest wildfire in California History. These disasters highlight the need for further preparedness and training within our communities.
2017 was a year where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized over $7 billion in disaster relief funds. The government provided over 130 million meals, 190 millions of liters of water, and millions of gallons of fuel. Over 25 million Americans were impacted by disasters in 2017. We must continue to encourage FEMA to fund their Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program so we can continue to mitigate disasters that impact our communities.
As we enter 2018, we as emergency managers must do a self-assessment. An assessment to see if we are doing enough to prepare our communities, enough to ensure mass notification, AND enough to make sure we are working for the people.