Monday, July 26, 2021

State and Local Jurisdictions. Two Sides of Tragedy. Two Communities. March - June 2021

Local Jurisdiction and State Issues

Understand the process at the lowest level in a community.

Training Opportunity. FEMA State Public Assistance Operations 2022

1669 - Training Opportunity - E0376 - State Public Assistance Operations

BEMA International

Event Date:  March 25, 2021

FEMA Disaster Declared: 

      Major Disaster Declaration declared on

‘The real damage’

Why FEMA is denying disaster aid to Black families that have lived for generations in the Deep South.

HALE COUNTY, Ala. — Not enough people were signing up for help after a series of tornadoes ripped through rural Alabama, so the government sent Chris Baker to figure out why. He had driven past the spot where a tornado threw a 13-year-old girl high into a tree, past where injured cows had to be shot one by one, and past where a family was crushed to death in their bathtub. And now, as another day began in this patchwork of destruction, he grabbed a stack of fliers with a picture of an outstretched hand and headed to his car to let people know Washington had assistance to offer.


“So we’ll do a convoy?” Baker asked the local official who had offered to show him around, looking down to check that the badge identifying him as a specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency was in place.


He needn’t have bothered. “There goes FEMA,” called a woman on her porch as they drove by. Two burly White men in khaki cargo pants on a hot day — who else would it be? A majority-Black county named for an officer in the Confederate Army, Hale County is a place of little interest to outsiders; an area of dense forests, catfish farms and 15,000 residents, most of whom can trace their ancestry back to enslaved people or plantation owners.

President Biden has instructed FEMA to prioritize getting help to these kinds of “too often overlooked” communities — the places that climate change is already overwhelming with more storms, floods and heat waves. And Baker was eager to do just that. “That’s why we’re knocking on what doors we can,” he said.


Baker was new to the agency, and this was his second deployment to a disaster zone. His supervisors had asked him to spread the word that people who lost homes to the March 25 tornadoes still had time to apply for grants of up to $72,000. But as he canvassed the area, a different message was spreading much faster: That people here were in fact not eligible for anything, because of how they had inherited their land. Because of the way Black people have always inherited land in Hale County.


Event Date:  June 24, 2021

FEMA Disaster Declared: 

    Emergency Declaration declared on


(CNN)Firefighters used a cherry picker to pluck Steve Rosenthal from his Unit 705 balcony after the Champlain Towers South partially crumbled last month.

The advertising executive escaped from his Surfside, Florida, condo building with just a few items in a paper bag -- including a T-shirt, pants and his wallet.


Rosenthal now lives in a hotel paid for by friends and wears donated clothes. And he's worried about what's in store for the site of the collapse, which has killed at least 97 people.


Rosenthal still owes money on the two-bedroom condo he bought 20 years ago, and wants a solution that provides the fastest financial recovery for the survivors and victims' families.

"I lost everything, my life is totally upside down, people I called friends are gone," he told CNN. "I'm 72 years old, I can't spend what's left of my life trying to rebuild. Whatever they do, they just need to compensate people."


He also would like to see some sort of memorial at the site to honor the lives of those lost.


But resolving the long-term future of the property -- the site of a deadly disaster that also happens to be valuable beachfront real estate -- will likely be complicated. And judging by what's happened at the sites of other mass tragedies, it will take some time…………




Black Emergency Managers Association International

Washington, D.C.


bEMA International

Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication, Coordination, Community engagement, and  Partnering (C5&P)


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