Components of the Homeland Security Department continue to have weak cybersecurity practices, particularly with the security authorization process, the departmental inspector general says.
Twitter gave a lesson to government workers on how to work the social media website to its full advantage, including how to tweet breaking news and how lawmakers can affect policy change through the site. The social media platform issued detailed guidance, saying Twitter alerts provide vital information to the public during fast-moving situations and also gives the public insight into how government works.
Delaying the onset of National Flood Insurance Program premium increases would only end up "subsidizing risk," Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate told a Nov. 19 House panel. However, FEMA does want to "work with Congress on how to we look at affordability for someone who is in their home now," Fugate told the House Financial Services subcommittee on housing and insurance.
New authorities granted the Federal Emergency Management Agency by the Sandy recovery funding law have improved post-disaster debris removal, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate told a Nov. 6 Senate panel.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved by voice vote Oct. 29 a bill (H.R. 3300) that would reauthorize Federal Emergency Management Agency salaries and expenses through fiscal 2016 at a fixed rate of $972,145,000 annually.
State cybersecurity is notoriously weak: Of the 31 core capabilities the Federal Emergency Management Agency says jurisdictions should be able to attain, states say cybersecurity is where's unambiguously the weakest. Yet, a lack of funding from the homeland security department isn't necessarily a problem, said Charley English, president of the National Emergency Management Association and director of the Georgia state emergency management agency. He testified Oct. 30 before a joint hearing of two House Homeland Security subcommittees.
An interagency team has produced a technology that can detect a human heartbeat buried in rubble. The technology, called Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response, was developed for search-and-rescue missions by the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate together with NASA.
Two Republican and two Democratic members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced Oct. 22 a bill reauthorizing Federal Emergency Management Agency salaries and expenses through fiscal 2016. It would authorize FEMA to spend $972,145,000 annually each year of salaries and expenses from the current fiscal year through fiscal 2016.
"FEMA proactively prepared for Sandy, overcame staffing and operational challenges, overcame staff management issues, used a variety of sourcing mechanisms, and effectively coordinated response activities," the DHS OIG concludes in a newly released report.
As governments and relief organizations use crowdsourcing to respond to disasters, trust in the knowledge created from collective intelligence will determine whether such efforts are successful or unsuccessful, finds a paper recently published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.