The Y and FEMA Collaborate on Community Disaster Response & Preparedness

Agreement will enhance community coordination to prepare for, and respond to, disasters

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 24, 2015) – Today, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) announced a new partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that will help communities across the nation better prepare for, and respond to, disasters by building on existing relationships and enhancing coordination across national, regional, state and local levels.

Announced during the Y’s annual National Advocacy Days event in Washington, leadership from each organization stressed that while they have different missions, both support youth engagement programs and focus on building community resilience. The new Memorandum of Understanding capitalizes on each organization’s strengths and resources – including the YMCA’s community-based networks and FEMA’s relationships with emergency management authorities and voluntary organizations active in disasters – to build resiliency and support communities when they are most vulnerable.

As a national organization with a presence in 10,000 communities nationwide, the Y has communication systems in place that can help share information, resources and opportunities for engagement in local and state preparedness, response and recovery activities that will help individuals and families stay informed, updated and prepared in the event of a disaster.

“The Y has a long history of partnership with FEMA and other disaster organizations,” said Kevin Washington, president and CEO, YMCA of the USA. “The Y can be a resource for our neighbors during disasters, and it’s critical that we build partnerships and make strategic plans before and after potential emergencies arise to ensure we are best serving our communities and their needs.”

“The agreement between the Y and FEMA will strengthen community networks and resilience through disaster planning, training and exercise,” said FEMA administrator, Craig Fugate. “This collaboration will ensure continued support for communities and individuals to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.”

While the collaboration might look different in each community, Y-USA and FEMA will work together to disseminate information to the public (including at-risk populations, disaster survivors, and volunteers), share best practices and training resources and engage in community, state, and regional emergency management activities such as planning and exercise efforts.

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About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

About FEMA
FEMA’s mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Contact:
Kelly Kennai
Communications Director
YMCA of the USA
202 688 4736
kelly.kennai@ymca.net
 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.