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In the Center of the Storm

Behind the Bricks Winter 2013 Newletter Banner

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EMT staff helped coordinate GSA efforts from the FEMA response coordination center.
EMT staff helped coordinate GSA efforts from
the FEMA response coordination center.

Emergency Management

Even before Superstorm Sandy made landfall, members of our Emergency Management Team (EMT) had already spent long days and nights working with FEMA at the Response Coordination Center at Earle Naval Station in Earle, New Jersey. GSA has an important role in supporting and restoring federal operations in the event of a natural disaster, and our local EMT is tasked with ensuring that our region is ready to respond to events like Superstorm Sandy.

Across the region, PBS supports agencies who lost their workspace to Superstorm Sandy
Across the region, PBS supports
agencies who lost their workspace to
Superstorm Sandy

They work hard to prepare GSA employees for the worst situations. EMT practice runs teach staff how to keep GSA operations going, and to assist customer agencies in maintaining their operations as well. From basic fire drills to disaster relief efforts, the GSA continuity of operations plan (COOP) is a part of GSA culture.

Of course, when you work in the EMT field, you don’t really get to do your job until a crisis hits and sometimes that means spending time away from home and family. Some members of the EMT endured weeks without basic services of their own, fighting limited transportation to reach the coordination center. From there, EMT members partnered with dozens of employees from a number of federal agencies to support federal buildings, FEMA, and other responder’s needs.

As things return to normal, the EMT will transition from supporting recovery efforts to assessing its response to Superstorm Sandy, implementing improvements, and continuing to train and prepare federal employees to respond to emergencies.

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