Effective April 1, 1979, FEMA was created by President Jimmy Carter with the release of Executive Order 12127, which “merged many of the separate disaster-related responsibilities into the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Among other agencies, FEMA absorbed: the Federal Insurance Administration, the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration, the National Weather Service Community Preparedness Program, the Federal Preparedness Agency of the General Services Administration and the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration activities from HUD. Civil defense responsibilities were also transferred to the new agency from the Defense Department’s Defense Civil Preparedness Agency”- (from FEMA’s history page).
As a young agency, FEMA has not only deployed to hundreds of disaster declarations, but has had to re-design its approach and methodologies several times along the way. Now, under the leadership of Administrator Fugate, FEMA seems more committed than ever to progressing emergency management doctrine in the United States–not just for the Feds, but for all levels of government. I’m really looking forward to many of the new developments. It’s an exciting time to be an emergency manager.