Podcast Episode 61: Be You Nehru

April 23rd, 2019

 

In this episode we talk with our new Cal OES Deputy Coastal Region Administrator Nehru Harper. Nehru has always led a life of service--from being a Brownie, to becoming one the first of many women to serve onboard a Pentagon sanctioned vessel in the United States Navy, to advocating for disabled veterans, and working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (both in Boston and Oakland). Service has always been her calling. She moved to California in 2011 and fell in love with the State.

 

This lead to employment with the US Census Bureau, Defense Contracting and Management Agency, Veterans Benefits Administration and back to the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of Oakland in 2017 as part of FEMA’s Individual Assistance team. Nehru became all too familiar with the disasters that can and could plague FEMA IX. She began working very closely with Cal OES during the 2017 California fires as the FEMA Human Services Group Supervisor, worked in American Samoa for a housing mission in Saipan, and also worked in Hawaii to assist with the impacts of the volcanic eruptions, flooding, and earthquakes.

 

She is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Women in the Arts, the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Grammys. Outside of professional interests, Nehru travels widely, reads, and writes poetry, auditions for voice-overs, dee-jays, and helps addicts and alcoholics find recovery. She shares a home in the Sacramento with her partner, Maya.

Mentions and Links

While in the US Navy, she was one of the first women assigned to her ship, AS-39 USS Emory S. Land

Her supervisor is Jodi Traversaro (podcast episode Facing Disasters In California’s Coastal Region)

Coastal Region 

FEMA Region IX 

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs 

If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with their caring, qualified responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves.

Call 800-273-8255 and press 1

Text 838255

Start a confidential chat

Call TTY if you have hearing loss 800-799-4889

Get more resources at VeteransCrisisLine.net

Share | Download

Podcast Episode 54: From the Water in Flint to the Water in Puerto Rico with FEMA’s David Samaniego

October 23rd, 2018

 

FEMA Region IX David Samaniego

 In this episode of All Hazards we sit down with the current Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) for the California Wildfires Disaster Response David Samaniego. Large portions of the counties of Shasta and Lake in the north Bay Area of California were devastated by wildfires in late July, 2018. It was declared a major federal disaster on August 4, 2018, which brought the state and federal together to manage the response and recovery operations. Samaniego came onboard as the FCO in September. Samaniego has a wealth of major disaster experience; he talks about leadership challenges in the Flint, Michigan, water contamination crisis as well as the response effort in Puerto Rico following the destruction of Hurricane Maria in which an estimated 3000 people died (that number was released after an independent study by the George Washington University (GWU) in July 2018, which was commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico.)

Links

FEMA California Wildfires And High Winds (DR-4382)

FEMA Region IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, & the Pacific Islands

FEMA Puerto Rico

FEMA Michigan Contaminated Water (EM-3375)

Disaster Management Roles and Responsibilities

 

Share | Download

Large Scale Disaster Management with Bob Fenton (encore presentation)

July 18th, 2017

Imagine this situation — the first time you visit New York City it just happens to be on 9/11. The second time you visit is during Hurricane Sandy, and the third time, would you even go back? The man we’re going to talk to today experienced that string of disasters and suddenly found himself leading the initial emergency response to those historical events. He’s a UC Davis alum and 5th generation San Franciscan.

Robert J. Fenton, Jr. was appointed Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX in July 2015. Since joining FEMA in 1996, Mr. Fenton has played a significant role in numerous large-scale response and recovery operations in the U.S. and has responded to more than 50 Federal disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the four Florida Hurricanes of 2004, the Southern California Wildfires of 2003 and 2007, the Super Typhoon Pongsona in Guam, and the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

Links

FEMA's Mobile App

Urban Search and Rescue 

FEMA Region IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, & the Pacific Islands

 

 

Share | Download

FEMA’s Kelly Hudson: Facilitating Unity Between the States and the Feds

December 6th, 2016

Kelly Hudson at the Pu'u O'o lava flow

Kelly Hudson is an external affairs officers with FEMA, and is based in Region IX, Oakland, California. She’s worked for FEMA for 12 years, with ten of those in Region IX.

In this episode (#21) she reflects on the many major disasters she’s worked and talks about the challenges of each and lessons learned. She was still a newbie when Hurricane Katrina hit and was dispatched to help with communications as on-scene public information officer. She and her team were escorted by armed guards due to the dangerous nature of angry and desperate locals. She also candidly discusses how, in her eagerness, she got ahead of the messaging curve and told the media too much too soon; that’s a lesson she urges anyone who deals with the media to remember. Kelly also shares her own ways of surviving the chaos of hectic disaster responses, and how it’s important to take care of “Number-1.”

 

 

 

Kelly’s list of major disaster responses are impressive:

External Affairs Officer, Wildfires, Northern California (2015)

External Affairs Officer, Pu'u 'O'O Lava Flow, Hawaii (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Tropical Storm Iselle, Hawaii (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Tropical Storm Halong, Guam (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Severe Storms, American Samoa (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Hurricane Irene (2011)

Deputy External Affairs Officer, Joplin, Mo. tornado (2011)

External Affairs Liaison, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2010)

External Affairs Lead, Tsunami and flooding, American Samoa (2009)

Assistant External Affairs Officer, North Dakota floods (2009)

Deputy External Affairs Officer, Hurricane Ike (2008)

External Affairs Officer, Southern California wildfires (2008)

Executive Officer, Southern California wildfires (2007)

News Desk Lead/Public Information Officer, Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Researcher and Writer/Public Information Officer, New Jersey floods (2005)

Researcher and Writer, Hurricane Ivan (2004)

 

Links

FEMA Region IX

FEMA Region IX Leadership

Pu'u O'o Lava Flow

Pahoa

Share | Download

-