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Crowdsourcing Solutions to Prepare Our Communities

Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, poses a challenge calling for ideas on how we can all help prepare our communities before disasters strike.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak in front of leaders from a variety of fields at the 2010 TEDMED conference in San Diego.  The conference gave business leaders, journalists, entertainment figures, scientists, artists and authors the opportunity to share their diverse experiences about how their fields intersect with health and medicine.  I talked about FEMA’s vision for emergency management and how we can’t respond to disasters alone – it has to be a team effort, and that team includes the entire federal family, state and local government, faith-based and non-profit organizations, the private sector and especially the public.

At FEMA, we are working every day to strengthen that team, but we can and we must do more.  At the conference, I took the opportunity to challenge all of the leaders to come up with ideas on how we can prepare our communities before a disaster strikes. Now I’m using this blog to pose this same challenge to all of you.

Visit to accept the challenge.

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 Whether it’s a program to engage the public to personally prepare for disasters, a public service announcement for business preparedness, or a new device to mitigate the effects of disaster – the sky is the limit.  We want ideas from all ends of the spectrum, from whatever field you work in. If you’re a doctor, what role can the medical community play? If you’re an artist, how can you use your medium to contribute?

The best, most unique idea will be selected and highlighted on FEMA’s website.

I want to crowdsource a solution, so ask your friends and coworkers to take on this challenge, tweet about it, share it on Facebook. We want as many ideas as possible, because the more we work together as a team, the more resilient our communities and our country will be.

Thank you in advance for your help and participation, and I look forward to seeing your ideas.

Craig Fugate is the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency