Aside from being more plentiful, major disasters are wreaking more havoc than ever before, more than a federal government, any nation’s government, can address effectively by itself, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate.
“It takes a team and our job as emergency managers is to build that team,” Fugate sounded the theme of public-private partnership on the opening day of the first International Disaster Conference & Exposition, January 17-19, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
“There is no one person or agency that can be in charge and make all the decisions in a major disaster,” Fugate said in his keynote address titled, “Private Sector Resources in the Emergency Management Plan; the Public-Private Partnership,” an appropriate kick-off for this first major global gathering of public and private sector professionals from all disciplines of disaster management.
Conference attendees came from 28 countries, making this a truly global meeting, and appeared to be split evenly between government and private industry executives. In addition to addresses from Fugate, First Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and Drew Sach of Witt and Associates, a public safety and crisis management consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., presentations, the day also featured an expert panel on business continuity, multiple breakout sessions and the opening of the first IDCE trade show featuring more than 165 companies with the latest innovations in disaster management products and services.