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FEMA Administrator Leads Senior Disaster Management Officials Dialogues at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

WASHINGTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell led policy dialogues with Asia-Pacific Senior Disaster Management Officials on inclusive disaster risk reduction, pre-disaster recovery planning, resilient infrastructure through nature-based solutions and advancing women’s leadership in crisis management at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting in Seattle Aug. 1-3. 

“The Asia-Pacific region is both crucial for the global economy and one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world,” said Administrator Criswell. “We face similar challenges, especially when it comes to climate change. It is beneficial to all of us to enhance crisis management as we work towards our common goal of a more disaster resilient region.”

This event is part of the U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation host year. APEC is a multilateral institution that works to achieve sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Building on the theme of "Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All," FEMA furthered APEC’s sustainability objectives to address the heightened challenges and disruptions facing the region, including climate-driven disasters.  

During the senior officials meeting, Administrator Criswell led policy discussions instrumental to this common goal. Topics included engaging the whole community in disaster risk reduction as well as disaster recovery planning, improving the resilience of infrastructure systems and women in crisis management. The discussions brought to light important similarities in the challenges economies face and strategies for addressing those challenges. Additional discussions included conversations about early warning systems, supply chain logistics, data-driven risk assessment and crisis communications. 


SEATTLE -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell hosts the APEC Senior Disaster Management Official’s meeting. (FEMA photos)

SEATTLE -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (far left) moderates a panel with women leaders in crisis management to identify ways in which APEC economies can expand equity in crisis management organizations. (FEMA photo)

On Aug. 3, FEMA led a resilient community site visit with APEC disaster management officials to demonstrate how communities in the United States approach preparedness and resilience. “We really wanted to use this as an opportunity to foster open communication with our international counterparts,” said FEMA Region 10 Administrator Willie G. Nunn. “By discussing emergency management in the U.S., we are sharing successful whole-of-community practices and are building a more resilient and interconnected sustainable future for emergency management.” 

The foreign officials from 20 economies visited Mount Vernon, Washington, to observe a flood mitigation project in action and discuss its development with local officials. A visit to Starbucks headquarters demonstrated how FEMA works with the business community during disasters. The tour concluded with a visit to the Seattle Emergency Operations Center to learn about how U.S. disasters are locally led, state managed and federally supported.

FEMA looks forward to continuing our efforts as Emergency Preparedness Working Group members next year when APEC is hosted by Peru. 


MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (right) speaks with Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau about the city’s successful flood mitigation efforts. (FEMA photo)

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- Mount Vernon officials give a tour of the flood mitigation wall to international APEC guests. (FEMA photo

SEATTLE -- Starbucks officials discuss public/private partnership during disasters with international APEC guests. (FEMA photo)

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