September 22, 2023

FEMA: Memorandum of Agreement Signed with NAACP to Strengthen Partnership Before, During and After Disasters

Today, FEMA announced that Administrator Deanne Criswell and NAACP President Derrick Johnson signed an agreement outlining ways in which the two organizations will work together to help people before, during and after disasters. 

The agreement continues the organizations’ longstanding formal partnership beginning in 2013, when the first agreement was signed. The NAACP provides community-based support related to the administration of emergency management in disaster situations, aiming for emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts that are equitably delivered.

Through this new agreement, the Department of Homeland Security, through FEMA, and NAACP will cooperate to carry out their respective responsibilities with respect to disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations in the event of natural, human-caused or technological disasters. The agreement also sets forth the terms by which FEMA and NAACP will share information and engage in joint initiatives to strengthen capacities and achieve equity throughout the disaster continuum. 

“FEMA has always worked closely with the NAACP when responding to disasters and throughout the recovery process. From California to Mississippi to Florida, and every place in between, our partnership ensures we’re able to meet people where they are and help them before, during and after disasters,” said Administrator Criswell.  “The NAACP is a steadfast champion of equity and always leans forward when disasters strike. This agreement formalizes and strengthens our valued partnership and reaffirms FEMA’s own commitment to putting people first.”   

“As we stand on the threshold of this momentous collaboration with FEMA, we underscore the pivotal role of the NAACP in advocating for Black communities,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “Let’s be clear — natural disasters have a disproportionate and devastating impact on Black communities, and it is our duty to ensure that they are not left behind in the aftermath. This partnership signifies both the NAACP and FEMA’s commitment to change that narrative and to put the well-being and resilience of Black communities at the forefront of disaster response. The NAACP remains resolute in its dedication to achieving this vision of equitable disaster resilience, where every member of our community can thrive, even in the face of the most formidable challenges.”

“From the horrific aftermath of hurricanes to the relentless onslaught of wildfires, history has shown us time and time again that natural disasters disproportionately affect Black communities,” said Abre’ Conner, NAACP Director for the Center for Environmental and Climate Justice. “The statistics paint a stark picture of inequity, and it is incumbent upon us to advocate for increased efforts, resources and strategies to protect and uplift our communities. The NAACP and FEMA’s partnership is pivotal, serving as our platform to advocate and implement transformative change. We will persist in urging local, state and federal officials to think creatively for change and fulfill their duty to protect and serve all people, ensuring Black communities are protected.”

The signing comes on the heels of an Intergenerational Climate Resilience Roundtable recently hosted by FEMA and the NAACP during Climate Week NYC. The roundtable focused on disaster preparedness, climate resilience and instilling equity in emergency management. Discussions also included disaster preparedness for older adults, the theme of FEMA’s Ready Campaign and National Preparedness Month this September. 

This post was originally published here.