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Senate Debates Nomination of Emergency Management Consultant Brock Long to Head FEMA

by Countable | 6.19.17

On Monday the Senate will vote on the confirmation of Brock Long as Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is under the umbrella of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). Long has a long history of administrative positions in state-level emergency management.

The White House offered this statement concerning Long’s nomination:

"Mr. Long has more than 16 years of experience assisting and supporting local, state, and federal governments with building robust emergency management and public health preparedness programs...His areas of expertise include strategic emergency operations planning, exercise, evacuation, school safety, recovery management, and response logistics.”

Who is Brock Long?

Long grew up in North Carolina and received his BS and MPA from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He also graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School's Executive Leadership Program.

Long’s career in emergency management began in 1999 when he served as the Statewide Planner/School Safety Coordinator for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. He left that post in 2001 and then moved on to FEMA, where he served as Hurricane Program Manager until 2006. That put him at FEMA during the time of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Long left government service for a few years, working for Beck Disaster Recovery, a disaster management and engineering firm. In 2008 he returned to government, heading the Alabama Emergency Management Agency until 2011. In that capacity he developed the state’s plan to deal with the spread of H1N1 influenza. He also served as the Incident Commander for the Alabama Unified Command during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Since 2011 Long has worked as an executive vice president for Hagerty Consulting, an emergency management consulting firm.

His nomination hearings in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee were comparatively smooth. Watch below as Long responds to questions from Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) concerning the importance of incentivizing state pre-disaster mitigation efforts.

What is FEMA?

FEMA has functioned as an independent agency since 1979. It is responsible for coordinating federal response to any disaster that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities. In addition to on-the-ground disaster recovery efforts, the agency provides state and local governments with experts in specialized fields and funding for rebuilding efforts. It also works in concert with the Small Business Administration to help local communities access relief funds for infrastructure through low-interest loans. Finally, FEMA aids local communities in preparedness by providing funds for training of response personnel.

Hurricane season began June 1. Leaders in the meteorological community have been raising concerns that FEMA has been functioning without full leadership, despite Agency assurances that that it is prepared for all eventualities. The other agency intimately involved in federal national disaster efforts is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). There has been no formal nomination to head that agency, though the Washington Post reported in mid-May that Barry Myers, AccuWeather chief executive, was the front-runner for the post.

Do you support the nomination of Brock Long to head FEMA? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(20)
  • Christine
    06/19/2017
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    Seems like he is qualified for the position. So why do I feel there's more ? Trump's nominee's to date have been incredibly unqualified.

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  • VSB
    06/19/2017
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    We have already entered into hurricane and fire season. We need someone to head FEMA. Pease ensure he is the right choice. This is an important position!

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  • Jackie
    06/19/2017
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    He sounds like a reasonable choice which makes me wonder why he would accept it. Between budget cuts & having to answer to Tweeter Bird, I'd worry about my reputation working in this administration.

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  • Sandra
    06/19/2017
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    How much was he involved in Katrina? That was a complete disaster. Not sure if he is right.

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  • Fred
    06/19/2017
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    Brock Long seems like a good choice for the FEMA job. The only problems I see are that his budget was cut in half and that he is being nominated by an untrustable president. Any body being nominated by this president has one strike against them already.

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  • C
    06/20/2017
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    The Trump administration has cut funding for NOAA and further development of advanced weather imaging satellites. If this person is willing to be publicly considered for this position, I suspect it's only because he wants to turn over all FEMA functions to private contractors whose subcontracted "employees" won't even qualify for workers' compensation if they are injured in the dangerous conditions and cleanup/mitigation projects that will inevitably follow the natural disasters we won't even be able to predict with anything approaching modern scientific or technological insight. I lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and you had all better hope something similar never happens to you under the watch of anyone associated with the Trump administration. And I thought Bush & Brownie were bad: at least neither of them actually spoke with pride of being anti-science in addition to their already-obvious disregard for those whose homes, loved ones, communities, and even lives were destroyed by so-called natural disasters resulting from unregulated, under-researched depredations on the environment caused by allowing business interests to disrupt our planet's natural processes for maintaining healthy ecosystems of all kinds. Yes, it CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.

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  • Marc
    06/19/2017
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    This guy sounds like a very good candidate for the position with appropriate expertise and experience. His biggest challenge will be the emergency management of the death seizures of the agency due to budget cuts and a federal government that isn't in place for the people but for the benefit of the oligarchs and rich to make money off

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  • Norm
    06/20/2017
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    Forbes magazine in a recent article says Brock Long has all the important experience to lead FEMA. I say yes to him. I pray that the new administration in the White House doesn't micromanage him by takeaways in the necessary budgets, typical these days, to do his job well.

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  • Sharon
    06/20/2017
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    No to Brock Long

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  • John
    06/20/2017
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    You can save a lot of money by giving the rules and resposibilties, for Flood Plain management, to the Communities?

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  • M
    06/20/2017
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    Because of global warming climate related disaster are becoming more frequent and more intense. This nominee actually seems to be qualified for the FEMA post.

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  • Lauren
    06/20/2017
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    This man sounds eminently qualified.

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  • Nan
    06/19/2017
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    Yes block everything until you get a fair chance to see the healthcare bill and are allowed input into drafting it. What the republicans are doing is disgraceful and undemocratic. If they are so ashamed of it then why draft it to begin with. The affordable care act was a good start. All Americans should be allowed free health care. What the republicans are doing is wrong and disgusting.

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  • Dave
    06/20/2017
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    No doubt another trump pick!

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  • Diana
    06/19/2017
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    Unless you see something I don't, it appears that Brock Long is a suitable nominee for head of FEMA. And it is important to get this position filled.

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  • Melanie
    06/19/2017
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    This man seems to have training and experience needed too do the job well.

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  • Monica
    06/19/2017
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    No to this appointment

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  • DrCindyBean
    06/19/2017
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    Say no to Long. Another PutIn nominee.

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  • C
    06/19/2017
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    Confirmation hearings of a nominated FEMA director delayed due to severe weather ?!!? This administration is a clown car colliding with a dumpster fire on a Superfund site on top of a Native burial ground. I guess some people truly love to watch the world burn/drown/suffocate in toxic fumes. Just wait until the drinking water crisis gets even worse!

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  • ReaganRules
    06/19/2017
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    Please support the nominations of Brock long.

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