Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Memo from FEMA Director to Homeland Security Secretary

Below is the text of the memo from FEMA director Brown to Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff that has received so much attention in the press today. A PDF of the original can be found here.

August 29, 2005

Memorandum to: Michael Chertoff, Director of Homeland Security

From: Michael Brown, Under Secretary (signature)

Subject: DHS Response to Katrina

We are requesting your assistance to make available DHS employees willing to deploys as soon as possible for a two-week minimum field assignment to serve in a variety of positions. We anticipate needing at least 1000 additional DHS employees within 48 hours and 2000 within 7 days. Attached is a list of requirements that employees will have to meet before deploying.

It is beneficial to use DHS employees as it allows us to be more efficient responding to the needs of this disaster and it reinforces the Department's All-Hazard's Capabilities. Also, DHS employees already have some background investigations, travel cards and badges, all items that normally delay filling our surge workforce. FEMA Response and Recovery operations are a top priority of the Department and as we know, one of yours.

We will also want to identify staff with specialized skills such as bilingual capabilities, Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and logistics capabilities.

Thank you for your consideration in helping us meet our responsibilities in this near catastrophic event.


Cc: Michael P Jackson, Deputy Secretary

Janet Hale, Under Secretary for Management



You must have your supervisor's approval.
Contact your Human Resource Office to follow-up with FEMA Human Resource Office
You must be physically able to work in a disaster area without refrigeration for medications and have the ability to work in the outdoors all day.
Must be willing to work long hours under arduous conditions.

Role of Assigned Personnel:

Establish and maintain positive working relationships with disaster affected communities and the citizens of these communities
Collect and disseminate information and make referrals for appropriate assistance.
Identification of potential issues within the community and reporting to appropriate personnel.
Convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organizations and the general public.
Perform outreach with community leaders on available Federal disaster assistance.

Training will be provided:

A roster of available personnel will be developed and made available as components identify personnel for deployment.
Selected personnel from the roster will be given training in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Atlantia, Georgia and Orlando Florida, before you are deployed in the field.
You will be expected to use government credit cards (in good standing) for transportation, lodging, meals and other incidentals.
Contact your agency financial officer for information on obtaining government credit card (if you do not hold one).

Point of contact to accept and process your assignment:

Human Resource Operations Branch, 202-646-4040
You will be walked through the system for further processing and deployment.

Deployment Information:

Selected personnel will either go to Atlanta, Georgia for Community Relations Training or Orlando, Florida for all other training and assignments. After which they will be deployed to a disaster Joint Field Office (FCO) when conditions are safe. Some organizational clothing and equipment will be supplied.

Types of personal supplies you should bring:

Sun hat
Sun glasses
Walking shoes
Mosquito repellant
Medication (both over the counter and prescription)
Valid driver's license
Government ID
Cash (ATMs may not be working)
Government equipment (cell phones, computers, blackberries, etc)
Appropriate Clothing (walking shorts acceptable)
Rain gear