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Media Release

USAID Holds Disaster Management Conference in Pohnpei

April 21, 2010

On April 19-20, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) held an Educational and Tabletop Exercise Planning Conference at the Cliff Rainbow Hotel in Pohnpei. The two-day conference focused on disaster management and included representatives from USAID, U.S. Joint Task Force – Homeland Defense (JTF-HD), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Embassy in Pohnpei, FSM Office of Emergency and Environment Management (OEEM), FSM Department of Foreign Affairs, and State Disaster Coordinators.

Following opening remarks by OEEM Director Andrew Yatilman and U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission William “Doug” Douglass, the conference convened with a review on how USAID would provide disaster relief and reconstruction assistance to the FSM. Presenters included USAID Disaster Assistance Coordinator Bart Deemer, FEMA Hawaii Office Deputy Director Marilyn Shigetani, FEMA Compact Coordinator Kevin Clark, and JTF-HD Deputy J-3for Operations Mel Garcia. The afternoon seminars included discussions on JTF-HD assistance initiatives in the FSM, disasters management structure and mechanisms, and USAID contingency planning for its FSM disaster coordination partners.

Tuesday’s session focused primarily on table top exercise planning. Led by JTF-HD Plans Officer Paddy Collins, the exercise was a contingency planning concept and objective meeting that prepared participants for the disaster table-top exercise scheduled to take place in October.