FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, to Keynote ARRL Centennial Banquet
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, will be the keynote speaker at the ARRL Centennial Banquet on July 18 in Hartford, Connecticut. The event is among the highlights of the ARRL Centennial Convention July 17-19 at the Connecticut Convention Center.
“We are fortunate that Director Fugate has agreed to serve as our keynote speaker,” said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. “Not only does he bring his wealth of experience in public service and emergency communications to the table, but as a licensee he has a good understanding of the value that the Amateur Radio Service can offer.”
A native of Gainesville, Florida, Fugate has headed FEMA since 2009. Under his leadership, FEMA has promoted emergency management as both a community and a shared responsibility. The agency has promulgated a “whole community” approach to emergency management to build sustainable and resilient communities. This tactic emphasizes collaboration with all levels of government as well as with external partners, including volunteer agencies, faith-based organizations, the private sector, and individuals.
Prior to coming to FEMA, Fugate served as Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. He was Florida’s Coordinating Officer for 11 declared disasters that involved the management of some $4.5 billion in federal disaster assistance. In 2004, Fugate managed the largest federal disaster response in Florida history as four major hurricanes — Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne — affected the state in quick succession. More disasters arose in 2005, as three more hurricanes — Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma — made landfall in the state. While Katrina’s impact was felt more strongly in the Gulf Coast states to the west, Florida launched the largest mutual-aid response in its history in their support, under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
Under Fugate's stewardship, the Florida Division of Emergency Management program became the nation’s first statewide emergency management effort to receive full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program.
Fugate began his emergency management career as a volunteer firefighter, paramedic, and lieutenant with the Alachua County (Florida) Fire Rescue, eventually becoming the county’s emergency manager. He spent a decade in that role until being appointed bureau chief for preparedness and response at FDEM in 1997. Within FDEM, Fugate's role as chief of the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) kept him busy for a good part of 1998, as the state experienced numerous floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and Hurricane Georges. Fugate has been an Amateur Radio licensee since 2012.