Those staff and volunteers involved in emergency management cannot successfully do their jobs without the proper training, the tools and technologies. Ensuring that all personnel receive appropriate and current training is central to their ability to fulfill the mission of their organization. With the new terrorist risks, proper training for first responders is critical to first protecting their lives and safety and the lives and safety of the public at large.
Well trained personnel must also have the tools they need to do their job effectively and efficiently. For example, FEMA provided its home inspectors with Palm Pad computers for entering data concerning a home inspection that standardized the cost estimating process and was linked to a computer based registration system for providing assistance to disaster victims. These tools allowed FEMA to reduce the time it took to get assistance checks to disaster victims from 30 days to 7-10 days.
New advances in technology occur daily and emergency management must embrace new technologies that enhance the ability to serve the public. Recent technological advances in tracking hurricanes have improved evacuation and warning protocols, new building design technology created the Safe Room to protect families and individuals from tornadoes and the increased use of GIS has improved land use and hazard mitigation planning.