Former Alabama leader, FEMA Director Brock Long faces first first big test

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Brock Long, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency​ (FEMA), is getting ready to face one of the toughest challenges of his career — coordinating the federal response to the damage done by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.

While he’s only been on the job for two months, Long will be relying on years of experience in working with natural disasters in the weeks, months and years of Hurricane Harvey clean-up that lies ahead.

From 2008 to 2011 Long served was at the helm of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA)​, where he worked on the Yellowhammer State’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and numerous other natural disasters. As Director, he served as the State Coordinating Officer for 14 disasters, including eight presidentially-declared events. Prior to that he was a FEMA Regional Hurricane Program Manager from 2001 to 2006.

Long’s already relying on his experience as the storm continues to do damage to the Lonestar State.

Hurricane Harvey

Harvey submerged Interstate highway 45 in Houston with record, widespread flooding on Sunday. [Photo Credit: REUTERS | Richard Carson]

On Monday, he asked for all Americans to help in what will be a lengthy recovery from the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

“Helping Texas overcome this disaster is going to be far greater than FEMA coordinating the mission of the entire federal government,” Long said at as news conference in Washington. “We need citizens to be involved. This is a landmark event. We have not seen an event like this. You could not draw this forecast up. You could not dream this forecast up.”

“This is a whole community effort,” he added.

The extent of the damage remains unknown, and the rainfall is not expected to let up for several days.

Long urges individuals and organizations to check the website nvoad.org or call 1-800-621-FEMA to find out how to help.

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