The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced the signing of an agreement that designates NIST to serve as a research and technical resource for FEMA. The agreement, which is intended to strengthen the collaborative bonds between the two agencies, also will serve to support the federal government's capabilities to reduce national disaster losses and enhance homeland security.
In a joint statement, NIST Director Arden Bement Jr. and FEMA's Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) Director Robert Shea said, "Both agencies recognize that our missions in fire, natural disaster prevention and man-made disaster events are highly complementary; and that based on our history of successful collaborations following disasters, it is in the public interest to continue to draw on this relationship."
Under the memorandum of understanding (MOU), NIST—through its Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL)—and FEMA—through FIMA—will work jointly to:
The MOU states that NIST and FEMA agree:
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurements, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an independent agency of the federal government, reporting to the president. Since its founding in 1979, FEMA's mission has been clear: to reduce loss of life and property and protect our nation's critical infrastructure from all types of hazards through a comprehensive, risk-based, emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
Additional Contact: Cindy Ramsay (FEMA), (202) 646-4117, cynthia.ramsay [at] fema.gov