Said@Duke: Brock Long on Building Local Capacity to Address Emergencies & Disasters

Brock Long, former FEMA administrator: “I don’t think bigger government solves our problems going into the future… I know everybody’s like, ‘This disaster was terrible. We need a bigger FEMA. We need to reform FEMA.’ Well, back up a second. Why are we not building the capability at the local level, within our citizenry, first?”

Brock Long, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and now executive chairman at Hagerty Consulting, spoke with faculty and students from Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) on Wednesday. Long was joined on stage by event organizers Miyuki Hino (Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina), Brian McAdoo (Nicholas School of the Environment), and Ashley Ward (Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability).

Long spoke about the urgency of revisiting the mission and role of FEMA in the face of the climate crisis. His remarks addressed how risk mitigation, preparedness and disaster recovery responsibilities could be better shared among citizens, businesses and government agencies. 

View more from the Said@Duke series.