CAMILLA, Ga. — It’s not always a lightbulb that goes off when a great idea arrives. Sometimes it’s a siren.

That’s what a FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance team heard in late October as they canvassed a Mitchell County neighborhood that had been devastated by Hurricane Michael. It’s also how FEMA’s new First Responders Registration Intake was born.

Some county residents had missed reports that FEMA would be working in the area, so when they saw two unknown young men approaching evacuees’ damaged homes, they called the police. Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Wilson responded to the call and found Gregory Conway and Dan Andrews, the DSA team, knocking on doors.

“The dispatch didn’t know that the sheriff had already given approval for field outreach,” Cheryl Catchings, DSA Branch Director, explained in a news release. “They’d met in his office and gave their names, phone numbers, car registration, car color, license plate, everything … and DSA went right to the area the sheriff told them to go.” Read More...