WASHINGTON (September 7, 2023) — Leaders of FEMA and Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, signed a memorandum today outlining how the organizations will continue to cooperate in carrying out disaster preparedness, response, recovery and other emergency management operations.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell signed the agreement with Team Rubicon’s Vice President of Operations Jeff Byard. The agreement formalizes the organizations’ longstanding partnership.
“From helping respond to COVID-19, to supporting survivors of Typhoon Mawar in Guam, Team Rubicon always leans forward alongside FEMA in our mission of helping people before, during and after disasters,” said Administrator Criswell. “Team Rubicon is a constant and valued partner, and this agreement both strengthens and reaffirms our partnership.”
“This increased partnership and collaboration with FEMA will enable Team Rubicon to assist more survivors impacted by disaster,” said Art delaCruz, CEO of Team Rubicon. “Information is one of the most valuable things in a disaster, and with our presence in the NRCC [National Response Coordination Center at FEMA headquarters], our local volunteers on the ground can provide FEMA with timely real-world awareness to inform FEMA’s support to local disasters. This will also allow FEMA to share a larger picture of the situation with Team Rubicon, which will allow us to better assess unmet needs within the communities we serve.”
“Relationships and partnerships are the essential tools that enable a timely and efficient response to the needs of disaster survivors. We have a great relationship with FEMA and now a solid partnership,” said Jeff Byard, Vice President of Operations. “Team Rubicon is excited about this partnership because it will enable our ability to meet needs and help more people. A partnership works both ways, and we will also share information and collaborate on the unmet needs that disasters present.”
Team Rubicon’s signature 160,000-strong volunteer cadre, known as Greyshirts, have completed more than 1,100 response operations both domestically and internationally since its establishment in 2010.
FEMA and Team Rubicon have forged a strong partnership over the years. Team Rubicon’s efforts have included the COVID-19 pandemic, helping FEMA coordinate over 2 million vaccinations across 110 cities nationwide. Team Rubicon also deployed a coordination team to Guam in response to Typhoon Mawar, helped Texas Hurricane Harvey survivors in 2017 and Alabama tornado survivors in 2022.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employs more than 20,000 people nationwide. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we have 10 regional offices located across the country. We leverage a tremendous capacity to coordinate within the federal government to make sure America is equipped to prepare for and respond to disasters.