Virtual Forum Presentation
August 30, 2000 -- 12:00 Noon Eastern Time

Community & Family Preparedness (CFP)
Conference Overview

Ralph B. Swisher, Ph.D.
FEMA CFP Program Manager


Online Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)

About Ralph Swisher
Conference Website


EIIP Virtual Forum Presentation
Wednesday - August 30, 2000 - 12:00 Noon EDT

Community & Family Preparedness Conference 2000 Overview

Ralph B. Swisher
FEMA CFP Program Manager

Avagene Moore - Moderator
EIIP Coordinator

The EIIP Virtual Forum featured an excellent overview and discussion of the Community & Family Preparedness (CFP) Conference held at EMI, Emmitsburg, Maryland, August 22-25. Dr. Ralph Swisher, CFP Program Manager and Policy Specialist at FEMA, shared the highlights of the CFP Program and other events of the conference. Additionally, representatives of community and family preparedness programs around the country were in the audience; a few who attended the CFP Conference expressed their appreciation and praise for the program and expert speakers.

As explained by Dr. Swisher, the CFP Conference agenda focused on three main topics:

  1. School safety (all hazards including school violence);
  2. Reaching/education children to promote disaster preparedness and a disaster resistant culture; and
  3. Working with minority groups and their leaders to reduce the impact of disasters.

Program Manager
FEMA Community & Family Preparedness Program

Dr. Ralph B. Swisher, a policy specialist, has served as Community and Family Preparedness program manager since 1994, prior to which he managed the Emergency Public Information program from 1989.

Dr. Swisher joined FEMA in January 1981, following service in program planning and evaluation studies for other government agencies while in the National Bureau of Standards (1971 - 1975) and as evaluation coordinator and Chief, Planning and Evaluation Standards Division, in the Department of Justice's Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (1975 - 1981).

Dr. Swisher served as FEMA Project Officer for over fifty applied research projects, ranging from state-of-the-art research and planning assessment to public opinion surveys to prototype development applying new technologies in FEMA prior to assignment in emergency public information and disaster public education. He also served as Chief of the Civil Systems Division, a multihazard policy review and policy development unit, from 1982 to 1984.

In 1983 and 1984 he served as Executive Secretary of FEMA's Integrated Emergency Management Steering Committee (IEMS), and from 1986 until 1990 was Executive Secretary of the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS).

Dr. Swisher holds a Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. in Political Science from Idaho State University. He has conducted research and analyses and managed research programs during much of the last forty years, covering economic, social and political change, violent revolution, civil-military affairs, socioeconomic program development and evaluation, and emergency management.

Following military service (1950-1954), he spent six years as a weekly newspaper publisher in public affairs. During the same period he organized a community economic development effort and served on the Idaho Governor's Economic Development Committee, and commanded a trophy-winning national guard unit. He returned to graduate studies in 1960.

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