November 10, 1999 Panel Discussion

Impact of Emergencies and Disasters
on Minority Communities


Online Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)

Discussion Questions

Kay Goss, CEM
Kathy McKoy
Stephanie Myers

Amy Sebring

Related Pages:
Emergency Preparedness Information Project (EPIP) Emergency Gateway


EIIP Virtual Forum Panel Discussion

Impact of Emegencies and Disasters on Minority Communities

Featured Panelists

Chip Hines, FEMA

presenting on behalf of
Kay Goss
FEMA Associate Director for Preparedness, Training, and Exercises

Kathy McKoy
Employee Development Specialist
FEMA PT&E Directorate

Stephanie Myers
EPIP Project Coordinator
R.J. Myers Publishing and Consulting Company

FEMA, in recognition of the need to do more to ensure preparedness information reaches minority communities, is working with the African American community as a beginning, to find successful ways to accomplish this goal, and in particular, to emphasize the need for family planning for Y2K. A public-private partnership effort has been recently launched, the Emergency Preparedness Information Project (EPIP) with a Web presence at the "Emergency Gateway," (see link above).

During the session, following opening remarks from Kay Goss, Kathy McKoy explained some of the specific challenges and strategies involved, and Stephanie Myers provided additional information regarding EPIP outreach efforts, including a recent workshop held in the Washington D.C. area.

Following a general question and answer session, the six questions posted below were discussed by session participants.


  1. Have you, as an emergency management professional/volunteer, had any first-hand experience with minority communities during disasters? Please share your experiences with us.

  2. Does your emergency management program have a special outreach initiative to minority communities? Do you think you need one?

  3. What types of media outlets or other communication channels do you use to reach minority communities, before, during, or after disaster?

  4. Who in your experience, have been the most effective spokespersons in your community to reach the African American or other minority communities?

  5. What practical ways have you found that have helped minority groups to recognize the value of being ready for disasters?

  6. What success have you had in convincing African Americans or other minorities in your community that Y2K has anything to do with them?

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Associate Director
Preparedness, Training and Exercise Directorate
FEMA Headquarters

Kay Goss is President Clinton's appointee as Associate Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of the Preparedness, Training and Exercises Directorate.

Confirmed by the United States Senate on September 23, 1994, and the first female to serve as Associate Director, Kay is responsible for building State and local emergency preparedness capability through the development of plans and procedures; training of Federal, State and local emergency managers in mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery functions; and testing personnel, plans, procedures, and equipment through a nationwide program of exercises. Also responsible for the Mount Weather Emergency Assistance Center, the Emergency Management Institute, Industrial and International Partnerships, the Radiological Emergency Preparedness, The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness and the Emergency Food and Shelter Programs. Kay Goss also serves as the Chair of the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board, as a member of the President's Interagency Council on Women, as a member of the President's Interagency Council on Homeless, as well as a member of the National Security Steering Group (NSSG).

Kay, a native of Arkansas, received a B.A. and M.A. in political science and public administration from the University of Arkansas, completed a doctoral program in public administration, except for the dissertation, at West Virginia University, with additional studies at Northwest Missouri State University, San Diego State University, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Kay's past experience spans the national, state and local levels of government and includes legislative and administrative responsibilities for three members of Congress- The Honorable Ray Thornton, Patricia Schroeder, and Wilbur D. Mills. Kay's state experience includes research in a constitutional revision study commission and two state constitutional conventions, coordinating a legislative study on school finance, serving as Chief Deputy Auditor of State, and finally serving for almost twelve years in the Arkansas Governor's Office as Senior Assistant for Intergovernmental Relations. In that capacity, she had primary responsibilities for liaison work with the State Office of Emergency Services, first responders and State and local emergency managers. Her local experience includes serving as a Project coordinator for the Association of Arkansas Counties.

She has written several books and articles on national, state and local government, including Wilbur D. Mills: The People's Congressman, The Arkansas Constitution: A Reference Guide, The City Manager Plan in Arkansas, and Political Paradox: Constitutional Revision in Arkansas.

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Employee Development Specialist
Preparedness, Exercise and Training Directorate
FEMA Headquarters

Kathy McKoy is an Employee Development Specialist in the Preparedness, Exercise and Training Directorate. She is currently the course manager for Community Relations Field Training. Ms. McKoy has worked numerous disasters as community relations field officer and most recently she was Deputy Coordinator for Community Relations in the State of New Jersey assisting with the recovery efforts of victims from Hurricane Floyd.

Ms. McKoy was instrumental in the development of the Donations module for NEMIS. She is also one of the Donations Management Coordinators for the Agency. She is an EEO counselor , facilitator and customer service representative for the Agency.

Ms. McKoy has actively been involved as a Volunteer with the American Red Cross Disaster Services in Prince George's County Maryland since the late '70s. Ms. McKoy participates in DC Reads for the Summer to help ensure the literacy development for elementary school children of Washington D.C. .

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Project Coordinator
Emergency Preparedness and Information Project (EPIP)

Stephanie Myers is Project Coordinator for the African American Emergency Preparedness and Information Project (EPIP). She is a former federal official having served as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Director of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation. She provides consulting assistance to federal agencies, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and non-profit organizations on communications and outreach, Internet-based information dissemination, program development, training and marketing initiatives.

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Virtual Forum Page