State-Managed Disasters: An Interview with Arizona's Director of Emergency Management


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Ronald A. Cuccaro, SPPA


Sheila E. Salvatore

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...a state to manage the Public Assistance Program. There are a lot of unwritten elements to it rather than those that are written because if they say, “You must be able to demonstrate;”well, what do you have to demonstrate? Then you have to quantify that, so it becomes a bit subjective. Bottom line is, it’s the relationship with and demonstration to your region that your state has the capability and capacity to appropriately execute the program on behalf of FEMA.

Craig: Well, first I want to thank you. Is there anything you would add to what we’ve talked about? Any questions I didn’t ask you or do you want to talk about those in a future issue?

Smith-Reeve: To summarize what I said earlier, the biggest thing is that we all have to work together to spell out and plan out how this will unfold; define what steps and measures need to be taken; and what are the alternatives as far as how we get there. The bottom line for me, as far as why Arizona continues to do this and will continue toward this end, is quality customer service. Having the staff that are supporting the sub-grantee be directly accountable to the agency — that ensures that when I’m signing my name on something and handing it to the sub-grantee, it’s a commitment from this agency. My commitment to the customer is that we’re going to be there at the beginning, at the middle and at the end — and if there’s anything they need at any point in time, they know exactly who they can call and who their touch point is, right in their backyard.

Craig: Thank you for the time you’ve given us.


1 FEMA’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan data/1533052524696-b5137201a4614ade5e0129ef01cbf661/strat_plan.pdf

ADOT crewassessingdamageonHighway89A landslide.Photo courtesyofADOT.