October 16, 2009


No.:                  09-14

Contact:            Dennis Pinkham


Press Release



BOSTON, MA – Leonard Guercia, Chief Operating Officer, Connecticut Department of Public Health has been named to a three-year term on FEMA Region I’s Regional Advisory Council.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s on-going effort to strengthen New England’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities includes a twenty-one person Regional Advisory Council.  The Council, which is made up of state, local and tribal representatives from all six New England states, help’s advise FEMA’s Regional Administrator on all aspects of emergency management and disaster preparedness in New England.  The formation of the Regional Advisory Council in all ten FEMA regions was mandated by Congress.


Co-chairing the Council are Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell and Maine Governor John E. Baldacci.


Paul Ford, FEMA Region I Acting Regional Administrator said of the Council: “New England is unique in that most disasters affect the entire region so by having a regional perspective on emergency management, we can better prepare and respond to the next hurricane or a pandemic outbreak,”


The council is charged with reviewing preparedness, protection, response and mitigation programs and policies to identify weaknesses and recommend improvements. A primary goal of the council is to improve communication and understanding among the various organizations involved in emergency management and response in New England. The Regional Advisory Council meets in full session twice a year.  The duties of the council are solely advisory.


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.