The Federal Emergency Management Agency is asking Oklahoma's Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood to sit on FEMA's new advisory board.
Gov. Brad Henry announced the appointment of the disaster veteran Wednesday. Emergency Department spokeswoman Michealann Ooten said Ashwood's new advisory role won't take him from his current state position.
Ashwood brings 19 years of what many would consider successful disaster response experience, including overseeing the distributing of more than $500 million in federal and state aid following Oklahoma's:
" May 3, 1999, and May 8-9, 2003, tornadoes;
" the Interstate 40 bridge collapse; and
" the wildfire outbreaks in 2000 and 2006.
Additionally Ashwood oversaw Oklahoma's assistance for Hurricane Katrina/Rita evacuees.
"I'm honored to be a part of this critical project," Ashwood said in a release. "The state of Oklahoma has been supported so greatly by this nation. I welcome this opportunity to give back by sharing our experience with other local and state leaders."
FEMA's advisory council represents a cross-section of officials from emergency management and law enforcement, including:
" homeland security directors,
" adjutants general,
" emergency response providers from state, local, and tribal governments; private sector; and nongovernmental organizations.
FEMA developed the advisory board in the response to the Katrina tragedy that sank much of New Orleans and rained criticism on the federal agency. "Ben Fenwick