For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland today signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen emergency management cooperation in response to major storms and other disasters of all kinds.
"This agreement is an important step forward in bolstering collaboration between the United States and Australia in preparing for and responding to natural disasters," said Secretary Napolitano. "I look forward to working closely with our Australian partners to keep our citizens safe during emergencies."
"I am very pleased that this disaster preparedness link has been forged to enable our two countries to work together to prevent, respond and to recover from disasters in whatever form they may take," Mr. McClelland said. "This Memorandum will consolidate the great working relationship that has been progressing between us."
Under the MOU, the United States and Australia will:
- Share information on each government's emergency management frameworks and lessons learned from recent natural disasters;
- Exchange public awareness mechanisms on preparedness for natural disasters;
- Coordinate professional development activities for emergency managers;
- Build partnerships between the emergency management agencies of the two countries, including through the exchange of technical experts and specialists; and
- Streamline processes for emergency management authorities in both countries in order to establish arrangements for the exchange of personnel in response to emergencies.
Attorney-General McClelland and Secretary Napolitano were joined by U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Tim Manning, Australian Attorney-General's Department Secretary Roger Wilkins and Australian Ambassador to the United States Kim Beazley at the signing.
In the United States, FEMA, as a division of the Department of Homeland Security, performs similar functions as Emergency Management Australia, a division of the Attorney-General's Department.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.