Congresswoman Receives Emergency Management Award

Congresswoman Receives Emergency Management Award

DEMA Deputy Director Wendy Smith-Reeve (left) presented Rep. Martha McSally with the 2016 NEMA Congressional Award last month in Tucson. The award is given to lawmakers who "advance the priorities of emergency management and homeland security."

In April, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) named three recipients of the 2016 Congressional Awards. The award is given to lawmakers who “advance the priorities of emergency management and homeland security.” 

This year’s class of honorees included Congresswoman Martha McSally. Rep. McSally represents Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, including the cities of Sierra Vista and Tucson, and is the first member of Congress from Arizona to receive the award.

Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) Deputy Director Wendy Smith-Reeve visited Rep. McSally at her Tucson office on May 29 to present the congresswoman with the award on behalf of NEMA.

Congressional Award nominations are made by state emergency management and homeland security directors. DEMA nominated Rep. McSally for her work in support of state and local emergency management.

“Congresswoman McSally has quickly established herself as a leader within Congress in the areas of emergency management and national security,” DEMA wrote in its nomination. “Congresswoman McSally has been a forceful advocate for the states to ensure local authorities have the tools and resources to respond and recover from any emergency that may strike.”

Since her election to Congress in 2014, Rep. McSally has sponsored three pieces of emergency management legislation: House Resolution (H.R.) 2200: CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015, H.R. 3503: Department of Homeland Security Support to Fusion Centers Act of 2015, and H.R. 3583: The PREPARE Act.

Rep. McSally serves on the Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security. During her tenure as chairwoman in 2015, she gave the states a voice by inviting state-level subject matter experts to testify.

She has also held hearings to examine the federal government's role in supporting state emergency management, and received testimony on topics ranging from the federal response to Hurricanes Sandy to the National Guard's role in Defense Support to Civil Authority missions. 

NEMA also presented Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee with Congressional Awards in 2016 for their support of local, state and tribal emergency management and first responders. Fifty-five Congressional Awards have been given out since 2001.

NEMA self-identifies as a “nonpartisan [professional] association dedicated to enhancing public safety by improving the nation's ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all emergencies, disasters, and threats to our nation's security.” Its membership includes the emergency management directors of all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

NEMA administers the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a nationally adopted mutual aid agreement between states.