Joel Palmer

Emergency Preparedness in California

Joel Palmer

Emergency Preparedness in California

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Joel works in FEMA Region IX’s National Preparedness Division as an Analysis and Planning Specialist. Based in the Oakland, CA, Regional Office he provides Region-level support for State, Territorial, Tribal, and Urban Area personnel on Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and the State Preparedness Report (SPR) capability assessment. He is also the Regional lead for analyzing the results of those assessments and conducting comparable assessments for the Region. Joel works closely with personnel from across the Regional Office, supporting programs including hazard mitigation planning, tribal coordination, and exercise design and development (including holding a Master Exercise Practitioner certification).

Joel is a qualified Situational Awareness Section Chief, and has served in multiple disasters including as the Situation Unit Lead for the Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) during the 2009 American Samoa earthquake and tsunami; as a Planning Specialist in Woodbury, Long Island during Hurricane Sandy; as a Planning Specialist in Colorado Springs during the 2013 Centennial floods; and as the Situational Awareness Section Chief for the RRCC during the active 2014 and 2015 Pacific Hurricane seasons.

Joel received his Masters’ of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a Concentration in Public Health Preparedness and a Certificate in Health Policy. He then served as the Pandemic Coordinator for the Baltimore City Health Department. Previous experience includes a BS in Molecular Biology/Biotechnology from Salem-Teikyo University, working in both public and private sector biomedical research, and teaching high school math and science.

Currently, Joel is focused on using strategic planning to apply the data collected from the numerous jurisdictional, regional, and national assessments completed every year. He is also deeply interested in the differences between the buzz-word defined concepts of “preparedness” and “resilience” and developing tools to support his local community members in developing both.

Joel lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Melissa – a volunteer management professional working in the non-profit sector, and a pair of kleptomaniacal cats. Together they are attempting to establish a fruitful but potentially moveable garden,while Mel continues to encourage the addition of either chickens or llamas.

  • Work
    • FEMA Region IX
  • Education
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health