Emergency Services

Emergency Services are critical when response is needed to life's dangerous situations. Find topics related to FEMA, firefighters, 9-1-1 and the Amber Alert.


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Is the U.S. Prepared to Handle Natural Disasters During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Natural disasters may not pair well with the COVID-19 pandemic. For America to brace the impact, it needs to prepare now.

The Defense Production Act Was Designed for Emergencies Like Coronavirus

President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1950 and it's been invoked many times ever since. Should President Donald Trump be using it more to help health care workers?

The Waffle House Index Is at Code Red; That's Not Good

What is the Waffle House Index anyway, and does the Federal Emergency Management Agency really use it to gauge local disasters?

Can the Feds Close State Borders to Stop COVID-19?

Some legal experts say that the U.S. government lacks the authority to close state borders or quarantine entire cities to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Others aren't so sure.

Private Firefighters Have Been Dousing Flames for Decades

The 2018 California wildfires have called attention to the private firefighting industry. Can anyone hire a private, personal firefighting team?

Navigating the Nightmare of a Natural Disaster

Your home's totaled. You have no cash. No supplies. And nowhere to go. Now what?

Can FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund Ever Run Out of Money?

Two consecutive 2017 hurricanes nearly exhausted FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund before Congress replenished it. But will that always happen?

10 Worst Reasons People Have Called 911

Having trouble with your homework? Looking to meet a nice guy? Need some cigarettes? Who you gonna call? 911? Believe it or not, all of these are actual 911 calls. And they aren't the worst examples of emergency number misuse.

Do fire poles really save time?

The image of a firefighter sliding down a pole to his truck and gear as alarms scream in the background is nothing short of iconic. But is it really necessary? Does sliding down a pole save time?

Who should get tested for HIV?

On June 27 of each year, local, state and national organizations observe National HIV Testing Day: a day to promote HIV testing and dispel the stigma surrounding HIV. Who should take the opportunity to get tested this year?

How Rehab Works

While all rehab centers and programs aim to treat addiction, not all offer the amenities of an upscale resort. Learn about rehab's beginnings in prohibition and the types of treatment available today.

How 9-1-1 Works

The idea behind 9-1-1 is pretty simple: Give people a single, easy-to-remember number to call to receive help during any life-threatening situation. Learn how 9-1-1 got started and how it works.

How Firefighter Training Works

To a typical kid, the only thing cooler than a firetruck is a person who rides in one. Take a closer look at what it takes to become a municipal firefighter and examine different elements of their training.

How FEMA Works

Although much of FEMA's recent press has been negative, for more than 20 years the agency has been a powerful force in helping Americans prepare for, deal with and recover from some of the worst disasters in history. What type of aid does FEMA provide?

How AMBER Alert Works

It's an all too terrifying reality: Thousands of children are kidnapped each year. The AMBER Alert system gets the word out quickly when a child is taken. Find out how AMBER Alert works.

Why was 911 chosen as the emergency phone number?

During an emergency, we are told to dial 9-1-1. How and why was that number selected as the emergency phone number for the entire United States?

What do the big diamond-shaped signs with red yellow and blue diamonds mean?

Many buildings in my area have a big red, yellow and blue diamond-shaped sign with numbers on it. Do you know what this sign means?

How Emergency Rooms Work

Movies and TV shows depict emergency rooms as insanely intense places. But do you want to know what an emergency department in a hospital is really like? Learn all about what goes on in a real-life ER.