Friday, September 14, 2012

We Have Infiltrated FEMA's Sanctum Sanctorium...

...and all that's here is some well-manicured grass, large brick dorms, immaculate sidewalks and all manner of amenities and visitor-center stuff. Somewhat ominously, the fences don't have barbed wire, but foot-long curved spikes pointing outward. In other words, they keep people out, but if you really really need to flee, i.e. over the walls, the spikes won't keep you in.

I actually have no idea what's here, since we've yet to actually do anything. I just wanted to put this up to let folks know that FEMA Corps has officially migrated. Like birds in winter, we fled to the... east (shush, I'm tired) to the magical land of Anniston, Alabama, in the middle of a government facility.

So far, it's very nice. The staff was insanely accomodating--my group was the last of five, and we got there an hour late due to an overlong tour at another FEMA facility in Jackson, MS. Their cafeteria staff had supposedly long since finished up, but they brought out 33 boxes of pure Gulf Coast food--ribs, baked potato, crab still in the shell--and five or six staff members had stuck around to help with our initial processing. For the first time, somebody else was being "FEMA flexible" on our behalf instead of the reverse!

Adding to the good impressions, the facilities look quite nice. The rooms are basically hotel rooms: nice bathroom, TV, one good bed (we're two CMs to a room, thus somebody gets a cot), one giant black refrigerator that dominates the room like the monolith at the end of 2001. We have access to a computer lab and wi-fi, which I'm using in concert to type up this blog; there's a volleyball court, numerous gyms, the best foosball table I've ever seen and a storage locker filled with bikes. And that's just on the housing campus where I am right now; the Center for Domestic Preparedness is friggin' massive.

So yeah. We don't actually start training until Tuesday, but the next three days will be consumed with in-processing activities, from getting our FEMA badges to our training on the security protocols here to our FEMA equipment. Each of us will be getting a FEMA-issued laptop, which comes in a 20-pound case that could survive a cruise missile attack, a Blackberry and some sort of government internet chip, to aid us in our various specialist tasks. I should be getting a camera as well, since I'm a media rep, so I can better document what we're doing. (They want us to put up one blog post per week. I wrote 3,700 words today on the way here, not counting this post.)

That's the news from the Center for Domestic Preparedness, of which we have seen only a tiny piece thus far. We have wi-fi all throughout the campus here, so I should be able to post daily (I have a TON of mostly non-NCCC stuff backed up because I've been limiting myself to a post a day) for the next two weeks. Breakfast is at 0545 tomorrow morning, so now is already past my bedtime. Goodnight internet!

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