two different sources to obtain an understanding of how to perform their jobs.  
For example, if a manager wanted to create a mission assignment in NEMIS, 
that manager would need to refer to a program created guide, 
Assignment for Managers Student Manual,
 to understand  when  to create a 
mission assignment, and to the online system steps to understand  how  to 
create the mission assignment in NEMIS. 
Further, system users were not provided with adequate training.
systems often are custom designed and complex, requiring significant upfront 
training to understand how to use them to support emergency management 
activities.  Regional system users, however, said that new employees often did 
not receive training before they were deployed and experienced users did not 
receive training when system changes occurred.   
An independent contractor, charged with documenting and evaluating 
response and recovery processes during the hurricanes
reported that new 
employees were deployed to the disaster site without first receiving system 
training.  The new employees had to be trained by other FEMA employees 
during ongoing response and recovery operations.  While training new 
employees onsite at times may be the only option, the problem was that they 
sometimes relied upon experienced system users that had not received training 
on system changes and updates.  The users, consequently, were not aware of 
all system functions and had a low comfort level in using the systems.   
FEMA regional personnel said that a lack of funding was a reason for the 
limited NEMIS training.  They said that they primarily learned to use the 
system through on the job training rather than through formal instruction.  
This lack of training had an even greater impact on temporary disaster 
assistance employees.  Sufficient training would have made their work more 
reliable and much easier. 
2.  We recommend that, in keeping with legislative requirements, the Under 
Secretary for EP&R direct the EP&R CIO to ensure that personnel, 
through the EP&R training division, receive adequate systems training, 
guidance, and communication needed to support disaster response and 
recovery activities effectively.   
Emergency Preparedness and Response Could Better Integrate Information Technology  
with Incident Response and Recovery 
Page 18 

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