Arcadia Alum Brennan Helps Louisiana Flood Survivors as FEMA Disaster Specialist

By Caitlin Burns | September 12, 2016

Shawn Brennan ’16, who graduated in May from Arcadia University with a degree in Criminal Justice, has spent the past few weeks in Baton Rouge helping flood survivors. Since Aug. 17, Brennan has met with residents of disaster areas as a Disaster Survivor Assistance specialist (DSA) with FEMA to provide information about the financial assistance available to them.

“It is a face-to-face interaction where we can answer questions specifically about the FEMA assistance and other urgent needs residents may have,” Brennan said. “DSA directs citizens in the right path and reassures them that they are not alone through the process of getting back on their feet. Every survivor has their own story to tell, and we are here to listen and assist.”

This is Brennan’s first deployment with FEMA. While Brennan’s deployment is scheduled for 30 days, he said they expect to be in Louisiana longer.

While at Arcadia, Brennan interned for the Burlington County Office of Emergency Management for two years. He said his experiences in his internship and in his research with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project for Capstone prepared him to better assist trauma victims.

“Arcadia has prepared me to be committed to FEMA’s four core values: compassion, fairness, integrity and respect,” Brennan said.