Carson Valley resident releases memoir of disasters

Valley resident Robert Winter has worked for FEMA for 25 years.

Valley resident Robert Winter has worked for FEMA for 25 years.

Federal Emergency Management Agency inspector Robert Winter released his memoir, “Dust in the Wind: Real FEMA Disaster Stories” in October.

The book contains a wealth of stories from the front lines of disasters all around the U.S., as well as information for anyone who might be potentially caught in an earthquake, flood, the path of a hurricane or other disaster.

The Gardnerville Ranchos resident is having a book signing 1-5 p.m. Feb. 7 at Jethro’s Bar & Grill.

“I’ve compiled a tremendous number of stories,” said Winter. “Many are heart wrenching. Others are heartwarming and show the power of community and the indomitable human spirit in the end. However, these aren’t my stories. I might be relating them, but, ultimately, they’re everyone’s stories.”

Stories of real people faced with real adversity and tragedy fill the pages of “Dust in the Wind: Real FEMA Disaster Stories.”

Winter has spent the last 25 years heading into federally declared disaster zones to help everyday people on the worst day of their life. Within 24 hours of the President of the United States declaring a disaster, he’s on the ground in the muck, working all the angles to get people the federal assistance they deserve.

Winter said he went to great lengths to ensure the book not only accurately portrayed both scenes of devastation and triumph, but that it included information which only comes from years of experience on the front lines of emergency response and management.

The book contains the distilled essence of Winter’s years in the field, including important strategies to reduce the impact of disasters on homes and lives.

“I really wanted to create a book that gives people the big picture,” added Winter. “It’s not all about the impact on the lives of those who made it through situations like Katrina. It’s about what others can do to help safeguard and protect their own homes, lives and livelihoods. It’s as much about preparedness as it is about awareness.”

Winter studied psychology in college and owned his own construction firm in California before being recruited as a contract FEMA inspector in 1989.

A three-time world karate champion, he teaches self-defense to women and has traveled the country working as a bodyguard for a single American flag that was part of one of the most famous incidents in baseball history. A born protector, he’s currently a body guard to the stars in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Proceeds from book sales benefit Winter’s disaster foundation “Using my many industry connections and knowledge of celebrities who remain true to their roots, my organization will bring opportunities to celebrities and allow them to contribute,” Winter said. “It could be time, an appearance, or a personal visit similar to the Make a Wish charities, and it will create attention and boost donations to some of the most worthwhile causes.”

“Dust in the Wind: Real FEMA Disaster Stories” is available as an ebook via Amazon’s Kindle platform, but also obtainable through Smashwords in all available ebook formats. Hard copies are also available at For more information, visit, or email


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