Emergency Management Blogs

Emergency Management Blog - Eric Holdeman: Disaster Zone
Port Security Today

by Eric Holdeman: Port Security in the blogosphere

Subscribe via RSS | About this Blog | Contact Eric Holdeman | Blog Roll

December 30, 2013

The organizations least interested in security (as a whole) are those in the private sector.  See Because Nothing has Happened So Far for a brief testament to that concept ringing in people's ears.  


On the maritime security side there are standards to be complied with, but when you dissect what that means you get, "I'm doing the absolute minimum required, maintaining compliance, to remain operational at the least possible cost."   They can't be called out for not doing anything and the people making those decisions have never suffered a significant loss due to a lack of preparedness.  It is stage one and two of denial, "Nothing will ever happen" and "If it does happen, it won't happen to me."


Having worked on both sides of the security and emergency management fence the attitudes are very similar.  The only "good news" on the disaster side is the frequency and size of disasters has ratcheted up in recent years with plenty of news coverage.  Significant high profile failures and successes of leaders in key positions have highlighted the need to pay "some" attention to what might happen.  Yet, for many they still do not see themselves or their organization being impacted by events that seem to always happen to other people and organizations.   


What will 2014 bring?

1 comment
December 22, 2013

Gerald Baron pointed out in his blog post the nice public service tool that has been assembled by the folks who put together the Emergency 2.0 Wiki



Looking over the list of agencies who have not taken advantage of social media tools shows that much more work needs to be done by individual agencies to capitalize on the advantages that social media engagement provides.


Eventually individual citizens and agencies will start asking why you don't have a social media presence.  How will you answer that question?


  • I don't have the dedicated staff (most common excuse used)
  • I don't personally use social media (how many times have I heard that one!)
  • I don't trust the technology
  • I don't have the time
  • It doesn't add any value
  • I'm too lazy to learn it (Hmm, probably won't hear that one)
  • I _________________ (fill in the blank


The Home Page for Emergency 2.0 Wiki is at this link.

1 comment
September 03, 2013

Congratulations to Rear Admiral Keith Taylor (Ret.) for landing a senior position with Holland America Cruise Line.  See Retired USCG rear admiral to succeed Hal's Grausz at Holland America.


Admiral Taylor just gave up command of the 13th Coast Guard District earlier this summer and has remained in the Pacific Northwest.  


Leave a comment
August 27, 2013

The 2013 Port Security Grants List was announced/published via a Fact Sheet.


The sum total of funds available is down 75% from what the maritime community had become accustomed to receiving.  For 2013 it was $93.2M.


While I support a holistic approach to protecting the maritime sector, I do find it interesting the number of first responder agencies that receive funding in support of maritime security.  In some regions I think the responder communities have "broke the code" on the availability of funding that goes beyond the grant funds that have traditionally supported fire and law enforcement.  While UASI and SHSP funds are also drying up the maritime pot of money remained very strong until just last year. 


When you look at the agencies that review the allocation of funding for maritime security funds it can be (not always!) a situation where you have the fox guarding the chicken coop.  In the end we just want the funding to get used for purposes that improve the prevention, detection, response, recovery and resiliency of the Port Sectors for which the funding is intended.




Leave a comment
June 21, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pretty much batting a thousand (negatively speaking) in what the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is saying about the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC).


See a news story on TWIC at GAO finds unreliable data from test program, urges Congress to consider other options after decade-long effort  


The actual GAO report Card Reader Pilot Results Are Unreliable; Security Benefits Should Be Reassessed panned the national pilot that was done between 2008 and 2011.


It seems that the reaction of DHS is to proceed "full steam ahead" with TWIC implementation, but I see a Congressional "iceberg" that could sink those plans.  With all these negative reports from the GAO, I don't see how Congress is going to look favorably on full implementation of TWIC.  Time will tell!


Those maritime interests who have not done anything to implement TWIC are "hanging back in the pack" waiting to see what will happen.  Yes, bundles of money have been already spent, but no sense throwing more good money after bad!



1 comment
May 20, 2013

Homeland Security Outlook hosts two maritime security conferences, one East and the other West.   


The Maritime Security 2013 West Conference is being held 19-21 August in Long Beach, California.  It will bring together public and private stakeholders from all levels to discuss, learn and collaborate on strategies and technology use in mitigating security threats posed to the maritime domain.

The panel sessions and presentations are designed to give all participants the actionable knowledge on how to better secure their maritime areas of responsibility by highlighting available resources and best practices. Each topic will be comprehensively addressed with the critical perspectives of those who have implemented successful strategies and cutting-edge technologies in their maritime security operations.

Maritime Security 2013 West will also host an exhibition of 30 companies that have highly relevant solutions and past performances in securing the maritime domain. 


The sequestration has put a cramp in many events due the limited ability of Federal personnel to travel.  There was supposed to be a FBI Headquarter's sponsored Maritime Critical Infrastructure event in Seattle later this Fall.  It was cancelled due to budget issues.  This Maritime Security West Conference is one of the few places I know that is still having an event away from the D.C. area.


Click here to Register


Leave a comment
May 13, 2013

GAO recently issued a report on the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) and the biometric readers that are supposed to fielded within the transportation field.  See TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION



If this were a thriller the villain would be the TWIC card and its side kick the biometric reader.  The Feds continue to press on, but I think when Congress gets to the hearing process there will be a real problem because the advocates for the TWIC reader are far and few between.  


If the biometric readers do crash and burn it will leave us with a very expensive "flash pass" form of identification.  


The next chapter in the saga will be coming soon. 


March 21, 2013

At long last we will have the opportunity to review the Final TWIC Rule.  AAPA put out a notice yesterday 

It appears that it may not be as stringent as originally proposed (years ago) with smaller water craft being excluded.  This is our opportunity to comment, so if you have something to say about the ruling let your thoughts be heard.
Don Bruce shared this information.

Leave a comment
March 18, 2013

This is a project that I've been proud to be associated with. See the Port Security Social Media Project's about page for general information, and then poke around the site to get more details on what this new mobile app is going to be able to do for port security in particular and emergency management in general.


When the application is officially launched I'll give you the background on how it came about and the partner involvement.  

Leave a comment
March 17, 2013

While it is not published yet in the Federal Register, the OMB Announced Approval of the TWIC Reader NPRM  This information was in the Chemical Facility Security News blog and shared by Don Bruce.


It is an interesting coincidence that the FFY13/Round 13 grant guidance might "maybe" be coming out about the same time as the final rule.  More likely the grant guidance will come later.  To get your projects in on time will require a sprint to do cost estimates and see if you can accomplish the installation of readers within the new two year time constraint that is expected for Port Security Grants.  Or, I suppose folks may wait for the final rule to be published and approved before doing anything on biometric TWIC readers.


One thing for sure, every grant year the feds make it an interesting process.  Ports and marine terminals are like folks at the end of the line when playing "whiplash" on roller skates or ice skates.  The big impact comes to the people on the tail!






1 comment

Latest Emergency Management News

Los Angeles Police Department
Industry Perspective: A CJIS Success Story

A new security policy from the FBI makes cloud computing a viable option for criminal justice information.
Teen Stowaway Raises Alarms about Airport Security

Authorities say security video shows the teen hopping a fence at the San Jose airport and climbing into the wheel well of a jetliner.
Oklahoma Bridge
Facing an Uptick in Earthquakes, Oklahoma Consults California

After a dramatic increase in earthquakes that puts it behind only the Golden State, the Sooner State is worried about its bridges.

Latest Blog Posts RSS

August Vernon: Incident Management Blog Joint-Agency Mass Violence Expo - SAVE THE DATE
Apr 23 Joint-Agency Mass Violence Expo - SAVE THE DATE…
Emergency Management Blog - Eric Holdeman: Disaster Zone Crowd Control Infograph
Apr 22 Crowd control can be part of every large gathering of people.…
Emergency Management Blog - Eric Holdeman: Disaster Zone Crowdfunding Disaster Relief
Apr 20 This is the latest spin on how social media is transforming emergency management.…

4 Ways to Get EM

Subscribe to Emergency Management MagazineFollow Emergency Management on TwitterSubscribe to Emergency Management HeadlinesSubscribe to Emergency Management Newsletters

Featured Papers

Blog Archives