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February 26, 2014

Because of the popular media, television, movies, games and the Internet there are a whole host of misperceptions about how and when the United States military forces will be brought in to assist in times of disaster.  The urban myths around authorities, martial law, who's in charge and how the system in general works are far and wide.  


Hopefully the show I did with a LTC Matt France, Defense Coordinating Element (DCE) associated with FEMA Region X will dispel some of those misconceptions and get good information into the hands of people who need to access military assistance when the going gets tough.  


The formal term for how they render assistance is called Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA)  I encourage you to read up on the system and processes for requesting military assistance and now, unlike even 15 years ago, there is a DCE team in every FEMA region dedicated to helping you understand the processes and how the system works.



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January 29, 2014

I've been asked many a time about the wisdom of getting a degree in emergency management.  Where to attend?  Should the degree program have a concentration in emergency management or homeland security?  What skills are most in demand?


To date I've never recommended one school over another.  I just don't have the comparative knowledge to do so.  Locally here in the Puget Sound there is a Master of Infrastructure Planning and Management at the University of Washington.  And, I serve on their advisory board and have done so for a number of years.  


Recently I had the opportunity to interview Professor Barbara Endicott-Popovsky about Higher Ed for Emergency Management Careers.  She speaks to how the University of Washington's master degree program came to be and how it has changed over the years.  More detailed information on their program is provided along with why they have structured it as they have.  For those people looking to get into emergency management and thinking about getting a degree this might be a helpful program to watch.  


Compare this with other degree programs that you might be considering to see what best fits your personal needs and interests.  


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November 02, 2013

Information on FirstNet the new Federally funded digital network for first responders is starting to become more available.  While the funding is "top down" there is a great deal of work to be done by each state to position themselves to participate.


I had the opportunity to do a Disaster Zone TV show with Bill Schrier, Washington State's point of contact for the implementation of FirstNet.  While the discussions center on what is being done here in the Pacific Northwest much of the information is applicable to other states.  If you don't know anything about what is being proposed this is a good place to start.  And, there is information here that you won't find in any printed fact sheet on the program.


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November 02, 2013

I believe that we need to be thinking about how emergency management will work to establish climate adaptation measures to cope with rising global temperatures and seas.  There are all sorts of implications for emergencies and disasters due to anticipated impacts to our enviornment.


Click on the link below for Disaster Zone TV: Climate Adaptation for a 30 minute program on what the climate evidence is at this point and what some of the projections are for the future.  This is not some catastrophe waiting to happen look at the future, but a common sense look at the indicators of changes happening now and the future.  


What planning are you doing?


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August 02, 2013

I have to say that getting people to become prepared for disasters is an uphill battle.  Without something happening on a recurring basis that impacts individuals and families; disasters and becoming prepared are far from the top priority.


For that reason, we spent time putting together a TV show Disaster Zone - Emergency Preparedness Kits that provides some basic information on what goes into a kit, the different types of kits and where and how you can either build your own or buy a pre-assembled kit.  I always say though that the first thing you need to do before putting together a kit is to make a plan.  That will help you determine what additional items you need in a kit based upon your individual or family situation.


I hope you enjoy watching this program--and then, go do something about becoming better prepared for a disaster that may very well be in your future. 


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June 20, 2013

The latest edition of Disaster Zone TV features an interview with Rear Admiral Kieth Taylor, Commander, 13th Coast Guard District.


Previous to this interview I had heard Admiral Taylor speak on the need for disaster resiliency.  He has been a strong advocate for a number of resiliency issues including building a cross-border effort to get United States and Canadian maritime interests to find ways to coordinate their activities before, during and after a disaster.  You will also find this interview of great interest if you don't know much about the functions of the Coast Guard and the assets that they bring to the table.



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June 08, 2013

Social media is changing just about everything about how we plan for, respond to and recover from disasters.  It is impacting society in general and for emergency management and the companies associated with preparing for and responding to disaster it has significant ramifications.


See the Disaster-Zone TV show I did recently with Andy Wappler, Puget Sound Energy.  In it he describes  how they as an energy company have reacted to the impacts of social media and the way it has changed how they monitor what is going on within their system and interact with their customers and the general public. 


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May 30, 2013

School violence keeps popping up in the news.  The last big news story was a high school student who was planning a bombing at his school.  Luckily someone notified authorities when they were tipped off that something could be up.  I guess you would call that, "Hear something--say something."


I had the opportunity to interview Jesus Villahermosa, a national expert in school safety.  This interview is the second of what will be an ongoing series of television programs where I interview a variety of people about all different aspects of emergencies and disasters.  





For more information on an upcoming School Safety Symposium click on the link.

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May 19, 2013

I have started doing a series of television interviews with people who work in the emergency management and disaster disciplines. These people may come from the public or private sectors. Watch for more interviews coming in the near future.


See the show below with the Director, King County Office of Emergency Management.



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January 01, 2012

Personally I don't think we are living up to the generally held belief that local and state emergency management are on the front lines of being prepared for, responding to and recovering from disasters.  If it was true, then state and local jurisdictions would be shouldering more of the funding for their own programs.  In actuality we have a Federally funded system of emergency management here in the United States.  Without those Federal funds we'd have some pretty small programs in all but the larger cities and states.  


See my video blog below on my thoughts about this Federally Funded Emergency Management System.




You can view more videos at my YouTube Channel


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