I enjoy a good discussion and debate on what is the appropriate path for a community to take. Readers of this blog know I'm always very interested in maximizing the benefits of technology to advance our emergency management's capabilities to protect our communities.
One of those technologies now has to do with surveillance cameras and Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) which are sometimes called drones, which gives them a negative connotation.
Because of my May 1, 2013 Op-ed in the Seattle Times on the benefits of these new technologies I've been invited to speak at a Public Surveillance Continuing Legal Education (CLE) event in Seattle. I look forward to the discussions we'll have.
I strongly believe that people have the right to privacy. Government should not be spying into bedrooms or intruding into their private lives--when they are doing nothing but living their ordinary lives. Criminals and terrorists should not enjoy those same freedoms. We should use every bit of technology available to hopefully prevent, but when that is not possible, identify and then bring to justice culprits who violate the law and harm others.
I see public surveillance like the modern medical profession. Today and in the near future we will be able to do things never before thought possible. The ethics of using the medical technology will be the true challenge we will have to face as individuals and as a society.
And, as I've said before, it all boils down to trust. We live in a low trust environment and that taints governments actions in a very negative way. The solution to that is to act in a trustworthy manner--that means all of us.
School shootings and workplace violence probably led to the creation the concept of Bulletproof Whiteboards These can't be very cheap.
When I first read of the concept I was thinking of the roll-around type of whiteboard that is maybe 4X8 feet. That type of board could be wheeled in place at the entrance to the room as another level of protection in blocking entrance and keeping the shooter from shooting into the classroom.
As for the handheld type of board pictured--the clipboard is a little small! Perhaps better than nothing, but...
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I have only attended one of these World Conferences on Disaster Management about five years ago. They are always held in Toronto.
When I look at their agenda for the one coming up June 23-26 it really looks good. It is a combination of emergency management and business continuity. They attract attendees from around the world and that adds another dimension to their event. If you can ever attend one of these it will get you out of your United States of FEMA mindset and broaden your horizons a little bit.
The last thing I noticed is that their social media outreach is using every tool in the inventory that is available these days.
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“There is no substitute for accurate knowledge. Know yourself, know your business, know your [people]. Randall Jacobs Making the right decision isn’t as easy as it might seem from the outside. The key is always to have good information on which to make a decision. Even then, people can choose the wrong path.
I thought it interesting that in this quote the aspect of knowing yourself was included. I call it being “self-aware." If you don’t know who you are and what your capabilities are you will put yourself in poor situations.
Then there is knowing your business. I don’t know if you need to be an expert in all facets of what profession you are in, but being knowledgeable is important to not making the wrong choice. Isn’t the fear of making a mistake, the factor that freezes many people in place and keeps them from doing anything.
Lastly, he includes knowing your people. Do they know themselves, do they know their business and then if you are echelons above line people, do they know their people? It comes down to whom do you trust? When you know who to trust with your professional life it all becomes much simpler.
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Most organizations will have some form of after-action review following an event like a big storm that caused the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to be activated and responding to events.
This then is what evidently happened after Hurricane Sandy and one of the things that was discovered was that a "fix" was needed to be made for how the National Weather Service (NWS) tracks and then distributes information about storms as they dwindle from hurricanes to tropic storms and then on into severe weather events. See Sandy Criticism Prompts Change In Storm Warnings which describes how the National Hurricane Center will remain the lead as storms morph into smaller events--that can still pack a punch.
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Check out this job listing. Remember, being mobile is what it is all about if you want more job opportunities!
Director, Emergency Management & Operational Continuity
Georgetown University seeks an energetic and thoughtful individual to become the Director of Emergency Management & Operational Continuity to oversee the University’s emergency management. An academic community dedicated to creating and communicating knowledge, Georgetown provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional education in the Jesuit tradition. The University has more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who take classes at five locations: Main Campus, Medical Center, Law Center, GU-Northern Virginia and the university’s School of Foreign Service-Qatar. Georgetown has a large and diverse workforce that employs more than 5,000 faculty and staff members.
Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Risk Management, the Director of Emergency Management and Operational Continuity provides overall leadership and expert oversight for the development of policy and strategy across the areas of emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, and operational continuity for Georgetown University and its various campus locations. The Director will develop, lead and conduct emergency/disaster drills/exercises, and assist departments in preparing plans. The Director will assess business continuity priorities and coordinate institutional community alerting and emergency notification protocols.
The most compelling candidates will possess a proven track record of partnering with a diverse set of stakeholders to develop formal and thoughtful business continuity plans, as well as experience inspiring, motivating, and empowering team members. He or she must be a multi-dminensional thinker and have at least seven years of demonstrated experience in creating, implementing and coordinating emergency management, planning programs for a large diverse organization. Successful completion of emergency management industry certification programs is desired. Experience with private higher education and/or large non-profit organizations is highly preferred.
Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest should be directed electronically to: GeorgetownEMOC@divsearch.com.
For further information, please contact:
Andrew C. Wheeler, Chief Lean Officer & Managing Director
(215) 656-3548; Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew C. MacLean, Senior Associate
(919) 960-1245; Andrew.email@example.com
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While most emergency managers are focused on Emergency Management Program Accreditation (EMAP) standards and there is the new updated version of NFPA 1600 on the street, there is also the ISO 22301 standards to consider. If you want to learn more about ISO see the webinar offered below. And, as a teaser--watch for an upcoming interview I'll have with Don Schmidt on the new revised NFPA 1600 standard.
ISO 22301 - The New Business Continuity Standard for Best Practice
Thursday May 23 at 11:00 AM EDT, 16:00 BST
A recording will be available after the event.
ISO 22301 is the new international standard for Business Continuity Management best practice. It provides organizations with a framework to manage risk and ensure that they can continue operations in any type of event. The standard also gives stakeholders and customers absolute confidence in the organization’s resilience.
In this webinar, ISO 22301 expert John McGill will help you understand the ISO standard, why it’s important, how to plan for certification, and what building a Business Continuity Management System entails. With his guidance, you will see how implementing the standard can give your organization a competitive advantage. There will be a question and answer period at the end of the presentation.
John is the Managing Consultant at ISO 22301 Ltd., and was one of the first consultants to gain ISO 22301 certification for an international organization.
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Is it possible that governments can be innovative? I know that many in the general public see government employees as just drones, doing what they are told. However, having served in governments for most of my life I'd say there are an entirely different set of employees who are really in the majority. These are people who want to make things better if only they are given the opportunity to be creative and change things up.
- People are creative outside of work, why can't they be creative at work--even in government?
- Innovation is not imposed from the top
- Learning from others is key. Read a great deal of what other countries and governments and businesses are doing. Get your people to conferences so they pick up new ideas
- When it comes time to cut the budget, don't cut investments in people. Things like training and skill building are critical to your long-term success.
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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.
It is a basic assumption that "almost" all insurance programs follow. Those that want insurance pay premiums that are sufficient to reimburse any losses to the insurance fund. Without those payments the fund will rapidly go broke.
Which brings us to the National Flood Insurance Program. This is a program that does not pay its way and is going deeper in debt because of large "repetitive" losses to properties that are insured and then backed by the Federal government. It is the citizens of the United States that are paying the premiums for those who either want to live by the water or can't afford to move away.
See Louisiana Democrat Mary L. Landrieu has revamped her amendment to freeze flood insurance rates for five years for a plan to continue to fund these losses for another five years. The problem with all entitlement programs is that we get addicted to them. They become a "right" and not just a benefit.
If we were to do one thing to 'right the emergency management ship' and how we address disaster recovery and resiliency in this nation it would be to have the national flood insurance be funded by the people at risk. This of course includes my son who chose to live in a flood zone. It is a beautiful place to live 99.999% of the time. There hasn't been a flood event there in the history of the house that dates back to 1932. Where have you heard that before?
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Experts in emergency management say Albert Ashwood’s long experience and innovative thinking have helped ease those recoveries.
Students at the Oklahoma State University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering designed preliminary storm drones that could someday gather data that saves lives.
The test program equips SWAT officers with computers and cameras so when out in the field, trauma surgeons can help them respond to critical injuries.