This is a county level position Chief of Emergency Management in New Mexico.
A couple of qualifications that you don't see every day for an emergency management position:
- Currently possess a Wild land Fire “Red Card” or must receive certification within one (1) year from date of hire in one or more of the position descriptions in the National Interagency Incident Management System Wild land Fire Qualification System Guide, PMS 310-1 related to emergency management duties within an Incident Command Post or Emergency Operations Center.
- Currently licensed or certified by the State of New Mexico as an Emergency Medical Technician, firefighter, paramedic or sworn law enforcement officer preferred.
Most of us know Amazon for their e-marketplace. My wife, Mary, loves her "Prime" status and the free shipping that comes with it. But, there is another completely different Amazon Web Services (AWS) that is one of the major players in hosting web services and developing cloud storage capacity. Here in Western Washington and the Puget Sound we have our FirstToSee Social Media System to include a citizen App running on Amazon Cloud Services.
Here's a few numbers for you. In the fourth quarter of 2013 AWS is expected to generate $1B in revenue. And, Amazon hosted a conference on their web services that drew 9,000 attendees to Las Vegas. Lastly, the CIA is paying Amazon to build a private computing cloud for the agency, cost $600M. I think the Cloud is here to stay!
The numbers above came out of the Puget Sound Business Journal.
I remember fondly my Army Bootcamp at Fort Jackson, S.C. (Not!). It was later in my military career that I figured out that they built army posts wherever there is sand--even in Wisconsin. There was cold damp weather and a fair bit of yelling from the drill sergeants.
Well, there is another bootcamp coming up in December, Government Social Media Bootcamp I expect there won't be as much yelling and depending on how cold you keep your office it might just be warm and toasty. This information is being sponsored by GovGirl who blogs and does videos for Government Technology Magazine.
The program description:
Introducing the Government Social Media Bootcamp, a two-week online program specifically for government. You won’t find a more comprehensive training that will teach you advanced social media techniques for the public sector – all from the comfort of your office or home. Perfect solution for agencies with no travel budget to attend conferences or in-person workshops!
- Series of webinars and on-demand video
- Downloadable checklists and reference sheets
- Trainings led by Kristy Fifelski (and special guests!)
- Covers everything from policy development to growing fans
Read the Bootcamp FAQs for additional details about the program.
I encourage you to check it out. This might be the best way for you to get your toes wet dipping them in some social media training.
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There is a quick turn around on this one. See CORE Program Specialist GS-0301-13
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The debate on the cost of flood insurance and the hikes that will come with new rates based on the risks associated with insuring the properties is heating up. See FEMA prepares to move forward with catastrophic flood rate hikes
Everyone is looking for a way out to avoid paying the Piper his due. Interestingly the Governor of Louisiana is not jumping into the fray because of the risks to the state budget. Given 2014 is an election year I'm betting that elected officials across the country will throw their fiscal conservative feelings to the wind and approve what could be called a "socialist measure" to have the government continue to subsidize the risk of living in harms way.
This is not to say that there are average citizens who have bought property (including my son) in a flood zone based on the fact that flood insurance was available -- cheap! I love going over to their home next to a creek. In the summer we all forms of waterfowl, water mammals, eagles, etc. However, when you live close to nature you assume the risks that come with that lifestyle.
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Typically, governments are looked to for help when it comes to disasters. A significant change is happening in the world and probably not one envisioned when the Internet was birthed. Now with connectivity fueled by social media technology companies and individuals are playing a much bigger role in many facets of disasters.
How Google is Transforming Disaster Relief is a story about their efforts born of a "single individual" doing what they could to try to help. I recommend it to your reading.
Mapping is of course one of the tools that Google brings to the table. With maps, just like I shared recently about what esri is doing, we have spatial information that allows us to grasp those aspects of a disaster that cannot be understood by reading a situation report or seeing numbers on a spreadsheet.
We need to be thinking about our public-private partnerships when it comes to disasters. Gaining and maintaining contact with the private sector is not that easy. Like every other relationship it takes time and effort.
Diane Newman shared the link to to the Google article.
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About once a month I get an email from someone asking how to go about turning their emergency management degree into a job. There is no magic pill that will do that for you.
Read this article in the current edition of Emergency Management Magazine, The Job Market I think the analysis and commentary provided there from a variety of emergency managers is pretty much on the mark.
Some of the recommendations include:
- Having a degree in emergency management from a resident school
- Getting experience wherever and whenever you can find it
- Networking with professionals already working in the field of emergency management
- Learning technical skills that first responders don't have, especially in technology
- Being persistent in your pursuit of employment
- Being willing to move to where the job(s) are
The current edition of Emergency Management Magazine has an article on Training for Elected Officials. It points out the fact that the vast majority of elected officials will never have received any training in what their responsibilities might be when it comes to emergencies and disasters.
While intuition might be what we all fall back on, it is a poor substitute for knowledge on a particular topic—especially in a crisis. A few weeks back I watched the movie Sum of all Fears. It opens with the President of the United States going to Mount Weather as part of a national security exercise and running through the process to do a missile launch against an enemy target. Near the end of the movie they are doing the same process “for real.” The training, the exercise, the knowledgeable people running the program are all part of what made them prepared. Little of this happens with our state and local chief elected officials.
They are too busy with “real work” that demands their attention. It is up to emergency managers to do their best to capture their attention and develop meaningful training that is tailored to their specific needs.
Beyond the chief elected official we have a preponderance of elected officials who have no training curriculum, that I’m aware of. This is everyone serving in a state legislature, on a council or commission that oversees some function of government. These are the people who fund the programs and set the priorities for agencies and governments. This is another group of people who we need to educate as to their responsibilities. No, they don’t play a key role in the disaster response, but they are the ones who will determine the disaster resilience of their jurisdiction based on how mitigation is promoted and their emergency management programs are funded.
If anyone knows of a training program for these types of elected officials please share that with us by leaving a comment on this blog post.
Mobile communications and computing are here in force. It is no longer good enough to just have a website. You need to have all your channels of communications set and tuned for mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.
Retirements are happening now. Many years of institutional knowledge and experience are walking out the door every day. We need to have as smooth a transition as possible to the next generation of emergency managers and ideally one in which there is a transfer of knowledge between the incoming and outgoing emergency managers. Is there a way you can formalize that sharing of information?
Things are happening in the Cloud. Cloud computing brings with it opportunities for redundancy and also additional risks. Because of the cost savings you can bet that your jurisdiction is moving in that direction. Do so with your eyes wide open so you understand the new capabilities and challenges there might be in the future.
Demographic changes are real. There are several significant trends. The boomer retirements are increasing with a 18% increase in the 65 and older population in the last decade. Additionally, we will see an increase in the number of minorities who live and work here in the United States. We need to take both of the above into consideration. The Boomers provide a new population of potential volunteers and with the increase in minority population our old public education programs will at a minimum need to be revamped.
The content of this blog post was taken in part from the November GOV2020 Column in Government Technology Magazine.
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If you are in the emergency management business long enough someone will eventually ask you the question, "Are you ready?"
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Latest Emergency Management News
Although 2013 was marked by two high-profile blazes, nationally the total wildfire acreage of 4.15 million is far below the 10-year average of 6.8 million acres.
Virginia emergency managers embrace YouTube and turn a popular song into a catchy message about preparedness.
The Find Me 911 Coalition is pushing the FCC to craft stricter regulations to better pinpoint the location of emergency calls made from mobile devices.