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February 2012 Archives
February 01, 2012

I still like reading publications in a paper copy/print edition.  But, while I'm waiting for the print edition to come in my mail box, you can now access the digital edition of the January-February  Emergency Management Magazine




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February 01, 2012

Nominations are now being accepted to for the 2012 9-1-1 Honor Awards to honor heroes and leaders in 9-1-1. The 2012 awards ceremony will take place at the 9-1-1 Honors Gala on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Co-Chairs of the Congressional NG9-1-1 Caucus have been invited to present the awards.


We ask your help in identifying the 2011 Heroes and Leaders the N9-1-1 Institute should be honoring in March.  Heroism and leadership activities throughout the year of 2011 will be considered for the awards.

The NG9-1-1 Institute is now accepting nominations for six awards categories. Below are the descriptions of the various award categories.  Anyone who fits the descriptions is eligible to be nominated and anyone can nominate.  You DO NOT need to be a member of the NG-1-1 Institute to nominate or receive an award.  


9-1-1 Honor Award Categories   

  • 9-1-1 Professional Award
  • Citizen in Action / First Responder Award
  • Government Leader Award
  • Industry / Technology Private Sector Award
  • Outstanding 9-1-1 Call Center / Program Award
  • 9-1-1 Education Award


 The nomination form for 2011 can be found at:  www.e911institute.org   All nominations must be received by Wednesday, February 15, 2012     


If you have questions you can email them to contactus@e911institute.org

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February 01, 2012

The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG) has a survey on the street in which  they are looking for more public agency participation.  The topic for the survey is GIS for Multi-Agency Coordination Centers, including Emergency Operations Centers 


Their request is below:

As many of you know, NAPSG Foundation and it's Standards Working Group recently developed and released a Standard Operating Guidance document for Multi-Agency Coordination Center information sharing.  We currently are updating this document, to reflect (among other things) lessons learned from its deployment in Emergency Operations Centers around the country.


As part of our effort to ensure we create both a useful and used document, our Standards Working Group has drafted the below survey. Please take a few moments to complete this survey, so that we can continue to produce materials that meet the expressed needs of the public safety community.


The survey should take only a few moments, and it will provide tremendous value to NAPSG Foundation.


Click Here for Survey



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February 01, 2012

Emergency Management Magazine sponsors 16 All-Hazard All-Stakeholder Summits throughout the year in different cities.  You can check out the list and schedule at the link above.


For the one coming up in Seattle (which is the first one for the year) there are three primary speakers scheduled for March 21st, all of who I regularly learn something from.  If you are in the neighborhood this event would be an excellent session to attend.  


You have to register, but attendance is free to government types!

February 02, 2012

Back when Millicent D. West was appointed as the Emergency Management Director for Washington, D.C I was quoted as not being that complimentary of the selection process since it appeared to be a political appointment to me.


Now we we're informed that she has resigned, D.C. agency head named in Thomas probe resigns


There has already been too much leadership turmoil in that office.  Two directors in less than three years.  This is a very complicated community to work in with the multiple jurisdictional issues and plethora of Federal agencies all wanting to assert their authority and influence.  Hopefully the city will take a more measured approach this time and do a national search for a new director.  They deserve the best person they can find.

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February 06, 2012

I always like having the inside scoop on what is coming in the future.  If you are wired the same way, you might like to get a sneak preview on three articles that will be in the March-April Emergency Management Magazine  See below:


March/April Feature: In 2013 solar storms are expected to peak with potentially devastating results.
Solar storms release particles that can temporarily disable or permanently destroy fragile computer circuits.  A senior official at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said solar storms pose a growing threat to critical infrastructure such as satellite communications, navigation systems and electrical transmission equipment.  The NOAA Assistant Secretary said the intensity of solar storms is expected to peak in 2013 and countries should prepare for “potentially devastating effects.”


March/April Feature: Government response agencies look to the private sector for expanded resources and capabilities.
In the last decade, jurisdictions across the country have recognized the need for greater cooperation between public and private sectors in preparation for and response to disasters.  In Illinois, the Private Sector Alliance project (PSAp) involves the private sector in intelligence sharing and resource coordination.


March/April Feature: Next Generation 911: What's taking so long?
A look at NextGen 911, including how far we’ve come and where we need to be, why it’s taking so long and what the obstacles are.  We'll shed light on the increasing need for PSAPs to be able to receive text, photo and video.  How many PSAPs can do this?  Are we even up to speed with voice messages, in terms of getting a 911 call where it needs to be without transferring the call several times?  Do some areas need to solve that problem first? 

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February 06, 2012

“There is nothing better than a friendly face in a disaster.”  A.D. Vickery  It has been said again and again that emergency management is all about relationships.  The quote above reflects that concept in that the “friendly face” is coming from someone you already know and have work with previously. 


Establishing and maintaining those relationships is key to success.  It takes hard work to do so.  There are many times when I have to “put on my happy face” and go out there and network when I’d rather go home or back to a hotel room and “get some work done.”  It will pay off in the future when disaster does strike and I’m able to work with many regional partners with whom I’ve got a working relationship.  

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February 07, 2012

Adam Crowe's blog post To Blog or not to Blog -- Why it matters in emergency management got me thinking about blogging in general and the trends that Adam wrote about.


Specifically, Adam reported that there are businesses that are using social media tools like LinkedIn and Facebook more these days and they are trending away from maintaining blogs or doing podcasts.  This highlighted what Adam commented on as the reason for why blogs are important to emergency managers.


I expect that companies have used blogs to help build their brand and to show the expertise of their employees in various subject areas.  I suppose you can do that with other social media tools.  For instance, I do use my Twitter page to point people to my blog posts.


For me, I've found that a blog is the best way to share information with others.  Sometimes it is just links to other sites and then I'll also add my own commentary if I feel there is something to add.  Getting good information out to people working in the field is what drives me and feeds my passion for sharing information.  


It takes time and effort to do blogging.  I expect that some of those businesses also found that some people who thought they wanted to blog discovered that being chained to the laptop and expecting to produce information on a regular basis felt like real work.


Lucky for me I have an understanding wife who puts up with me being upstairs in my office in the evenings for a couple of hours.  She's asleep in the morning when I'm up early doing postings and then we work the weekends out one way or the other.


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February 07, 2012

Somewhere I stumbled across a reference to the book Natural Hazards, Unnatural Disasters: The Economics of Effective Prevention which was published by the World Bank, United Nations.


An economic look at disasters sounds like heavy reading, but the reviews seem to suggest that it is an easy read.  Published in 2010 it is not that old and probably very relevant to our current world circumstances.  Interesting use of the word "prevention" which has generally been used here in the USA to mean terrorist prevention while mitigation has been the natural hazards word for reducing the impact of disasters.   


The book summary states:  

Earthquakes, droughts, floods, and storms are natural hazards, but unnatural disasters are the deaths and damages that result from human acts of omission and commission. Every disaster is unique, but each exposes actions--by individuals and governments at different levels--that, had they been different, would have resulted in fewer deaths and less damage. Prevention is possible, and this book examines what it takes to do this cost-effectively.

Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters looks at disasters primarily through an economic lens. Economists emphasize self-interest to explain how people choose the amount of prevention, insurance, and coping. But lenses can distort as well as sharpen images, so the book also draws from other disciplines: psychology to examine how people may misperceive risks, political science to understand voting patterns, and nutrition science to see how stunting in children after a disaster impairs cognitive abilities and productivity as adults much later. It asks not only the tough questions, but some unexpected ones as well: Should all disasters be prevented? Do disasters increase or decrease conflict? Does foreign aid help or hinder prevention? The answers are not obvious. Peering into the future, it finds that growing cities and a changing climate will shape the disaster prevention landscape. While it is cautious about the future, it is not alarmist.


The book is also available on Amazon.com and the price is right.

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February 07, 2012

Are you familiar with PreventionWeb?  It was developed with the aim of providing a common platform for the global Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) community to find and share information, exchange experience, connect and collaborate.


This takes a much more global perspective on disaster and risk reduction.


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