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Social media is a relatively new communications tool. However, today it dominates many aspects for how people communicate in their personal lives and is of increasing importance in business and government. In this podcast we will be exploring how social media is being used, or not used, by emergency managers, before, during and after a disaster. My guest today is Dr. Claire Connolly Knox with the University of Central Florida where she is an Associate Professor of Public Administration. As part of our discussions, we’ll be learning about the challenges and opportunities for emergency management to use social media. Here is link to an article on a study she worked on relating to disasters and social media When Hurricanes Strike, Social Media Can Save Lives  And, since I mentioned it when the topic of Hurricane Katrina came up, here is a link to the Washington Post Op-ed I had published at the time the levees failed in New Orleans, Destroying FEMA.This episode is sponsored by Bent Ear Solutions which offers comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. We advise public and private organizations on an all-inclusive approach to disaster preparedness that addresses governance, planning, operational procedures, technology implementation, training, and exercises in order to achieve a successful and sustainable program.
School Shootings

School Shootings

2022-08-0239:29

It is unfortunate that mass shootings continue to occur and that schools remain a target for unhinged gunmen. In this podcast Meg Cuttino is the guest. She was a former law enforcement officer and School Resource Officer (SRO), until she became the emergency management coordinator for the University of South Carolina’s regional campuses. Today she is an emergency management consultant with Hagerty Consulting. In this podcast we discuss what has changed about responding to school shootings since the 1999 Columbine High School Shooting and what can be done to prevent school shootings from physical security at schools to having more school counselors. The terrible tragedy that happened at Uvalde Texas is also discussed.  Dynamis, a leading provider of information management software and security solutions, is a sponsor of this podcast.
Oregon Emergency Management is undergoing a major transition from being a division of the Oregon National Guard to now being a Department of Emergency Management reporting directly to the Governor of Oregon. Andrew Phelps, Director of Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management is the guest for this podcast.  In it he details some of the key factors that made that transition happen and how the move will impact their ability to more effectively provide emergency management services. It should be noted that they have doubled the size of their workforce! This change in organizational placement happened on July 1, 2022. For a brief summary of that move see this Disaster Zone Blog Post: Oregon Emergency Management Moves Under the Governor We also discuss the relationship between Andrew Phelps and Mike Harryman, the Oregon State Resilience Officer. To learn more about that position see a previous Disaster Zone Podcast, Oregon State Resilience Officer where he was interviewed. This episode is sponsored by Unearth. Unearth’s emergency response software connects field responders and the command center, equipping teams with mobile tools for rapid damage assessments, real-time incident tracking, and seamless information sharing. Empower field teams where their work actually happens - reducing response times, optimizing resource management, and simplifying reporting with a dynamic, map-based field operations platform.
Dr. Jeff Stern is the Superintendent of the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), located at Emmitsburg Maryland. EMI is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) center for the development and delivery of emergency management instructional curriculum that is delivered both in-person and remotely via technology. In this podcast we discuss the history of EMI and how it and the curriculum is constantly changing, just as our national threats have evolved over the years. Dr. Stern discusses the development of emergency management as a profession and how the training and education of the current and future workforce are his top priorities. The Blue Cell is a by-design crisis and consequence management consulting firm with a primary focus on education and training for government at all levels, non governmental agencies and private sector entities engaged in incident and emergency management activities.
One of the aspects of our environment that impacts us on a daily basis is the weather. When it comes to disasters, the weather can be the cause of the disaster and even if it isn’t, weather conditions are something we need to always concern ourselves with. In this podcast the guest is Reid Wolcott, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) Seattle In the podcast we have a wide-ranging discussion about how the NWS is organized and the weather products that they provide. In the second half we discuss the issuance of warnings, changes come to warning terminology and all the different electronic means used to issue warnings.This episode is sponsored by Bent Ear Solutions which offers comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. We advise public and private organizations on an all-inclusive approach to disaster preparedness that addresses governance, planning, operational procedures, technology implementation, training, and exercises in order to achieve a successful and sustainable program.
When asked, emergency managers will unfailingly say that the first critical infrastructure that needs to be restored after a disaster is communications. In this podcast I interview two T-Mobile subject matter experts, Rodney Cooper and Casey Muilenburg who, along with others, are responsible for the T-Mobile Emergency Response Team (ERT). We discuss all the components that make up an ERT, both equipment and personnel. T-Mobile now has a robust ERT capability that can be deployed for both planned events and for the wide range of disasters that communities might experience. Listening to this podcast will give you a good basis for understanding their capabilities and how to request their assistance. This podcast is sponsored by T-Mobile for Government, providing innovative connectivity solutions that help government better serve citizens by enabling agencies to work more intelligently, efficiently, and securely. Their mobile device management solutions help safeguard sensitive data and their network is ideal for unlocking game-changing loT technology.  T-Mobile provides 24x7x365 support, so they are ready to help you when communications are critical. T-Mobile is America’s largest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network.Capable device required for 5G; coverage not available in some areas. Some uses may require certain plan or feature; see T-Mobile.com. Fastest: Based on median, overall combined 5G speeds according to analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data 5G download speeds for Q1 2022. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission. Most Reliable: According to an audit report conducted by independent third party umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience including task completion collected from November 2021 to May 2022. Full details can be found on: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA. umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience including task completion collected from November 2021 to May 2022. Full details can be found on: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA.
Melanie Spring has over 18 years of experience in engineering, operations, continuous improvement, organizational change management, and business transformation, primarily in power and utilities.  Having just moved to consulting, her focus is now on helping organizations grow and transform by adopting improved business processes and finding new ways of working, enabled by technology investments.  In her time at a large public utility, Melanie held a number of storm positions in addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, including leading damage assessment, crew management, restoration strategy, and resource logistics.  Melanie served as the Louisiana Incident Response Logistics Chief for her utility for several years, including the historic 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season in which five storms made landfall in Louisiana.This episode is sponsored by Unearth. Unearth’s emergency response software connects field responders and the command center, equipping teams with mobile tools for rapid damage assessments, real-time incident tracking, and seamless information sharing. Empower field teams where their work actually happens - reducing response times, optimizing resource management, and simplifying reporting with a dynamic, map-based field operations platform.
One of the things that the COVID Pandemic has highlighted is the growing shortage of healthcare workers. This is especially true in rural areas of the United States.  Erin J. McLaughlin  An employment attorney discusses the causes and impacts of this labor shortage and what is being done to address it. See a previous Disaster Zone Blog post directly related to this subject about an initiative by the National Governor’s Association (NGA) to work in concert with one another, Health Worker Shortage. Dynamis, a leading provider of information management software and security solutions, is a sponsor of this podcast.
One of the innovations coming out of the response to the COVID Pandemic is the use of Microsoft Teams as a platform for managing a remote response to the event. MS Teams can combine with the power of Esri ArcGIS to provide the mapping function which was a winning combination for some jurisdictions and companies. Chris Mcintosh, Bent Ear Solutions is my guest, along with Carrie Tropasso, Director of Technology for Bent Ear Solutions and Sheena Connelly, Emergency Management Preparedness and Logistics for EverSource Energy Together in this podcast we explore the advantages of using existing technologies already being used within an organization to optimize their ability to manage a disaster response and recovery. I was impressed with the ability of the software to capture all the documentation that is needed.This episode is sponsored by Bent Ear Solutions which offers comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. We advise public and private organizations on an all-inclusive approach to disaster preparedness that addresses governance, planning, operational procedures, technology implementation, training, and exercises in order to achieve a successful and sustainable program.
Plans Vs. Play Books

Plans Vs. Play Books

2022-06-0744:20

Planning is one of the major tasks that all emergency managers undertake. We have all manner of plans that need to be written, from general all-hazard plans to those that encompass special hazards like dams, pandemics, HAZMAT, school shootings, and on and on. In this podcast we hear from Brad Milliken who’s day-job is serving as an Emergency Management Specialist at the White House Operations Center. He lays out a case for doing planning differently. In addition to the podcast, you can read his article on the same topic in Emergency Management Magazine, Ditch the Plan and Write a Playbook.The Blue Cell is a by-design crisis and consequence management consulting firm with a primary focus on education and training for government at all levels, non governmental agencies and private sector entities engaged in incident and emergency management activities.
Ever since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 there has been a much stronger relationship between law enforcement and emergency management. In this podcast we explore that relationship with Paul Pastor, the former Pierce County, Washington State Sheriff. It is a wide-ranging discussion of challenges being faced by both professions. One of the topics covered included how we need to become prepared for much longer duration events, like that which we have endured with the COVID pandemic. We also covered climate change, the political climate, and how we need to work towards more transparency. This episode is sponsored by Unearth. Unearth’s emergency response software connects field responders and the command center, equipping teams with mobile tools for rapid damage assessments, real-time incident tracking, and seamless information sharing. Empower field teams where their work actually happens - reducing response times, optimizing resource management, and simplifying reporting with a dynamic, map-based field operations platform.
Morgan Wright is the Chief Security Advisor at SentinelOne and an internationally recognized expert on cybersecurity strategy, cyber terrorism, and advanced technology. His landmark testimony before Congress on Healthcare.gov changed how the government collected personally identifiable information. He has made hundreds of appearances on national news, radio, and print. In this podcast Morgan highlights how Russia is playing the long game when it comes to cybersecurity. He also contrasts their goals with those of China. This episode is sponsored by Bent Ear Solutions which offers comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. We advise public and private organizations on an all-inclusive approach to disaster preparedness that addresses governance, planning, operational procedures, technology implementation, training, and exercises in order to achieve a successful and sustainable program.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10 has a new Regional Administrator, Willie Nunn. Nunn had previously been a Federal Coordination Officer (FCO) for a number of years. In this podcast we explore how his past experiences, personal and professional have shaped his approach to his new position. We also delve into what makes FEMA Region 10 unique in its own way, from the people, hazards and approaches to emergency management. Logistics for instance, will be a huge challenge following a subduction earthquake that impacts all the states in his territory.The Blue Cell is a by-design crisis and consequence management consulting firm with a primary focus on education and training for government at all levels, non governmental agencies and private sector entities engaged in incident and emergency management activities.Dynamis, a leading provider of information management software and security solutions, is a sponsor of this podcast.
Keith Krach is the former chairman and CEO of DocuSign. He has been recognized for his work in B2B Commerce and Digital Transaction Management. He has held leadership positions with Angie’s List and General Motors. Formerly he was Chairman of the board of Trustees for Purdue University. Lastly, he served as the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment in the last presidential administration. In this podcast we have a wide ranging discussion about a variety of technologies, to include how the competition with China and their business practices, along with their unethical approach to the treatment of their own citizens needs to be taken into account as we move forward. Today he is continuing to advance freedom and defend against authoritarianism through the KRACH INSTITUTE FOR TECH DIPLOMACY.This episode is sponsored by Unearth. Unearth’s emergency response software connects field responders and the command center, equipping teams with mobile tools for rapid damage assessments, real-time incident tracking, and seamless information sharing. Empower field teams where their work actually happens - reducing response times, optimizing resource management, and simplifying reporting with a dynamic, map-based field operations platform.
Who’s responsibility is it to develop the next generation of emergency managers? I think that all of us must be contributing to that effort. In this podcast, Pete Gaynor, the immediate past Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator shares his ideas on Next Generation Emergency Managers The link will take you to his recent opinion piece in Emergency Management MagazineGaynor calls for more of a structured system of “education” and not training throughout the working life of an emergency manager. In the second half of the podcast, we go through a list of ten skills that emergency managers need and why he thinks these are important. We also discussed the value of “failing” during one’s career. This podcast is sponsored by T-Mobile for Government, providing innovative connectivity solutions that help government better serve citizens by enabling agencies to work more intelligently, efficiently, and securely. Their mobile device management solutions help safeguard sensitive data and their network is ideal for unlocking game-changing loT technology.  T-Mobile provides 24x7x365 support, so they are ready to help you when communications are critical. T-Mobile is America’s largest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network.Capable device required for 5G; coverage not available in some areas. Some uses may require certain plan or feature; see T-Mobile.com. Fastest: Based on median, overall combined 5G speeds according to analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data 5G download speeds for Q1 2022. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission. Most Reliable: According to an audit report conducted by independent third party umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience including task completion collected from November 2021 to May 2022. Full details can be found on: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA. umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience including task completion collected from November 2021 to May 2022. Full details can be found on: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA.
In our 21st Century workplace and personal lives, technology has dominated, and thus cybersecurity has become an ever more important consideration. For each and every organization, be it public or private, along with cybersecurity comes the need to protect the privacy of people and organizations. In this podcast Ginger Armbruster, Chief Privacy Officer for the City of Seattle shares some best practices concerning integrating privacy protections into work that organizations are doing on cybersecurity. The website mentioned in the podcast is Seattle Open Data.This episode is sponsored by Bent Ear Solutions which offers comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. We advise public and private organizations on an all-inclusive approach to disaster preparedness that addresses governance, planning, operational procedures, technology implementation, training, and exercises in order to achieve a successful and sustainable program.
When emergencies and disasters strike, we all depend on 911 Centers to be functional. Disasters range from earthquakes, cyberattacks and wildfires to local power outages, an ice storm or a white powder delivered to your door. Today 911 Centers are tech heavy places and getting even more technical as they try to keep up with consumer technology trends. In this podcast we explore the technical side of 911 Centers and how they are meeting the challenges brought on by the 21st Century. Bill Schrier, a Public Safety Advisor with many years of experience in government information technology walks us through how 911 Centers function and 911 system plans for the future.Dynamis, a leading provider of information management software and security solutions, is a sponsor of this podcast.This podcast is sponsored by T-Mobile for Government, providing innovative connectivity solutions that help government better serve citizens by enabling agencies to work more intelligently, efficiently, and securely. Their mobile device management solutions help safeguard sensitive data and their network is ideal for unlocking game-changing loT technology.  T-Mobile provides 24x7x365 support, so they are ready to help you when communications are critical. T-Mobile is America’s largest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network.Capable device required for 5G; coverage not available in some areas. Some uses may require certain plan or feature; see T-Mobile.com. Fastest: Based on median, overall combined 5G speeds according to analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data 5G download speeds for Q1 2022. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission. Most Reliable: According to an audit report conducted by independent third party umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience including task completion collected from November 2021 to May 2022. Full details can be found on: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA. umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience including task completion collected from November 2021 to May 2022. Full details can be found on: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA.
Supply chains have been in the news for the last two years. Their vulnerability has been highlighted in many different ways during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In this podcast we learn about cybersecurity and dependencies that exist between elements of our various supply chains.  Our guest, Missy Gillette, a Senior Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton has the expertise and experience to share best practices with the Disaster Zone audience. The time to take action is now, before you and your organization become the next cybersecurity hack. This episode is sponsored by Unearth. Unearth’s emergency response software connects field responders and the command center, equipping teams with mobile tools for rapid damage assessments, real-time incident tracking, and seamless information sharing. Empower field teams where their work actually happens - reducing response times, optimizing resource management, and simplifying reporting with a dynamic, map-based field operations platform.
The Incident Command System (ICS) can be complex in itself to any novice learning about it for the first time. What can make it even more challenging is when disciplines and jurisdictions begin trying to operate as a Unified Command. The concept of unified command is not well understood and what appears clear cut decision making can be countered by others as being inappropriate. Unified Command and how ICS interfaces with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is also discussed in this podcast. Todd Manns, Founder of The Blue Cell a virtual Incident Command System and consequence management training company, is the guest. The Blue Cell is a by-design crisis and consequence management consulting firm with a primary focus on education and training for government at all levels, non governmental agencies and private sector entities engaged in incident and emergency management activities.
With every advance on the technological front, we are getting closer and closer to having real-time situational awareness when disasters strike. This is happening via a variety of means. One of which is the seismic monitoring of buildings for what seismic (G forces) they have been exposed to. Knowing that, along with the age of the building, the construction methods and soils that they sit on, you can project the amount of damages that might have occurred to the structure. This topic and earthquakes in general are the subject of this podcast that is an interview with Taka Yokoyama, Director of Operations for Safehub. This episode is sponsored by Bent Ear Solutions which offers comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. We advise public and private organizations on an all-inclusive approach to disaster preparedness that addresses governance, planning, operational procedures, technology implementation, training, and exercises in order to achieve a successful and sustainable program.
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