John Solomon, the life-affirming voice of this blog, died Monday, November 1, from complications following a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. He was 47.
To readers of this blog, this news is not only devastating but also shocking. We knew that John was struggling for the past two years, but it was sometimes easy to get [...]
Posted: November 2, 2010, 10:14 pm
During hurricane season and National Preparedness Month, state and local emergency management offices in communities around the U.S.Â will often work with private businesses to promote public readiness. Typical is North Carolina County Emergency Management Services hurricane project with the United WayÂ in which:
Stores across the area are hosting a Hurricane Preparedness and Awareness event throughout the [...]
Posted: September 27, 2010, 9:37 am
The big show business news of this past week was that the three “American Idol” judges — Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson — have been officially announced.
So, what’s the angle for this blog? It’s the family emergency preparedness pamphlet from the Children’s Health Fund that the show helped pay for, which was developed [...]
Posted: September 25, 2010, 5:52 pm
Alabama’s innovativeÂ “Be Ready Sunday,” initiative encouraging faith-based organizations to educate their congregations on how to respond when a man-made or natural disaster strikes takes place this weekend. It should be replicated in other parts of the nation.
According to the “Ready Alabama” website:
The Governorâ€™s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Alabama Department of Homeland [...]
Posted: September 24, 2010, 5:30 pm
A two-day drill,Â Exercise 24 (X24),Â was launched today by San Diego State University’s Immersive Visualization Center in large part to test how social media would be used to respond to a crisis. According to a CNN.com article, “Fake Earthquake Disaster Drill Tests Facebook, Twitter”:
The idea is to test the speed and widen the scope of responses [...]
Posted: September 24, 2010, 4:40 pm
Thanks to Hal Grieb for flagging two eye-catching preparedness fashion items that seem to combine both form and function. And I thought it would be of interest for those who follow what the Portland Red Cross likes to call Prepare-aphernalia.
First, according to a FoxNews.com article, “In Case of Emergency, Please Remove Your Bra,”
Caught in a [...]
Posted: September 24, 2010, 2:50 pm
I recently watched a review copy of Harry Shearer’s new documentary “The Big Uneasy,” which examines the underlyingÂ reasons for theÂ Hurricane Katrina disaster. The movie was particularly striking to me in that it takes a rare non-partisan approach to the topic.
In fact, Shearer — the actor, comedian, activist and a New Orleans residentÂ – said he was [...]
Posted: September 23, 2010, 10:09 pm
Over the past few weeks, emergency evacuation has been necessary in different parts of the nation from the wildfires in Colorado and Utah to Hurricane Earl that impacted towns and cities straight up the East Coast.
What has been particularly interesting to me is the dichotomy between the communities that are accustomed to evacuating and others [...]
Posted: September 22, 2010, 9:45 pm
At the Red Cross’s Emergency Social Data Summit, I had the opportunity to speak with Jack Holt, Senior Strategist for Emerging Media at the U.S. Department of Defense,
In this edition of the blog’s “What Should We Tell The Public?” video series, Holt recommends that citizens “do a risk analysis” of their area and then prepare [...]
Posted: September 22, 2010, 2:46 pm
The City of Dallas wants the public to “help us determine how the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) can better serve you when it comes to social media.” Dallas OEM has created a short survey with a few basic social media questions for citizens. It is also polling other public safety agencies on the same [...]
Posted: September 21, 2010, 10:48 pm
On Saturday, the first-ever “Global CrisisCamp Day” will be hosted in London, Toronto, Washington D.C.,Â Calgary, and virtually to encourage people to lead CrisisCamps and volunteer their expertise and skills to create innovative approaches, resources and tools for crisis response and global development.Â I would be attending the event in Washington but have a medical appointment, and [...]
Posted: September 21, 2010, 6:04 pm
A new Congressionally-mandated commission has found that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) risk analysis capabilities and methods are not yet adequate for supporting DHS decision making.
The National Academies’ commission’s report — “Review of the Department of Homeland Security’s Approach to Risk Analysis” — does, however, approve of the Department’s current risk approach on natural [...]
Posted: September 21, 2010, 3:15 pm
For government authorities one of — if not the most — important part of homeland security/disaster preparedness and response is its credibility with the public. There will always be skepticism about government communication, but the ability of the authorities to be able to be trusted during and after a crisis is vital. It’s in large [...]
Posted: September 21, 2010, 12:34 am
A congressionally-mandated commission says the United States has an “urgent” need to implement changes in the way the U.S. Department of Defense plans for and would respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) incident.
The report of the “Advisory Panel on Department of Defense Capabilities for Support of Civil Authorities After Certain [...]
Posted: September 20, 2010, 7:15 pm
At college, it’s usually the students who do the pranks. But at the University of Delaware earlier this month, administrators turned the tables for, of all things, an emergency preparedness drill. According to an article (and video report) fromÂ WDEL-AM:
University of Delaware students lined up for what they were told was going to be a “GREEK” [...]
Posted: September 20, 2010, 4:47 pm
The U.S. House of RepresentativesÂ is expected to retake action this week on the Zadroga Act, which would support health care programs set for first responders and civilians who became ill as a result of 9/11. The legislation got caught up in some political and procedural infighting earlier in the summer.
I hope and trust that the [...]
Posted: September 20, 2010, 1:46 pm
On Thursday night, twin tornadoes and a microburst went through New York City killing one person, ripping out 150 trees and damaging a number of cars and homes.
Tornadoes are clearly not typical here in the Big Apple — though we had a similar if less serious incident with them earlier in the summer. But it [...]
Posted: September 18, 2010, 8:04 pm
A report issued to Congress on Friday says that the U.S.’s ability to detect tsunamis has improved in the last few years, but many coastal communities remain at risk because the government is unprepared to quickly warn people. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times:
The United States is particularly ill-equipped to give warning [...]
Posted: September 18, 2010, 3:36 pm
The Mineta Transportation Institute has released a report evaluating the security awareness tips campaigns aimed at the public, along the lines of the “See Something, Say Something” initiative, of five San Francisco-area transportation agencies.
Exploring the Effectiveness of Transit Security Awareness Campaigns in the San Francisco Bay Area finds:Â ”none of the five agencies analyzed for this [...]
Posted: September 17, 2010, 4:14 pm
As readers of this blog know, I am advocate of establishing a single national day dedicated to emergency preparedness.Â I believe that it would be very useful to have a specific time each year in which the entire nation focuses on this challenging and sensitive subject.
This day would be the time that we developed and practiced [...]
Posted: September 17, 2010, 12:28 pm
FEMA and the Ad Council today are releasing a new series of bilingual PSAs aimed at encouraging Americans to prepare for emergencies. The Spanish PSA’s direct viewers to Listo.Gov, the Spanish version of Ready.gov and the English to Ready.
One of the FEMA/Ad Council Listo.Gov Spanish PSAs.
One of the FEMA/Ad Council Ready.Gov English PSAs.
Posted: September 16, 2010, 12:56 pm
A report released at today’s National Summit on Youth Preparedness says “schools are an ideal place for children to learn disaster preparedness.”Â The study, Bringing Youth Preparedness Education to the Forefront: A Literature Review and Recommendations, looks at best practices, scholarship and offers recommendations. It is worth reading for this interested in the subject.
The Department [...]
Posted: September 15, 2010, 6:11 pm
One of the objectives of this year’s National Preparedness Month (NPM) is to highlight the value of personal technology for citizens in emergency situations. So, I wanted to mention that the simulation company,Â Depiction, will be holding a freeÂ webinar this week on that subject –Â “Preparing Your Community with Personal Technology” -Â Thursday, September 16, 2010 7:00 PM [...]
Posted: September 15, 2010, 4:30 pm
I’m always on the lookout for clever preparedness ideas and have found one in my own backyard.
New York City’s Office of Emergency Management (NYC-OEM) has organized an interesting partnership with several museums. Any New Yorkers who visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the Museum of Art and Design, or the FDNY Fire Zone [...]
Posted: September 15, 2010, 11:47 am
Mike Coston at the always thoughtfulÂ Avian Flu Diary blog recently addressed a topic I was meaning to discuss but had not yet gotten around to.Â In a post,Â “NPM10: The Ethics of Prepping,” Coston raises the question whether “it is unfair, or somehow unethical, to ask those with greater financial means to prepare for disasters while some [...]
Posted: September 14, 2010, 11:52 am