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FEMA launches TED Talks approach to disaster response
Published on: 2/1/2018
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently held the first of its PrepTalks Symposiums, a TED Talks-style event that gives emergency management experts the chance to share their ideas on how to improve emergency response and preparedness.
Hawaii emergency worker behind false missile alert said he thought the state was really under attack
Published on: 1/30/2018
The emergency alert worker who sent a false ballistic missile alert to Hawaii residents told officials that he believed the state was actually under attack, according to a preliminary report from the FCC.
FCC Wants To Ensure Only Those Affected By Natural Disasters Get Emergency Messages
Published on: 1/30/2018
Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is proposing changes in the way alerts are sent to cell phones, hoping to make them more targeted. Such changes might have better informed residents of Houston during last year's hurricane related flooding and California residents during wildfires.
Emergency Notifications, Texting, and the FCC
Published on: 1/28/2018
Since 1990, federal law has required colleges and universities to have a notification system for emergencies such as natural disasters, active shooters, bomb threats and more. K-12 schools are also required to develop emergency alerting protocols. Campuses send out critical information through multiple fronts, such as text alerts, broadcast emails, institution homepages, apps, and Twitter.
Could Hawaii's Missile Alert Error Happen in Florida? Remember the Bogus Boiled Water Notice...
Published on: 1/22/2018
'Volusia County boil water notice. Residents are advised to boil water before consumption,' warned the notice. It was a mistake.
Corps Pitches Unprecedented Watershed Study After Harvey
Published on: 1/22/2018
The first-of-its-kind study in the Houston area - called a Metropolitan Houston Regional Watershed Assessment - would examine 22 watersheds in the region, analyzing how stormwater moves from rooftops and streets to bayous and creeks.
Flu Season Worst Since 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic
Published on: 1/21/2018
Forty Washingtonians died from the flu in the past week, according to the Washington Department of Health, nearly doubling the total flu season count to 86 deaths.
Money, Climate Change and Disaster Management
Published on: 1/19/2018
2017 was the costliest year for weather- and climate-related disasters. Will the trend continue?
Tornado Sirens Sound Funny? It's Time to Duck and Cover
Published on: 1/18/2018
The warning sirens in Sedgwick County have two different modes: The alert mode, a steady tone used for tornadoes and tested most Mondays at noon, and the attack mode, a classic rise and fall sound used for air attacks.
FEMA Confirms State's Delay in Call for Guidance
Published on: 1/18/2018
There are reports of Hawaii drivers running off the road, children hiding out in manholes, and one man claimed that he had a stress-induced heart attack.
Inspection Tech Finds Role in Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Recovery Efforts
Published on: 1/17/2018
In the upcoming weeks, Texas Energy Raters will take infrared drone technology to Puerto Rico to help conduct aerial inspections.
Florida County Officials Take Heat over Irma Response
Published on: 1/17/2018
Issues such as housing, post-storm communication with the public and debris removal dominated a meeting that at moments turned emotional.
Investigations Into Hawaii Missile Scare Intensify
Published on: 1/16/2018
Residents and tourists spent a terrifying Saturday morning thinking that an attack was imminent all because a state employee in a Diamond Head bunker clicked his mouse twice.
Emergency Managers Hopeful on Wireless Emergency Alerts Upgrades
Published on: 1/11/2018
FCC releases proposal that would be a huge boon for public safety.
Alert System Offers Agencies Unique Tool in Kentucky
Published on: 11/29/2017
Since it was approved for purchase in 2015, Daviess County Emergency Management Agency and Parks and Recreations have been using the ping4alerts! system to send alerts to people who have downloaded the app.
Los Angeles Seeks to Build—and Share—an Earthquake Early Warning App
Published on: 11/29/2017
Local officials in Los Angeles are seeking a firm to design an “Earthquake Early Warning Mobile Application for use by City residents.”
Sign up Before Next Emergency
Published on: 11/19/2017
He said, aside from the expense, terrain in the foothills can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of sirens and modern technological solutions are more cost effective and reach just as many people.
Unsolicited Funds and Missed Opportunities
Published on: 11/17/2017
I was the first FEMA administrator to have a Twitter handle, and I did that because I believed that social media was creating a community that we could activate. Disasters affect all of us from coast to coast, and simply aren’t local anymore. At FEMA, I set our social media team with the task to build an app that would allow people to get assistance quicker and to notify people about how they could get help. But I knew that wasn’t enough.
Study Targets Toxic Exposure in Firefighters After North Bay Fires
Published on: 11/16/2017
About 85 Sonoma County firefighters will undergo limited health screenings for a study of first responders' exposure to toxins during last month's destructive fires.
Emotional Keynote on Las Vegas Shooting a Highlight at IAEM Conference
Published on: 11/15/2017
How planning and collaboration between various agencies and jurisdictions produced 'muscle memory.'
Walt Disney Co., Full-Scale Exercise Highlights Day at IAEM
Published on: 11/14/2017
Public-private full-scale exercises aren't that common, especially when they feature The Walt Disney Company.
Not Deploying Available Technology in Wireless Emergency Alerts Is ‘Costing us Lives’
Published on: 11/8/2017
It was September 2016 when the FCC adopted rules to enhance wireless alerts, including increasing the maximum length of messages from 90 characters to 360 characters and requiring that providers support embedding phone numbers and URLs in alerts.
California Firestorm Took Deadly Toll on Elderly; Average Age of Victims Identified so far is 79
Published on: 10/13/2017
Among the dozen people identified by Sonoma and Napa county officials as of late Thursday, the average age of those who died was 79. The youngest victim was 57, the oldest 100.
California Fires: PG&E Power Lines Fell in Winds That Weren't 'Hurricane Strength'
Published on: 10/13/2017
PG&E said Tuesday that 'hurricane strength winds in excess of 75 mph in some cases' had damaged their equipment, but they said it was too early to speculate what started the fires.
Sonoma County Officials Opted Not to Send Mass Alert on Deadly Fire
Published on: 10/12/2017
It’s unclear how much that decision might have affected area residents’ responses to the deadly wildfires, particularly since many cell phone towers were destroyed in the blaze, making such messages undeliverable.
Spreading the Word: Standing Up a Public Health Info Center Post-Disaster
Published on: 10/6/2017
Rockport, Texas doesn’t have a public health officer. It didn’t have one before August 26th and it still doesn’t since Hurricane Harvey. The storm turned the entire city inside out, wiping well over half the houses and buildings off the map, flooding those that still stood and leaving the population of both locals and snowbirds flat on their backs.
Public health innovation impacts disaster relief efforts
Published on: 10/5/2017
Where do you go when your house, clinic and pharmacy have been destroyed and the hospital has been evacuated?
Data-Driven Emergency Response: Learning from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
Published on: 10/3/2017
Leaders from Houston and Miami weigh in on the power of data in emergency management—and the need to do more.
The Hidden Hazard: Data without Structure in Emergency Management
Published on: 10/3/2017
Big data and analytics present myriad possibilities for emergency management specialists and first responders. Some of these benefits include understanding site-level impacts as they develop in real-time, adding value to programs such as Business Continuity, and creating intelligence to be used in the Planning Section of an Emergency Operations Center.
Google and Facebook help spread bad information after Las Vegas attack
Published on: 10/3/2017
In the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, people turned to Facebook and Google, looking for news about what happened and, in some cases, updates about their friends and loved ones in the area.
Las Vegas Attack Is the Deadliest Mass Shooting in Modern U.S. History
Published on: 10/2/2017
Just before midnight in Las Vegas, multiple sources confirmed a gunman shooting from the 32nd floor of a building fired at concertgoers outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Sunday.
Puerto Rico Nearing 'Humanitarian Crisis' After Hurricane Maria, Says Governor
Published on: 9/26/2017
Nearly all of Puerto Rico lost power after the hurricane, and residents continue to struggle in search of proper food and water.
FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center in Venice
Published on: 9/26/2017
It's best to register with FEMA now — within the 60-day window — so if hidden damage is discovered in the coming months, homeowners still may be eligible for FEMA reimbursement.
Google activates crisis map and person finder for Puerto Rico
Published on: 9/23/2017
As the efforts to stabilize Puerto Rico progress, and the humanitarian crisis becomes more evident, Google has activated a Person Finder service.
After Hurricane Irma, Many Ask: How Safe Are Shelters?
Published on: 9/21/2017
'We had so many people turned away from shelters because they were full — which is amazing that could happen in the state of Florida.'
Drone Usage Post-Harvey Will Hit 'Landmark' Level, FAA Chief Says
Published on: 9/11/2017
Drones are playing a transformative role in post-hurricane operations in the Houston area, and the FAA had to give clearances quickly.
Record-Breaking Hurricanes Stretch and Strain FEMA
Published on: 9/11/2017
Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have illustrated how the disaster agency — unable to be everywhere at once — has been forced to become more nimble.
How We Could Better Leverage Social Media During Disasters Like Harvey
Published on: 9/5/2017
When calling 911 failed, stranded Houstonians turned to Twitter and Facebook.
Trump FEMA Chief Supports Cutting Coverage for Flood-Prone Homes
Published on: 8/24/2017
President Donald Trump’s emergency management director said he’s pushing for an overhaul of disaster relief so that states, cities and homeowners bear more of the costs, and less of the risk falls on the federal government.
Civil Defense Reincarnated
Published on: 7/11/2017
If history repeats itself, we may be about to turn the corner and head back to having at least some focus on civil defense. Emergency management is, after all, a product of the civil defense era. What I think is perhaps pushing us in that direction is the threat from North Korea.
President Trump's Projected Budget Cutbacks Could Undermine Homeland Security
Published on: 7/11/2017
When President Trump unveiled his fiscal year 2018 Budget Blueprint this spring, the emergency management community shuddered.
Self-dispatching in Emergencies and Disasters
Published on: 2/9/2016
As an emergency professional, we are prepared to deal with unexpected situations, including disasters. Every time we hear about potential or real crisis, we automatically review the procedures in our minds and the desire to help is enormous. On many occasions, I would like to go directly to a scene to assist the victims and my peers. I believe that this feeling is not different among everyone involved in this field.