The spread of misinformation and disinformation or “fake news” during a disaster can cause confusion and pose a threat to public safety.
February is earthquake awareness month. Given their unpredictable nature it is important to understand how and where they happen, and how to prepare for a seismic event.
As Hurricane Dorian approaches the State of Florida as a potential devastating Category 4 hurricane, individuals, communities, and the State are already in preparation and response postures. From lines of cars packed with essentials heading north, to local emergency operation centers fully staffed, the State of Florida and its citizens are not amateurs when it […]
I’m sure most people do not think of renters as an especially vulnerable population, from an emergency management or any other perspective. However, south Louisiana’s (particularly the New Orleans area’s) recovery from Hurricane Katrina, and now the state of Louisiana’s recovery from the 2016 floods, makes it clear that without particular attention to renters who […]
The Challenge of Developing Situational Awareness During Hurricane Disasters—Part Three: Understanding the Impact (or the “What’s Next?”)
Hurricane Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City on October 29, 2012, at approximately 8 p.m. The 933-kilometer-wide storm produced 158 kph winds as it moved northwest toward the New Jersey coast as a Category 1 hurricane. A new state record was set for the lowest recorded barometric pressure (an indicator of storm strength), which was […]
The Challenge of Developing Situational Awareness During Hurricane Disasters—Part Two: Consequences (Or the “So What?”)
Historical data on the impact of past storms was useful in projecting potential consequences in New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy. In addition, FEMA, through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), provided maps of flood-prone areas and historical data on property flooding insurance claims as part of its mission to reduce the impact of flooding on […]
The Challenge of Developing Situational Awareness During Hurricane Disasters—Part One: Determining the What
Emergency management and civil defense agencies are responsible for coordinating response to a disaster. This coordination occurs in a centralized location—the emergency operations center—where information is gathered and analyzed to determine the impact or potential impact of an incident, ascertain resource needs, and establish priorities for assigning resources where they are needed most. I was […]
Where I live in Louisiana, we have been hearing a little more about emergency preparedness than normal lately with the start of hurricane season on June 1 fast approaching. Then this morning, I noticed that the week of May 16-20, 2016 has been designated as Business Continuity Awareness Week. A lot of the focus of […]
The explosion at the West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas, this week serves as a sobering reminder of the role of planning and zoning for facilities near chemical plants. Why were a middle school and a nursing home located so close to a fertilizer plant that stores and uses dangerous chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia? […]