News in Emergency Management

Regrettably I’ve not posted in a few weeks due to a very busy schedule.  While that hasn’t broken, I did want to take some time to ensure that my readers have seen some recent news that has been circulating in emergency management as of late.

First, the FEMA mobile app has updated and is now providing the ability for users to receive weather alerts from up to five locations across the nation.  This is a particularly handy feature for those who have family and friends in other states or those who travel frequently to different areas.  With hazardous weather season upon us, be sure that you use the FEMA mobile app or other state or local alerting service to ensure that you, your family, and organization receive alerts.

Second, DHS has provided an update on the status of the LLIS (Lessons Learned Information Sharing) Libarary.  From the release I received this morning…

Dear LLIS.gov User,

This spring, the Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS) program will make a significant change. The LLIS.gov website will cease independent operations and will consolidate its content with the Naval Postgraduate School’s Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL.org) and FEMA.gov.

One of the advantages of this move is that LLIS.gov content such as lessons learned, innovative practices, after-action reports, plans, templates, guides, and other materials will be consolidated with the already substantial database on HSDL.org. This change will allow the homeland security and emergency management communities to find relevant information in one place. FEMA’s LLIS program will continue to produce trend analyses, case studies on the use of FEMA preparedness grants, and webinars relevant to the whole community. These products will be available to the public on FEMA.gov.
They don’t give any timeframe for this migration aside from stating that they will provide updates in the coming weeks.  Personally, I think this is a move that makes sense by consolidating some great sources of information.  I’m also happy to hear that FEMA will continue providing some data and trend analysis, although I’m hopeful that the information they provide is of greater value than what I have seen in the past.  I’m also curious if this will be somehow integrated into the new Data.gov site.  It’s unfortunate that LLIS has been pulled down for so long while they have sorted all this out.

Lastly, good news for coastal communities and those who have suffered inland tropical storm damages in the last few years – the prediction for the 2015 hurricane season is that we will have lower than average activity.  A link to the annual predictive analysis can be found here.

That’s all for now.  Stay safe.

© 2015 – Timothy Riecker

Emergency Preparedness Solutions, LLC

www.epsllc.biz 

Are you Ready for Hurricane Season 2014?

Today begins National Hurricane Preparedness Week, ushering in hurricane season which starts a week from today on June 1st.  In the last 10 years we have seen some absolutely devastating hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  These storms are powerful, taking lives, destroying homes and infrastructure, and changing the landscape.  We were reminded that these storms can bring strong winds and flooding rainfall not only to coastal areas but well inland where governments and residents may not be as prepared as they should.

The graphic below is the National Hurricane Center’s prediction for the year.  While there is plenty of science behind this, it’s an imperfect science.  It’s one thing to predict tomorrow’s weather, it’s something else entirely to predict Atlantic storms two months from now.  Like most things in emergency management, it’s a guide – so don’t let it lull you into false confidence.  Be sure to prepare!

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

What do you need to know to prepare?  The graphic below has a list of seminars conducted by the National Hurricane Center which are accessible via YouTube.  The first one starts today!  Go to this website for more information and the links to the YouTube videos.

Hurricane Preparedness Courses

Hurricane Preparedness Courses

Be smart this year and make sure you and your family are prepared and safe.  Government and business emergency managers – be sure to give your hurricane plans and associated annexes one more look this week to make sure they are current and ready to activate.  Also, there is no time like the present to make improvements.  Just because we’re entering hurricane season doesn’t mean you can’t update plans now.  Don’t wait until hurricane season is over!  Be sure to distribute copies of the plans to key stakeholders and to run a seminar to remind people of the general content of the plan and what is expected of them in the implementation of the plan.  Pay special attention to trigger points, decision points, and succession.  Be sure to verify the availability of key resources; test generators and IT fail overs.

If you are looking for some assistance in reviewing your plans, training staff, or exercising plans please contact Emergency Preparedness Solutions, LLC at consultants@epsllc.biz.  We’re happy to assist you!

Are you ready???