Useful Analysis of Blogging

Although the writer is a financial columnist, and major league blogger (30,000 posts!), his analysis of the features of blogging are interesting to those of us who also ply the trade.

See:  After 30,000 posts, Big Picture blogger has figured a few things out.


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New GAO Report on Critical Infrastructure

Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Action Needed to Enhance Integration and Coordination of Vulnerability Assessment Efforts [Reissued on September 17, 2014]. Some excerpts from the report:

Damage from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy in 2012 highlights the vulnerability of the nation’s CI. CI includes assets and systems whose destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, or national public health or safety. The private sector owns the majority of the nation’s CI, and multiple federal entities, including DHS, are involved in assessing its vulnerabilities. These assessments can identify factors that render an asset or facility susceptible to threats and hazards. GAO was asked to review how federal entities assess vulnerabilities.

This report examines the extent to which DHS is positioned to (1) integrate DHS vulnerability assessments to identify priorities, (2) identify duplication and gaps within its coverage, and (3) manage an integrated and coordinated government-wide assessment approach. GAO reviewed CI laws, regulations, data from fiscal years 2011-13, and other related documentation, as well as interviewed officials at DHS, other agencies, and a private CI association.

What GAO Recommends: GAO recommends that DHS identify the areas assessed for vulnerability most important for integrating and comparing results, establish guidance for DHS offices and components to incorporate these areas into their assessments, ensure that assessment data are consistently collected, and work with other federal entities to develop guidance for what areas to include in vulnerability assessments, among other things. DHS concurred with these recommendations.

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Evacuation from Disasters on Foot

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst—Geographic Information Systems Software for Modeling Hazard Evacuation Potential

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar.  It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

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New Resilience Report – from OECD

Building a Roadmap to Resilience: Tools for field people:

Everybody is talking about resilience. The idea that people, institutions and states need the right tools, assets and skills to deal with an increasingly complex, interconnected and evolving risk landscape, while retaining the ability to seize opportunities to increase overall well-being, is widely accepted.

This document provides a step by step approach to resilience systems analysis, a tool that helps field practitioners to:

•    prepare for, and facilitate, a successful multi- stakeholder resilience analysis workshop
•    design a roadmap to boost the resilience of communities and societies
•    integrate the results of the analysis into their development and humanitarian programming

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Two Notable Reports from the World Bank Conference on Recovery

The World Bank Conference, details of which I noted last week, was interesting and provided a wide array of views and experiences. Two of the the reports I acquired that I think are notable are:

(1) Area Business Continuity Management; Scalable Cross Sector Coordination Framework of Disaster management for Business Continuity. Japan International Cooperation Agency. [16 pp; no date.]
(2) Guide to Developing Disaster Recovery Frameworks: World Reconstruction Conference Version, Sept. 2014. (100 pages) Source: GFDRR.

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HUD to Launch Competition for Disaster Resilience Money

I have heard this twice before; hopefully, the third time is the charm! From the Asbury Park (NJ) Press: HUD launches competition for disaster resilience money.

States and localities recovering from natural disasters, including Superstorm Sandy, can begin competing for a portion of nearly $1 billion in grants to recover from those disasters and protect themselves against future ones, the nation’s top housing official said Wednesday.

Here is the direct link to the HUD website for more details.

Update on Sept. 19th: today the Rockefeller Foundation announced they will be collaborating with HUD on this new initiative.

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Further Discussion of “Disaster Recovery Is a National Disgrace”

Guest Posting from an experienced EM practitioner, and former co-director of the EM Forum, Ms Avagene Moore. [This is a follow on to the posting done last week with title noted above.]

Einstein also said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This can be applied to all aspects of the disaster business as well as all institutions of society.

There are many well-seasoned and experienced disaster professionals in the field world-wide. Unfortunately, we lack a way of channeling, compiling and making the most of that expertise and real-world knowledge. We continue to talk about the gap between research and practitioners but make little if any headway in bringing them together to benefit the disaster business. We nibble around the edges of situations, skirt the issues and rarely get to the core of the problems. Personally, I have to believe there is a way and I know there is a pressing need to change the perspective and culture of this multi-billion dollar disaster industry.

After 40 years in the emergency management field, my questions are: 1) Are we as the disaster community, at all levels, honest enough – dare I say thick-skinned enough – to examine ourselves and see the good, bad and the ugly? Having done that — 2) How do we courageously speak as one collective knowledgeable voice that is loud enough to be heard and make a difference?

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