Infographic on Technology and Disaster Aid

I know that readers like Infographics.  Here is a new one for you. Thanks to Eric Holdeman for the citation and to the authors at Eastern Kentucky University for this chart: When Disaster Strikes; Technology’sRole in Disaster Aid/Relief. 

Update:  I call your attention to the interesting comment by Harry Kellogg regarding this posting.

2 thoughts on “Infographic on Technology and Disaster Aid

  1. The key is getting good information. I did not see it once on a large scale disaster in my 16 year career in emergency management. Even with the best intentions, and if you will excuse the expression, it was “garbage in and garbage out” the vast majority of the time. The real key is decentralization and letting a well trained and proven on-site Incident Commander do his/her job. Historically too much of the wrong resources were pushed to the wrong place by a central command. This was clearly evident in Sandy and Katrina. Having an Emergency God sit in some control room making decisions based on outdated and incorrect information will get you the results experienced in both. Most involved in Sandy saw wonderful presentations and graphics that did not represent what the actual situation on the ground was. I would also submit that the failures of Katrina were not for lack of technology.

    From a white paper I presented in 2014

    Katrina: It could be argued that it took an aggressive out of the box effort by Gen. Russel Honoré and the DOD to bring some semblance of order to the situation in New Orleans. It is widely observed that the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to the situations identified by FEMA in a timely manner and this caused the need for a General Honore to step up.
    Only the Coast Guard with its decentralized command structure was widely praised for its timely decision making and execution. We would argue that the needed expertise was available and that the effective actions recommended by FEMA professionals were ignored until too late. FEMA professionals on the ground were overridden by regulations and red tape imposed from above.
    “Command and control was impaired at all levels, delaying relief
    ■ Lack of communications and situational awareness paralyzed command and control.
    ■ A lack of personnel, training, and funding also weakened command and control.
    ■ Ineffective command and control delayed many relief efforts.”1
    Sandy: In Sandy many of us were amazed at the lack of coordination in New York between the State of New York and the City of New York. For months in the middle of winter there were thousands of survivors in high rises physically and socially trapped, without power and heat. Luckily it was a mild winter and thousands of deaths were averted by this fact.
    ”In reviewing all aspects of the Agency’s preparations for, immediate response to, and initial recovery from the storm, the Sandy Analysis Team identified strengths and areas for improvement organized across four overarching themes:
    • Ensuring Unity of Effort Across the Federal Response;
    • Being Survivor-Centric;
    • Fostering Unity of Effort Across the Whole Community; and
    • Developing an Agile, Professional Emergency Management Workforce.”2

    Proposed Solution:
    Train, empower and expect the National IMATs to implement multi-state and region wide lifesaving, innovative solutions to unexpected challenges identified in the field. The funding for these solutions should be free of Cost Share to the states thus freeing up the NIMAT to make the decisions necessary in a timely manner. These solutions would be implemented using Pre-scripted Mission Assignments on the sole authority of the NIMAT Team Leader in consultation with the NIMAT Chiefs and Directors.
    The NIMAT Team Leaders should be able to implement any Pre-scripted Mission Assignment on their sole authority as a National Incident Management Assistance Team Lead. No other permissions, authorities, signatures should be required for a NIMAT Lead to invoke an already agreed upon mission assignment by any other federal or state agency.
    • In addition a series of Memorandums of Understanding should be developed addressing Mass Care support, commodities, emergency services, sanitation supplies, evacuation resources and mobile housing solutions. The purpose of these MOUs should be to provide timely housing, evacuation support, emergency medical services and decontamination activities. MOUs should address the use of any available unemployed federal, state, local facilities and private; resources and personnel needed to facilitate their proper use.
    Suggested resources for consideration:
    • Mobile housing units, trailers, motorized RV, double-wides, manufactured housing etc.
    • Buses
    • Ambulances
    • Generators
    • Commodities
    • Temperature controlled semi-trailers commonly called “reefers”
    • Large heated facilities
    • Large open spaces for staging areas
    • Warehouses
    • Water and sanitation storage solutions
    • Fuel trucks and mobile fuel storage solutions
    • The Surge Force
    • FEMA Corps Teams
    • Available FEMA Personnel
    • All Department of Defense agreed upon assets
    FEMA already has a National Ambulance Contract as well as a National Bus Contract. These additional MOUs could take the form of such national contracts and should be able to be invoked immediately on the sole authority of the NIMAT Lead on a regional scope based on his/her best judgment and current situational awareness.
    The Section Chiefs and Branch Directors would then be tasked to use the resources in the appropriate manner to mitigate the lifesaving challenges presented on a multi-state level. The key is to not require additional authorization from other government agencies once the pre-scripted mission is invoked and to limit its use to immediate lifesaving activities similar to the decentralized efforts of the Coast Guard who trusted their incident commanders and subordinate units to do what had to be done.
    1. A FAILURE OF INITIATIVE: Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina
    2. Hurricane Sandy FEMA After-Action Report

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