Our Blog2020-10-29T19:42:03+00:00

Center’s Blog

Use this page to stay up-to-date on COVID-19, homeland security emergency management, campus safety, job resources, career pathways, upcoming webinars, scholarships, Washington State news and more.

Women in Leadership Profile: Assistant Chief Martin

Women in Leadership Profile: Assistant Chief Martin By Deb Moller Assistant Chief Martin of the Washington State Patrol has a strong memory of being five years old, seeing a police car, and knowing that when she grew up, she would work in law enforcement. For AC Martin, this wasn’t [...]

Not Nearly Enough

Even predictable natural disasters frequently catch elected officials by surprise. A discouraging number of elected  officials and senior staff act as if  foreseeing and managing potential disaster impacts is a job for “another budget cycle.” So what are they doing in the meantime? Not nearly enough”.

After the Wildfire – Recovery and Reclamation of Land Tips

After the Wildfire – Recovery and Reclamation of Land Tips By Nancy Aird As the population builds out into rural areas, the chances of wildfire impacting your life increases with damage possible away from the direct wildfire. The severity of the fire impacts not only the vegetation we see, [...]

Are You Wildfire Ready?

ARE YOU WILDFIRE READY? Mitigate, Prepare and Prevent By Nancy Aird The wildland urban interface (WUI) is the area where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildland fire. Homeowners value their privacy, natural beauty, recreational opportunities and affordable living created by buying in neighborhoods built in [...]

The Rocky Road Ahead

The Rocky Road Ahead Emergency Management Once Removed January 31, 2023 By Jim Mullen “Wake me up when it’s all over, when I’m wiser and I’m older…” * Emergency managers (state and local) may be excused for feeling this way during most election years, when relatively minor incidents can [...]

The Blame Game

The Blame Game Emergency Management Once Removed January 16, 2023 By Jim Mullen Major disasters occur all the time, usually resulting in inquiries about the degree of advance warning, or the level of preparation of authorities for a worst-case scenario.  “Blame” most often accompanies catastrophic events when perceptions are [...]

The Earth is “Illin”

The Earth is "Illin" Emergency Management Once Removed December 19, 2023 By Jim Mullen Last May the Associated Press reported that a study by the international Earth Commission (our planet’s annual “wellness check”) suggests that Planet Earth has entered the danger zone with respect to climatic impacts on “phosphorus [...]

Beware of “MDM”

In this final summary of the recent annual forum of the National Emergency Management Association held in Memphis, Tennessee in October, I found most compelling the panel discussion entitled “Combating Contested Information During Disaster Response and Recovery” addressed the emerging threat of what is called “MDM”: meaning Misinformation, Dis-information, and Mal-information.

More AI – from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Annual Forum, October 2023

A follow- up to my recent post (“A Thought about Taking the AI Plunge”) on the risk/reward associated embracing artificial intelligence comes from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) October 2023 forum panel discussion on this subject.

A Thought About Taking the AI Plunge

The rising angst over the apparent advance in artificial intelligence, or AI, called to mind the limerick (“Daisy…” etc.) that HAL, the state-of-the-art computer in the film “2001, A Space Odyssey” was reduced to repeating when HAL’S human soul mate (Dave) attempted to unplug him/it (?). HAL survived, but it did not go well for “Dave”.

Security at Home

Shortly after the audacious 2008 Mumbai, India terrorist attack which took 160 lives,  a Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief mused that a similarly trained team could paralyze a city like Seattle for a “considerable” time. Mumbai illustrated how a team of well-trained bad actors could exact considerable damage.

Volunteer to Change the World by Planting Trees

Volunteer to Change the World by Planting Trees Trees are Resilience Equalizers By Nancy Aird Arbor Day (April 28) encourages us to join the world in making a step to resolving disparity, inequality and environmental justice for mankind by reforesting rural and urban land. Nature-poor neighborhoods negatively [...]

National Volunteer Month Volunteers Supporting Community Resiliency

National Volunteer Month Volunteers Supporting Community Resiliency By Linda Crerar Society needs resilient communities. Volunteering is a major engagement tool with open positions available in most communities. Joining people together helps to achieve stronger shared goals, strengthens trust and relationships as stronger bonds of solidarity are forged [...]

Report From NEMA Midyear Forum 2023

The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) biannual gatherings are opportunities for information-sharing and straightforward discussions with government and private sector leaders. State (and territorial) emergency management directors occupy unique roles. Responsible to the governor or a senior official – in Washington State it’s The Adjutant General (TAG) – they not only deal with issues affecting their respective jurisdictions (while balancing the political inclinations of elected officials), but aided by Association staff must be alert to developments on the national front that could impact local and state government.

Emergency Management: Present and Future

Educators and senior emergency management officials have pondered what would motivate a person to aspire to a career in emergency management. How do we attract bright young students while providing continuing education and growth opportunities for those already immersed in emergency management roles? This is not just a problem of the moment how can emergency management survive, and thrive, in the long term?

Definition: “Resilience – The Capacity to Bend Without Breaking”

My favorite English professor at Western Washington, Arthur Hicks, taught Shakespeare. He administered daily, graded 10-minute snap exams on some aspect of the previous day’s reading – if you did well, he would write on your paper “so far, good…but” and he would then point out additional insights (channeling Shakespeare, I presume) the student might have incorporated into the exam response. When I asked why he did that, he said there was always something more to learn, something more to uncover – “so far, good” was thus an exhortation to dig deeper, become even more proficient.

“Back to the Future” – Taking Control and Personal Responsibility Over Our Destiny-reclaiming our future to Engage and Take Action

“Back to the Future” - Taking Control and Personal Responsibility Over Our Destiny-reclaiming our future to Engage and Take Action By Linda Crerar The main theme of the movie “Back to the Future” (1985) concerns taking control and personal responsibility over one's own destiny. A situation can be [...]

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