Emergency Management Once Removed by Jim Mullen

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Jim Mullen has spent 25 years in emergency management, including 12 years at the local level as director of the City of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management and 8 and a half years as Washington State’s Emergency Management Division Director. Jim retired from state service in March 2013. Jim also served as President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) from January 2011 to October 2012. He is currently sole proprietor of “EM Northwest Consulting” based in Seattle.
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Information on this Blog is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not engaged in rendering professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with an professional adviser. Opinions expressed here represent the viewpoints of individuals authoring the blog and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Center of Excellence.


Wishin’ and Hopin” – Emergency Management, Once Removed, January 2019

Local and state elected officials searching for 2019 New Year’s resolutions to commit to might consider this modest list...
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You Can Observe a lot by Watching – Emergency Management, Once Removed, December 2018

When one retires, or in my case, semi- retires, Yogi's comment begins to make a lot more sense. When you work in a particularly stressful or responsible job, dealing with emerging issues can limit one's scope, a bit like being stuck in a traffic jam on I-5...
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“Us” and “Them” – Emergency Management, Once Removed, November 2018

It’s not uncommon for individuals or organizations to attempt to elevate their own standing by demeaning the contributions of others. In the long run it’s a losing game. Those that employ "us" vs "them" as a tactic can only inflate...
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Lucky Me – Emergency Management, Once Removed, October 2018

Sometimes big problems start with smaller, seemingly manageable problems that, through inattention, or a failure to take immediate protective measures, morph into serious issues. Emergency managers’ usefulness to society at large accrues for their ability...
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Emergency Management and Homeland Security: Which Is More Important? – Emergency Management, Once Removed, September 2018

Natural hazards, perhaps because they come and go and soon slip from public view, does not have the “sizzle” terrorism provides for politicians and public safety interest groups. Emergency management’s methodical approach to prepare for, mitigate...
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Why Recovery Exercises Fall Short – Emergency Management, Once Removed, August 2018

Recently I attended an Initial Planning Meeting for the Central United States Earthquake Consortium 2019 exercise ominously entitled "Shaken Fury". The discussion as it related to the acknowledgment of challenges that proposed scenario poses for recovery officials...
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Recovery Redux Plus a Footnote from June – Emergency Management, Once Removed, July 2018

One might think, for example that Hurricane Maria was all over shortly after it passed through Puerto Rico. The "official" death toll, 64, led the president and others to comment that it could have been a lot worse. It apparently was a lot worse.
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To stay or go? Emergency Management, Once Removed, June 2018

Emergency managers are not strangers to the "stay or go" dilemma. In my career, during but also before entering emergency management, I myself sometimes felt like, well, a lot of federal Administration employees may currently feel these days...
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Hey, What About Us? – Emergency Management, Once Removed, May 2018

With the current federal government seemingly in perpetual crisis, how can emergency management compete for attention to its’ needs? Let’s be honest: the current spate of investigations, accusations, counter-accusations, all against the backdrop of midterm...
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Observations from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) 2018 Mid – Year Forum – Emergency Management, Once Removed, April 2018

The current FEMA headquarters team seems intent on making a positive difference. FEMA leadership describes itself as building on what was already in place and adapting to new situations and opportunities.
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The Changing Face of Emergency Management Education – Emergency Management, Once Removed, March 2018

Whenever the subject of preparing emergency managers for the future a couple of familiar refrains are sounded. Here are some of examples.
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Earmarks: Love ‘Them, Hate ‘Them – Emergency Management, Once Removed, February 2018

The President recently raised the prospect of "bringing back earmarks" as a legitimate negotiating tool. Reform-minded persons in both parties view earmarks as "deals" that often undermine the allocation of resources based on merit and importance to the common good.
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A Point of Personal Privilege – Emergency Management, Once Removed, January 2018

The treatment of women in government service, and in other professional settings, is receiving long overdue national attention. So, when I reflect about the women I have had the privilege of working with throughout my long career, and how they have shaped my reputation...
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On Compromise Versus Being Compromised – Emergency Management, Once Removed, November, 2017

A willingness to compromise is an essential component of our democracy, and such “deals” often facilitate mutual understanding and respect for the other side’s point of view.
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Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later – Emergency Management, Once Removed, November, 2017

My late father used to have a saying in my youth, often invoked on my way out the door for a date: “If you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler!” I knew exactly what he was conveying. That reminder applies as well to national emergency management...
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Thoughts on Harvey, Irma, Maria and, yes, Cascadia – Emergency Management, Once Removed, October, 2017

Disasters bring consequences, both immediate and long term. Yet they also provide opportunities to address obvious hazards, so that they do not repeat themselves time and again. And such events can provide reminders to policy and decision makers...
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Things To Come? – Emergency Management, Once Removed, September, 2017

The Governor of Louisiana recently declared coastal land loss as an emergency, calling for the federal government to assist in restoration efforts. The update suggested his intent in declaring an emergency was in part to “pressure” the President and Congress...
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The Passing of Terry Egan – Emergency Management, Once Removed, July, 2017

The passing of Terry Egan on July 3, 2017 merits special attention. Too often great emergency managers at all levels are relatively unnoticed in life, their contributions to the safety of the public seemingly taken for granted.
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Government Ain’t Easy – Emergency Management, Once Removed, July, 2017

Most public sector employees are accustomed to hearing that government workers have it easy, compared to their counterparts in the private sector. For example, even casual conversations with parents of your children’s soccer teammates can provide a glimpse into the perceptions held...
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About Brock Long: An Unsolicited Endorsement – Emergency Management, Once Removed, June, 2017

About Brock Long: An Unsolicited Endorsement Brock Long, the new FEMA Administrator, has a tremendous reservoir of experience in areas like school safety, as a state director of emergency management and a successful stint in the private sector as an executive with Hagerty & Assoc
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