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”.

Not Nearly Enough2024-04-19T16:33:48+00:00

What Goes Around…


The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program has long been the life’s blood of state and local government’s ability to prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover from disasters.

What Goes Around…2024-03-19T21:38:40+00:00



WHODUNNITT! By Jim Mullen I have observed the renewal of a “debate” of sorts that seems to preoccupy some emergency management academics and practitioners: aren’t most disasters man- made and not ”natural?” -an interesting proposition if there weren’t more pragmatic concerns for emergency managers. We could trace our problems all the way back to the Original Sin, but I prefer focusing on mitigating our hazard vulnerabilities. Speaking recently to University of Washington graduate students about hazard mitigation, I described Seattle Project Impact’s (SPI) success at illuminating the benefits of confronting known hazards (earthquake in Seattle) through a grass roots, whole-community [...]


History Should Matter to Emergency Managers – Feb 2022


History Should  Matter to Emergency Managers By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed My recent blog entries, based mainly on my own "history" in emergency management and public safety roles, have warned that failure to acknowledge and prepare in advance for disruptions to foundational elements of our society could pose serious problems when an actual crisis occurs. Last year I observed, well before the fact, that the peaceful transfer of power, a symbol of our nation's unity (no matter how disappointing the outcome to the losing side), might be challenged violently by those espousing unfounded theories about the fairness of [...]

History Should Matter to Emergency Managers – Feb 20222022-02-08T20:40:17+00:00

1/6 – A Year Later – January 2022


1/6 – A Year Later By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed January 6, 2022 Twenty years from now, historians will no doubt exhaustively parse the meaning of January 6, 2021’s insurrection, attempted coup, rebellion, the act of sedition (pick your descriptive term). In 2021, I offered my recollections/reactions on the 20th anniversary of two major events – the Nisqually Earthquake and the 9/11 attacks. I will go out on a limb (just a bit!) and suggest that in 2041 I probably will not write a piece remembering 1/6/21 (I’ll be 94 or hope to be!). It is way too [...]

1/6 – A Year Later – January 20222022-02-08T20:37:55+00:00

Interdependencies – November 2021


Interdependencies by Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed The 1950’s health crisis was a crippling and killer disease, polio, that parents feared every time their children complained of headaches, tiredness, stomach pain, etc. Once developed, polio vaccines were quickly embraced, administered in schools; that health crisis was abated.  We depended on and trusted medical science to free us from polio. In that same era, Cold War science fiction movie scriptwriters - largely to avoid “Red Scare” condemnation promoted by conspiracy theorists of that day - created “otherworldly” threats, requiring that the nations of the world unite to “save the planet”  [...]

Interdependencies – November 20212021-11-09T21:14:53+00:00

A Year of COVID – April 2021


A Year of COVID: Looking Back, Looking Around, Looking Ahead By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed It has been more than a year since the pandemic turned life upside down for everybody. Emergency managers and homeland security professionals should soon begin to assess what went right, as well as identifying any missteps along the way. “Emergency Management Once Removed”(aka “Jim”) merely poses these questions from a comfortable chair: individual jurisdictional answers will vary. Looking Back How did the preset comprehensive disaster framework hold up? ? Was a system super-imposed for the pandemic that eclipsed the existing planning framework? Were [...]

A Year of COVID – April 20212021-04-14T21:47:18+00:00

Emergency Management Once Removed by Jim Mullen


Jim Mullen has spent three decades 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.

Emergency Management Once Removed by Jim Mullen2020-07-27T01:50:25+00:00
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