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Interdependencies – November 2021

2021-11-09T23:37:16+00:00

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 20212021-11-09T23:37:16+00:00

Time to Shake Up the Great American Shakeout? – October 2021

2021-10-20T13:17:21+00:00

Time to Shake Up the Great American Shakeout?   By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed Let there be no mistake: the Great American Shakeout is an excellent effort to raise awareness of the earthquake risk and the damage it could create. It is essential to raise awareness about the damages that could occur, not just for the West Coast of the United States (widely acknowledged as “earthquake country”) but elsewhere as well - for example, the Central US. An unsuspecting population might find itself shocked at the likely impacts of an earthquake of even lesser magnitude than what West Coasters [...]

Time to Shake Up the Great American Shakeout? – October 20212021-10-20T13:17:21+00:00

9/11/01-1/6/21 and Beyond – Is the Homeland Secure?

2021-09-29T18:56:23+00:00

9/11/01-1/6/21 and Beyond - Is the Homeland Secure? By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed Unrelenting false claims of election fraud led to the attempt to violently overthrow the government of the United States on January 6, 2021. Sometimes it sucks to be prescient. In June 2020’s “Emergency Management Once Removed,” I wrote this: “… how huge a leap is it from refusing to honor and enforce existing laws to threatening to take up arms against the state or national government (which has and is happening), to refusing to accept election results?” 9/11 demonstrated our vulnerability to external forces. However, [...]

9/11/01-1/6/21 and Beyond – Is the Homeland Secure?2021-09-29T18:56:23+00:00

9/11/01-1/6/21 and Beyond – Eroding Confidence in Government

2021-09-29T18:54:52+00:00

9/11/01-1/6/21 and Beyond – Eroding Confidence in Government By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed Although the 9/11 terrorists owed their success in some measure to poor coordination between federal government agencies, the feds “generously” sought to share responsibility for their lack of preparedness; protecting the “homeland” suddenly became a shared responsibility that local and state governments were “unprepared” to fulfill (duh!). In 2003, twenty-two federal agencies, including FEMA, were merged into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Congress and the Administration enticed participation in “protecting the homeland” - dangling vast grant sums in front of governors, mayors, police, and [...]

9/11/01-1/6/21 and Beyond – Eroding Confidence in Government2021-09-29T18:54:52+00:00

9/11/01 -1/6/21 and Beyond

2021-10-05T19:48:52+00:00

9/11/01 -1/6/21 and Beyond By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed On September 10, 2001, I naively thought I had enough problems on my plate. The new Bush Administration was attempting to redirect virtually every unallocated federally appropriated dollar to address “new” priorities (emergency managers may recall the assault on funding for “traditional” natural hazards programs). My Seattle Office of Emergency Management was wrapping up the previous February’s Nisqually Earthquake recovery process. I was immersed in internal budget battles with Seattle’s Police Department hierarchy. Everything changed shortly after 6 AM on September 11, 2001. In rapid succession, terrorists had hijacked [...]

9/11/01 -1/6/21 and Beyond2021-10-05T19:48:52+00:00

What Now? – June 2021

2021-07-08T19:25:12+00:00

What Now? By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed We must have an unflinching but hopeful and constructive post – COVID assessment. Can one prepare a useful and truthful COVID -19 after-action report to spur national planning for the next pandemic in our volatile political climate? How to minimize the impulse to reproach or defend while maximizing emphasis on the measures that should be taken next time? Regular readers must be aware of where I would place much of the responsibility for the scope of the COVID -19 disaster. But, in this instance, I would strive to curb that inclination [...]

What Now? – June 20212021-07-08T19:25:12+00:00

Emergency Management’s Journey to Resilience – May 2021

2021-05-04T23:02:55+00:00

Emergency Management’s Journey to Resilience: Using Our Words by Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed Where does the term “resilience” fit among these standard emergency management terms? Mitigation. Preparedness. Response. Recovery. Prevention (how did that get in here?). Finally, Resilience. Mitigation: efforts to minimize the negative consequences of a known hazard. Preparedness: a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to assisting governments, businesses, and the entire community to be prepared to avoid or withstand the disruption of a known or even unforeseen hazard. Response: accorded disproportional attention in disaster exercises, it is “what we do with what we have” in a crisis. [...]

Emergency Management’s Journey to Resilience – May 20212021-05-04T23:02:55+00:00

A Year of COVID – April 2021

2021-04-14T21:47:18+00:00

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

A Retrievable Legacy for Disaster Mitigation – March 2021

2021-04-07T22:06:08+00:00

A Retrievable Legacy for Disaster Mitigation By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed In 1997 James Lee Witt, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), established a pilot program to reduce the human and economic cost of disasters. The purpose: incentivize the government, private sector, and the public to collaborate on the identification and reduction of a community’s most serious natural disaster hazards. That initiative was Project Impact. Seattle in late 1997 was among 7 jurisdictions chosen as a pilot site to demonstrate the effectiveness of Witt’s vision. As a chosen “pilot” jurisdiction, Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management OEM), where [...]

A Retrievable Legacy for Disaster Mitigation – March 20212021-04-07T22:06:08+00:00

Trust – February 2021

2021-02-09T19:39:07+00:00

Trust By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed Well before the pandemic began exacting its horrific toll, “trust in government” was on a downward spiral. Last January, in “Government’s Trust Deficit: A Possible Antidote,” I suggested a program of community-centric disaster exercises that could be used to prepare the public for a disaster. The concept was that through these exercises, emergency managers could make use of their online capabilities to open a dialogue with the public, building trust while also providing constructive advice on community preparedness and government obligations, limitations, and capabilities during emergencies. The technology exists, and emergency managers [...]

Trust – February 20212021-02-09T19:39:07+00:00
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