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 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 impact social, economic, and wellness of residents. Joining forces in planting even 1 million trees will start the change by absorbing 24,000 tons of CO2, stabilizing climate, releasing oxygen, restoring fish and animal habitat, and working on neighborhood tree equity urban heat island effects. The Washington Tree Equity Collaborative was created [...]
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 by creating strategies for managing risks. Localized volunteering helps communities organize, set priorities, and take ownership of local needs. Community volunteer are frequently the first responders and may be the only source of available help available in a crisis. They help provide better interpretations of information to immediate crises with the [...]
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.
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?
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.