Recovery in Advance


Recovery in Advance by Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed Emergency Management Once Removed periodically has cited the need for a systematic recovery process to enable appropriate and comprehensive restoration of the social equilibrium following a major or catastrophic disaster.    No matter how much assistance pours in after the fact, and no matter how long the attention span of the nation fixates on a region’s issues, it ultimately will be the advance planning and actions of the “home team” that determines if recovery and restoration meet community expectations. With your indulgence, I shall once more make the case I first [...]

Recovery in Advance2022-05-03T18:20:09+00:00

Some Modest, Hopefully Post-Covid Suggestions


Some Modest, Hopefully  Post- Covid Suggestions By Jim Mullen In the spirit of the theme for this month’s Confluence, I thought that  I would “volunteer” some thoughts about the situation in which we find ourselves as COVID – hopefully, fingers crossed – has begun to ease into endemic status. And, even if not, the recovery process should be kick-started. Now. My May 2020 Emergency Management Once Removed blog offered these thoughts, drawing upon the words of one of the subtler “philosophers” of another day Like Yogi, I just wanted us to map out a desirable destination before our journey ended.. [...]

Some Modest, Hopefully Post-Covid Suggestions2022-04-28T19:41:30+00:00

Musings in the 21st Century USA – April 2022


Musings in the 21st Century USA by Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed The other day I was driving to the store on a narrow side street, headed downhill. A car headed up the hill toward me pulled between two other cars to let me pass. I simultaneously had pulled aside to let the other driver pass. We both paused, motioning for the other to proceed; finally, I waved and smiled and went first – I got a smile in return. I noticed a bumper sticker contrary to my own political beliefs as I passed that driver. I had no [...]

Musings in the 21st Century USA – April 20222022-04-13T19:49:01+00:00

Growing Our Own: How can we find the next wave of Emergency Managers?


Growing Our Own: How can we find the next wave of Emergency Managers? By Jim Mullen “ My goal for our discipline is that 20 years from now, my resume won’t qualify me to do the job I currently have” – a truly iconic (now retired) state director - not me! How can emergency management directors assure opportunities for those people who, over the next 20 years, will hopefully make people wonder why any of us ever had those jobs? A career in emergency management, once an afterthought or an accident, has become an attractive possibility for people in mid-career [...]

Growing Our Own: How can we find the next wave of Emergency Managers?2022-03-24T21:57:22+00:00

TACTICS or STRATEGY? – March 2022


TACTICS or STRATEGY? by Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed Tactics are knowing what to do when there is something to do. Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.” Savielly Tartakower (professional chess player). While I lacked the patience or even the inclination to play chess, Tartakower’s observation struck a responsive chord when I stumbled upon it recently. Over the course of my career, I attended - mostly through compulsion – many formal strategic planning sessions/exercises/workshops. Now, they were not all bad, but most resembled exercises in “group write,” with attendees debating alternate phrasings of the [...]

TACTICS or STRATEGY? – March 20222022-03-11T00:32:26+00:00

A Perverse Meritocracy


A Perverse Meritocracy By Jim Mullen Emergency Management, Once Removed A tsunami warning for the West Coast of the United States following the 2011 Sendai earthquake presented a  challenge in public messaging about the safety of our citizens because of false projections that toxic materials were en route to our coast. As Washington State‘s Emergency Management Division (EMD) director,  I  recommended that the state’s response be viewed credibly and headed by a state agency (Natural Resources or Health) that had relevant expertise and resources. My boss, the Adjutant General, took it to the Governor. He reported back that “EMD will [...]

A Perverse Meritocracy2021-12-15T18:58:06+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

What Now? – June 2021


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 20212022-02-24T00:16:06+00:00

A Commencement Address to Graduates in Emergency Management


A Commencement Address to Graduates in Emergency Management Congratulations! You have completed a step most of your future colleagues have never done - achieving formal academic training in your chosen profession before entering it. As a result, you know a fair amount about the issues and challenges many of us had to learn on the fly. Hopefully, you also will benefit from being exposed to the errors we have made along the way. One problem you will face is that entrenched emergency management shops may not know how to react to you. You have energy and ideas and likely [...]

A Commencement Address to Graduates in Emergency Management2021-06-22T22:49:53+00:00

Interview Transcript featuring Jim House


Interview Transcript featuring Jim House Linda Crerar: Welcome. And good afternoon. My name is Linda Crerar and I am the Director for the Washington State Center of Excellence for Homeland Security Emergency Management and our Center serves as a lead for all of our all-hazard emergency management programs. And in the coalition of all our 34 community and technical colleges in the state with over 500,000 students. The Center serves as a clearinghouse, but it also helps all of our all-hazard emergency management programs to prepare a skilled workforce to maintain our national security and effectively respond to all-hazard [...]

Interview Transcript featuring Jim House2021-06-08T18:20:36+00:00
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