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August Walter's Comments

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How Small Businesses Can Get Help To Recover From Hurricane Sandy

How Small Businesses Can Get Help To Recover From Hurricane Sandy

Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 17:40:49 in New York

“As a resident of the New Orleans area, and a small business owner myself, my thoughts go out to those in the Northeast still recovering. In the same breath, I cannot stress the importance of businesses, regardless of size, to have both an emergency preparedness plan and a business continuity plan. These plans are instrumental in assisting businesses guide their way out of incidents as small as electricity failures all the way up to Superstorm Sandy. Granted, this plan does not envelope your business in kevlar dome but it will assist you in remembering items to perform while in a tense situation. As an additional note, it has been stated that for every $1 dollar spent on preparedness now, it will prevent a business from spending $7-9 in response later.”
Frankenstorm 2012: Hurricane Sandy Hybrid Could Hit New York, New Jersey And Pennsylvania

Frankenstorm 2012: Hurricane Sandy Hybrid Could Hit New York, New Jersey And Pennsylvania

Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 17:30:06 in Green

“As seen recently with Hurricane Isaac, after the wind and rain has gone, electricity will still be out for the residents. Looking at the forecast, the storm is going to "roll" through the area slow. With that being said, if the electricity is affected at the onset of hurricane conditions, this can mean trouble for many. This will equate to a long period without electricity as the storm passes and exits the area. What most residents will experience, and I am sure they are not used to, is that most electric companies will not issue work assignments to crews until winds are sustained below 30 mph. To add to the conundrum, the temperature is to supposed to drop after the storm has passed. So in addition to the consumables, purchase items to keep warm as well.”
Natural Disaster Trends Report Cites Link To Climate Change 'Footprint'

Natural Disaster Trends Report Cites Link To Climate Change 'Footprint'

Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 22:08:12 in Green

“At this moment, researchers, analysts and scientists are pouring over data from the Drought of 2012 and starting to salivate over the potential information and trends that they will unearth from the latest natural disaster to affect the U.S...Hurricane Sandy. This is a well written article. One that highlights recent trends of socioeconomic habits coupled with extreme weather which in turn equates to high insurance claims and losses. In the end, it always come down to the money spent. Unfortunately, this article and many others, only scratch the surface. It only talks about reactions. It only talks about problems and the losses but does not speak of solutions and wins. Where is the action? Why does it seem like we are in response mode instead of preparation? Where are the articles that talk about the money saved due to the preparations one undertook prior to the disaster? It has been stated that for every $1 dollar spent in preparedness now, prevents those that are affected by a disaster to spend $7-9 in response. Why are we mired in the "whoa is me instead of WHOA, FOLLOW ME." Let's be proactive, instead of reactive. I look towards our elected leaders in Washington to take up the charge and promote preparedness as outlined in the 9/11 Commission Report.”
Scientists' Birthdays, June 13: John Nash, James Clerk Maxwell & More

Scientists' Birthdays, June 13: John Nash, James Clerk Maxwell & More

Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 21:12:35 in Science

“∀i,x_i∈S_i:f_i (x_i^* x_(-i)^* )≥f_i (x_(i,) x_(-i)^* ) Do you recognize this equation?

For some, we preach it every single day and do not achieve the desired results. To those we preach it to, they look at us as though we are trying to explain this equation to them.

It is the Nash Equilibrium, named after the renowned mathematician and Nobel Prize winner, John Nash. For those working in the fields of Emergency Management and COOP, it means everything.

Nash’s efforts were in the form of game theory, or equilibrium strategies. In an equilibrium setting, all players involved in a game make their respective move and decisions based upon the assumed strategies of the participating players. In other words, the execution of a Nash equilibrium is that all players collaborate their respective plans and decide on a goal that would benefit not only the individual players but also the agreed upon goal of the group.

This concept is transferable to an Organization Resilience approach by promoting an efficient, and effective reconstitution of a community after an incident through the pre incident collaboration of public and private partnerships. What is often overlooked by the community leaders is the fact, if utilizing the Nash equilibrium, that the individual business’ main focus is to rebound quickly after an event, open its doors and making sales to customers; it cannot do it by itself, it will need the help of other businesses within the community.”
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Anger Grows At Recovery Efforts, Especially Outside Manhattan

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Anger Grows At Recovery Efforts, Especially Outside Manhattan

Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 18:10:23 in Green

“I realize one cannot plan for everything and every scenario. I also realize that no 2 storms are the same. That being said, reading through some of the in depth articles, it is apparent that there were some gaps in their hazard analysis and implementation of identified hazards into their planning process. I do understand the irregularities of hurricanes in the Northeast but with so many lessons that are identified during Gulfcoast hurricane strikes, one would think the problems faced along the Gulfcoast can be transferable to the plans in the Northeast. I am a Gulfcoast resident, New Orleans to be exact, and I have lived through these storms. It saddens me to see history repeating itself.”
Hurricane Sandy, Approaching Megastorm, Threatens East Coast

Hurricane Sandy, Approaching Megastorm, Threatens East Coast

Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 00:35:23 in Green

“As a resident of the New Orleans area, I have an idea of what the folks along the East Coast are about to face. The sad part about this is, there are some things that can be done to prevent or mitigate some of their losses. For instance, I personally emailed over 300 Emergency Managers from North Carolina to Connecticut to volunteer my services (along with my own logistics) to them. These Emergency Managers all lie within NOAA's Coastal County region in their applicable states. I received 1 Thank you and 1 "I do not think it is going to be as bad as they think its going to be." Tropical systems in that part of the country are not common. I do not believe folks along the East Coast are incompetent but I do believe they are unfamiliar with events they are about to face.”
Disaster Planning and Climate Change

Disaster Planning and Climate Change

Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 22:47:19 in Green

“Great article. I wish I could go stat for stat with you but comment sections are limited.
I like your viewpoint on drought in Nebraska. Living in New Orleans, we seem to be impacted by a water deluge between June 1 to November 30th...hurricanes. It seems like every year we are threatened by these monsters that are born of the sea.
Approximately 38 million people live along the Gulf Coast. That is roughly 12 percent of United States citizens. From 1960 to present, the region has grown 166% despite the inherent dangers.
As a 20 year Emergency Manager, I have stressed the importance of preparedness over focus of response and recovery. My drumbeat has been for every $1 dollar spent in preparedness prevents the entity from spending $7-9 in recovery. Post 9/11 recommendations (Public Law 110-53) highlights private/public sector collaboration but it still hasn't "caught on" to the extent it should have. I am still surprised at the amount of legislation that is still approved for post-disaster bills instead of monies allocated for pre-disaster preparedness. I have felt so strongly about this, I continue to blog and have repeatedly written my Congressman and Senators. There needs to be requirements and laws instead of recommendations.”
Hurricane Isaac: Utilities Report Thousands Still In The Dark Across Louisiana And Mississippi (PHOTOS)

Hurricane Isaac: Utilities Report Thousands Still In The Dark Across Louisiana And Mississippi (PHOTOS)

Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 22:56:41 in Green

“According to the Homeland Security Presidential Directive #7 and the subsequent guidelines in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, "The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) provides a unifying framework that integrates a range of efforts designed to enhance the safety of our nation's critical infrastructure. The overarching goal of the NIPP is to build a safer, more secure, and more resilient America by preventing, deterring, neutralizing, or mitigating the effects of a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and to strengthen national preparedness, response, and recovery in the event of an emergency"

Here are the Energy Sector's goals in its Sector Specific Plan:

-Conduct comprehensive emergency, disaster, and continuity of business planning, including training and exercises, to enhance reliability and emergency response.

-Clearly define critical infrastructure protection roles and responsibilities among all Federal, State, local, and private sector partners.

-Understand key sector interdependencies and collaborate with other sectors to address them, and incorporate that knowledge in planning and operations.

What was witnessed after Isaac was almost a complete shutdown of community due to the dependency of electricity by all critical infrastructures and key resources.”
Learning the Drill for Emergency Preparedness

Learning the Drill for Emergency Preparedness

Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 22:08:32 in College

“Conducting an incident response drill is integral to evaluating plan implementation. While reading the article, the one item that stands out to me though is the fact that the faculty and staff were equipped with emergency pocket guides. So if the staff had their guides, that means that the staff was aware that the drill was going to take place and the use of the guides were of necessity due to the unfamiliarity and may lack the confidence in carrying out their roles and responsibilities when a true incident occurs.

In a true incident, your staff may not be able to quickly get to their guides. What occurs next is chaos. The staff starts to improvise and starts to “wing it”. Please do not get me wrong, improvising with action is far better than no action. But let’s circle back to the plans; they are written for a reason. The plans are written to maximize efficiency and safety and to mitigate losses.

To increase the staff's confidence in reacting to an incident, additional and different types of drills need to be performed. By performing different types of exercises, it will allow you to increase frequency of exercising your plans, (which can also double as a training opportunity) target specific objectives and personnel, which ultimately leads to increased confidence.”

hp blogger Dr. James J. Kelly on Oct 16, 2012 at 12:47:24

“August, Thank you for your excellent suggestions. You are correct to remind readers that practice drills, predicated on the training leading up to them, need to have a sense of urgency and variety in order to be taken seriously and to be effective when true emergencies arise. Even though our staff members had received their pocket guides months before the drill, they were very surprised when the drill was initiated. It was an eye-opener that reminded us to constantly refresh our skills. Your comments are most appreciated.”
What Makes A Community Economically Resilient?

What Makes A Community Economically Resilient?

Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 23:20:03 in Impact

“Since this article has posted, I have performed additional research to expand my knowledge on Springfield, MO and to have a better understanding of how they maintain a lower than average unemployment rate while continuing to add jobs.

As the author points out, he cites 3 non-traditional sources. Through my research, I would like to add another non-traditional source that truly benefits Springfield. This source is the way the community responds and recovers while facing adversity.

In my line of business, the focus is not only Organizational Resiliency by Community Resiliency. A great definition of Organizational Resiliency is that an organization is able to achieve its core objectives in the face of adversity. It is not about responding to a one-time crisis or disaster event - it's about continuously anticipating and adjusting to trends that can permanently impair the earning power of the organization.

What the author briefly touched on is the colloboration within the community. This collaboration extends far beyond ethics and Ozarks. True pride and collaboration is measured when friends, families, neighbors and businesses are affected by any disaster and have the ability to quickly pick themselves up, recover and resume life as close to normal, prior to the event, as quick as possible.

The only way this can occur is through years and years of progress, community committment and a strong resolve to develop a culture of unity. To successfully respond together is to prepare together.”