Emergency Management

After DC Metro Fire, Questions About Interoperability

The recent fire in the Washington, DC, subway system that killed one passenger and injured more than 80 others reveals ominous signs for the Nation’s Capitol. Most concerning are reports that the Fire & Rescue Services radios did not work and did not allow them to communicate with one another and other emergency services. This is an outrage.

Media Ebola Hype Misses Important Information

You can’t turn on CNN, in particular, without wall-to-wall Ebola coverage. Avert your eyes from the All Ebola All The Time coverage and focus on something that is a real threat to you—and go get a flu shot.

Lessons in How to Communicate on a ‘Bad Day’

One of the challenges when a tragic event occurs is communicating to the public about it. What do seasoned professionals cite as most important in responding to devastating incidents? I reached out to two friends and former colleagues to get their take on how people should look to respond to “bad days.”

DHS Nominee Johnson Shy of Expertise in Key Areas

The Honorable Jeh Johnson has been nominated to replace the long departed Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano. Strangely, President Obama has portrayed Johnson as a highly qualified candidate. The President seems to be the only one who is impressed. There are a couple of major holes in Johnson’s resume.

Peter King’s Rage and Why You Should be Torqued too

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is mad as hell. Joining him in his anger are the congressional delegations from New York and New Jersey, who are enraged at the last minute maneuvering by House Speaker John Boehner to not act upon a $27 billion dollar aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy. New York and New Jersey members had been shepherding the package through legislative processes for weeks, but when it came time to vote, some of the legislators in the nation’s capitol literally walked away. It’s no wonder Congress has the dismal approval rating it does.

Cancel the NYC Marathon

Over the past several days, we’ve seen some remarkable examples of leadership in times of challenge. For as good as all of these efforts may be, however, there is one decision that makes no sense to me. The decision to proceed with the New York City Marathon this weekend is the wrong decision. Let’s put a few things on the table here first.

Patience After the Storm – The Hardest Part

The images from Hurricane Sandy are jaw dropping. From flooded subway stations, waterfalls into the Ground Zero area, destroyed piers, boardwalks and homes, Hurricane Sandy – “The Frankenstorm” – was a big one that Mid-Atlantic States, New Jersey and NYC have long feared. Right now, we don’t know the full costs in lost lives or destroyed infrastructure and homes, but we do know this – it’s going to take some time to get things back to any sense of normal in the affected regions.

The Lingering Shadow of "That Day" – Business Preparedness Lessons from 9/11

For anyone alive eleven years ago, September 11 will always be a date on the calendar when you immediately remember where you were and what you were doing when all hell broke loose. History records many unforgettable days, but as the rawness of that day’s memories ebbs, the lessons learned continue to ripple in many ways. In the discussion on safety and security, one of the often-overlooked aspects is the impact that day had on business.

Hurricane Isaac Will Not Be Another Katrina

By Jeanne Meserve
Isaac may be a big and dangerous storm, but it will not be another Katrina. No way. Katrina chewed up large chunks of the Gulf and spawned the flooding of New Orleans, but the failure to properly prepare and respond compounded the tragedy. This time there will not be people abandoned in nursing homes and hospitals to die. Evacuations will be called early, with accommodations for people without transportation.

Educating our Guardians

I recently wrote a piece for the Washington Examiner’s monthly education section. Using the recent East Coast storms as an example, I highlight how education can make the nation more resilient for future disasters.