Monday, August 31, 2015

Webinar Training Opportunity. Mutual Aid Agreement. September 17, 2015

1. Mutual Aid Agreement Webinar:On Thursday, September 17th at 1 p.m. 

  • Eastern, Missouri's State Mutual Aid Coordinator will host a presentation on Missouri's mutual aid system and its continuity efforts during the Joplin, Missouri tornado in 2011Every fire department will at some time require mutual aid assistance, even well-funded departments or departments in large cities. Having good communication, expectations, and crafting a good written mutual aid agreement with neighboring departments is essential to ensure everyone's needs are being met and no one is being taken advantage of.    This webinar is part of the Resilience Development Webinar Series sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) and is hosted by IP's Emergency Services Section. Interested people should register for this event. 

U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services. Ebola. Funding for Hospitals. August 31, 2015

Caring for Ebola Patients.  U.S. HHS Funding for Hospitals.
  • HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has awarded approximately $20 million through its Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) to enhance the regional treatment centers' capabilities to care for patients with Ebola or other highly infectious diseases. ASPR will provide an additional $9 million to these recipients in the subsequent four years to sustain their readiness.
  • HHS selects nine regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment centers:    The facilities announced today will be continuously ready and available to care for a patient with Ebola or another severe, highly infectious disease, whether the patient is medically evacuated from overseas or is diagnosed within the United States.
  • The nine awardees and their partner hospitals are:*Massachusetts Department of Public Health in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts *New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in partnership with New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation/HHC Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City *Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in partnership with Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland *Georgia Department of Public Health in partnership with Emory University Hospital and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia *Minnesota Department of Health in partnership with the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota *Texas Department of State Health Services in partnership with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in Galveston, Texas *Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with Nebraska Medicine - Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska *Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in partnership with Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado *Washington State Department of Health in partnership with Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital in Spokane, Washington       

          For more information on the National Ebola Training and Education Center, contact

Training Opportunities 2015-2016. FEMA Incident Command System Train-the-Trainer

         October 19-22, 2015 
         February 22-25, 2016 
         May 2-5, 2016 
         August 1-4, 2016

          Emergency Management Institute 
          National Emergency Training Center (NETC) 
          Emmitsburg, Maryland


This course prepares participants to deliver Emergency Management Institute's (EMI) ICS curricula.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Webinar: Sept 9, 2015. Partnerships American Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

FEMA is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, September 9th from 3-4:30pm ET. The presentation may provide some great insight on partnerships and features organizations with whom you may be working – American Red Cross and CERT. All of the details may be found below.
Webinar: Local Partnerships Between the American Red Cross and CERT 
The American Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) serve communities throughout the United States in a variety of ways before, during, and after emergencies. But while both programs accomplish a great deal individually, they can do even more when they work together. As partners, CERT and American Red Cross programs and volunteers can work to advance their mutual goals of increasing the preparedness and resilience of local neighborhoods and communities and offering vital assistance and support in the aftermath of disasters.

The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to join a webinar that showcases successful partnerships between local American Red Cross regions and CERT programs. Three sets of American Red Cross and CERT programs serving three unique jurisdictions will discuss how they are working together to make their communities safer, stronger, and more resilient. Presenters will share how they established their partnerships, what lessons they learned from the experience, and how their collaboration benefitted their programs and communities. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session.
Title: Local Partnerships Between the American Red Cross and CERT
Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Time:  3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (ET)
This webinar will feature American Red Cross and CERT guest speakers from the following jurisdictions:
  • Delaware County, PA
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on September 9! If you can’t make it, we will be posting the recording, transcript, and slide deck of the presentation on this page, under “Citizen Corps Partners/Affiliates”: You can also view our most recent webinar on including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in CERT training at:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Trauma Passed on to Children's Genes


Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children's genes
New finding is first example in humans of the theory of epigenetic inheritance: the idea that environmental factors can affect the genes of your children

I’ve been waiting for this. 
So, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, years of bondage during slavery, the Jim Crow and Civil Rights period, and current events affecting African Descent individuals throughout the Caribbean and America’s has left a genetic impression that has and continuing to have traumatic affect upon us, that many show signs of PTSD from generation to generation that needs to be addressed to move forward?

In the case of resiliency, some individual are more resilient then others and can bounce back immediately and recover from stress and other disruptions while others are greatly affected and require long term assistance or subsistence until fully recovered by initially becoming aware of the trauma and its effects. 

Interesting hypothesis.  What say you?  

Click on the 'Posted' item below to enter your comments.


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Situation Awareness. Ebola Crisis. Recovery, Revitalization, Resiliency Building.


Same Old Mistakes
Although last year’s Ebola epidemic was a great surprise biologically speaking, practically all nonbiological aspects of the crisis “were entirely unsurprising, as the epidemic itself and the fumbling response to it played out with deeply frustrating predictability,” writes Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Her 10,000-plus word treatise about how the WHO mishandled the crisis is both substantive and riveting. She addresses areas requiring attention: the availability and use of experimental medicines, vaccines and rapid diagnostic tools. And she introduces readers to the likes of Miatta Zenabu Gbanya, a crisis-seasoned nurse who said, “I thought I knew fear very well. I thought fear in Darfur was the worst feeling. But no—it’s Ebola.”
Foreign Affairs

2.  Related: Ebola: What Happened – Council on Foreign Relations

3.  Related: WHO reports 3 new Ebola cases—all in Guinea – CIDRAP

4.  Related: Persistence of Ebola Virus in Sterilized Wastewater – Environmental Science & Technology Letters

    5.  Paper-based test screens for Ebola, dengue, yellow fever in minutes
     – Healio

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Free Education\Training. Coursera. Introduction to Sustainable Development

To achieve sustainable development, countries need to achieve three goals simultaneously: economic growth, broad-based social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. While many countries have “solved” the growth puzzles, few have succeeded in achieving all three aspects of sustainable development.

This preview course, "Introduction to Sustainable Development" will give you an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development - that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

Columbia University
Begins Now

Opportunity. Pilot Test “Closing the Gap in Local Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities,” An Online Course

Pilot Test “Closing the Gap in Local Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities,” An Online Course

The E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), seeks public safety and public health emergency planners to pilot test an online emergency planning training program, “Closing the Gap in Local Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities.” The project is funded by a grant from the UMMS Commonwealth Medicine division.
Pilot testers will learn about the “Community Stakeholder Meeting” process, to promote emergency planning collaboration between first responders, emergency planners, local officials, and the disability community, and improve local emergency plans. In a prior project we successfully implemented Community Stakeholder Meetings in over 25 MA cities and towns. Each participating community identified at least 5 gaps in their emergency plans and developed (generally low cost) strategies to address those gaps.
Once accepted, a pilot tester will have 1 week to complete the training, which will be available online 24-7 starting in early fall and should take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Pilot testers will also be asked questions about subject matter knowledge, usability and satisfaction with the training, and basic demographics such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, knowledge about disability and emergency planning experience.
Pilot tester identities will be kept confidential and will not be shared with any person or entity outside the project team, including in presentations or publications. Participants’ names are never identified with their responses in our project evaluation.
Pilot testers will gain valuable knowledge and strategies regarding inclusive emergency planning. Pilot testers will preview new course materials currently not available to the public and provide important course development feedback, contributing to a critical body of knowledge. Upon completion of the course, pilot testers may download a complete copy of the Community Stakeholder Meeting workbook guide, a resource list, and a certificate of completion as thanks for their participation.
Eligible participants must be adults 21 years of age or older who:
  1. Function as county, regional, city or town emergency management, public safety or public health personnel, working full or part time on either a paid or volunteer basis, regardless of official title;
  2. Have substantive responsibility (alone or with others) for oversight, preparation or exercising of local emergency plans, policies and/or procedures for natural, human caused or public health emergencies/disasters; and
  3. Feel competent reading and understanding written English, and using a computer with Internet broadband connectivity.
If you interested in being considered as a pilot tester please click on this secure application link complete our pilot tester eligibility survey by 12:00 midnight, Eastern Time, September 4, 2015. We will notify applicants about acceptance as pilot testers as soon as possible. We will send eligible pilot testers a link to the training and they will have 1 week to complete the training.
If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact Jennifer Brooks at

Monday, August 17, 2015

Water Security. Even in the U.S. Water Contamination by Products and By-products of Nuclear Energy

The downside of nuclear energy.
                            Contamination of water and other environmental resources.

The Navajo Water Lady 

|In this corner of the Navajo Nation, just 100 miles west of Albuquerque, N.M., an estimated 40 percent of residents don't have access to running water. Their savior is Darlene Arviso, born and raised on the Reservation, who drives her precious cargo - a tanker truck filled with water - to make monthly deliveries to 250 families. Lee Cowan reports.

Sustainable Development Goals. Where to Start?

ISSUE 2 - 14 August 2015

Where to Start

As we get ready for the SDGs to be formally adopted in September, there is a lot you can do. For any company seeking to be sustainable, it begins with operating with integrity – respecting fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles provide a universal language for corporate sustainability and a framework to guide all businesses regardless of size, complexity or location.
The most fundamental contribution a company can make towards achieving societal priorities is to be financially successful while upholding a high standard of ethics and treatment of employees, the environment and the community. Doing business responsibly can be a tall order for companies of all sizes – whether a multinational with operations in 100 countries, a business heavily reliant on suppliers in markets with substandard norms, or a small company located in an under-developed or conflict-prone country.
The UN Global Compact has developed a 5-step guide that supports participants in integrating sustainability throughout their strategies and operations. Learn more.

Member States Reach Consensus on SDGs to be Adopted in September

On 2 August, the 193 UN Member States reached agreement on the document that will constitute the new sustainable development agenda, including the SDGs, that will be adopted this September by world leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York.
Concluding a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years and has featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, countries agreed to an ambitious agenda that features 17 new sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment by 2030.
Learn More

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sit Awareness: Water Purification Systems. Daily and Disaster\Emergency use. Community Capacity Building

 Not a resource for revenue generation.

BEMA initiative to promote water purification systems at the individual and local community level for normal use, and especially for use in disasters and emergency disruptions.  Gates Foundation, Coca Cola EKOCENTER and SLINGSHOT system for community growth and sustainability are just a few.

PLAN NOW for use of your communities during flooding, and other natural and man-made disasters.  Imagine every village, region, district, department of your nation able to recover from disruptions in your infrastructure due to contaminated water resources.

Clean water a right for everyone.

Gates Foundation:



The Color Change: White Washing a City - by Dr. Beverly Wright, PhD

Sunday, August 16, 2015                                                         
For Immediate Release 

Letter to the Editor

The Color Change:  White Washing a City
It Started with those Green Dots

Commentary by Dr. Beverly Wright, PhD
Dr. Beverly Wright
Dr. Beverly Wright
Let's just be "real" about how Black people feel their quality of life has, or is changing, ten years after Katrina. I can tell you this; Black folks know that things are changing, but at their core, they do not believe these changes will benefit them. They basically see a "New" New Orleans that is whiter and richer, and they see this happening at their expense. They can identify a number of actions taken by local and state government that have dramatically affected their lives. These include: (1) the Plan for the Future or the infamous "green dot map"; (2) the takeover of the New Orleans Public Schools by the state forming the Recovery School District; (3) the hostile takeover of public schools by charter networks; (4) the firing of all New Orleans public school teachers and personnel; (5) the suspension of the federal Davis-Bacon Act; and (6) the awarding of billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to a handful of politically connected nationally-based contractors. In this blog, I will speak to one of them, the Plan for the Future.

In order to understand the real implications and the devastating results of these actions, we have to begin at the beginning. And for most African American and Vietnamese New Orleanians, it starts with the "green dot map." I remember my phone ringing very early one morning and it continued to ring with calls from friends, most of whom lived in Eastern New Orleans before the storm, asking me if I had seen the front page of the Baton Rouge Advocate. I was living there at the time, having been wrenched from my home in "the East" by Katrina.
I recall running to the door to get the paper and immediately seeing why everyone was so frantic. There it was; a map of the city of New Orleans, with a large green dot sitting right on top of the area where our homes were located. As I looked at the legend that indicated these green dot areas were to be converted to parks and green space, I felt an incredible sense of disbelief that quickly morphed into anger. Even more incredulous was the additional twist that indicated these were also areas where a building moratorium would remain in effect until neighborhoods could prove viability. The city was going to turn our homes into green space and essentially prevent residents from rebuilding!
To top it off, there were other categories for rebuilding identified on the map which included; (1) areas where rebuilding was allowed (that's right, you guessed it; most of these areas were not even flooded); and (2) areas to be redeveloped, some with new housing for relocated homeowners, where "coincidentally," Southern University, the University of New Orleans and Dillard University were located. The city had invested so much in these institutions of higher learning that refusing to invest in the surrounding areas could not plausibly be defended even though these areas had been "drowned" by flood waters, just as much as some of those areas plastered with green dots. In this lies the fuel for the fire. 
Bluntly stated, most African Americans felt that this Plan for the Future "was an attempt to take their homes and not allow them to return to the city." The designation of the Uptown area - which most African American citizens know to be home to many affluent white families - as one in which rebuilding would be allowed; and conversely, New Orleans East and parts of Gentilly - well known to be predominantly African American and Vietnamese - as areas where neighborhoods must prove viability or simply be designated as suitable for green space, sealed the anguish, heightened the distrust of government, and bolstered the belief that Black people would not be treated fairly under this "Plan for the Future." 

While activism and community self determination beat back the "green dot plan," planners began to deny its authenticity by inferring that it was only a suggestion. Resettlement in these areas began despite the plan and to this day has been very successful through the shear will and energy of those residents who turned the onslaught against their communities into fuel for rebuilding.

But, I cannot say that this success extended to all aspects of recovery in these communities. What has failed is the ability of these communities, especially those in New Orleans East, to experience the enormous amount of economic development taking place in other parts of the city.

Residents have watched with dismay as "The East" has seen a proliferation of multi-family housing economically fueled by Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) coupled with an enormous shortage of affordable housing fueled by the destruction of public housing and astronomical increases in rents in areas that have traditionally been home to African American citizens. Gentrification in these areas is taking place at warp speed. 
As a resident of eastern New Orleans, I can tell you that the community feels betrayed by both local, state and federal government officials, whom they blame for the lack of amenities in their communities and an increase in disamenties, inclusive of crime, litter, and the proliferation of undesirable businesses such as pawn shops, liquor stores, halfway houses, and dollar stores on every corner. As one resident put it, "I should have known something was up when they began to build a dollar store at every I-10 exit in the East."

While the plan to stop rebuilding in the East by turning neighborhoods into green space failed; the plan seems to have another alternate phase, which I call "trash the neighborhoods, and they will leave." Most Black homeowners believe that they are being "run out of their neighborhoods." They see the new design for the city by these two telltale neon signs: (1) the reconstruction of "housing projects" through the use of former luxury apartment complexes, not designed for large families, nor having the amenities required for the safe and healthy upbringing of children); and (2) the "white washing" of traditionally African American neighborhoods, pushing poor people out to the suburbs (i.e. New Orleans East) where housing is more affordable- gentrification at the expense of the poor. 

The city of New Orelans' progress toward prosperity should have at its foundation, the inclusion of the well-being of African American communities. While my discussion here has focused only on the Plan for the Future, many actions listed in beginning of this blog, have stimulated change and movement towards the total transformation of the city. And I will say loudly and clearly, if city officials, federal and state government, urban planners, developers and realtors don't change the present trajectory of this transformation, New Orleans will become a city where Black folks used to live.

Dr. Beverly Wright is a sociologist and the Executive Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Dr. Wright may be reached via email via


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