Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Orleans Mayor Cantrell to Hold Hurricane Preparedness Press Conference. June 1, 2018 at 11:15 a.m.

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Mayor Cantrell Banner
May 31, 2018

Contact: LaTonya Norton
For Media Inquiries Only
(504) 658-4962

MEDIA ADVISORY: Mayor Cantrell to Hold
Hurricane Preparedness Press Conference

NEW ORLEANS — Tomorrow, June 1, 2018, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, joined by several local and state public safety officials, will hold a hurricane preparedness press conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (Hall B) at 11:15 a.m. 

WHO :   Mayor LaToya Cantrell
              Collin Arnold, Director of New Orleans Homeland Security and
              Emergency Preparedness 
              Michael Harrison, Superintendent of New Orleans Police Department
              Tim McConnell, Superintendent of New Orleans Fire Department
              Dr. Emily Nichols, Director of Emergency Medical Services
              Gilbert Montano, Chief Administrative Officer
              New Orleans City Council
              Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, Adjutant General of Louisiana National Guard
              Other public safety and public utilities leaders 

WHAT:   Hurricane Preparedness Press Conference

WHEN:  Friday, June 1, 2018
              11:15 a.m.

WHERE:  Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (Hall B)
                900 Convention Center Blvd.
                New Orleans, LA 70130   

# # #

Puerto Rico Building Code Enforcement. Past, Current, future. 11 Staff Members?

11 Building Code Enforcement Staff for the entire island?


May 30 2018

To read about Building Safety Month

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018. ‘People just give up’: Low-income hurricane victims slam federal relief programs. POLITICO

As the 2018 Hurricane season begins this is a MUST READ for everyone in low income, Black, Brown, and disenfranchised communities with the U.S. and globally.

CDS.  CEO BEMA International

‘People just give up’: Low-income hurricane victims slam federal relief programs


‘People just give up’: Low-income hurricane victims slam federal relief programs

05/29/18 05:08 AM EDT

...bureaucratic disaster-response system built up over decades that experts nearly universally agree is failing to provide critical support to low-income, minority communities when catastrophe strikes. “People just give up,” said Keith Downey, president of a local organization called Kashmere Gardens Super Neighborhood, which has been helping local residents recover. A POLITICO investigation found that...

Ph.D. Scholarship opportunities on urban resilience. May 2018

Ph.D. Scholarship opportunities on urban resilience

Any inquiry, please contact directly to Prof. David Sanderson 

Pacific Island countries are fast-urbanisation, with unplanned, informal low-income settlements rapidly growing in size. Such growth increases the risk of disaster from natural hazards, which is worsened by climate change. To combat this, resilience has been widely adopted across the world, not least in Sustainable Development Goal 11 (‘the urban SDG’). 

This PhD concerns the practical application of resilience, including its policy implications, in low-income settlements in the Pacific. The work will link with current activities at UNSW. Key to the PhD will be employing multi-disciplinary approaches, such as social enterprise, urban design, social science and development.

 The ideal candidate will possess a combination of research and practical experience. They will need experience of qualitative data collection and analysis and of conducting research in different cultural contexts to enable the collection of data in a culturally sensitive and respectful manner. A good first degree in a relevant subject is needed. Ideally, they will also have had some practical experience of working in urban low-income settlements in the Pacific region.

UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
Telephone +61 2 9385 1000  |   Email

Monday, May 28, 2018

Next Generation Leaders. STE(A)M: Electrical Engineering. Explain 4 Major Components of this device. May 2018

Next Generation Leaders (Middle or High School, College\University Level):

1.  Describe and tell the function of four (4) major components of  from
          the photos of the attached device?

2.  Resiliency and Environmental points
    a.  Step-up or Step-down transformer?
    b.  How would you properly dispose of this device?
    c.  Can any components be recycled back into a production\manufacturing system for reuse?
    d.  Of the four (4) major components from Question 1 above, on average what elements are
          these components comprised of, and  from where (location, Nation, etc.) on average are
          are they mined from?

   Question 1.................50 points
   Question 2.................50 points
                     (a)  ...10
                     (b) ....10
                     (c) ....15
                     (d) ....15
                Total............100 points

BEMA International

Saturday, May 26, 2018

2018 Disaster Relief Funding. Caribbean Donations. Know where your money is being spent. CDEMA EAF

Donations, and giving to communities:

As the 2018 hurricane season approaches in the Caribbean, and addressing disasters and crisis in other communities globally.  Always consider the organization that you are giving humanitarian financial assistance.  Ensure that you've investigated and research the organization and the actual 'ACTIONABLE' work doing in communities.

Those organizations that truly need the funding directly are there now in the community working tirelessly, and on limited funds that will still be there when the crisis arises. 

To our members and friends in the Caribbean I endorse the Caribbean Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF) as a resource to receive funds for communities in need throughout the Caribbean when the crisis and disaster strikes for both short and long term recovery.  I recommend to our Relief & Recovery membership category members to ensure accountability and transparency of funds to communities be provided to the CDEMA EAF.

I attended the 2017 CDEMA Conference in Nassau, Bahamas and commended Ron Jackson, Executive Director on ensuring the community in need received the funds at the lowest level.

CDEMA has been preparing thru education & training all member nations of the agency for the upcoming hurricane season, and ongoing climate change events in small island nations. 

Support your local organization, support organizations that are contributing now and in times of need when the disaster strikes.  For our members in the Caribbean, support CDEMA and the CDEMA EAF.


Charles D. Sharp

Nassau, Bahamas, December 8th, 2017 (CDEMA) – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), presented cheques totaling US $140,000 to the hurricane impacted countries of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). Both territories received US $70,000 each to assist with further relief and recovery efforts post hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The presentation was made to the countries during the general plenary session on Advancing School Safety in the Caribbean at the 10th staging of the Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management, which is being held at the Melia Nassau Hotel, The Bahamas on December 4th – 9th, 2017.
The cheque donation to both BVI and TCI were made possible by the monetary contributions received through the CDEMA’s Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF), which was launched via an online donation platform as well as direct deposits during the response and relief operation phase for both Irma and Maria. Donations were received from individuals, companies and governments. Representatives from both territories expressed deep appreciation by thanking CDEMA and all donors for the overwhelming support to help recover and rebuild after the widespread destruction caused by the catastrophic hurricanes.
The 10th edition of the Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) is being held under the theme “The Road to Resilience – Check Point 2017: Building Resilience through Partnerships”. Over 250 delegates from across the Caribbean and the world gather to participate in discussions on disaster management and climate change issues affecting the region. It is hoped that the conference will contribute to the enhancement of resilient capacities and partnerships to fight climate change and strengthen comprehensive disaster management activities going forward.

For further information, please contact:
Clive Murray
Communication and Education Specialist
Resilience Way, Lower Estate
St. Michael
Tel #: (246) 434-4880
Fax #: (246) 271-3660

Friday, May 25, 2018

TSA announces new members of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee May 2018

Press Release
TSA announces new members of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee
National Press Release
WASHINGTON - Transportation Security Administration Administrator David P. Pekoske announced 31 members to serve on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), which provides recommendations for improving aviation security methods, equipment and procedures.
“The Aviation Security Advisory Committee plays a vital role in helping TSA focus on risk-based security,” said Pekoske. “I thank the outgoing, current and newly appointed members of the committee for their service and dedication to helping TSA strengthen its layered approach to aviation security.”
The ASAC, a statutory committee under P.L. 113-238, enhances TSA’s security posture through consultation with key partners on aviation security matters, including on the development, refinement, and implementation of policies, programs, rulemaking, and security directives pertaining to aviation security.

The following members will represent the 19 mandated membership categories on the committee:

Air Carriers
• Paul Doell, National Air Carrier Association
• Randy Harrison, Delta Air Lines, Inc.
• Craig Lowe, Airlines for America
• Matthew Vaughan, International Air Transport Association

All-Cargo Air Transportation
• Steve Alterman, Cargo Airlines Association
• Roger Libby, DP DHL - Americas
• Gary Wade, Atlas Air

Indirect Air Carriers
• Brandon Fried, Airforwarders Association

Labor Organizations Representing Air Carrier Employees
• Bill Cason, Coalition of Airline Pilots Association
• Joe DePete, Air Line Pilots Association
• Justin Madden, Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
• Chris Witkowski, Association of Flight Attendants – CWA

Labor Organizations Representing Transportation Security Officers
• David Borer, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO

Labor Organizations Representing Employees of Airport Construction and Maintenance Contractors
• Michael Mayes, Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO

Aircraft Manufacturers
• Jens Hennig, General Aviation Manufacturers Association

Airport Operators
• Colleen Chamberlain, American Association of Airport Executives
• Michele Freadman, Massachusetts Port Authority
• Cedric Johnson, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

General Aviation
• Joseph Dalton, NetJets Aviation, Inc.
• Nobuyo A. K. Sakata, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Privacy Organizations
• Kenneth Mortensen, Attorney at Law, former Associate Deputy Attorney General, Privacy & Civil Liberties, Department of Justice; former Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Travel Industry
• Lorraine Howerton, U.S. Travel Association

Airport-Based Businesses
• John McGraw, National Air Transportation Association

Businesses that Conduct Security Operations at Airports
• Chris Bidwell, Airports Council International – North America

Aeronautical Repair Stations
• Christian Klein, Aeronautical Repair Station Association

Passenger Advocacy Groups
• Daniel Rutenberg, The International Airline Passengers Association

Aviation Security Technology Industry
• Scott Gray, Leidos, Inc.

Victims of Terrorist Acts Against Aviation
• Glenn Johnson, Victims of Pan Am Flight 103
• Matthew Ziemkiewicz, National Air Disaster Foundation

Law Enforcement
• Jason Wallis, Port of Portland Police Department

Airport Construction and Maintenance Contractors
• TJ Schulz, Airport Consultants Council

TSA is transitioning to staggered membership terms, with approximately one-half of the members serving one-year terms and the other half serving two-year terms.  In the following year and thereafter, all appointments will be for two-year terms.

The ASAC was established in 1989 in the wake of the crash of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Visit our website for more information on ASAC

The Transportation Security Administration was created to strengthen the security of the nation's transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security.
For more information about TSA, please visit our website at

Is it really needed? Transfers of Military Equipment to Police. May 2018. RAND Corporation

Is this transfer of military equipment to your jurisdiction needed in your community?

Is there a threat in your community for such force to address normal everyday police and community interactions in our community?

Get involved.  Question.  Attend budget, and council meetings for safety, and law enforcement policy, equipment, and other important issues in our community.

Is it really needed in your community.

BEMA International

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Trauma. PTSD.. May 2018

The Dialogue
Volume 14, Issue 1

The Effects of Trauma on First Responders

Reports of natural and human-caused disasters are ever present throughout our country. We hear the stories of seemingly insurmountable challenges faced by families, neighbors, businesses, communities, and sometimes entire states or territories. The one constant we can rely on before, during, and after a disaster is the support and service given by first responders. But what do first responders need for their own recovery from traumatic events?
This issue of The Dialogue from SAMHSA’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) highlights the challenges first responders experience throughout all phases of disaster response—the visible and obvious and the veiled. The authors provide insight into the unique culture of the first responder community. This awareness is significant to providing effective behavioral health services in a manner that is valuable to and accepted by first responders.
What have you found to be essential to the care of your first responder team or community? Are there important lessons learned from your field experiences that could be highlighted by SAMHSA DTAC in future issues of this newsletter? Please share your experiences via email to Selected reader comments will be printed in a future edition of The Dialogue.

Issue Highlights

Staying Fit To Protect and To Serve: A Police Officer Talks About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
police officer shares his story about developing PTSD after being shot in the line of duty. He discusses the physical and psychological pain of PTSD while relaying the importance of knowing the signs and symptoms and the value of talking through issues, especially with others with similar experiences.
Police Line Do Not Cross

Perception Is Reality for Disaster Survivors
A rescue specialist with Massachusetts Task Force 1 (MATF-1) relates the importance of first responder training and self-care to better manage survivor reactions to disaster. Including a behavioral health professional as part of the response team is discussed as a proactive approach to fostering team resiliency.
Disaster Responders

Psychological Trauma in First Responders Following Disaster Response
The author discusses first responder care, as part of disaster planning, to address the unintended mental burden that can develop from long-term exposure to disaster response. Understanding the culture of the responder community is key to identifying and providing effective behavioral health support services. 
Medical technician

How Do First Responders Experience and Cope With Trauma?
The author provides a description of possible physiological and psychological responses that first responders may experience during a traumatic event. Coping mechanisms and ways to foster resilience as a first responder are also discussed.
Drawn image of disaster responders
About The Dialogue
The Dialogue, a quarterly technical assistance journal, is an arena for professionals in the disaster behavioral health field to share information, resources, trends, solutions to problems, and accomplishments. Read previous issues of The Dialogue.
The views, opinions, and content expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

We value your input. Please complete a brief survey about this SAMHSA DTAC product.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Water Security: Global Water Partnership. May 2018. Improving Water Governance

Improving water governance in Botswana

GWP Southern Africa played a major role in Botswana's development of a national Integrated Water Resources Management and Water Efficiency (IWRM/WE) Plan. The creation of GWP Botswana and its involvement in the process was vital to make it a success, allowing the government to access stakeholders from all levels of society, says Bogadi Mathangwane, Director of the Botswana Department of Water Affairs.

CRISIS. Global Homelessness Crisis May 2018

Homeless in Their Home Country

Conflicts and disasters uprooted 30.6 million globally in 2017, with few long-term solutions in sight.

Africa saw a doubling of people displaced internally by conflict, according to The Global Report on Internal Displacement, published today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Norwegian Refugee Council. Conflict displaced 11.8 million—including 5.5 million in sub-Saharan Africa and 4.5 million in the Middle East and North Africa. Disasters displaced another 18.8 million.

“Internal displacement often heralds the start of broader crises,” said Alexandra Bilak, IDMC’s director, and while there have been some improvements—in the provision of emergency aid, for example—it doesn’t come close to answering the need, she told ReliefWeb.

2.2 million people were displaced internally in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a result of extreme violence in 2017, Bilak added on Twitter—an especially sobering number given the Ebola outbreak now facing DRC. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Addressing Emergency Department Psychiatric Boarding: A Continuum of Solutions Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | 12—1 p.m. Eastern Time

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Addressing Emergency Department Psychiatric Boarding: A Continuum of Solutions

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | 12—1 p.m. Eastern Time
People with behavioral health emergencies may board for days in hospital emergency departments waiting for a psychiatric bed. These environments are not conducive to providing safe and effective care for these individuals; however, solutions do exist. Because communities and organizations have different needs and capabilities, presenters will discuss a range of possible solutions to improve care for people with behavioral health emergencies and ways to use data to track results.

Register for Webinar

EM Exercises:, One important aspect of Emergency Management Planning. May 14, 2018

Like the critical\climatic scene in the film 'Gladiator', coming together as on.

International delegates to the National Level Exercise are briefed in May 2018. (Rich Cooper/HSToday)

InsideHS: Creating Local Partners to Bridge Post-Hurricane Islands
May 11, 2018  Rich Cooper

Day 5 coverage of NLE18 — don’t miss Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 coverage of the FEMA National Level Exercise

You could not ask for a more beautiful spring day on the Chesapeake Bay. Gorgeous blue skies, no clouds, low humidity and a gentle enough breeze to cool you while you took in the pleasant scents from the bay. I’m in Perry Point, Md., a small piece of land that is literally a peninsula situated at one of the northernmost parts of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Standing on the grounds of the Perry Point VA Medical Center, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA Maryland Health Care System, it is at first glance a pristine view of what “Bay Life” is all about. But as beautiful as the weather and surrounding 400 acres are, there is a real-world exercise underway that is anything but attractive. It’s another day in NLE18 and the assembled players are playing out another tragic scenario that no one ever wants to see happen.

Still reeling from the after-effects of fictional Hurricane Cora that struck the greater Washington, D.C., area as a Category 4 hurricane (which is nearly 100 miles away), Cora hit Perry Point and the surrounding areas of Cecil County, Md., as a Category 2 storm. In its aftermath, this area of the Chesapeake found itself with lots of debris and power problems, but also more than its share of transportation challenges. 

Railroad lines that pass through the area are silent because portions of rail lines have been severed by Cora’s wrath. Even many of the surrounding roads, including Interstate 95, are clogged with debris and emergency vehicles doing whatever they can to get roads open so recovery operations and commerce can begin again. On top of that, the tunnels in and out of Baltimore that could bring any number of supplies and resources into the area remain closed as they are still flooded. And that’s just for starters.

Today’s exercise is “two days” after the Cora strike. A fictional severe thunderstorm fueled by the warm air and waters of the bay has spawned a tornado that has struck the Perry Point VA Medical Center campus. Patients and staff are trapped in several collapsed buildings and members of the Cecil County Fire Department, the Maryland National Guard and other regional first responders are assembling to execute their life-saving attack on the structures.

Lights are flashing from stationed fire trucks, radios are squawking updates and directions to deployed units are given. Joining me as fellow observers of what is happening are nearly two dozen fatigue-wearing military personnel from Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia and Taiwan. They are all part of a National Guard exchange program that shares emergency response practices with one another.


As a small group of National Guard officers explain what is happening around us, three first responders step out from the “collapsed” building, pulling a “victim” out on tarp litter. As they drag the weighted mannequin across the lawn to the medical triage tent for evaluation and treatment, the radio chatter announces that more victims have been found.

What follows are more units of first responders – all in different types of service uniforms, all working together, probably for the first time, to render aid however they can. Collectively they all work to familiarize themselves with the building structure and layout, while trying to ascertain where other victims might be found and what other resources they may need.

As this is happening, another group of responders are pulling another canvas litter out of the building – this time holding a real person, not a weighted mannequin. Trying to maintain her composure as four men carry her out (and not smile at the exercise-watchers as they look at her being dragged on the ground), she raises her head high enough so she doesn’t get her head banged on the ground.

Taking all of this in alongside the international observers is Brig. Gen. Sean Casey of the Maryland National Guard. In describing today’s exercise, on top of the events and aftermath that the fictional Cora strike has brought upon his home state, he says, “This is the absolute worst scenario for us. It’s bad enough what the storm [Cora] would do, but the storm surge that follows it would make what is a bad situation even worse.”

Adding another emergency like the fictional tornado strike, with supply lines already being stretched thin, limited highways in use, flooded tunnels preventing additional resources getting in, and battling physical exhaustion and fatigue of personnel who have been going nonstop for days, “this is what we have to be ready for.”

Pointing to response crews that are bringing more victims out of the building, Casey adds, “All of these people need to meet their counterparts and be ready to do their part.” He then described how just over 2,000 players – Maryland National Guard, civilians, public safety, emergency management, private sector and more – were playing in Maryland as part of the NLE18 exercise.

In speaking with him, Casey relayed a deep sense of pride at the efforts that were being showcased in the exercise. But coupled with that pride you also detect a sense of concern that any leader would have for the unknown time, event and location when they will be called upon and really tested.


That readiness aspect, along with meeting people in practice, rather than actual game time was echoed by Dawn Ivancik, the emergency manager for the VA Maryland Health Care System. Projecting readiness as well as resolve, she is the only emergency manager for what is a major regional healthcare facility in the state of Maryland (and mid-Atlantic). But at no time does she ever give a sense that she is alone in her job.

Like other emergency managers, she knows that lives are dependent upon her, her decisions as well as the resources and relationships she possesses. “You can’t do this job alone. I may be the only emergency manager for this facility, but I regularly train and exercise the staff here on what we need to do for any number of scenarios.”

She then described doing monthly tabletop exercises with Medical Center staff as well as regular engagements with her Veterans Administration counterparts, the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, and Cecil County Fire, as well as other surrounding jurisdictions.

In identifying the tools at her disposal, she shared, “We have dual-use vehicles here that if we need to move people in a conventional way or in a hospital ambulatory fashion, we can do that, and the staff here know how to do those things. Evacuating them is the last resort and last thing we want to do, but we have to be ready to do it.”

As we discuss the exercise, Ivancik eludes to the fact that the facility she has emergency stewardship over is in fact a peninsula – a stretch of land that is almost entirely surrounded by water. In taking in that geographic condition, I remark to her that the Cora/NLE18 exercise has probably literally created a number of new remote islands in the surrounding area as the conventional supply lines and resources that have always been there are now cut off and inaccessible.

“Exactly!” she replied. “That’s why doing an exercise like this with search and rescue, the National Guard, Cecil County Fire, as well as the people here [Perry Point VA Medical Center] are essential for us.”

Motioning toward the window as National Guardsmen and local fire and rescue personnel continue to move equipment and people in the exercise, she noted that her job is “to help look after our veterans who have already given us so much.”

“I want to make sure we are ready to give them even more when we are called upon to do so. That’s why I have to make sure we’re ready because none of us can afford to be alone on any island. We need to have practice and relationships.”

As she relays her response, two of her VA colleagues chime in from the side of the room and share that the Perry Point VA Medical Center team is indeed ready for whatever may come their way.  And they credit Dawn for what she’s done to make sure they all know what to do when they are called upon to do “more.”

That ability to know what to do and be ready to take on “more” at a moment’s notice is something Brig. Gen. Casey also relayed during the exercise. As we watched the Guardsmen work with the other exercise participants, he shared that his retirement from the National Guard was on the horizon in a year or so.

“He doesn’t know it yet, but tomorrow my second-in-command is going to take over for the rest of the exercise as I’m going to be ‘hit by a bus,’ which then puts him in charge,” Casey said.

He smiled as he said this, knowing it would be a helluva curve ball tossed at his team. But in sharing that detail with me, Casey relayed confidence as to how his team would react to the sudden (and fictionally dramatic) change in his exercise “status.” (And this is a fictional “hit by a bus” scenario. No one is going to put the brigadier general in front of a bus to be struck; at least I hope not. It’s just his intent to switch from being a “player” to an “observer” for the remainder of the NLE18 exercise.)
In hearing him describe the exercise surprise that was yet to be sprung, I asked if he thinks his second in command knows what might be coming.

Replying with a smile, Casey said, “I think he knows something’s coming but he doesn’t know what it is yet.”
“But that’s the point of exercises like this. Everyone must be ready to step up and do the next job. That’s how you succeed in tough conditions.”

Which explains why practice and relationships make all the difference in the world and how you can survive on unexpected islands or when leadership and conditions unexpectedly change.

It’s about possessing confidence, skill and collaboration, and when those three ingredients are added to any mix things always get better. And Maryland has a lot already in its mix, and showed today that they’re ready to go.


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