Showing posts from April, 2009

A Letter From Mexico

I wanted to share this e-mail from a Doctor in Mexico. He is a member of an emergency management mail list and has been letting us know how things are going down there. Some lessons for all of us up here in the states.


Hello everybody, there have been long days these days. To make it different I will begin to just throw my ideas, I don't know if it is helpful for you... but might give you and idea on how I am living it here. I need some kind of catharsis. At the end I will sumarize if you want to skip the rest.Today just before comming back to home my wife told me my two year old son was warm. I came home he was on this bed, he was sweating but he was ok, his temperature was 37.o C... I hope you can make the translation to Farenheit... (Editor: 98.6F) but had no fever. He is OK and I am pretty sure he will be. I think fear is more contagious than flu.My wife is kind of mad: when I am home I am tired, making phone calls trying to get a hospital for a non …

The Six Principles of CERC - Crisis Emergency Risk Communication

Just got this from the CDC and wantd to share it...

The Six Principles of CERC - Crisis Emergency Risk Communication

Be First: If the information is yours to provide by organizational authority—do so as soon as possible. If you can’t—then explain how you are working to get it.

Be Right: Give facts in increments. Tell people what you know when you know it, tell them what you don’t know, and tell them if you will know relevant information later.

Be Credible: Tell the truth. Do not withhold to avoid embarrassment or the possible “panic” that seldom happens. Uncertainty is worse than not knowing—rumors are more damaging than hard truths.

Express Empathy: Acknowledge in words what people are feeling—it builds trust. “We understand this is worrisome”

Promote Action: Give people things to do. It calms anxiety and helps restore order.

Show Respect: Treat people the way you want to be treated—the way you want your loved ones treated—always—even when hard decisions must be communicated.

For more inform…

Swine Flu: Not a disaster yet but keep an eye on it

OK, time to write about Swine Flu. I am trying to just report the facts and stay away from the hype but I want to share what I know and suggest what can help... please understand, there is no need to get stressed out about this but at least pay attention to the common sense stuff at the end of this message (like avoiding contact with sick people).

What most people want to know now is if this is all being hyped. I must say that, while it is not a "disaster" at this point, there is clearly the potential for this to turn into a pandemic. Many people question this as the rate of illness and death is far behind the normal flu in terms of morbidity and mortality. But, pandemics are different than the normal seasonal influenza epidemics that happen annually. While these cause an average of 36,000 deaths in the US, pandemic influenza refers to a worldwide epidemic due to a new strain of influenza virus to which there is no immunity. If this turns into a pandemic, the new virus will b…

2009 Urban Area Security Initiative Conference

One of my "hobbies" is to support an annual confernce for the Urban Area Security Initiative.

This conference was originally conceived from information sharing partnerships between the UASI program managers of the Charlotte and Miami UASIs, who recognized a distinct need for an information sharing platform. The first of these conferences was held in Dallas, TX in 2005; supported by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metro Chiefs Committee. This conference was largely attended by fire professionals and UASI administrative professionals, who recognized the need for greater information sharing.From this conference it was identified that a larger conference was needed to provide similar information, across first responder disciplines, from all UASI cities. The 2007 National Conference was conceived of as a platform for exchange of ideas on the management of UASI programs. Participants and contributions were expanded to include all disci…

Twittering about Social Media

Recyling an old blog to get started. Looking to tryout this software as opposed to my blog at

Oct 15
Getting Connected - Web 2.0
Posted by Steve in Technology, homeland security

"During an emergency is not the time to be exchanging business cards."
How many times have your heard this refrain? Do you have stacks of business cards as I do? How on earth can one find the time to connect with the people you meet?
To me, technology is making the business card obsolete. The technology is out there to scan the cards into my contact list (and italready has thousands of people in it) but how do I manage to find the right person when I am looking for a contact in a particular agency or specialty area. Someone whom we have not yet swapped business cards with?
Isn't there a better way to connect? Can we find a way to connect like our kids (and some of us old timers) are doing on facebook?

There is a better way and our kids are taking full advantage of it. Now it is o…