Sunday, December 19, 2010

A drunk Serbian man reportedly has become a hero in Egypt

I saw this Tweet today from the New York Post: 

New York PostDrunk Serbian man reportedly has become a hero in Egypt -- by accidentally killing a shark with his butt

I bought it hook line and sinker (hee). I mean what a story! A Serbian man reportedly has become a hero in Egypt -- by accidentally killing a shark with his butt while drunk. The article says that one "Dragan Stevic" was soused to the gills (not my fish reference) while partying at the Red Sea resort Sharm El Sheikh when he he inadvertently felled the beast that had been terrorizing tourists for weeks.

Stevic reportedly cannonballed into the water from a high-diving board, according to a Macedonian news outlet. Instead of making a splash, he reportedly came down right on the shark's head, killing the toothed terror instantly.  The story goes on to say that "The fun-loving party boy was immediately touted as a local hero who saved tourist season, which had dried up after the shark had injured three people and killed one vacationer. Stevic swam to shore and is currently in the hospital recovering from alcohol poisoning."

 Read more from the New York Post

What happens when an outlandish story goes viral? Is there a lesson here for emergency managers?  Of course!  Rumor control can be a full time job.  Social media can put rumors on steroids but it can also help quickly debunk urban legends like this. It took me about 5 seconds to find out that this was a hoax that several news organizations took to be real news.

According to "Carolina Beach Today it turns out that the original story shows a picture of the shark dead on the beach. That photo is apparently a shot of a Basking Shark which washed ashore near Duck, NC last year. 

This viral "news item" titled "Sharks Wary of Drunk Serbs" quickly became a popular search item leading people to the blog.  

The original story on a Macedonian site repored that:

“Dragan climbed on the jumping board, told me to hold his beer and simply ran to jump. There was no time for me to react or to try to stop him, he just went for it” says Milovan.
“Dragan jumped high and plunged down to the sea, but didn’t make as much splash as we thought he would”, explained Milovan.

To see the original English version of the story, go to:

I love satire... 


Friday, December 10, 2010

3rd Annual Regional State Border Coordination Workshop

All Hazards Consortium - 3rd Annual Regional State Border Coordination Workshop

On January 24-25, 2011, the states and urban areas of the All Hazards Consortium (AHC) will hold the 3rd Annual Regional State Border Coordination Workshop. The AHC will further develop the findings and discussions that came out of the 2nd Annual State Border Coordination Workshop regarding existing catastrophic evacuation planning efforts within the states of NC, VA, DC, MD, WV, PA, DE, NJ & NY including challenges and opportunities to achieve the long-term vision of a coordinated plan and support of integrated planning.  Breakout sessions cover: credentialing, mass care, transportation, resource management and situational awareness.

I will be attending the workshop again this year as a facilitator. We have helped with the facilitation of this event each year and have found it to be a worthwhile and positive effort. 

Last year. over 190 people from various states, federal and private organizations jointly discussed many topics at this two-day meeting. Several common themes became apparent during the 2010 Workshop:

  • Governance: There is a need for an overall regional governance structure for planning activities and a coordinated regional incident command and control structure for use during and after an event.
  • Collaboration: The region needs a mechanism for on-going regional collaboration activities.
  • Coordination: There is an ongoing need for regional planning and collaboration between homeland security, emergency management, transportation, law enforcement, public health, the private sector and other related organizations.
  • Resources: The regional officials need to know what resources are available and from whom before an event occur and need a mechanism to coordinate resources that are available from both the public and private sector.
  • Funding. A regional funding and sustainability strategy is needed.
Everyone was in general agreement that a regional effort of this magnitude is a considerable challenge but that it could be accomplished if everyone works together.  The 2011 Workshop will build on the outcome of the previous year's efforts and gauge the regional progress in enhancing capabilities related to cross border issues. I hope that you can join me there.

For more information, or to register, visit