Thursday, November 22, 2012

LIVING THROUGH SANDY

I saw this on Google+ and wanted to share it. I do not know Frantz but I'm thankful for his sharing it.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone. - Steve

 LIVING THROUGH SANDY

by Frantz Ostmann on Saturday, 
November 17, 2012 at 7:13am 

1. The excitement and coolness wears off around day 3

2. You are never really prepared to go weeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!

3. Yes it can happen to you.

4. Just because your generator runs like a top, does not mean its producing electricity.

5. If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble.
a. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage

6. Should have as much fuel as water
a. Propane
b. Gas
c. Kerosene
d. Firewood
e. Firestarter, (kindling, paper, etc)

7. Even the smallest little thing that you get from the store should be stocked up.. (spark plug for the generator, BBQ lighter, etc)

8. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either.

9. I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store.
a. 3 people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.
b. I did not say 3 fights broke out, 3 people were killed.

10. Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing)

11. Stored water can taste nasty.

12. You eat a lot more food when you are cold

13. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks

14. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.

15. Your 1972 honda civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade… but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump, you get the idea..

16. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.

17. Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, .... etc. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.

18. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump up and running on inverter power or you are the guy whose Master’s degree in Accounting suddenly means nothing. 

19. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold. And women, whose weight in gold, would not add up to much, usually die off first. Sorry skinny women.

20. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.

21. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it.

22. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door?

23. Some people shut down in an emergency. There is nothing that you can do about that.

24. Your town, no matter how small is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
a. If supply trucks stop rolling in due to road damage, gas shortages or anything else you could be without for a long time.

25. In an emergency Men stock up on food, Women stock up on toilet paper.

26. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!

27. You can never have enough matches.

28. Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage. You need to know how you are going to handle that. It is really easy to be Bob the guy who shares on Day 3, not so easy on Day 11. Just reality.

29. Give a man a fish he eats for that day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again.. Now I get it.

30. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm.

31. Same goes for shoes… Love you Honey!!!!

32. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians!! Or so it seems,

33. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not available anymore.

34. Quote “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty” hahaha

35. Most folks don’t have any emergency storage. They run to Wal-Mart and get water and batteries and then fill their tubs with water. That is it. A lucky few will get a case of Ramen and a box of Poptarts. That will be your neighbors supply. (especially if you live outside of Utah)

36. Fathers, all the money you have ever made means nothing if you can’t keep your kids warm.

37. Mothers, everything you have ever done for your kids is forgotten if your kids are hungry. 

38. You really do not want to be the “Unprepared Parents” The kids turn on you pretty quick.

39. Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.

40. Most things don’t take much power to operate.
a. Computers,
b. Phones
c. Radios
d. TV
e. lights

41. Some things take a ton of power to operate.
a. Fridge
b. Toaster
c. Freezer
d. Hot plate
e. Microwave

42. When it gets dark at 4:30pm the nights are really long without power.

43. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make you home the semi warm place to come home to.. not the cold prison that you are stuck in.

44. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.

45. Things that disappeared never to be seen again for a very long time.
a. Fuel, of all kinds
b. Matches, lighters of any kind etc.
c. Toilet paper
d. Paper plates, plastic forks and knives
e. Batteries, didn’t really see a need for them. (flashlights??? I guess)
f. Milk
g. Charcoal
h. Spark plugs (generators)
i. 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws)
j. Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house.
k. Extension cords
l. Medicines (Tylenol, Advil, cold medicine etc)

46. There was a strange peace to knowing all I had to do each day was keep my family safe, warm, and fed, but my peace was someone else’s panic.

There were also many things that were not learned from Hurricane Sandy, but reinforced. Those things were the importance of my family and their love and support, especially my lovely wife, that my Heavenly Father is really in charge, period, and finally that I am very thankful for the upbringing and experiences that have taught me and brought me to where I am .. Wherever that is…hahahaha..
God Bless!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Emergency Management Daily

It has been a busy year. 

Too busy to spend much time blogging.... obviously....  

However, we have been busy micro blogging.  In other words, we are pumping stuff out on Twitter and Facebook.  Twitter provides an easy way to send more information through a more effective and manageable medium.  For instance  with the use of hashtags (such as #Hurricane, #HSEM or #UASI), we can tag stories as being relevant to the topic at hand.  

As a result of this shift to Twitter, we are sending fewer posts to our mail lists and doing much less blogging. 

But, if you are interested, we have a daily paper that takes our Twitter posts and those of others in the Emergency Management field, and aggregates them in a paper format. 

The Emergency Management Daily is generated automatically and provides an easy way to browse the posts of the day.  You can subscribe to the paper and receive a daily message on the updated posts.

The Emergency Management Daily


I'd encourage you to subscribe to this daily paper if you are interested in emergency management and homeland security topics. 



             

Sunday, August 5, 2012

All Hands Consulting Completes Several Projects


PRESS RELEASE

COLUMBIA, MD – August 6, 2012 - All Hands Consulting (AHC), a leading provider of emergency management consulting services, has completed several projects recently as part of a busy 2012.  The balance of 2012 has many exciting projects on the books.
Despite the sluggish economy, the business of preparing for emergencies goes on. So far, 2012 has been an exciting year of steady work for AHC. All Hands consultants kept busy working with many returning clients and a few new clients. Our client list has grown to over 150 while our team of consultants has climbed well past the 1,100 mark.
We successfully built several large teams of very qualified consultants to staff national exercise and planning programs as well as response teams who are standing by to respond to catastrophic disasters. This includes a cadre of disaster responders for support to FEMA’s Individual Assistance Technical Assistance program and other federal, state, and local deployment contracts for Incident Management Teams and surge capacity for training and exercise deliveries.
Most of our efforts continue to support local emergency management officials. AHC supported planning, training and exercise (PT&E) projects across the USA, from tabletop to functional, to full scale exercises. In addition to local emergency managers, we have supported exercises at transit agencies and airports. We also provided supplemental staffing support to large firms in a variety of PT&E efforts.
We have been working for two new clients who represents our ninth and tenth Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) regions where we have been providing emergency management planning and strategic planning including a Comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan, a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and a Planning, Training and Exercise Plan (PT&EP), as well as a variety of other services including Field Operating Guides, Special Event Plans, and Tactical Response Plans.
Our work included projects from Florida to Washington, from Louisiana to Minnesota, and from Arizona to New York. We helped with comprehensive emergency management plans (CEMPs), and developed operational procedures, guidebooks and playbooks.  We conducted multiple organizational and capabilities assessments and workshops.
We continue to support the NY-NJ-CT-PA Regional Catastrophic Planning Team with a third project; one which paves to way to establish a large Joint Field Office in the wake of a catastrophic event.  We also helped design Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in Georgia and Florida. We continue to do a lot of work in Florida, and have continued to support local jurisdictions with planning and exercises.
In May, we attended the annual National homeland Security Conference (this is the former UASI Conference that we supported for seven years). This year we were not organizers, but our President Steve Davis attended and presented three sessions. These included the THIRA work in Arizona (see presentation) and the JFO Project (see presentation).
In addition, AHC supported several Continuity Plan projects for federal and private sector organizations.
Social Media
We continue to be active in social media, and shifted from our long term work to establish an on-line toolbox for emergency managers to being more of a participant in the grand discussion taking place via social media.  We took down the All Hands Community website (www.all-hands.net) and redirected our efforts to 2.0 communications channels such as TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn and we continue to blog about emergency management and the Urban Areas Security Initiative.  Our long term efforts to communicate with our community by e-mail continue.  For instance, our “Emergency Management Discussion” group has hosted over 20,000 messages.
Our websites continue to lead the way in information sharing as evidenced by a total of over eight million hits this year across the enterprise of All Hands web sites.
A Look Ahead
As we move towards the last quarter of 2012, the future appears to be promising with current and new projects on the schedule. We will continue to do municipal and county CEMPs in Florida, Louisiana, and Wisconsin and elsewhere as well as designing and conducting exercises in Montana while we complete a federal COOP project in South Carolina.  Our on-going work in Arizona, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Louisiana, and Florida should also continue into the future.  We plan to support other firms with various emergency management consulting and training projects.  In addition, we are currently working on several opportunities  to do Emergency Operations Center design, operational planning, training and exercise work.
For more information contact:
Steve Davis, President
All Hands Consulting
Telephone: 410.730.5677

Monday, July 16, 2012

Conducting THIRAs



The Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) is a new process that, according to FEMA, allows a jurisdiction to understand its threats and hazards and how the impacts may vary according to various community factors. The idea behind a THIRA is that this knowledge will help a jurisdiction establish informed and defensible capability targets. Unlike the previous Target Capabilities List (TCL) which prescribed national levels of preparedness, the THIRA process uses the new Core Capabilities and a process which lets a local jurisdiction or state "right size" the capabilities to a level which they feel is prudent to prepare for.

In other words, how bad of a disaster do you want to prepare for, and how prepared do you need to be?

FEMA released its Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 201 (CGP 201) in April 2012; the guide, and related technical assistance, describe how to conduct a THIRA.  The THIRA must be submitted by December 31, 2012 using the FEMA PrepCAST (Compliance Assessment System Tool) system to enter THIRA data as part of the State Preparedness Report (SPR).

While the CPG 201 document is straightforward, it leaves some aspects of the process up to interpretation by the jurisdiction performing the THIRA.  Having just gone through the process twice, I thought that I would share some thoughts on the subject.

Not Rocket Science         


The prescribed process is not that complicated. While some have criticized the lack of any scientific process, FEMA did make it easy relatively for us.  I restated the process steps in a recent presentation as follows:

1.  Assesses your threats and hazards of concern.
2.  Describe you vulnerability to those hazards by giving them context.
3.  Estimate the consequences of those threats and hazards impacting the community.
4.  Establish capability targets based on these consequences .
5.  Use the THIRA and apply its results it to update your Homeland Security Strategy.


THIRAs Make Sense


Most states and large urban areas have been doing threat assessments, capability assessments, analyzing gaps, and updating their Homeland Security Strategies for almost 10 years now as part of FEMA's Preparedness Grants program.  While there may have been varying degrees of success and some room for improvement, grantees were or should have been doing this work as part of sound project management.  Now FEMA has given us a process to use in carrying out these important responsibilities.

Your THIRA should include the capability estimation and gap analysis that is part of the approach.  This will provide a sound basis for annual updates to grantee's Homeland Security Strategies which in turn guide grant expenditures.

Based on this, it makes sense for the THIRA to be part of the grant lifecycle.

Validating THIRAs


FEMA will be validating THIRAs and combining them into regional and national assessments.  As stated in a recent THIRA FAQ, FEMA Regions will review all THIRAs through a collaborative effort with the states, territories, and urban areas. The Regional Federal preparedness Coordinator (FPC) will review all grantee THIRA submissions in their area of responsibility. This review is intended to ensure that the submitted THIRAs were developed in alignment with CPG 201. The FAQ states that the FPC will be seeking to answer the following questions to test the alignment of the submissions to the guidance:
  1. Did the jurisdiction provide description statements of the threats and hazards of concern?
  2. Did the jurisdiction provide outcome statements for all 31 core capabilities from the National Preparedness Goal?
  3. Did the jurisdiction provide estimated impacts for all threats and hazards of concern in relation to the 31 core capabilities?
  4. Did the jurisdiction provide capability targets for all 31 core capabilities?
  5. Did the jurisdiction provide an affirmation that their submittal is in alignment with CPG 201?

While there is a toolbox available, the process leaves room for some interpretation and creative approaches as long as the key points above are addressed.

Breakdown


Let's break this down. The validation points, and a suggested approach for accomplishing each, are described below.

1. Provide description statements of the threats and hazards of concern. 

This is simple enough, you should look at your local Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) to gauge the natural hazards of concern, this should already be done for you for the most part.  

But what about terrorist threats?  The best approach is to meet with those "in the know" and discuss the current threats that you are aware of and gauge each threat to see which are areas of concern. This later step will be somewhat subjective as there is no historical record to base probability on but your experts will know what it is you should be preparing for.

There are additional data sources mentioned in the CGP 201 and its companion toolbox. You can also use the measures from the 2011 SPR as a basis to select a target level for each threat/hazard selected.



2. Provide outcome statements for all 31 core capabilities from the National Preparedness Goal.

You are asked in Step 2 to give each of these threats and hazards context. A table is provided in the toolkit for this purpose. Step 3 asks each jurisdiction to use the descriptions developed in Step 2 to assess how each threat and hazard may impact the community and what level of the core capabilities will be needed to meet those impacts (your desired outcomes).

The impacts, along with core capabilities and desired outcomes, should be used to gain an understanding of what is needed to manage your jurisdiction's risk. Desired outcomes are required for each core capability.  The CPG 201 Guide and Toolkit offer example outcome statements.

3. Provide estimated impacts for all threats and hazards of concern in relation to the 31 core capabilities.

Being responsive to this requirement is simply a matter of charting out the impacts against the core capabilities and examining the capabilities using the Threats and Hazards. (In other word, assess capabilities based on threat.) The toolbox includes a chart that is pretty hard to work with. You can build a  matrix that includes all of the capabilities charted against the highest threats and hazards to be responsive to this requirement.

4. Provide capability targets for all 31 core capabilities.

The desired outcomes should explain what the jurisdiction wants to achieve for each core capability. This will need to include setting targets levels for each core capability. This is not a numerical rating, this is a narrative description of what your jurisdiction will need to be able to accomplish based on your estimation of threats and hazards.  Establish the level of capability that you believe that you need to achieve based on the threats and hazards identified.

5. Provide an affirmation that their submittal is in alignment with CPG 201.

The only thing missing at this point is that you need to "apply the results."  You should use the results to update your Homeland Security Strategy and to drive spending decisions. Look at your gaps based on your desired vs. your current capabilities.  Analyze how close you are to having the capabilities needed to address the threat and hazards that you have identified.

You should make this a part of your annual grant lifecycle as the THIRA must be used to support Investment Justifications. If an Investment Justification is not linked to THIRA results, projects may not be funded. And, you should use this process to measure improvements in capabilities over time, something that is a critical factor in grant programs.



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Congressional Appropriators Side with Local Stakeholders, First Responders on Homeland Security Grants


Both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations marked up legislation recently that rejected the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP).  See National League of Cities article below.  

Senator Mary Landrieu summed it up in saying that “… major stakeholders wrote to us asking us not to include these reforms.”

The Senate is to do mark-up on Tuesday.  The Senate draft only funds "the big four grant programs" and is $1.4 Billion so less than the House version.  Other grant programs, such as MMRS are not included but would be eligible and would need to apply to states to get funded.

The Senate's proposed funding levels are less than the House version. These will be reconciled in Conference Committee at a later date.


The Senate bill provides $1.41 billion for state and local grant programs, $369 million above the comparable fiscal year 2012 level. The bill does not include grant reform as proposed in the President’s budget request due to the lack of specific detail regarding how funds would be distributed. The Department is directed to continue working with stakeholders and the authorizing committees on a reform proposal. Included in the total is:

– $415 million for State Homeland Security Grants;
– $55 million for Operation Stonegarden;
– $664 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative;
– $13 million for Non-profit Security Grants;
– $119 million for Transit and Rail Security Grants;
– $13 million for Amtrak security; and
– $132 million Port Security grants.

The bill also provides funding for the following programs:
– $337.5 million each for the fire equipment grant program and the firefighter hiring grant program ($675 million total), additionally, the Secretary may waive certain provisions of the firefighter hiring program, if conditions warrant;
– $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants;

The Senate version also specifically rejects the NPGP. Which is the gist of this NLC article below.

May 21, 2012

by Mitchel Herckis

In what can be considered a victory for first responders across the nation, last week both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations marked up legislation that rejected an Obama Administration proposal to consolidate 16 State and Local Homeland Security Grant Programs into one state-centric grant program called the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP).

Proposed in the President’s FY 2013 budget, the NPGP would have required states to only pass funding to Urban Area Security Initiative recipients; the remainder of the funds -- of which more than 80 percent is currently required to be passed directly to local jurisdictions -- would have gone to the state to be distributed based on state and national threat and risk assessments. This includes grants for transit and port security, urban search and rescue, metropolitan medical response, pre-disaster mitigation grants, and a number of other standalone programs that targeted funds at specific threats.

Since the consolidation was proposed, NLC and several colleague organizations have urged key stakeholders in Congress and the Administration to take a more inclusive and deliberative approach to reform that includes the voices of local governments and first responders.

Responding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) lack of detail on how grants would be implemented and no assurances that the needs of localities would be met under NPGP, NLC sent a series of letters to both Congress and the Administration. In the letters, NLC urged Congress to maintain the reforms implemented last year to gauge their effectiveness, and asked FEMA to begin to work with all its stakeholders to find a clear path forward on additional reforms to the program.  In addition to its concerns with the proposal, NLC and its allies put forward principles that FEMA should consider in any future efforts to reform the program.

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees agreed with the arguments made by the coalition and made direct points of rejecting the Administration’s proposal in their spending bills. In denying the Administration the authority to create the NPGP, the House Appropriations Committee cited the lack of detail required and explained in the committee report that “… the Committee met with and heard testimony from numerous stakeholders that expressed concern not just with the grant proposal but also with the lack of stakeholder outreach prior to the program’s introduction. The Committee considers this lack of outreach concerning and it should be addressed.”

Similarly, in an opening statement, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chair of the Committee on Appropriation’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security, stated that “… the grant reform proposal from the Department simply lacked the specificity I needed for its implementation, and in addition, the Authorizing Chair and Ranking Member … and major stakeholders wrote to us asking us not to include these reforms.”

NLC appreciates Congress’ efforts to ensure that the Administration take a thoughtful approach to state and local grant reform and work directly with local stakeholders to ensure any future reform puts our local first responders first.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finally! THIRA is Here!

After months of waiting, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the much anticipated guidance for conducting "Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (THIRAs). The THIRA process provides a common way to more fully understand all of the risks communities face and is now required for homeland security and emergency management grantee states and Urban Areas under the UASI program. The process ties the risk of a threat or hazard to capabilities to look at gaps as part of a comprehensive preparedness cycle. (See links below.)


FEMA's Deputy Administrator Tim Manning authored the following blog to help announce the new guidance which is formally known as Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 201.


Here is Tim's Blog on THIRA:


At FEMA, we’ve been working hard to ensure that our nation continually strengthens its resiliency and becomes as prepared as it can be against all hazards. Today we took another step forward in that ongoing effort with the release of the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 201: Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. The THIRA process builds on the progress we’ve achieved so far with the National Preparedness Goal and the description of the National Preparedness System. Ultimately, the THIRA process provides a common way to more fully understand all of the risks communities face – thus helping the emergency management team make wise decisions to keep people safe. 

What makes the THIRA unique is that it doesn’t just look at natural hazards or terrorist threats. Instead it takes into account the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to a community—regardless of the cause. The preparedness guide lays out a five-step process on how to do that, and it is adaptable to the needs and resources of our local, tribal, territorial, and state homeland security and emergency management partners. The five steps are: 

  • Identify the threats and hazards of concern - What could happen in my community?
  • Give the threats and hazards context - Describe how a threat or hazard could happen in my community, and when and where it could happen. 
  • Examine the core capabilities using the threats and hazards - How would each threat or hazard affect the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal?
  • Set capability targets - Using the information above, set the level of capability a community needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from its risks.
  • Apply the results - Use the capability targets to decide how to use resources from the Whole Community.
Throughout the THIRA process, our goal is for communities to find out what data and information they should check regularly and keep updated so that they can recognize when their community’s threats and hazards change. THIRA helps jurisdictions focus on key information about their community and how that jurisdiction and community interacts with its partners at all levels – local, state, and federal. 

And it’s important to note that while the THIRA will be used to inform resource allocation and planning, the THIRA will not replace hazard mitigation plans. In fact, the THIRA will take into account the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments that have already been written by local and state governments for the last decade. 

To learn more about our overall preparedness efforts, we encourage you to read up on Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness.






See more information here:
http://blog.fema.gov/2012/04/understanding-our-risk-comprehensive.html


You can download the guidance here:
http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=5823

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Proposal for a Comprehensive Preparedness Grants Structure

After what they described as more than six months of meetings, conference calls, and over 20 drafts, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) issued a report that documents their examination of the suite of homeland security and emergency management grants which include the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program and the Homeland Security Grants Program (HSGP).

The report, a “Proposal for a Comprehensive Preparedness Grants Structure” follows last summer’s NEMA report titled “The Homeland Security Grant Program – Keeping a Promise to the Nation.” According to the NEMA web site , this effort was spurred by a desire to provide an alternative to calls to Congress to “please don’t cut funding”. 

The calls to not cut funding fell on deaf ears as Congress proceeded to cut the budget sharply. Homeland security grants were targeted for a disproportionate level of cuts, down nearly two thirds from FY 2010.NEMA and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) have consistently lobbied rather successfully for maintaining EMPG funding levels while not lobbying for HSGP.

The NEMA document indicates that they intended to focus on principles and values with a suggested concept for grant reorganization . This was, according to the report, to provide grantees “increased flexibility and more comprehensive accountability to Congress”. Under the proposal, states would be awarded three allocations from DHS: Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG), a new homeland security “cadre grant”, and a project-based “investment and innovation grant.”

“The state is awarded three allocations from DHS, including one for EMPG, one for the new homeland security cadre grant, and one for the new investment and innovation grant.”

The NEMA document goes on to state that the outcome of this new system will result in several advantages over the existing system. “All current grant applicants remain eligible to receive funding including ports, nodes of transportation, and urban areas. This new system ensures all grantees are integrated within the state and local THIRA process as well as national priorities.”

The recommended changes include putting these grants in the hands of state officials to allocate. Homeland Security Advisors (HSAs), State Administrative Agencies (SAAs), and emergency management directors have, according to the report, “far more visibility on allocation of funds within the state and how projects and jurisdictions are working together for maximum efficiency of the taxpayer dollars.”

You will need to read the report to get the full picture but we’ve taken a look and have some observations.

Grant Life Cycle

The proposal keeps much of the core homeland security grant planning process (life cycle) including the state homeland security strategy, a comprehensive Threat Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (THIRA) and assess ment s of current capabilities to determine requirements and evaluate recent progress. However, the recommendation does not seem to stress risk or capabilities-based decision making regarding allocations.

Cadre-Based Allocation

While this may be a stretch on the definition of cadre, the cadre grant would maintain the existing EMPG program (helping staff emergency management offices).

The proposed reorganization would result in the first two allocations received by the state being for staff -based activities such as planning, assessments, grant administration, and other homeland security and emergency management functions. The emergency management responsibilities would continue to be administered through EMPG. The homeland security cadre-based grant would be very similar to EMPG in construct and administration, but managed through the HSA.

“Just as EMPG has been proven to reduce the reliance on federal assets during disaster response, this new construct would achieve the same benefit in the prevention of terrorism.”

Investment Grants

A majority of the funding through this proposed system would go toward investment grants made through a single allocation to the state. Unlike the current system which the NEMA report describes as “narrowly focused” and “uncoordinated”, the proposed system would be project-based. The SAA and local governments would apply for funding based on their THIRA and preparedness strategy. These applications would be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary advisory committee, and the SAA makes awards as appropriate.

This last step of SAA making awards removes this responsibility from FEMA and places it at the state. This, the report says, will provide “stability for jurisdictions currently operating in the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), ensuring a city can never again “fall off the list.”

But the report treats Tier 1 UASIs differently. “Due to their significant security issues, Tier 1 UASI’s would continue to be funded directly. This will ensure every urban area will be part of the THIRA and application process and no one is left out.”

In the end, this report appears to have merit but more discussion and stakeholder involvement is warranted before the system is overhauled. With grant guidance due out in February, it is unlikely that any changes, not already in the works at FEMA, will be made for the next cycle. Even without changes, the State Homeland Security Grant Program can address many of the goals laid out in the report.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking for a Job in Emergency Management?

We know that the economy is bad: Budgets are being reduced, grants are being cut, and competition is fierce. We assume that many in the All Hands Community may be looking for work and we want to help.

All Hands Consulting tries to help place as many people as possible but we have grown to over 1,000 consultants and there is no way of keeping everyone busy.

We often get requests to either help fill jobs or to share information about job openings. We often do this on our various lists but we do not want to load up general mail lists with job announcements. For that reason, we focus on sharing job openings on a mail list designed for just this purpose: The Emergency Management Employment Yahoo! Group at EmergencyManagementJobs. If you are looking for a job, I would encourage you to join this list as that is where I will be posting job openings.

Another great resource for job seekers is the IAEM Job Board - you should check the board often. Steve Detwiler keeps up a steady stream of job postings there along with a few others.

Finally, I would encourage networking as it seems to be the best way to find out about opportunities. Feel free to join our social media efforts as well. A complete list of our accounts are on the www.allhands.us web site.

Regards,

Steve Davis, All Hands Consulting