Steve Davis is President of All Hands Consulting, an emergency management firm focused on Comprehensive Emergency Management, Business Continuity, Homeland Security, and Disaster Recovery -- activities that share a common mission: they are all aimed at reducing the impact of disasters on our lives and our operations.
I am often asked what I do.
When I answer that I am an Emergency Management Consultant, I typically
get an odd look (unless I am talking to an Emergency Manager).
I typically explain that we help governments,
businesses, communities, and people prepare for disasters. But emergency management is complex and
should involve the whole community.
All Hands, an Emergency Management Consulting Firm
Today’s blog is an attempt to answer the
What is Emergency
Emergency management consulting firms, and emergency
management consultants, help clients with their emergency management
programs. Emergency management is
defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as “The managerial
function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce
vulnerability to threats/hazards and cope with disasters.”
We describe emergency management as a comprehensive program
to prevent and mitigate hazards and to prepare for, respond to, and recover
from incidents, emergencies and disasters.
unpleasant and unintended happening that routine emergency response agencies
can handle. Or, describes an event, expected or unexpected, involving shortages
of time; that place life or property in danger; for which normal police, fire,
emergency medical services, or utility response is adequate; that does not
require more extensive government or community response effort.
unexpected event involving shortages of time and/or resources which places life
and/or property in danger, and which requires immediate response; requires
response beyond normal incident response resources. Normally a single incident
Disaster: When the
resources available are exceeded; or an Event in which a community undergoes
severe danger and incurs losses so that the social structure is disrupted; and
the fulfillment of all or some of its essential functions is prevented. A
disaster situation is comprised of multiple incident sites.
Preparing for emergencies and
disasters is a government and business responsibility (and also and individual/family responsibility). As emergencymanagement consultants, we help government and business mitigate hazards and
prepare to respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters when they
occur. At the local level, municipal officials have a legal and moral mandate
to ensure that their community is prepared to respond quickly and effectively
to emergencies and disasters, especially in the initial phase of a disaster
before the county, state or federal governments provide supplemental
assistance. Local government must be
able to execute emergency and recovery plans and functions effectively.
The EOC needs an effective information management system to work.
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS DURING A DISASTER The following problems are often seen at all EOC levels:
Activation takes place after the fact resulting in a “catch up” process.Lack of good and complete information at the beginning.Possible loss or degraded communications capability.Possible loss or late arrival of key, trained staff.Often a shortfall of resources available to meet demands.Lack of inter-agency coordination. Information management is…
THIRA is the acronym for a "Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment."While many people do not really understand the difference between the terms threat, hazard, and risk (that can be the subject of another piece) I’m sure most of our readers are familiar with Threat Assessments and/or Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRAs).The term THIRA may be something new but the concept is not.The reason that it is a term of some importance is that the term was included in the FY2011 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) guidance and it is causing a concern for some grantees.The HSGP guidance says that: "In order to qualify for FY 2011 funding, all grantees shall develop and maintain a THIRA." While good folks at DHS/FEMA are developing a Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) supplement that will aid in the conduct of these and other risk assessments, there is no specific guidance out about how to do a THIRA that meets the requirements of the grant. The…