Edited Version of November 25, 1998 Transcript
EIIP Virtual Forum Panel Discussion
FEMA's Compendium of Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management, Volume III
International Partnerships Program Branch
Preparedness, Training and Exercises Directorate
William E. Reynolds, CEM
Emergency Management Coordinator
City of Naperville (IL) Emergency Management Agency
Walter E. Wright, CEM
Director of Emergency Management
Linn County (IA) Emergency Management Agency
Preston D. Cook, AEM
Orange County (FL) Emergency Management
Russell C. Coile, Ph.D., CEM
Disaster Coordinator/Emergency Program Manager
City of Pacific Grove (CA) Fire Department
The original transcript of the November 25, 1998 online Virtual Forum Panel Discussion is available on the EIIP Virtual Forum <http://www.emforum.org>. The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. Typos were corrected, date/time/names attributed by the software to each were deleted but content of discussion, questions, and responses are as stated by each participant. Answers from the presenter to questions by the audience are grouped beneath the appropriate question to facilitate meaning.
Amy Sebring: Welcome to the EIIP Virtual Forum! We are pleased to present a panel of speakers today to present an overview of the third volume of FEMA Partnerships in Preparedness, A Compendium of Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management. All the exemplary practices are commendable and we are fortunate to feature a few of them in the Virtual Forum.
We will spend 30-35 minutes hearing from our speakers and then open the floor for Q&A. We will give further instructions for the Q&A after we hear from our speakers. We have also reproduced the pages from the Compendium for each of our guests on our Background Information page, and will put up the addresses for each.
There is also a link on today's Background page which will start a download of the PDF file (639K) from fema.gov Library. See <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/981125.htm>
Now, I am pleased to introduce our guest speakers today. They are:
Maria Younker, International Partnerships Program Branch, Preparedness, Training and Exercises Directorate, FEMA Headquarters
William E. Reynolds, CEM, Emergency Management Coordinator, City of Naperville (IL) Emergency Management Agency
Walter E. Wright, CEM, Director of Emergency Management, Linn County (IA) Emergency Management Agency
Preston D. Cook, AEM, Warning/Communications Coordinator, Orange County (FL) Emergency Management
Russell C. Coile, Ph.D., CEM, Disaster Coordinator/Emergency Program Manager, City of Pacific Grove (CA) Fire Department.
We appreciate each of you for being here today. Maria, you have served as the Project Officer for the Compendium of Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management since 1995. Please give us a little background about the Compendium and your plans for the future.
Maria Younker: Thanks, Amy and good afternoon to everyone, I am glad to be here today and have the opportunity to participate in the EIIP's weekly chat session. I am going to talk a little bit about a document FEMA has been successfully engaged in producing the last three years.
FEMA's Preparedness Directorate in coordination with its partners just published its third volume of "Partnerships in Preparedness: A Compendium of Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management" in October. This publication, which was developed jointly with public and private sector emergency managers, offers fresh insights toward building a strong and more efficient emergency management community.
Volume III of the Compendium continues to describe public and private sector emergency management initiatives such as inventive coordination among organizations, volunteer projects and resource sharing, and other innovative and highly effective emergency management activities.
Kay Goss, Associate Director for FEMA's Preparedness Directorate, embraced the notion of a Compendium of Exemplary Practices in January of 1995 as a means to fill the gap between emergency management baseline capabilities and resource requirements. The Compendium narrows this gap by forging cooperation and providing an avenue to leverage available talent and resources. It also pays tribute to those who have developed such practices.
Approximately 132,000 copies of Volumes I, II and III have been distributed to date and we continue to receive requests for the document. These requests are both domestic and international in nature, and customer feedback on the Compendium has been extremely positive. Volumes I,II and III of the Compendium are available on FEMA's World Wide Web site at <http://www.fema.gov/PDF/partners.pdf>
Hard copies are available by calling 1-800-480-2520 or sending a written request to FEMA, PO Box 2012, Jessup, MD 20794-2012.
Nominations for future editions may be submitted electronically at:
Since there has been interest from the International community in this project, next year FEMA is working to expand the Compendium to include exemplary practices world wide.
We hope to continue receiving exemplary practice nominations from you!
Amy Sebring: Thank you, Maria. We will now turn to William Reynolds. Bill, please tell us about your exemplary practice. <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/page25.htm>
Bill Reynolds: Thank you and good mid day to all. My computer just dropped my notepad, please continue and I will try to get it back.
Amy Sebring: Ok, Bill. Let us know when you are ready to continue Bill. Walter is still having trouble connecting so if we may turn to Preston Cook. Preston, please tell us about your success with a TV program in Orange County. <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/page19.htm>
Preston Cook: Thank you and hello to everyone. Disaster Awareness is a regularly scheduled cable access television series which provides emergency preparedness information to the citizens of Orange County, Florida. Orange County's progressive business licensing legislation requires local cable television franchises to provide one free, full-time cable access channel solely for government and public interest use.
This broadcast channel, reaching an estimated 400,000 people in Orange County, is know as "Orange TV." Identified as a potential new medium for expanding public contact, Orange TV agreed to assist the Office of Emergency Management in the design, production, editing, and broadcast of disaster-related programs. To date, twelve 30-minute shows have been produced.
The shows' topics range from "Disaster Recovery and Insurance Guidance for Citizens" to "Understanding Hazardous Materials Events." As of June 1997, survey results ranked the "Disaster Awareness" series the third most highly viewed program on Orange TV.
Disaster Awareness has been very successful here in Orange County. The show gives us the ability to include and give exposure to all of the agencies involved in our Emergency Management program. It has been a great tool for getting cooperation, as well as providing excellent information to the citizens of Orange County.
If anyone would like additional information about our show please call (407) 836-9140. Thank you for your time and attention.
Amy Sebring: Thank you, Preston. Bill tells me he is ready to proceed and I see Walter has made it.
Bill Reynolds: The City of Naperville is the fastest growing community in the State of Illinois. Approximately 1500 new residents move into Naperville each month. Currently the population is estimated at just over 120,000 people, in 1989 the population was 83,500.
In 1993 it was decided that a better link of communication be provided between the City and the residents. A low power, travelers information, radio station was selected as the best method to keep the public informed on a daily basis.
Amy Sebring: Bill is having a little difficulty. The system does seem a little sluggish this morning. Let's go on to Walter Wright, and we will get back to Bill.
Amy Sebring: Walt Wright is with us to tell us about us about a training and operational partnership in Cedar Rapids. Walt. <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/page26.htm>
Walter Wright: Thank you for the opportunity to participate. The relationship between the Civil Air Patrol and the Amateur Radio Club is important to the overall success of the Emergency Management Program.
The EMA provide space and funding, while the two organizations provide volunteers to support their respective functions. They provide Search and Rescue, EOC Security, currier service, back up communications and other support as needed.
During our most recent FEMA evaluation, they were credits as being a major contributor to our overall success. We can not do our job without their dedicated support.
Amy Sebring: Thank you, Walter. Bill, are you ready to try again?
Bill Reynolds: I can't get my notepad to work so I will just type it in.
In July of 1996 the area was hit with 9.5 to 17.1 inches of rain resulting in 10,000 homes being flooded. As a result of the flooding we lost power to half of the city and also our cable TV went down and therefore we could not use the over-ride to talk to the public.
Using the low power AM station we were able to update information every three hours for the next 2-1/2 days. The information given was on shelters, sandbags, safety tips, etc. After the flood waters left, we used it to provide information on debris removal and where FEMA was set up.
The response from the public was great and following the flood we upgraded the station using the location satellites to tie our signal in place, we now have a clear and good signal over the 40 square miles of the city.
Amy Sebring: Thanks Bill for persevering. You are a good typist. And now, Russell, please share your exemplary practice with us. This is your second time isn't it, Russell? <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/page15.htm>
Russell Coile: In Monterey, California, the Naval Postgraduate School's Institute Joint Warfare Analysis is developing models of response by local fire, police, ambulances and hospitals, The Naval Postgraduate School is working on models of counter-terrorism.
They asked our Fire Dept to collect data on time of local response. We had an exercise with 65 victims (We have only 5 firefighters on duty). We gave a briefing to the FBI.
Now, the Natural Hazards Center, Boulder has pre-approved a Quick Response travel grant so that we can go to a big Hazmat accident or to a terrorism incident to collect data.
After Volume III came out on the Internet, requests for information have been pouring in (2 anyway). End of story.
Amy Sebring: Thank you, Russell. It is easy to see why these programs were selected for the Compendium this year. We are also happy to announce that the EIIP Virtual Forum has also been included. <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/page45.htm>
Now, if you have a question or comment for any of our speakers, please input a question mark (?) to the chat screen and wait to be recognized before sending your question. You can compose your question while waiting but please hold until you are recognized. Also be sure to indicate to whom the question is addressed. First question, please.
Joe Ashby: Walt, do they work with the weather service also?
Walter Wright: We use both the CAP and Amateur Radio groups as part of our community STORMWATCH system. We even have Amateur Radio personnel working our Doppler Radar on loan from Rockwell-Collins, which is in Cedar Rapids.
Amy Sebring: Thank you Walt. Bill you had a question or comment?
Bill Reynolds: I would just like to report that I had an article in Volume II on our program for the hearing impaired and in Volume III our AM radio station, I received over 200 calls about the hearing pagers and have already received 50 on the radio station.
Janice Rogala: What are the best federal resources for terrorism grant funds to local governments?
Amy Sebring: Russell, did you want to address Jan's question.
Russell Coile: Someone, please tell me. I don't know.
Amy Sebring: I also want to mention that Preston must leave us soon. So if anyone has questions about his TV program, now is the time to ask.
Preston Cook: I just wanted to mention that we have had several requests for information about the show. We think its great.
Chip Hines: Preston: What is the frequency of your show, and how much and what kind of community feedback are you getting? Is it generic or specific to Orange county?
Preston Cook: The show airs approximately 20 times a month. We produce one a month. It is county specific but we reach out and include our neighboring counties as much as possible. The show is well received and continued to get positive reviews.
Amy Sebring: Thank you, Preston. I realize you have to go. Thanks for being with us today and congratulations on your inclusion AND on your AEM.
Preston Cook: Thank you very much.
Russell Coile: Maria, How many copies of Vol III are being printed? (My printed copies have not arrived.)
Maria Younker: We printed approximately 48,000 copies of volume III. Approximately 42,000 have been distributed. I will mail you out a copy today since you should have already received one.
Russell Coile: Thank you.
Amy Sebring: Please note that follow up contact information is included on the background pages.
Avagene Moore: Maria, how does your selection process for an exemplary practice work? That is, who is involved in the screening process?
Maria Younker: Candidate exemplary practices come into FEMA on the program nomination form included in the back of the Compendium or electronically via the Internet. The program nominations are then all written up in the same format and evaluated by a panel of partners from the emergency management community.
This includes FEMA panelists as well as panelists from the State and local community. This ensures a broad representation of the emergency management community.
David Crews: Russell, what is the size of the terrorist attack that you have assumed for Pacific Grove exercises and what is the largest one that is practical for a Pacific Grove response?
Russell Coile: We are concerned with chemical or biological attacks at a big time event such as the AT&T Golf tournament with 20,000 people watching Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach when a crop dusting airplane flies over at 500 feet.
Amy Sebring: We are just about out of time for today. Our sincere gratitude to Maria, Bill, Walt, Preston and Russell for the presentation. And thanks to our audience --- we appreciate your participation, especially just prior to a holiday!
Avagene will tell us about our upcoming schedule. Avagene, please.
Avagene Moore: Thank you, Amy. Tuesday is the Round Table, an informal discussion by one of our Partners. At the moment, we lack a Partner to lead that discussion but one may step up for that on December 1, 1:00 PM EST.
Wednesday, December 2, 12:00 Noon EST, the Virtual Classroom features Walter Green, Assistant Professor of Emergency Services Management, School of Continuing Studies, at the University of Richmond, Virginia. Walter will discuss the Emergency Management Degree Program at the University of Richmond. Left off Thursday Night Mutual Aid next week. Back to you, Amy.
Amy Sebring: Thank you, Avagene. Due to the holiday tomorrow, we will NOT be having an evening session.
Also, our complete Dec. schedule will be out shortly. We are only running through Dec. 16th and will have a special event that day. Watch for news, then we will take a break for the Christmas holidays.
Again, our appreciation to all and you are welcome to stick around a little longer, since we have run over a little.