Diversity in America has become the leading headline in recent weeks due to events around the country. How diversified is emergency management – and how does that impact treatment and distribution of resources? In this podcast we are joined by representatives from the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management for a candid discussion on equality within our industry. In addition, Tidal Basin CEO Dan Craig will conclude the discussion with a special announcement about a new diversity scholarship opportunity.
The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management was founded after cofounders Chauncia Willis and others experienced varying levels of racism, bias, and inequality within the emergency management sector. Personal bias can impact how emergency management programs are implemented at the local level, especially for underserved areas. The organization aims to increase community resilience, especially for underserved communities, through diversity and inclusion for equity in emergency management. Tidal Basin CEO Daniel Craig demonstrated a commitment to I-DIEM’s mission with the announcement of a new student scholarship program supported by a donation of $5,000 each from Tidal Basin and from Mr. Craig.
Tidal Basin’s donation will be supporting a new student scholarship program named in recognition of Lt. General Julius W. Becton, Jr., the first minority to serve as FEMA Director from 1985 to 1989. The Julius W. Becton-IDIEM Student Scholarship Fund will support diverse students in the field of emergency management.
In this episode of Disaster Recovery Roundtable, we hear how emergency managers in Florida, Virginia, and Texas are preparing for the start of hurricane season. They’ll share unique circumstances and considerations in their communities, including how they are planning for potential COVID-19 impacts if a threat develops.
Emergency Managers are preparing for the start of the 2020 Hurricane Season under unique circumstances as they develop response considerations for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Palm Beach County, Florida; Virginia Beach, Virginia and the City of Houston have developed specific response plans and guidance to minimize COVID-19 impacts if sheltering is necessary during this hurricane season. Other considerations that all three communities are addressing include mitigating for the public’s fear or reluctance to evacuate due to COVID-19 concerns.
Puerto Rico was devastated in 2017 by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which left behind billions of dollars in damages. In this episode, we’ll hear from the lead of FEMA’s Mitigation Assessment Team for the 2017 storms and have an update on the island’s current mitigation efforts from the previous State Hazard Mitigation Officer for Puerto Rico.
The Building Science Branch of FEMA's Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) oversees the Mitigation Assessment Team project to support the identification of mitigation requirements after a major disaster. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the Mitigation Assessment Team, led by our first guest Stuart Adams, identified several key mitigation needs for Puerto Rico, including adopting an updated building code. The key to any successful mitigation program is ensuring recommendations are implemented by state and local communities. Our second guest in this episode, Tidal Basin’s Senior Director of Recovery Jose Valenzuela, will share how Puerto Rico implemented FEMA’s mitigation recommendations from the 2017 Mitigation Assessment Team report.
The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University has been releasing a seasonal hurricane forecast every year since 1984 under Dr. William Gray. Dr. Phil Klotzbach currently leads the research program and is well known among the emergency management community for his annual forecasts. Dr. Klotzbach will share details of his first released forecast of the season and indications on how the forecast might be changing on the eve of an updated forecast, which will be released by Colorado State on June 4, 2020.
Although the official start to hurricane season was on June 1, storms had already formed by the end of May, with Tropical Storm Cristobal forming on June 2 – the earliest third named storm on record in the Tropical Atlantic Basin. Dr. Phil Klotzbach will share how atmospheric factors influence the annual seasonal forecast and will provide clues on whether the April forecast numbers will change due to the early activity. Dr. Klotzbach will also reinforce why the emergency management community will need to take COVID-19 into consideration as they prepare for the season.
Disaster Recovery Roundtable welcomes Leslie Chapman Henderson with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) to discuss their hurricane mitigation and preparedness programs. Leslie will share information available to emergency managers as they prepare for hurricane season, including the latest on the Hurricane Strong initiative, efforts to promote improved building codes, COVID-19 impacts to their operations, and details about a new FLASH podcast.
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) was formed as a volunteer committee in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and today supports emergency managers and others in preparing for disasters. The organization is best known for its efforts to promote stronger building codes in coastal states prone to hurricanes. FLASH’s CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson will share the latest opportunities available to communities promoting hurricane resilience through the Hurricane Strong designation initiative and how they are updating the program based on a new survey of public input based on this year’s concerns with COVID-19.