Disaster Recovery Roundtable

This podcast is a platform to explore, engage, and educate the emergency management community and will feature guests from diverse emergency management disciplines to discuss mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery topics intended to promote the exchange of ideas and best practices. Episode topics are developed from our team of disaster experts, listeners, and the clients we serve.
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Now displaying: 2021
Sep 10, 2021

Recent disasters this summer including the devastating condominium collapse in north Miami, the Haiti Earthquake, deadly floods in central Tennessee and Hurricane Ida’s impact in the Gulf Coast and Northeast have demonstrated the crucial role of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams. In this episode of Disaster Recovery Roundtable, we discuss the origins of Miami-Dade’s USAR program and how it led to the national program we have today.

Jul 21, 2021

Topics Covered

  • Stephanie Abrams grew up in Florida and the first time she considered a career in meteorology was after witnessing the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew’s impact to south Miami Dade County in 1992.
  • Some of the most memorable storms she has covered in the past include Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Michael in 2018, and Hurricane Laura during the historic 2020 hurricane season.
  • Another memorable event Stephanie covered for the Weather Channel was the 2017 Solar Eclipse in the U.S., her love of the sciences as a kid from participating in NASA’s science camp, and by chasing an eclipse with her dad culminated into an emotional event while witnessing the 2017 eclipse.
  • Stephanie prefers the humid Florida summers to the cold and snowy winters in New York.
Jun 1, 2021

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 the latest update for the 2021 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 3, 2021.

Mar 5, 2021

A California campaign is helping to engage the most vulnerable in that state as they promote five steps for safety and survival from disasters. In this episode of Disaster Recovery Roundtable, we hear from Justin Knighten, the previous co-chair of the Listos California Preparedness Campaign, about how it is reaching targeted audiences to support personal preparedness.

Topics Covered:

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) announced that the state’s emergency preparedness campaign (launched in August 2019) has surpassed its goal of engaging at least one million socially vulnerable Californians. The campaign, titled “Listos,” which means “ready” in Spanish, provides the communities it targets with accessible, in-language, and culturally competent disaster readiness information.
  • Along with California Volunteers, another state-managed program, Listos California, which is anchored at Cal OES, has provided more than 1.6 million Californians with information they would need in the event of a natural disaster.
  • The campaign is aimed at engaging community-based organizations, faith groups, social clubs, schools, civic or neighborhood groups to encourage five easy and free steps to prepare for a disaster like an earthquake, wildfire or flood.
  • The campaign provides simple tools and resources to build awareness and help get people in the community prepared.
  • Listos California’s tools differ from many conventional preparedness lessons that too often fail to get people to act. Campaign organizers believe their approach will increase the chances of success and bring more communities closer to being ready for a disaster.

Additional Information:


Feb 24, 2021

The state of California continues recovery efforts from a historic wildfire season which included some of the largest fires (in acreage burned) in state —second only to the COVID-19 pandemic for worst disasters of the year. By the end of December, over 9,000 fires burned nearly 4.4 million acres, or about 4% of the state’s approximate 100 million acres of land. The August Complex Fire has been classified as the first “gigafire”- burning over 1 million acres across seven counties. It was one of several large-scale fires and ranked as the Top 5 of the 6 largest fires in California’s recorded wildfire history.    

Topics Covered:

  • The August Complex Fire has been classified as the first “gigafire”- burning over 1 million acres across seven counties. It was one of several large-scale fires and ranked as the Top 5 of the 6 largest fires in California’s recorded wildfire history.
  • Since August of last year, California has received 19 fire management assistance grants approved for 25 counties.
  • The year’s season was forecasted early in 2020 to be severe after an extremely dry January and February, which set the stage for a catastrophic season when extreme heat and high winds fueled hundreds of fires across the state in August and September.
  • Due to the nature of ongoing events that California has faced over the last several years, the state continues to evolve around the phases of emergency from Recovery to Preparedness to Mitigation back to Response and Recovery
  • The wildfires may be over, but now California is looking ahead to the next threats. The large burn scars could produce dangerous mud slides if heavy rains come through the rainy season. The state has been working closely with cities and counties throughout our Watershed Task Force to map out the possible threats and areas of risk where mudflows could be likely.

Additional Information: