At Hagerty Consulting, we specialize in helping our clients prepare for and recover from disasters. We see first-hand through our client relationships the time and energy it takes to support that mission. We also understand that the constant flow of information in emergency management makes it challenging to stay informed of what’s happening in our industry. That’s why the Hagerty Consulting team launched “Disaster Discourse Monthly,” an e-newsletter that curates news about innovations, advancements in technology, and groundbreaking practices. We hope it’s a helpful way to share key insights that can help our industry better prepare for, prevent, respond to, or recover from disasters. We’ll only send it once a month, but if that’s still one more email than you’d like to receive, just click here to unsubscribe. Otherwise, enjoy this first issue, and we’ll see you next month.
Housing after a Hurricane
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have created an unprecedented housing crisis, with Texas alone suffering from 1.2 million damaged or destroyed homes; yet, FEMA, due to criticism of housing practices following Hurricane Katrina, remains reticent to respond with temporary housing solutions.
Storms & Sustainability
The viciousness of this hurricane season, including three hurricanes making landfall as Category 4 storms within a short time period, has caused more recent discussion about climate change. Ex-FEMA Director Craig Fugate says that FEMA needs to take into account the future risks posed by climate change in its attempt to rebuild affected areas. Evidence of this type of thinking in redevelopment can be seen with the reliance on solar power by urban designers and Tesla in power restoration projects in Puerto Rico.
The Recovery in Puerto Rico
While FEMA’s efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria have come under criticism from local leaders as well as the general public, Luis G. Rivera-Marin, the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State of Puerto Rico, believes “Puerto Rico will emerge brighter than before” due to FEMA’s efforts.
Leveraging Robots to Enhance Recovery Efforts
The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue designs and deploys unmanned ground, marine, and aerial vehicles to disasters in order to gather critical data in hours, which would otherwise take days or weeks. This innovative work supports better decision making in the immediate response stage, as well as through restoration, reconstruction, and recovery. This year, governmental and private sector partners have put drones to work in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
Reducing Coastal Risk to Hurricanes
While this hurricane season has been one of the most vicious in recent U.S. history, it has been 95 years since the last Category 3 hurricane struck Tampa Bay, FL; Irma barely grazed it, leaving only power outages in its wake. The Tampa Bay area has grown to more than 4 million people, and sea level rise coupled with physical development concentrated at the waterfront has made the area one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of a hurricane. With this increased risk, preparedness efforts are of greater importance through the remainder of this, and for future, hurricane seasons.
Protecting Beyond the Event
Active threat events such as the Las Vegas shooting have shown us that the onus is on venues, such as concert halls or hotels, to ensure that their guests are safe. Comprehensive prevention and protection measures designed solely to screen people entering a building or venue leave people vulnerable to an attack as they exit. Similarly, proper training, security, and communication are paramount. Recent grant funding opportunities offer some communities one way to address these vulnerabilities.
Planning for Increased Vulnerability
City administrators have been collaborating to determine strategies for addressing risks to natural hazards through sustainability and resiliency. Recent trends have shown that an integrated, resilience- focused approach involving emergency managers may be a critical key to success.
Mobilizing from Your Mac
If you’re the leader of an organization, large or small, you need to know how to communicate with your employees, especially when a crisis occurs. Tim Cook eloquently took to email to inform the rest of Apple about Hurricane Harvey, what the company was doing, and how they could help. Check out this breakdown for a step-by-step guide on how to communicate with your organization during a crisis.
Training the Emergency Manager of the Future
As the emergency management industry grows, and experienced leaders in the field move on, ensuring the next generation of emergency managers have the best training and education possible is critical.