Podcast Episode 54: From the Water in Flint to the Water in Puerto Rico with FEMA’s David Samaniego

October 23rd, 2018

 

FEMA Region IX David Samaniego

 In this episode of All Hazards we sit down with the current Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) for the California Wildfires Disaster Response David Samaniego. Large portions of the counties of Shasta and Lake in the north Bay Area of California were devastated by wildfires in late July, 2018. It was declared a major federal disaster on August 4, 2018, which brought the state and federal together to manage the response and recovery operations. Samaniego came onboard as the FCO in September. Samaniego has a wealth of major disaster experience; he talks about leadership challenges in the Flint, Michigan, water contamination crisis as well as the response effort in Puerto Rico following the destruction of Hurricane Maria in which an estimated 3000 people died (that number was released after an independent study by the George Washington University (GWU) in July 2018, which was commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico.)

Links

FEMA California Wildfires And High Winds (DR-4382)

FEMA Region IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, & the Pacific Islands

FEMA Puerto Rico

FEMA Michigan Contaminated Water (EM-3375)

Disaster Management Roles and Responsibilities

 

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Podcast Episode 53: Cal OES Team Returns from Hurricane Florence Assistance and Shares Experiences, Part-2

October 9th, 2018

Front Row, L-R: Andy Langolf, Drew Hammond, Carly Landry, Megan Pappas

Back Row, L-R: Anthony Zimmer, Mike Warren, Ron Williams, Mark Ackerman

  

On September 12, 2018, Cal OES deployed emergency and incident management specialists to assist with emergency response efforts for Hurricane Florence. The team arrived in South Carolina prior to the storm’s landfall and immediately began work.

The 8-person team consisted of Megan Pappas, Mike Warren, Ron Williams, Anthony Zimmer, Mark Ackerman, Andy Langolf, Carly Landry and Drew Hammond. During the two-week deployment, California personnel will use their specialized emergency management operations skills to help officials as they respond to the impacts of Hurricane Florence. The eight-person Cal OES Incident Support Team has extensive emergency operations experience and has been involved in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters in California including wildfires, flooding, winter storms, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, earthquakes and drought.  Primary duties included the support of Logistics and Points of Distribution (POD) coordination in Columbia, S.C. at the State Emergency Operations Center.

In this episode, which is Part-1 of 2-Parts, each of these team members recount the experiences of their deployment, what worked, what didn’t, their objectives and how they met them despite the pressures from a fast-approaching hurricane, working in a strange place with unfamiliar people and methods and much more.

Links

OESNews.com All Hazards Page

EMAC

State Private Nonprofit Organizations Assistance Program

Emergency Management Assistance Compact

Press Releases

Press Release: California Deploys Emergency Management Team to South Carolina, Virginia to Assist with Hurricane Response, Recovery

Press Release: California Deploys Emergency Management Team to Puerto Rico to Assist with Hurricane Response, Recovery

Press Release: California Deploys Additional Emergency Support to East Coast States Impacted by Hurricane Florence

 

 

 

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Podcast Episode 52: Cal OES Team Returns from Hurricane Florence Assistance and Shares Experiences

October 3rd, 2018

 

 

Front Row, L-R: Mike Warren, Ron Williams, Anthony Zimmer

Back Row, L-R: Andy Langolf, Mark Ackerman, Megan Pappas

 

On September 12, 2018, Cal OES deployed emergency and incident management specialists to assist with emergency response efforts for Hurricane Florence. The team arrived in South Carolina prior to the storm’s landfall and immediately began work.

 

The 8-person team consisted of Megan Pappas, Mike Warren, Ron Williams, Anthony Zimmer, Mark Ackerman, Andy Langolf, Carly Landry and Drew Hammond. During the two-week deployment, California personnel will use their specialized emergency management operations skills to help officials as they respond to the impacts of Hurricane Florence. The eight-person Cal OES Incident Support Team has extensive emergency operations experience and has been involved in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters in California including wildfires, flooding, winter storms, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, earthquakes and drought.  Primary duties included the support of Logistics and Points of Distribution (POD) coordination in Columbia, S.C. at the State Emergency Operations Center.

 

In this episode, which is Part-1 of 2-Parts, each of these team members recount the experiences of their deployment, what worked, what didn’t, their objectives and how they met them despite the pressures from a fast-approaching hurricane, working in a strange place with unfamiliar people and methods and much more.

 

OESNews.com All Hazards Page

Palmetto Software

EMAC

State Private Nonprofit Organizations Assistance Program

Emergency Management Assistance Compact

Press Releases

Press Release: California Deploys Emergency Management Team to South Carolina, Virginia to Assist with Hurricane Response, Recovery

Press Release: California Deploys Emergency Management Team to Puerto Rico to Assist with Hurricane Response, Recovery

Press Release: California Deploys Additional Emergency Support to East Coast States Impacted by Hurricane Florence

 

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Podcast Episode 51: Yosemite National Park After the Ferguson Fire

October 1st, 2018

Yosemite National Park Rangers Scott Gediman and Jamie Richards

 

According to the national Park Service, Yosemite National Park was first protected in 1864 and is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias and a vast wilderness area. Recently, Yosemite is also known for its wildfires, the Rim Fire in 2013 and the Ferguson Fire in July and August of 2018.

In this episode of All Hazards, Park Rangers Scott Gediman and Jamie Richards talk about how the Ferguson Fire impacted the park, challenged them as rangers and as public affairs officers, and how they fought perceptions that the entire park was closed when in fact it was open.

Links

Experience Yosemite National Park in Virtual Reality with President Obama

NPS YouTube: YosemiteNationalPark

Mr. President Goes to Yosemite

Cal OES News

 

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Sentinel Response 18 FSE and Interagency Cooperation

March 26th, 2018

 

(SGM Gerald Davis, center, looking at camera)

In recent months, California and our nation has been no stranger to devastating natural and man-made emergencies. So, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) joined the California National Guard’s Homeland Response Force (HRF) and 95th Civil Support Team, along with multiple State/Federal Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces, CAL FIRE, FBI, the Department of Energy, and several other elite emergency response agencies for a full-scale terrorism response exercise at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena.

“In just the last year we’ve seen our highly trained emergency response and recovery teams deployed across the nation to lead critical lifesaving missions,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “This exercise will test those critical rescue and response skills, as well as enhance our ability to respond to real world events that could happen anywhere in California, our nation or in other parts of the world."

The training scenario involved a series of simultaneous terrorist attacks across Northern California following a 6.5-magnitude earthquake. The attacks include simulated improvised explosive devices (IED), the detonation of a simulated radiation-dispersal device (RDD) and firearms. Sleep Train Arena will serve as the training site for IED and RDD response, while Sonoma Raceway served as the site for active shooter response training. Hundreds of emergency-response personnel, vehicles, and aircraft participated.

“It’s only through regular, realistic training alongside our partner agencies that we keep our skills sharp and response times low,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General for the California National Guard. “These exercises establish the relationships and interagency coordination that is fundamental to an effective response during emergency incidents.”

In this episode we pull SGM Gerald Davis, of the California National Guard, to talk about organizing such a large and complex training exercise and why they're so important, and so important to make as real as possible.

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Tsunami Preparedness - Saving Lives and Protecting Property

March 28th, 2017

Ryan Arba is the branch chief for the Cal OES Earthquake and Tsunami Program.   In this episode, Ryan talks about the program, its federal partner NOAA and the focus of this year’s Tsunami Preparedness Week events. 

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcano Program is continuously researching, learning, and collaborating with science, industry, and academic experts to develop and confirm the latest, best available knowledge base to help make California’s residents and visitors safer in the event of tsunamic activity. By mapping potential inundation and evacuation areas, providing assistance in response and evacuation planning, implementing outreach, education and warning signage at the coast, as well as determining ways to improve preparedness and resilience of California’s ports and harbors, our staff strives to ensure everyone on the coast remains safe before, during and after the next tsunami.

Catastrophic tsunamis are rare, we may have a tendency to get complacent and think that one will never happen while we’re at the beach. However, every coastline in the world is vulnerable to a tsunami. Although a tsunami cannot be prevented, you can diminish adverse impacts through community preparedness, timely warnings and effective response.​​​
 
​California’s 2017 Tsunami Preparedness Week is March 27-31. On March 29, Cal OES, the California Geological Survey (CGS) and the NWS will conduct a conference call with emergency managers from counties along the coast to test several aspects of the tsunami response, including the ability of the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) to send and coast emergency organizations to receive specific tsunami alert messages.
 
During the conference call, representatives from the NTWC, Cal OES and CGS will also test their ability to accurately calculate and verify information contained in draft Tsunami Evacuation Playbooks that will be used by local emergency to determine if an evacuation is necessary and, if show, for how big of an area. The test also allows emergency managers from coastal communities to confirm their ability to receive playbook-related information, test their ability to make decisions regarding evacuation, and as well as to test their abilities to communicate information to port and harbor officials as well as to test their reverse notification and other warning systems reaching people in coastal hazard areas.

Links 

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/ICESite/Pages/National-Tsunami-Preparedness-Week.aspx

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/Cal-OES-Divisions/Earthquake-Tsunami-Volcano-Programs

http://www.tsunamizone.org/

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Managing Disasters In California’s Coastal Region

September 6th, 2016

JodiTraversaro.jpg

In this episode Cal OES Coastal Region Administrator talks about the merging of data science and technology and how emergency managers and responders get surprisingly effective help from free phone apps. She also talks about how the state was able to reduce the financial impacts of the Napa quake and keep the important wine industry flowing. Plus, she candidly discusses her way of handling emotionally draining disasters such as the San Diego Fire Siege of 2007 and the San Mateo Floods in 2015, and how she's able to face angry citizens when they accuse government of not doing enough for them in times of crisis. 


Jodi Traversaro has worked for the State for more than 20 years. Traversaro came to Cal OES from the California Department of Human Resources, where she oversaw training and performance management. She worked for Cal OES from 2005 to 2008 where she served as the Director of the California Specialized Training Institute, led the Public Information Office during the response and recovery for the 2007 Southern California Wildfires, Chief of the Legislative Affairs Office and served as an Executive Duty Officer.


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Manage a Disaster Without a Playbook

August 23rd, 2016

FullSizeRender.jpg
In this episode we sit down with Andrew Lockman, Tulare County Emergency Manager. Lockman has been on the front line in the drought battle, with California now enduring its 5th year. Tulare County, specifically the town of East Porterville, is considered the epicenter of this natural disaster; it's where several thousand people have been without drinking water in their homes because their wells went dry. Emergency officials from the county and state, as well as non-governmental and volunteer organizations and individuals, have all been working to bring relief and solutions as quickly as possible. But it wasn't until things got to this point that it was recognized as a disaster; it slowly sneaked up on everyone. And droughts weren't in disaster plans so emergency managers had to wing it; they had no playbook to which they could refer. Lockman tells about the incredible challenges he and others faced to help the residents now, and the lessons learned and changes being made for future droughts. 

Drought Resources

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

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Saving Fire Stations, Lives and Guitars After the Northridge Earthquake: Fire Chief Jim Hone

August 9th, 2016

Hone_Podcast_04-06-2015_10_18_00_05_33_1
In this episode retired Santa Monica fire chief Jim Hone reflects on the Northridge Earthquake and the challenges that kept hitting them, one after another. Whether it was the need to evacuate a major hospital, an incident command that had no power, major delays in mutual aid, or his own fire station that was on the verge of burning down, Hone and others kept their eye on the ball in order to stay in front of it. 

Hone joined the Santa Monica Fire Department in January of 1980, and served as chief beginning in 2003 until he retired in 2010.

Prior to serving as fire chief, Hone worked as a firefighter and paramedic, fire captain, chief of the Support Services Division and fire marshal. During his career he responded to six federal disasters to help locals and coordinate FEMA USAR resources including the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center attacks in New York City on September 11th, 2001.

Notable projects he worked on include the replacement Fire Station 2, and the development of the Urban Search and Rescue and Hazardous Materials Response Teams. Hone served six years in the U.S. Air Force as a fire protection crash rescue specialist before joining the SMFD.
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Easter Quake Took Lives, Rattled Nerves, Challenged New Fire Chief

May 3rd, 2016

TonyRouhotasJR2.jpg


At 3:40 in the afternoon on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010, the Baja California earthquake struck, registering a 7.2 magnitude on the moment magnitude scale. It's epicenter was 16 miles south of Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico. It's said to have lasted about a minute and a half. The strongest shaking was felt in the ejido of Alberto Oviedo Mota, in the municipality of Mexicali, Calexico, and Guadalupe Victoria. Most of the damage in this earthquake occurred in the twin cities of Mexicali and Calexico on the Mexico–United States border. Four people were killed and 100 people were injured.

Imperial County, California, immediately activated its emergency operations center while first responders rolled into action. Leading the charge was the relatively new fire chief Tony Rouhotas, Jr.; he was also the OES coordinator. Chief Rouhotas was suddenly facing the kind of situation he'd never dealt with before -- a large earthquake that damaged buildings and injured people both in his county as well as in his neighboring Mexicali. Despite being south of the border his agency had an international agreement with them to provide mutual aid. The challenges he faced and the decisions he had to make were immense but he stepped up to the plate and swung for the fences. What he learned during and after that disaster paid dividends for him, and it can for you too. Take a listen. 



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