Risk & Emergency Management Experts Reunite in Honduras

Regional Experts from Civil Protection Agencies and Emergency Management Agencies of the Central American, Caribbean and South America (Argentinian Blue Helmets), came together in Honduras, to exchange experiences, good practices and lessons learned in the efforts to increase resiliency, coordination and cooperation efforts.

As part of the visit, the Honduran Emergency Management Agency COPECO, gave a tour of the modern installations that COPECO now has, to the Regional Experts. COPECO has, these past 3 years, been under the Direction of Minister Lisandro Rosales, and his efforts in advocating for funds, in the international community has proven great results in increasing capacity, capabilities and competencies. Because of the transparent and effective execution of international financial aid, Honduras, in the Emergency Management and Risk Management area, has become a Regional Model of Institutional Strengthening. 

 

 

EXPERTOS EN GESTION DE RIESGO DE CENTROAMERICA VISITAN COPECO | Comisión Permanente de Contingencias – COPECO – República de Honduras.

Cyber Security or CyberCARE?

The Hot Topic is Cyber security, cyber warfare, cyber crime, cyber attacks or like Christopher Wallace calls it “Cyber Intrusion” in which I totally agree. First of all, we should first focus on taking the word “war” out of the picture. By continuously using “war”, WE (as a society) assume that Departments/Ministries of Defense (Government), are responsible for dealing with intrusions to the Public and Private Sector. 

Should Government be liable for attacks coming from a foreign “ally” country to the private sector (Critical Infrastructure)?

Yesterday a very diverse and smart group of Graduate Classmates (myself included) had a great discussion about cyber security and how it mixes with DHS and Private Sector. At the end, I began to fear that “Cyber…..” may be headed towards the same path as #HealthCARE. It seems that cyber security is creating great “business” for a particular group. Why control the firewalls, when people need “someone” to protect their identity or safety, online? Is the population ready for another expense in their lives or businesses?

I would like to know what are the next steps to Cyber Intrusion securities in the U.S. and throughout the world? Will the internet be as dangerous as the “back alley” in the worst place you can imagine? Should there be a detraction strategy, regarding the limits of technology in combination with critical infrastructure and key resources?

Thanks for your opinion and comments.  

Honduras is Ready to Receive & Coordinate Humanitarian Aid From the World!!!

I am frequently amazed on how the (COPECO) Honduran Emergency Management Agency is getting better prepared. Today in Honduras, COPECO and the Foreign Relations Ministry, have duly presented, to the national authorities, as well as the International Cooperating Community and the Diplomatic Service in Honduras, the Manual for the Humanitarian Office of Foreign Aid Assistance and Coordination (Centro de Coordinación de Asistencia Humanitaria Internacional CCAHI).

These types of formalities are needed in order, for the cooperating agencies, NGOs, countries and others willing to help, to better ask for and receive the incoming aid. “Cooperation With Dignity” is the Central American Slogan for Humanitarian Assistance, and with this CCAHI manual, cooperation is definitely expected to be better handled and ultimately distributed.

How can we (as Emergency Management Agencies) better coordinate humanitarian assistance support? How often should we put the Manual to Practice (exercises, Table tops, functional, full-scale), and how flexible is the Manual in order to adapt to scalable situations/incidents that have already surpassed the capability of response? How often is the country overwhelmed with response and humanitarian capabilities?

Below (PHOTO) of Minister Lisandro Rosales from COPECO presenting the Manual to the International Diplomatic Community and Cooperating Agencies

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FEMA and The Regional of Latin, Central America and the Caribbean

I am from the amazing beautiful, tropical, green and loving Republic of Honduras. Located in the top most vulnerable areas in the Planet.
Before I came down to Washington DC, I had the privilege to work at the Comisión Permanente de Contingencias COPECO (@FEMA Analogue). Today I was wondering why, COPECO, and the other analogue emergency management agencies of the region, don’t have cooperation agreements directly with FEMA. USAID/OFDA does an amazing job at aiding and coordinating effort with Honduras and the region. But when it comes to good practices and lessons learned, shouldn’t it be the FEMA the agency willing to also contribute their good practices and knowledge with the world? As a secondary effect, a common language and standards can begin to replicate throughout the hemisphere.
For example, utilizing the Interamericana Network For Disaster Mitigation (ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATE PLATFORM) http://www.oas.org as a tool for gathering experts from FEMA, Canada Emergency Management Agency, et’ all, to share good practices with other countries.
Hopefully the results of such a voluntary effort, will bring the Western Hemisphere together, in the amazing and great task of Emergency Management, Business Crisis and continuity management, Disaster Risk Reduction and and overall, Human sustainable development.

Best, Carlos

VOST TRAINING GUIDE

I wanted to remind you, that Virtual Operation Support is always helpful and needed. Please visit the link below and join the conversations #VOST (@VOST) & #SMEM.

 

VOST TRAINING GUIDE

First of all, I want to wish a Happy Friday to all you out there, hoping that mother nature takes a rest this weekend.

I wanted to first, thank Caroline Milligan (@mm4marketing) and Scott Reuter (@sct_r) for making this incredible resource available for the world. The VOST Basics and NZ VOST Training Guide – in my opinion – that these two professionals in #SMEM have come up with.

I feel that sharing information (not withholding it) opens doors and builds on better relationships and networking.

Keep it up VOSTies. Special thanks also to Jeff Phillips (@_JSPhillips) for all his time and efforts ,which are now being shared with the world.

SuperBowl Power Out

The SuperBowl XLVII power out has amazed everyone in the world. Some are angry because the game hasn’t ended (gamblers, bookies, the Ravens as well) some are happy (49ers, Channel Owners, Broadcasters, fans at the stadium, beer producers and chicken wing producers). What I worry is about the NFLs Continuity Managers and Crisis Management team, no one knows why it got disrupted, and it took and extra 15 minutes to turn the power back on. Could have this been a cyber attack? Authorities should be checking the network grid for suspicious activity as well. 

I would like to hear some comments on what alternatives and recommendations we can come up within order to reduce the probability of a power outage like the one in the SuperDome today.

 

Power is on!!! Game is back! Enjoy it. Imagine the 49ers win it? 

Virtual Operations Support VOS

After reading Scotts blog post I felt the need to tell you all out there that VOST is the real deal. VOST is like Gracie JiuJitsu, in the sense that you can prove it really works, but only if you practice it, but the results are immediate. I had the honor, privilege and opportunity to be part of one VOSTofficial effort and it was for the Zozobra Celebration in new Mexico. I worked alongside Jeff Phillips of the Los Ranchos EM and also along other big VOST players Scott has already mentioned. My ultimate opinion of what I experienced was of fulfillment and accomplishment because I felt I was making a difference and watching out for all the individuals postín their concerns (and happy thoughts) on social media platforms. @smemchat @smem

think disaster: a blog by Scott Reuter (@sct_r)

Inaug13

I really enjoyed participating yesterday in a Presidential Inauguration 2013 social media monitoring exercise.

This came about because of a conversation between colleagues during our weekly twitter #smemchat. A few of us discussed the possibility of monitoring social media during the inauguration, then set up a Skype chat room and invited all who wanted to participate to join us there to discuss what we’d like to do.

We set up monitoring tools and saved all official social media accounts related to the inaugural event and important websites to one handy document so that the monitoring team could share and have access to them. In that same document (called a “workbook” when we use it for official activations), we also shared our contact info and logged major actions taken, as well as things that we noticed were happening during the event on social media.

We kept in touch about what we…

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Business Continuity and Crisis Management

Today Dr. Gregory Shaw Co-Director of the Crisis, disaster & risk management of the George Washington University, Washington DC, taught us the difference between Business Continuity (BC) and Emergency Management (EM) , and I narrowed it down to: BC as being the proactive approach to responding to, recovering from and returning to the normal state of operations prior to an incident; versus EM as being the reactive approach to responding to an incident where plans have been made, but may have lacked the exercises needed to measure performance.

I will keep posting more on Business Crisis and continuity management throughout the semester. Hoping I can come up with a good practical Business Continuity Program for the Honduran Consulate in Washington DC.
#businesscontinuity #emergencymanagement

Please post your opinions and comments about the topic.