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Foresight in Emergency Management Planning

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Sean Johnson

on 13 August 2015

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Transcript of Foresight in Emergency Management Planning

Drivers and Trends
Background on SFI
A range of complex emergency situations may be in the future:
Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs),
Cyber attacks,
Potential need for quarantining pandemic victims showing up on U.S. shores.

Responding to such threats will require scale and specialized skills which reside in part in the U.S. armed forces.

If the U.S. reduces its global military footprint, the armed forces may be more available for domestic missions, including emergency management.
Foster Increased Collaboration
with the Military
Emergencies and disasters do not respect national boundaries.

Closer U.S. collaboration with Canada and Mexico around several shared emergency management interest areas, including:
Border security,
Drought and water management,
Disease surveillance,
Trade and commerce,
Critical infrastructure.

Anticipatory action may be needed to ensure the highest levels of cooperation are in place before actual emergencies or disasters occur.
Intensify Disaster Response Collaboration and Planning with Canada and Mexico
Public sector has an opportunity to further enable private sector resources and capabilities to assist in recovery efforts and resilience-building throughout communities by working in concert with the private sector, rather than competing with it,

Engaging the private sector in policy development is also important
Private sector has the appropriate frameworks in place to work effectively and cooperatively with the public sector to address issues of mutual concern.
Proactively Engage Business
Shifts underway
How people are processing information
How and where they will produce and consume it in the future.

Corresponding shifts in the nature of trust, with public trust placed less in large organizations and increasingly in social networks.

U.S. economic futures will have spending constraints – especially over the next decade – as a repeated theme.

Inevitably this will mean changes in how government services are delivered before, during, and after an emergency or disaster event.

Understanding how to empower communities and individuals in new and different ways holds a critical key to enhancing our ability to achieve successful emergency management outcomes in the future

It also challenges our current public engagement approaches and expectations.
Empower Individuals, Neighborhoods, and Communities
Strategic Needs
Technology will become a more important element in future emergency management mission execution:
Information management
Remote sensing,
Transportation and logistics

Technology may even more important in tight budget environments.

This argues for:
Proactive technology adoption,
Getting out ahead of and influencing the development of products that have emergency management applications
Influence the Development of Emerging Technologies
Future availability of important emergency supplies cannot be assured.
Global and national supply chains may be vulnerable to:
Infrastructure degradation,
Interruptions in foreign trade,
Cyber attacks
Water, especially in drought-stricken areas of the country, may not be available in sufficient amounts to fully support emergency management missions.
Climate change and man-made problems, such as foreign conflicts and trade embargoes, may negatively affect access to power and energy
Remediate Vulnerabilities Across Supply Chains and CI
The future may challenge our community with chronic resource constraints at times of rising demands for emergency management services.

Current regional approaches are limited.

Planners need to be motivated and empowered to look beyond short-term concerns and narrow stovepipes and recognize opportunities for collaboration around shared interests.

"Get Out of Your Cylinder of Excellence!"
Plan Around Shared Interests and Interdependencies
The future operating environment will challenge individual emergency management entities to accomplish more with fewer of their own resources.

This underlines the importance of resource-sharing arrangements across jurisdictions

Obstacles to many other forms of interoperability, including security, law enforcement, and technology (to include our hemispheric partners) will be magnified unless there is reform in this area
Optimize Emergency Management Inter-operability across all boundaries
Acute and possibly chronic fiscal pressure could create highly challenging deficits in emergency management resources

Public safety and emergency management practitioners could see reduced funding at all levels.

Possible offsetting factors, such as technology, could be an important force multiplier in some situations.

New approaches, models needed for marshaling resources to deal with the possibility of more frequent and more complex emergency situations.
Employ Alternative Surge Models
Current risk management tools and processes already are outdated.

Old risk management models are typically retrospective and do not account for climate change impacts we are experiencing today.

If climate change is exacerbated
We will be even further behind the curve,
Mitigation efforts may prove insufficient,
Response and recovery operations will suffer

The risks of aging infrastructure will challenge us in the future
Budget pressures,
Political and jurisdictional conflicts,
Potential failures to initiate or sustain the long-term investments

Aging infrastructure also represents a highly interconnected form of risk, with many secondary and tertiary risks to populations during and following emergency situations.
Adopt New Risk Management Tools and Processes
Strategic Needs
Emergency management resources, especially personnel, are apt to be stretched in future operating environments marked by tight budgets and/or more frequent national emergencies.

Skill gaps may become more pronounced, and alternative staffing models will become important.

How might we further incorporate volunteers into our operating models?

What limitations must we understand to mitigate undue risk exposure?

How can we better use technology to inform and organize volunteers?
Leverage Volunteer Capabilities
The SFI scenarios depict increasingly complex, rapidly changing worlds – even for economically troubled and less technologically vibrant scenarios.

Since current operational strategies and plans may not be applicable in the future, the emergency management community will have to deliberately explore future issues as it prepares for the challenges that face our community.
Build a shared EM future vision with appropriate plans and contingencies
Future operating environments may well be characterized by significant decline in governmental resources for emergency management.

Such fiscal constraints could tempt emergency managers to pull back from community engagement, which would widen the gap that already exists.

Instead, it will be important to use the fiscal environment as an opportunity to reinvent and innovate.

The entire educational experience and youth programs will be critically important channels, especially in creating awareness of new and unfamiliar threats such as pandemics or cyber attacks.
Empower Individuals
to Assume More Responsibility
Emergency managers will be faced with complex demographics shifts:
Population increases,
Population ages,
Becomes more culturally and linguistically diverse
New challenges will arise from migrations within the U.S.
There will also be changes in the size and nature of traditionally underrepresented and elusive populations, including
the extremely poor;
the homeless;
those volunteering to live “off the grid”;
refugees from disasters;
victims of pandemics.
Address Shifts in Population
Strategic Needs
The importance of trust – between the public and government – cannot be overstated
Belief in large institutions, including government, has been shifting to social networks and alternative sources of loyalty.
This shift poses real challenges to emergency management, especially in the face of changing political expectations and greater public awareness of government limitations.
We must look for opportunities to build and strengthen public trust.
Frequently the best pathway for doing so lies in ever wider and deeper channels of public participation.
Importance of Trust
Beyond U.S. experience, there is a large and growing body of global best practices from which we can learn and benefit
Learning and implementing global best practices will be essential
As the world becomes more globally connected
As we rely on global supply chains that can create hidden vulnerabilities that affect U.S. emergency operations
Global Best Practices
Disparities will have to be anticipated and effectively managed
Fiscal resources
Access to advanced technology
Skilled personnel, etc.
Wealthier states with stronger infrastructure and better-educated populations will be in a more advantageous position to deal with disasters and emergencies than poorer ones.
How can regions or communities with fewer resources be supported?
Management of Disparity
Stakeholders playing an increasingly active role
in meeting emergency management needs:
Private sector
The public’s ability and desire to self-organize will grow as access to information and technology all evolve
Government will face fiscal pressures and other resource constraints.
This confluence will:
Challenge traditional emergency and disaster management roles,
Present prospects for structural reform,
Offer opportunities to engage and empower and communities as active partners in the emergency and disaster management process
Whole Community
Future resource constraints are seemingly unavoidable.
We will be faced with limited funding for emergency management
Increased need for services,
a reduced capability or capacity to deliver services,
or both
These constraints will push service providers to find creative ways to deal with shortfalls.
Innovative new surge models,
New partnerships, and
Sustained community efforts to ensure interoperability of personnel, equipment, systems, and functions
Resource Constraints
The emergency management community will face
increasing risk,
elevated uncertainty,
decreasing predictability, and
tremendous complexity

More incidents, new and unfamiliar threats, more information to analyze (possibly with less time to process), new players and participants, sophisticated technologies, and exceedingly high public expectations.

This combination will create a vastly different landscape for risk assessment and operational planning.

Pressure to perform in this environment will be extraordinary.
Risk, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, Complexity
Universal Access to and
Use of Information
Important technological innovations dramatically influencing emergency and disaster management include:

Increasing adoption of mobile technology
Medical breakthroughs
Improvements in how we model and warn about disasters
Implications of biotechnology and nanotechnology on the security environment
Dependency on technology in our communications, energy, and transportation infrastructure creates significant vulnerability to cyber attack.
Automated systems control utilities, transportation and manufacturing
84% of U.S. organizations use remote, commercial servers for data and applications
Innovation and Dependency
Federal grants comprise nearly 30% of states’ general revenue
Current State, local, tribal, and Federal budget forecasts are constrained, could lead to challenges sustaining emergency and disaster management resources and capabilities.
Federalism and the role of State, local, tribal, and Federal governments in emergency and disaster management is a key point of discussion.
Increases possibility for partnerships with the private sector, perhaps including privatizing some emergency and disaster management activities.
Government Budgets
Economic power shift from West to East is a potential challenge to fiscal stability in domestic government budgets and resource availability.
Possible disruptions in global supply chains could have significant domestic consequences
The 2011 disasters in Japan impacted auto production in the U.S. and energy policy in Germany
Thai flood affected manufacturing and sales globally
Increasing global interdependencies will lead to the United States having a greater role in emergency and disaster management internationally.
A more global role for American emergency and disaster managers could have major resource and capability implications.
Global Interdependencies/
Nuclear weapons
Evolving Terrorist Threat
Americans spend 4.2 billion hours stuck in traffic, an increase of 143% between 1982 and 2010;
Almost 1/3 of the major roads are in poor or mediocre condition –highlighting the deficiency of the U.S. transportation infrastructure.
Much infrastructure US is nearing the end of its structural life cycle, can itself pose a threat (e.g. bridge collapse, dam burst).
Transportation, communication, and energy infrastructure are aging and in danger of failing.
Aged infrastructure can hamper disaster response and recovery efforts by delaying first responders' ability to reach an affected area or the delivery of supplies.
Critical Infrastructure
Climate change and infrastructure degradation are shifting the nature of the risks we face.
U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) study on the implications of climate change in the United States :
Coastal areas will be at risk due to rising sea levels, more intense storms
Water resources will be stressed domestically and globally
New threats to human health
Chronic conditions are leading causes of death rather than infectious disease
But, H1N1 was the fastest moving pandemic in history
Wildland fire threat will increase and shift to previously unaffected areas
Aging critical infrastructure, increased urban populations exacerbate climate change challenges.
Mass migration are potential international effects of climate change.
Climate issues
Increased conflict
Shifts in disease patterns
Climate Change
With the growth of the internet and social media, people have created virtual communities upon which they rely for information exchange and validation
Rise of the influencers; shifts in social networks and trust
Individuals exposed to 3x as much info as in 1980s, increasing at 30% a year
Individuals create 75% of the data in the digital universe
Average individual is exposed to 3x as much information as in the 1980s
New technologies create new communications challenges; individuals seek confirmation of official information from non-official sources before taking action.
Many individuals join “virtual” communities of like minded persons
Dispersed across the globe
May feel more connected to these “virtual” groups than to their national or geographic community.
Changing Role of the Individual
FEMA’s Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI)
Foresight in Emergency Management Planning
Group activity
15 minutes
Elect a spokesperson
Report out on the following:
Based on the presentation and trends depicted, what are the significant implications to your community/ ND as a whole?
Record your results on the SWOT Analysis Chart
What About ND?
Join the Discussion: SFI Online Dialogue
Information from all sources (including private sector and social media) intensifies the need to make emergency management information and knowledge useful and accessible.

Advanced tools to collect, analyze and disseminate information represent potentially valuable new tools for emergency managers.

Connectivity of networks will be significantly more important than any single hierarchical solution.

The public’s role as an information source will be vital
Practice Omni-Directional
Knowledge Sharing
Explosion of social media, personal communications technology will continue to increase real-time access and delivery of information.

Power and Influence of Non-State Actors is Growing:
NGOs with U.N. consultative status – 1948: 41, today: 3172
44% of world’s top 100 economic entities are corporations; transnational corporations like Wal-Mart make up 25% of world GDP
Walmart’s GDP is greater than that of Saudi Arabia
80% of disaster relief donations to Japan after March 2011 earthquake/tsunami came from corporations and individuals, mostly through NGOs

The information environment now allows everyone to be both a producer and consumer of information often resulting in “spontaneous reporting” by individuals at incident sites posting video, images and text messages from their smartphones.

This new information environment, combined with the 24/7 news cycle and the growth of non-traditional news sources such as social media, has created an environment of constant information flow that presents both great opportunities (e.g., crisis mapping of the Haiti Earthquake) and challenges (information overload) for emergency and disaster management.
By 2050, the world will experience a near doubling of the urban population to 6.2 billion – 70% of the world’s projected population of 8.9 billion.

This means that we will have to build the same urban capacity (housing, infrastructure, facilities) in the next 40 years that we have built in the past 400 years

Over the next 15-20 years, the U.S. Census Bureau expects:
The overall population will grow by 18%
The population will become more culturally and ethnically diverse, with dramatic increases projected in both the Hispanic and Asian populations
The percentage of the population over the age of 65 will increase to 18.2 percent by 2025

Many Americans continue to move to relatively densely populated metropolitan and coastal areas.
For first time in human history, more people live in urban than rural areas
82% of the U.S. population lives in 11 megaregions
Coastal Counties comprise 17% of the nation’s land area, but now contain 53% of the U.S. population
U.S. Demographic Shifts
Seek to understand how the world around us is changing
How those changes may affect the future of emergency management.

Engage the diverse emergency management community in a collective exploration of issues, trends, and other factors that could impact the future environment
Support expanded strategic thinking and planning for the future

Desired Outcomes:
an emergency management community prepared for whatever challenges the future holds; and
a shared sense of direction and urgency, to drive action toward meeting our shared future needs – starting today.

Thinking more broadly, rigorously, and over a longer timeframe will help:
Hedge against uncertainty;
Avoid strategic surprises;
Promote information sharing across disciplines and organizations;
Understand what changes could affect emergency and disaster management; and
Plan so as to more effectively operate in our future environment.
Dispersion of technological and scientific knowledge will increase terrorists’ access to high consequence weapons such as
Terrorist organizations are adaptive, constantly learning and improving their tactics and techniques.
Communications technology continues to support recruitment and terrorist messaging.
Increase in self-radicalization of individuals and small groups.
The private sector meets the public’s needs every day.
90% of the labor force and tremendous specialized capabilities,
Private sector is a key partner before, during, and after disasters
This partnership will become increasingly important in the future.
Courtesy of David Kaufman
Associate Administrator for Policy, Program Analysis,
and International Affairs

Toward More Resilient Futures:
Strategic Foresight Initiative

“Quantum Leap”
US in renaissance
US had leading edge advantages over competitors

“Bet on the Wrong Horse”
US has gone all in on renewable energy…
… and the climate change trends driving this stop

“Dragon vs. Tiger”
US a good place to be
Tensions with India and China, but no open conflict
Risk of complacency at home

“Treading Water”
US in long term stagnation bordering on depression
Isolationism prevails
Pandemics are prevalent
U.S. homeland security roles have been increasingly redefined
around disease management, border security
and emergency response

“Dude, Where’s My Sovereignty”
Govt in gridlock
Baby boomer retirements unfunded
Global influence waned
States take on roles once conducted by the feds

Planning Scenarios

Cyber attacks
Graphic depicts the words that appeared most frequently in the text messages that were received during the first two weeks after the earthquake.
Volunteers from the Diaspora translated some 80,000 SMS’s during the entire 3-month operation.
From these, the most urgent life-and-death text messages were identified and geo-located as quickly as possible.
The result was a live crisis map of Haiti, which became the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available to the humanitarian community.
First-responders noted that the live map helped them save hundreds of lives during their search and rescue operations.

Occupy Sandy
Largest Atlantic hurricane on record;
285 people killed in seven countries;
second-costliest disaster in U.S. history;
hit the most populous regions along the East Coast.

Crowdsourced disaster response:
The Occupy Wallstreet offshoot, Occupy Sandy, mobilized volunteers delivering food, collecting and distributing supplies, all within hours of the storm.
Developed an Amazon.com wedding registry where donors anywhere could purchase supplies directly

Use of crowd-sourced information to inform leadership on gas station status -
A group of high school students in New Jersey launched a crowdsourced map of gas stations so drivers could share notes during the two-week gas shortage in the area.
Full transcript