How Would YOU Advise the Next President?
A Group Discussion on New Directions in Emergency Management Policy

Valerie Lucus, CEM CBCP
Emergency/Continuity Manager
University of California, Davis

April 23, 2008

Transcript (HTML)
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Discussion Questions

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National Homeland Security Consortium whitepaper, Protecting Americans in the 21st Century
Homeland Security Inside & Out radio programs

Up Arrow to Top of Page RATINGS
5 Ratings Submitted: 4 attended, 1 read transcript only
1 (20%) Academia 0 (0%)
3 (60%) Business 2 (40%)
1 (20%) Government 1 (20%)
0 (0%) Volunteers 1 (20%)
0 (0%) Other 1 (20%)

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"Very good - probably the best I have attended."
James Warren

"I hope the next president, DHS, FEMA, etc. all read the transcript of todays session. I think they will learn something if they do. The participants covered a wide range of experience and assignments, so their input should be of value to the decision makers. I also would hope that officials of these agencies would participate in such discussions, how else will they get a feel for what the folks active in the field need or think?"
Rick Cox
Volunteer McHenry County (IL) EMA

"If the next president is female, that female is co-chair of the National e9-1-1 Congressional Caucus. This being a given, she will definitely review this session. If the next president is male and democrat, this president will have been on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee and will be predisposed to Homeland Security issues and is endorsed by the current chairman of the Homeland Security Committee (Thompson). If the next president is Republican, he is on the Armed Services Committee and prior service and would best understand the military dimension and could be quickly shown the lack of cross domain sharing between the military and EM / Public Safety domains. Great topic and presenter -- all you need to do now is get out and vote!"
Steve McGee
The Heartbeat Beacon/Simple Wins LLC

"Excellent session with brief but thoughtful and thought-provoking comments from all. As an EM student, I was particulary interested in the comments on interneships in higher education EM programs. I would love to have an opportunity to hear more from the panelists on what types of internships they think would be most useful."
Todd Blair

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Valerie Lucus, CEM CBCP, is the Emergency/Continuity Manager for the University of California, Davis, a public university with a student enrollment of 30,000, and a total population of 50,000. Lucus has been in the Emergency Management/Business Continuity field for over 15 years.

She is a member of IAEM (International Association of Emergency Managers), CESA (California Emergency Services Association), BRMA (Business Recovery Managers Association), ACP (Association of Continuity Planners). She currently serves on IAEM’s University/College committee and the Editorial Board. She is also a founding member and officer for the Foundation of Higher Education, an organization established to developing an accreditation process for emergency management education.

Ms. Lucus received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Sonoma State University, a certificate in Emergency Management Planning from UC Berkeley. For her master's degree in Emergency Services Administration from California State University, Long Beach, her thesis was Analysis of Baseline Assessments: Emergency Management Accreditation Program, 2003-2004.

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As a framework for our discussion, we will use the topic areas outlined in the National Homeland Security Consortium's white paper, Protecting Americans in the 21st Century: Imperatives for the Homeland. Although the focus of the white paper is Homeland Security, we will generalize the themes to encompass the traditional natural hazards focus of emergency management.

Discussion Questions

1. The first recommendation of the white paper is on the topic of Communication and Collaboration. "Establish a robust, sustained and consistent process for soliciting local, state, tribal, territorial and private sector engagement … on the full breadth of homeland security issues." What would you advise the next President to do to ensure stakeholders are included in all aspects of policy development, (vs. "top down") and if so, how?

2. The second recommendation on Intelligence and Information Sharing is, "Preserve progress to date and continue to implement and expand efforts to ensure timely and effective sharing of information." A sub-item is, "Sustain federal funding for state and local information sharing and make it predictable and not limited to a single threat or hazard." There have been numerous, non-integrated, attempts to enhance information sharing with limited success. What would your recommendation be?

3. The third recommendation pertains to the Use of the Military. "Protect the Constitutional role of states regarding control of their National Guard forces and clarify the circumstances as well as the command, control and coordination procedures under which federal active duty forces are to be employed in operations within the homeland." A sub-item is, "Continue to remove bureaucratic obstacles and streamline processes for deploying federal military resources in support of civil authorities in times of local, regional or national disasters or emergencies." What would you recommend regarding the use of the military?

4. The fourth recommendation pertains to Health and Medical. "Improve efforts to enhance the full range of health and medical readiness to address trauma and exposure related injury and disease." There are several pertinent sub-items relating to issues of funding, surge capacity, volunteers, standards of care, and the roles of federal agencies. What would you advise? Could public health and hospital planning in your community be better integrated with your overall emergency management program?

5. The fifth recommendation pertains to Interoperability. "Continue to promote coordinated development of governance, technology and protocols necessary to enhance minimal capabilities for interoperable communications (voice, video and data) among all levels of government and the private sector." A sub-item is, "Develop a clear shared definition, vision and implementation strategy for nationwide communications interoperability." What would you advise the next president?

6. The sixth recommendation relates to Critical Infrastructure. A sub-item is, "Begin transitioning from the current tactical approach to critical infrastructure protection … to one of strategic continuum-based resilient critical infrastructure systems assurance against all threats and natural and man-caused hazards." Let's address this issue for our purposes to encompass ALL infrastructure in our communities-homes, businesses, schools, public facilities, as well as lifelines. What would you recommend that the next President do to support disaster resilient communities (i.e. mitigation)?

7. The seventh recommendation relates to a Unified Capabilities Approach and includes recommendations as to a nationwide credentialing process, establishing "recovery teams," and baseline review of target capabilities? What would you recommend to the next President as an effective approach to enhancing our national capabilities?

8. The eighth recommendation deals with Sustained Resources (funding) and Capabilities. A sub-item is, "Refine current homeland security funding approaches to ensure a national capacity to address the range and constantly changing nature of risk - from daily emergencies to natural disasters to acts of terrorism." Would you recommend to the next President that natural hazards be factored into vulnerability assessments in allocating homeland security grants? Do we need a comprehensive national risk assessment?

9. We are going to skip the final recommendation area dealing with border security. Instead, let's address any additional recommendations that you may have that we have not covered during the foregoing discussion. Stafford Act? Federal vs. local role? NIMS/ICS? National Preparedness Goal or National Response Framework?

10. Finally, our last question, FEMA - In or Out? (For the sake of our discussion, let's assume "out" means a return to the arrangement under the Clinton administration where the FEMA Director was a Cabinet position.)