The Future of Emergency Management
A Group Discussion on Challenges in the Years Ahead

Eric E. Holdeman
Principal, Eric Holdeman and Associates

January 13, 2010

Live Meeting Recording (WMV) This is a large file and requires Windows Media Player or Windows Media Components for QuickTime, or a similar product to view.
Transcript (HTML)
Transcript (MS Word)

Discussion Questions

Related Websites:
The Future of Emergency Management-Papers from the 2005 FEMA Higher Ed Conference
Holdeman and Associates
Disaster Zone Blog

41 Ratings Submitted
4 (10%) Academia 10 (24%)
20 (49%) Business 6 (15%)
13 (31%) Government 14 (34%)
4 (10%) Volunteers 3 (7%)
0 (0%) Other 8 (20%)

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"Predictions of future threats was interesting. Would like to hear more of that in detail."

"First time attending, looking forward to future sessions."

"Good way to start the year and really like the format of questions with background."

"Eric did a great job and questions were great."
William R. Cumming
The Vacation Lane Group, Inc.

"I enjoyed the webinar!"
Kelly Rouba
EAD & Associates

"Information addressed was useful, just an hour is not long enough to cover these topics! My only complaint. "
Marianne (Pollay) Luhrs
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

"I appreciate Eric Holderman being the guest speaker. He is very knowledgeable in this field."
JoAnna Larsen
Utah County Sheriff's Office

"Very interesting, even though some of the question were more for the USA context."
Claudia Britskey
York University

"The presentation was disappointing; too much fluff and too little substance. I suggest you do not work with survey questions like these in the future; we do not need to know what our peers think, we instead want to learn what the presenter thinks! Also, if you do use questions in the future, design them to solicit our preferences and thoughts on what SHOULD happen, not what we predict. This would make for a livlier discussion. Thank you!"
Craig Anderson

"I would like to know the url/title of the presenter's blog." [Disaster Zone-ajs]
J. R. Jones

"Low volume has been a problem since going to audio."

"Integration of emergency management at all levels of government is the key. Currently we all write plans, but little consideration is made to the response of other organizations to the same incident."
Bruce A. Thompson

"Thoughtful exchange of views on issues affecting the profession can only lead to improvement down the line. I'm not sure whether the discussion influenced the polling; voting seemed to shift toward the end of each polling period toward the last and most persuasive spoken positions. I would have liked the polling to allow multiple selections rather than 'all of the above'; this might have revealed more in terms of relative importance of the several choices offered." [Unfortunately, this is a software limitation as mentioned during the program.-ajs]

"Very professionally conducted... but.. looking into the crystal ball without at least one Mother Shipton quote? No fun! 'and upside down the world shall be' Born 1488 England Supposedly lived in a cave..."
Steven McGee
The Heart Beacon

"I like the format very much. I should have gotten in to see if the questions were available prior to today."
Marty Shaub
UEMA, University of Utah

"Ten questions was a bit much to do in just one hour. Perhaps think about narrowing the scope to encourage a greater dialogue with participants. "

"Great format."
Valerie Lucas
UC Davis

"Good participation overall. Liked the format and the discussion."
Eric Holdeman

"Engaging speaker, and recognized for his role in emergency management. Thanks for putting this on."
Antonio Ginatta
Office of Governor Chris Gregoire


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Discussion Questions

1. In the next 5-10 years, many very experienced Emergency Management professionals will be retiring. What impact will this have on Emergency Management in this country?

2. What new or emerging hazards will Emergency Managers be expected to address in the next several years?

3. What role will emerging technologies play in Emergency Management practice?

4. What role will federal grants have in the future in terms of driving local priorities?

5. What are the biggest remaining challenges in our current response capabilities, and will they change in the future?

6. How will the relative roles of local, state, and federal government, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations evolve?

7. What is the role of our professional organizations in shaping the future of the profession?

8. Will social attitudes towards personal preparedness and mitigation measures change?

9. What areas of Emergency Management could benefit from future research?

10. Coming full circle, will an infusion of young people into the profession enhance Emergency Management in the future?

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Eric Holdeman is the Principal for Eric Holdeman and Associates. His areas of expertise include building regional coalitions between agencies, governments, the private sector and non-profits. Planning, Regional planning, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) design and construction, multi-media public education programs, Joint Information Center (JIC) formation and operations, media relations, social media, meeting facilitation and integration of technology into emergency management and homeland security programs are just a few of the areas in which he has extensive experience.

In 2007, Government Technology Magazine recognized him as one of the Top 25 people in the nation who, “Challenge convention, confront entrenched bureaucracy and promote innovation.” Eric currently works professionally in the areas of port security, emergency management and risk management. He has also authored numerous articles for professional journals and opinion pieces for local, regional and national newspapers. He is a writer for Emergency Management Magazine where he contributes feature articles and also has a regular column, “Eric’s Corner.” An experienced and accomplished public speaker he is sought after to present at national and regional conferences. Eric blogs on emergency management and homeland security topics at

Eric has previously served as a Principal for ICF International, a Fairfax, Virginia based consulting firm. Prior to joining ICF he was a local emergency management director for King County Washington, which is in the metropolitan Seattle area. In this position he established the King County Office of Emergency Management as a national leader in many areas of emergency management and homeland security. Immediately prior to assuming his position in King County he worked for the Washington State Division of Emergency Management for five years.