Edited Version of December 15, 1999 Transcript
EIIP Virtual Forum Group Discussion

"Planning -- Theory vs. Reality"

Amy Sebring
EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

The original unedited transcript of the December 15, 1999 online Virtual Forum presentation is available on the EIIP Virtual Forum (http://www.emforum.org). The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. Typos were corrected, date/time/names attributed by the software to each were deleted but content of discussions, questions, and responses are as stated by each participant. Answers from the speakers to questions by the audience are grouped beneath the appropriate question to facilitate meaning.


Amy Sebring: Welcome to the Virtual Forum! Today we are going to have a group discussion on Planning -- Theory vs. Reality. Please refer to the background page at <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/991215.htm>, where ten discussion questions are listed.

In order to facilitate discussion, we will try dispensing with the question marks (?) today. I will put up each of the questions and ask you to respond. If you have a comment, just put it in. I will ask you to try to think ahead a little as we go down the list, and start preparing any comment you may have for the next question.


As you look through these questions, I expect you will find they are pretty basic. I guess what I am looking for in a way is: if we were able to invent disaster planning all over again, start from scratch, would we do it differently than we do now? Is the whole way we do planning too idealistic? Ever since I have been involved with this business, I have had an uneasy feeling that we are constantly setting ourselves up to fail, by raising expectations to an unrealistic level which is why I particularly appreciated the quote from Dr. Quarantelli (posted on the background page) about the limitations of the real world. Although he does not go into the specific factors in the paper cited, he mentions "The limits... are created by such factors as economic and social costs, human and societal value priorities, poor design implementations, and political considerations."

So let's go through this exercise today as a "reality check" of sorts. First question.

[Group Discussion]

Question # 1:

What is the real purpose of disaster planning? Besides providing jobs to a lot of planners and consultants! Your comments please?


Russell Coile: To get the relevant people together ahead of time to think about things.

Amy Sebring: Yes, perhaps to document the results of the negotiations that take place?

Is the purpose to improve how we deal with disasters? Or just to give the appearance that everything is under control!

Peter Picanso: To work out the glitches in the system that prevent effective response.

Karolin J Loendorf: To think outside the box, such as Columbine - are we familiar with our mental health community folks and are they in our plans?

Don Hartley: To turn potential chaos into a coordinated response.

Rick Wood: Disaster planning is that which we do so we don't get caught flat-footed by events. It is rather embarrassing if we cannot hit the ground running, with some sort of plans in place, I think.

Avagene Moore: Yes, and to give us a blueprint or model for how/who/what/when.

Linda Underwood: To stop reinventing the wheel.

Amy Sebring: My concern here is that having a "written plan" can provide a false sense of security, not only to citizens, but to officials. Somebody in one of our sessions mentioned that plans are perceived as a kind of insurance policy.

Don Hartley: That's why you exercise the plan, Amy. That brings you back to reality.

Leslie Little: A written plan is only words on paper, it must be exercised to find the errors and revisions needed.

Peter Picanso: I think that is the perception of those NOT in the business.

Avagene Moore: Plans are only a guide because most disasters require quite a bit of flexibility. No two are the same.

Karolin J Loendorf: As an elected County Official, I take the plan serious, but I do know sadly enough that I am a rare Commissioner and most electeds aren't educated to the degree they should be.

Leslie Little: Many plans go by the theory "one size fits all" and in many disaster situations that isn't the case.

Peter Picanso: You can't possibly plan for everything that is going to go wrong.

Dan Stowers: Plans should not be construed as insurance, but remember "Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Amy Sebring: Ok, I think we hope at least that planning will improve our effectiveness. Let's go on to question 2.

Question #2:

Our planning seems to consist of taking "model plans" and then modifying them slightly to fit our communities. Where did these models come from? Do they serve the purposes of planning we just discussed? If we could start from scratch, would there be a different model? Would a different design make them more readable?


Paul Bennett: Model plans are a starting place.

Roger Kershaw: Many plans get really bogged down in minute detail, some believe the larger the document the more impressive it appears.

Irene Sullivan: The French government has psychological trauma attached to medical response for disasters. Any comments?

Peter Picanso: The Red Cross has been a leader in this and it has proved to be extremely valuable, especially when dealing with the responders.

Amy Sebring: I don't think the model has been updated lately. Or if it has, it is slow to seep in. They seem to end up as a patchwork?

Avagene Moore: I think the models came from a bureaucrat with good intentions. However, model plans serve the states more than the community in my opinion. Model plans make it easier to do the cross-walk.

Karolin J Loendorf: I will once again mention Columbine. In the fire magazine that I read a story about the disaster - not once were the mental health folks mentioned and I believe this needs to be addressed. The Columbines aren't a Natural Disaster and we need to get Congress to address this issue as I feel it will not be going away and we need to put it either in FEMA's mission or question.

Amy Sebring: Karolin, I think we will find there are a number of gaps.

Don Hartley: Model plans are indeed starting places. They allow you to pick up any plan and know where to go for specific info. That info should relate to the needs of each community.

Terry Storer: A plan should be a "living document" easy to update and to use. Very often the users are not the persons who developed the plan.

Rick Wood: Most of the models I've come across come from real -life debriefings of actual events. Too often the 'proto-event' remains even after new developments occur.

Terry Storer: I agree with Rick, to often the Plan is modified to meet the needs of the latest event.

Irene Sullivan: Plans must also be flexible templates. Some things are constant; some are not.

Peter Picanso: The plan should never be considered a finished document. It is a process.

Amy Sebring: Who updates the models?

Avagene Moore: Are the models updated? I am not aware that they are.

Sean Lindsay: It should be a continuous improvement document, shouldn't it?

Amy Sebring: In our state we are running out of letters of the alphabet! Next question.

Question #3:

Dr. Quarantelli notes that there are assumptions implicit in our planning about how the public will behave, that they are expected to act irrationally and panic, and therefore, authority must maintain control of the situation. According to research by social scientists, these expectations are not born out by the way individuals ACTUALLY behave in disasters. What assumptions are implicit in our plans but not stated?


Amy Sebring: Leslie mentioned the one size fits all assumption.

Irene Sullivan: That leadership will be there.

Jon Kavanagh: That people will be available when the incident occurs

Leslie Little: We all know what assumptions means. Making rash judgments of the public can cause more problems than what should actually be.

Amy Sebring: I agree Irene and Jon. We have several vacancies at the moment!

Rick Tobin: One assumption is that officials will act responsibly. That isn't always the case.

Karolin J Loendorf: I don't think this is going to help me in my position, but I will offer to each of you that elected officials are human beings just like you and I and have each of you done your part in educating your locals. They cannot make good informed decisions if they are not educated and an easy way to become familiar with electeds is to invite them on a Ride Along, your annual parties and whatever else could be pertinent in each of your communities.

Amy Sebring: Great Karolin. One of the points in the paper is that we must plan on what we can realistically expect of folks not how we WISH them to be. I guess that includes electeds!

Leslie Little: That is a good suggestion, Karolin, but if your organization deals in specific issues in services you may be pushed aside.

Karolin J Loendorf: Leslie - Don't Give Up.

Russell Coile: The public acts irrationally and our establishment acts in a friendly goal-seeking mode.

Terry Storer: All plans seem to assume that the "correct" players will be in attendance.

Amy Sebring: Is there an assumption that the plan will actually be read, understood, and implemented?

Rick Tobin: We also assume that the public will want to remain in a community to rebuild after total devastation. That may not work in the coming century.

Amy Sebring: Is there an assumption that you will get State or Federal assistance, when in fact, there may be none if your disaster is not of sufficient impact or magnitude?

Jon Kavanagh: There was a computer model done of how people are "expected" react to a fire in a given situation. How close it came is unknown, but the results were impressive.

Karolin J Loendorf: I went the extra mile and have been appointed as the vice-chair of Emergency Management sub committee with NACo (National Association of Counties) mainly because I am passionate about the issues of fire/ems and NACo has not really dealt with fire issues in some 20 years.

Leslie little: Getting the elected officials to have representation from the disabled community is a very slow process. It is the assumption - we need their help.

Avagene Moore: Karolin, we appreciate your perspective as a local elected official. We need more CEO's actively involved and accessible.

Leslie Little: We get more support and endorsement from federal and state than local EMS officials. But we are making progress and breaking some assumptions.

Karolin J Loendorf: The best time to invite your elected officials is when they are running for office. They need those votes and whether they are elected or not - you've had the chance to educate them. Never point fingers - that in itself is a disaster.

Amy Sebring: How realistic is it to expect the public to take our advice about preparedness, for example?

Jon Kavanagh: The main assumption is that everything will go according to plan, that everyone will be there, that commercial places will be available, and that the public will react a certain way.

Rick Tobin: Amy, I think the list of people the general public believes anymore is getting mighty slim.

Rick Wood: I think realistically, people will take our advice in direct proportion to the time elapsed after the last disaster. Or is that inverse?

Amy Sebring: I think we understood, Rick Wood.

Roger Kershaw: I see many local government and private industry plans that have only one goal in mind, and that is to simply comply with regulations, statutes. Planning, therefore, is done regardless of the actual abilities of agencies etc.

Amy Sebring: Ah yes, an answer to question #1 Roger, to fulfill a requirement!

Peter Picanso: The sociological studies are very helpful here. People react differently to emergencies than you might logically expect.

Jon Kavanagh: Read the CDC's scenario about an anthrax release--a very true assumption of how people will react.

Amy Sebring: Let's go on.

Question # 4:

Is current planning comprehensive enough, i.e., are we really planning for all phases?

The model plans I have seen are focused on initial response, with the other phases kind of thrown in almost as an afterthought. Project Impact is bringing more focus to mitigation, but how many communities are actually doing mitigation planning, or recovery planning?


Burt Wallrich: With the exception of those places where there has been a sustained effort to bring human services into planning I feel that plans do not adequately deal with issues of long-term human recovery. They focus on getting government services and the tax base back to "normal." But it can take literally years for people to get back to normal. All sorts of measures of social problems show elevated rates after a major disaster. In addition, some nonprofit organizations go broke trying to deal with these problems. Government needs to include this area into its planning. Los Angeles City and County are doing that but I think most places are not.

Amy Sebring: I agree with you, Burt. I don't think we have had much guidance in recovery planning other than how to process paperwork.

Karolin J Loendorf: Burt, I wholeheartedly agree. I attended a conference in CO in August and WOW - things you and I would never think about becomes a reality.

Amy Sebring: Other inputs regarding scope of planning?

Karolin J Loendorf: My personal goal in my new appointment is to educate my fellow commissioners from all over the US and I will tell you that it is sort of like the fire/ems field, the commissioners/councilman/parishes whatever they may be called do have a "brotherhood" and I feel very confident in educating them as much as possible this year.

Jon Kavanagh: It's hard to plan for dealing with the incident after the response stage, because your planned allegiance with your commercial sector may not be there, if that is what was affected, etc.

Irene Sullivan: I agree with Burt' assessment. How much are we costing ourselves in health services utilization later on, for instance?

Russell Coile: In California, some people feel that future big earthquakes may be ten times worse than we are planning for.

Don Hartley: Part of the problem in EMA is that most professional staffs are small. It takes all their effort just to prepare for response phase. Other phases are almost a luxury.

Jon Kavanagh: Response is simple--fire, police, ems, Military (simplified). Everything else takes more case studies and actual hands-on experience.

Avagene Moore: I think recovery planning and mitigation are really lacking in most plans.

Peter Picanso: The Ceritos air crash was an example of where the responders were the major users of the mental health professionals. The paramedics that responded had no one to help. Only bodies to pick up and it had a devastating effect on them.

Karolin J Loendorf: I have the solution - We NEED Congress to FUND the FIRE/EMS SERVICE as it SHOULD BE!

Jon Kavanagh: Amen Karolin.

Amy Sebring: The next question also relates to scope and gets back to some of the points raised earlier. Dr. Quarantelli calls for integrated planning both horizontally between the various organizations involved at each level, and vertically between the levels of government.


Question # 5:

Do we plan in isolation? With different organizations having plans, but those plans not coordinated with each other?


Karolin J Loendorf: Does everyone out there have turfs like we do in Montana?

Amy Sebring: Yes, we certainly do, Karolin.

Leslie Little: Yes, here too in Virginia.

Roger Kershaw: Absolutely. They are currently isolated from each other, Amy.

Peter Picanso: Turf wars are the most difficult problem we have to deal with.

Jon Kavanagh: It's hard when you're dealing with a unified command with city officials, when the Mayor doesn't even realize that the FD does/does not have certain capabilities. Try to do an exercise with a real EOC of town officials. See how many you actually get to show up for the duration.

Peter Picanso: The secret seems to get everyone involved from the beginning.

Amy Sebring: I have also seen the situation where different state or federal agencies require planning, and whole separate plans are written and not integrated with the overall community plan. I am thinking particularly of dam failure and drought contingency plans.

Leslie Little: Each agency though supposedly cooperating with each other are trying to best the other by saying our programs work, blah, blah, blah. Cooperation should be just that with no 'fame on my name' tactic.

Terry Storer: Sure we plan in isolation. Many plans have endless annexes that are impossible to tie in with the master document.

Avagene Moore: I read somewhere that the emergency manager is the only one who has to work horizontally with all agencies and interests.

Rick Wood: Agreed, Peter; involved and talking without the involvement of egos.

Karolin J Loendorf: We need to share the risk if you will. Pull all agencies together - not to "Control", but to brainstorm and allow each agency/dept feel that they are Part of the Solution and hopefully you might get somewhere. Those agencies/dept that want the "Control" grip - I do not do well with. Every one has good ideas and suggestions and are all important!

Terry Storer: Everyone has their own idea and it requires a real master to integrate the various needs and wants.

Roger Kershaw: I like Connecticut's statute. The fire department is in charge at emergency situations.

Amy Sebring: Ah Roger. In the paper Dr. Q also notes that "Asking who is in charge is the wrong question!"

Leslie Little: What is a possible solution to the ego problems inherent in the agencies?

Peter Picanso: One of the problems is that the senior officials are TOO BUSY for a drill, but want to be there when it's for real.

Roger Kershaw: Better than having a turf war. We use big red trucks to close a highway. Laughing.

Avagene Moore: Education is the answer to all the turf problems.

Jon Kavanagh: I believe that in some states (maybe even Maine), the FD has control of the incident, but if it's on the highway, the SP has ultimate control. A FD officer can't shut down the highway, only the SP or DOT can, and if they don't want to, they have the right not to. Whacked.

Avagene Moore: Getting the opportunity to educate is the problem.

Amy Sebring: Planning is a very boring, tedious project for most.

Karolin J Loendorf: I enjoyed the short time with you folks this morning. I encourage all folks in fire/ems to keep me educated on issues and I ask that if anyone would like to email me my address is: <[email protected]>.

Amy Sebring: Thank you, Karolin.

Leslie Little: Thank you, Karolin.

Jon Kavanagh: Education of everyone is the key. Fax incidents that happened in places who thought "not in our town" to your officials.

Avagene Moore: Knowing who is in charge doesn't solve the problems of planning and doesn't make the plans good.

Amy Sebring: Our EM office did not even know that the "dam* plan" existed!

Karolin J Loendorf: Jon, I wouldn't just fax incidents, heck show up at a Public hearing - we have Eagle Scouts who come before us and educate us on what they are doing or plan to do some big project - just a thought.

Peter Picanso: Strict adherence to ICS should solve the problem of shutting down a highway. How to get the SP to give up the control is another problem.

Roger Kershaw: I think knowing who's in charge helps "on scene", more than in the planning process.

Amy Sebring: Moving on.

Question # 6:

Are plans used, I alluded to earlier. Or do they sit on the shelf collecting dust? If so, why is that?


Linda Underwood: Have a drill. Publicize not only who attended, but especially WHO DIDN'T.

Jon Kavanagh: Pay EM people and give them the credit they deserve. That'll help get people working together. Cripe, make the Mayor the EMA director!

Amy Sebring: Are your plans used?

Jon Kavanagh: Plans are used, but not necessarily to the level possible for drills.

Roger Kershaw: What plans? The ones gathering dust?

Leslie Little: I have found that the local EMS officials have the plan written and then have to search for it when an incident occurs and find it is lacking. Was proven in several incidents in Va. just recently and caused much ado for the officials.

Terry Storer: NO ! We tend to "wing it".

Jon Kavanagh: At my company, drills are difficult to make them realistic (can't really fake simulate evacuation of 150 workers and 7000 guests.

Russell Coile: Our City has participated in the State's annual earthquake drill each year for ten years

Paul Bennett: When was the last time anyone saw a plan come off the shelf during an incident?

Amy Sebring: My experience has been that there is not universal acceptance of the whole idea of planning, and a great reluctance to commit anything to paper for fear of accountability or liability.

Jon Kavanagh: Amy: Agreed!

Leslie little: We did a nuclear plant FEMA sponsored event and, except for two agencies, all local EMS departments were written up on not following their own plans.

Amy Sebring: Do you find similar experience? They don't think the plan is relevant.

Jon Kavanagh: In a plan, "Shall" should be changed to "Should" ;)

Paul Bennett: Ahh! EM is Political!

Roger Kershaw: I still think most plans aren't made to be actually used. They're just to look good.

Avagene Moore: Emphasis on having plans has been due to some state code or funding requirement. Not necessarily for the right reasons.

Peter Picanso: It is difficult to get the company/city to buy-in to the prospect that drills save money, they don't cost money.

Jon Kavanagh: They serve as a blueprint of an idea of how things should go. If they follow the plan, great. If they do it a bit, that's better than not at all..

Amy Sebring: I don't see plans taken to the next level of detail, which is to use them as the basis for SOP's or checklists very much. Do you?

Russell Coile: We do.

Ray Pena: Emergency response plans must be very general - they should describe how agencies will get together at emergency site(s) and at EOC(s) and how they will communicate to make good decisions.

Amy Sebring: Good Russell. I think some do, but not enough.

Avagene Moore: SOPs and checklists should be the logical outgrowth of the plans -- something everyone can use.

Jon Kavanagh: Incidents are dynamic, so the plan should plan for changes, and not be stuck in specificities. Leave the SOPs to each department's own SOPs, generally speaking.

Don Hartley: Our EOPs serve as an outline. The SOPs fill in the blanks.

Amy Sebring: Yes, but it would be nice if they were in basic consistency with the plan! Let's continue.

Question # 7:

Are plans current? Or are they difficult to maintain? Did you ever actually go back and change a plan as the result of an After Action Report?


Amy Sebring: An example that comes to mind is when we changed over from the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Even if the Warning Annex has been updated, and I suspect many still have not been, how many other places throughout the plan is EBS still referenced?

Don Hartley: We're fortunate to have good representation on EOP and SOP development task forces (most of the time).

Burt Wallrich: This is out of sequence but when I drafted the plan for my organization I circulated it among all staff for review. In an emergency, the fact that they helped write the plan will lead to a better action even if they don't refer to the plan right then.

Don Hartley: Right, Bert. At least they know there is a plan if they were involved.

Peter Picanso: Operational critiques are important, the people doing the critique need to be able to make recommendations for modification of the plan, if necessary.

Roger Kershaw: Just a comment, Amy. I find checklists to be cumbersome at times, creating a potential "tunnel vision" and not viewing the overall scene.

Amy Sebring: The sheer magnitude of distributing all those copies. It's very hard to even find who has the copies!

Peter Picanso: But without a checklist you are just winging it.

Jon Kavanagh: And highlighting the changes to people. Most people won't care that it's EAS, rather than EBS, so they won't pay much attention to the "new" plan.

Amy Sebring: Well that relates to our next question, Jon.

Question # 8:

How are plans communicated? Do you expect that by handing it out, that people will read and understand it? Is that realistic? Do we need a better to way to show people why it is important to them?


Leslie Little: Yes!!!!!

Amy Sebring: Yes, a better way, Leslie?

Leslie Little: Yes. I find if it isn't relevant to a specific person's responsibilities they may or may not review it.

Jon Kavanagh: Here at our company, the plans are distributed, and a cover sheet with the important changes is included, so they'll get the gist of what's new.

Amy Sebring: Good idea, Jon.

Peter Picanso: The more people you involve in the process, the better off you'll be. Ideally a departmental committee will review the changes.

Avagene Moore: No, I don't believe it is realistic to think people will read and grasp a plan. If they aren't involved in the preparation and buy in to the planning itself, will be something else to put on a shelf.

Amy Sebring: Or use as a doorstop? Do you think a new employee will necessarily be told of his responsibilities under the plan by his supervisor? Or even that one exists?

Avagene Moore: I have my doubts.

Amy Sebring: Are your plans included in general new employee orientations?

Jon Kavanagh: Perhaps make knowledge of the plan and their specific responsibilities part of their annual review (for raises and such)?

Terry Storer: No.

Leslie Little: Not always. It comes down to assuming again. The supervisor assumes the employee knows and the employee really isn't sure what it is he is suppose to know or do.

Jon Kavanagh: Amy, touched on briefly for front line staff.

Don Hartley: Getting the CEO on board as a key plan support helps motivate department and agency heads.

Amy Sebring: Agree, Don. Now getting a new CEO to any training is a trick also!

Peter Picanso: Employees need to be part of the process too. If you restrict it to supervisors, daily priorities will take precedence.

Avagene Moore: I agree with Don. The CEO is the one who really makes the planning and overall preparedness effort important.

Cam King: We face a greater problem since most of the leadership in our communities change every two years as does the "civil service". Buy- in becomes very difficult

Avagene Moore: True, Cam. We have heard this before but we need a preparedness culture.

Cam King: I agree, Avagene, but I have to really start before that since our clients have not had the authority/responsibility for their own communities

Jon Kavanagh: Basically, they're told the basics--what they *need* to know; when the incident occurs, the supervisor fills in the important info; we're also lucky enough to be able to have a flexible plan (more so than most companies).

Ray Pena: The key to getting key people involved in the process is not wasting their time - making their involvement in the process as effective as possible.

Question # 9:

What additional guidance or support is needed for planning?


Amy Sebring: I feel that we are often scrambling on our own, and constantly reinventing the wheel. For example, could we not use some best practices on the school violence issue, or special needs planning? As mentioned by some of our participants today! but I already had it!

Jon Kavanagh: Low-cost/Free guidance for plans that work.

Peter Picanso: I think that the strictly top down approach needs to be supplemented by a bottom up planning process.

Amy Sebring: Not just for our own organizations, but also we have heard expressed the need for further support to institutions that need to seriously consider planning issues, such as hospitals, universities.

Peter Picanso: An employee safety committee reporting to the supervisor who takes it to the company.

Avagene Moore: I think planning needs an overhaul, a facelift, all new way of tackling the job. We are doing the same old thing over and over.

Amy Sebring: Sometimes I get the feeling that the states and feds think all the planning has been done? Do you?

Roger Kershaw: Amen Amy.

Avagene Moore: Yes, I do and because that has been the main thrust of the program for many, many years, you would think we would be better at it.


Jon Kavanagh: Hard to plan for things that you haven't experienced.

Don Hartley: One helpful aspect of getting support is emphasis on legal responsibility. If plans are effective there are plenty of lawyers willing to sue for negligence.

Leslie Little: Reviewing how appointments are made to local LEPC and incorporating more public citizen and volunteer groups would be a start.

Amy Sebring: I think we still have a good bit of work to do in the donations, volunteer management area. Finally, a general question.

Question # 10:

If this were a perfect world, we would all be making huge salaries! However, sad to say, it is not a perfect world. Given its imperfections, how can we do planning better?


Cam King: I strongly work on the basis of "bottom up" planning rather than "top down", The community has to be on board before the local politicians will even become mildly interested

Amy Sebring: I think involvement has been mentioned several times today.

Russell Coile: Read Prof. Q's paper for ideas!

Isabel McCurdy: Make it simple.

Amy Sebring: Good Isabel. But again, that is easier said than done.

Jon Kavanagh: Make it a priority for communities/businesses. Tie in safety/EM to other avenues, so if you aren't doing it, you're not cutting it.

Leslie Little: Commitment and cooperation between all agencies representing disaster services in all 4 phases. Keep it simple and workable.

Avagene Moore: Make it comprehensive, for the whole community.

Russell Coile: Read FEMA's Compendium of Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management for ideas.

Don Hartley: I think there needs to be more training opportunities. Few EMA planners actually have a planning background.

Jon Kavanagh: Make helping available to the community; most people don't know what their role is/could be in preparation or response or recovery or mitigation. People being general citizens/businesses.

Amy Sebring: In my own experience, I tried to get the input I needed as quickly and painlessly as possible, and then synthesize it and put it out for review with either a put up or shut up!

Avagene Moore: Few planners anywhere have planning background. That may be one of our biggest problems. People are just told to do the planning. No formal education or training.

Isabel McCurdy: Share the information, don't gatekeeper it.

Peter Picanso: Include as many people in the process as possible. They may see something that you missed.

Amy Sebring: Hence the reliance on the models.

Russell Coile: Take EMI training courses or come to California Specialized Training Institute.

Leslie Little: So true, Avagene.

Amy Sebring: Some even forget to change the name of the community!

Avagene Moore: Yes, that has happened many time, Amy. Embarrassing.

Roger Kershaw: I'd like to see the agencies review and list their capabilities prior to planning to take place making wrong assumptions. Many local LEPCs don't understand what can and can't be done by the emergency services.

Jon Kavanagh: Roger, good idea!

Season Greetings!

Amy Sebring: We are just about out of time. Thank you all for a good discussion! We have no upcoming events, since we will adjourn until January. So on behalf of Avagene and myself, let us take this opportunity to thank you once again for your participation with us this year and to wish you safe, disaster free, and happy holidays with your loved ones, and a great, Y2K free New Year! Ava, please add?

Avagene Moore: Merry Christmas! Happy New Millennium!