Edited Version of April 22, 1998 Transcript

EIIP Transcript of Special Chat Event

"LIVE! From the SALEMDUG Conference"

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 discussion, questions, and responses are as stated by each participant. Answers from the presenter to questions by the audience are grouped beneath the appropriate question to facilitate meaning.


Avagene Moore EIIP: Good morning! We are gearing up for a "live from" chat from SALEMDUG.

Amy Sebring: We are here at the SALEMDUG conference. We are waiting for the morning session to wrap up and then we will have some of the conference participants join us. SALEMDUG is State and Local Emergency Management Data Users Group. This is their 13th Annual Conference and the first one I have been to. We have successfully connected 2 different laptops to the Internet from here but the other phone line we need is in the main conference room and they are still at it.

I have standing here with me Joe Saleh from Essential Technologies (EIS). He is their communications guru.

David Crews: Joe, I am going to Emmitsburg next week for EIS 1 and 2 training in relationship to FEMA NEMIS.

Amy Sebring: Joe says great and come on by their office in Rockville.

David Crews: Will depend on the schedule but would love to stop by.

Isabel McCurdy: What is Essential Technologies?

Amy Sebring: Used to be EIS. They do software. Here is the website: http://www.essentech.com
Merrily will be with us a little later.

The program is running over in the next room. We are LIVE! from Virginia Beach today. Avagene and I are here at the SALEMDUG conference. We are waiting for the session in the next room to wrap up which is where the other phoneline is. Paul Pattak is speaking about the Infrastructure protection project. He may be able to join us later. The trick is getting people to give up their lunch.

I can go over the conference schedule to give you an idea of the program. This morning was welcoming remarks and opening. Then Priscilla Scruggs from FEMA spoke about Project Impact. Paul is now speaking about "Cyber-Terrorism". After lunch, Kay Goss is here and will be speaking on the topic. "Growing Technology Partnerships in Emergency Management and Training." Later, there will be a Remotely-Operated Aircraft Demo by Bert Wagner, of Advanced Aerials. Last on the program for today is Operation MAYDAY by the Virginia Dept. of Transportation, Gene A. Martin.

Have finally gotten to meet a few of our fellow participants in EIIP face to face. We have some of our FEMA friends here: Chip Hines and Diana Wade, Tom McQuillen, who spoke about the upcoming Technology conference at Argonne National Labs this summer.

On tomorrow's program, bright and early at 8:00 am, yours truly and Avagene Moore on the EIIP! We have a whole hour. Avagene will cover what we have accomplished over the last year. And I will speak about some themes for the upcoming year.

Next will be the Virginia Operational Information System by Steve Mondul. Then 3 sessions are combined on Emergency Management and the Internet. Mark Marchbank, from Virginia Beach will speak about Internet and the Emergency Manager. Then Craig Fugate from Florida EMA will speak about EM Intranet. (I finally got to meet him in person and am very much looking forward to his presentation.) Finally in that session, Brian Iverson, Virginia Dept of Emergency Services speaks about IRC as a Coordination tool. That one should be interesting also, since IRC is very similar to what we are doing here today.

David Crews: IRC?

Kevin Farrell: Internet Relay Chat.

Amy Sebring: Oh! I hear applause from next door. I think they are finally wrapping up. Yes, thanks, Kevin.

After lunch tomorrow we have a number of workshops. Weather Information Technology. Using GIS with E911, Kevin, Operation Respond. And from Iowa State University, Center for Weather Related Disaster Research. While we wait for Avagene to get situated, on Friday we have incorporating GPS and Video Technology Cellular Communications in Emergencies. Slow Scan Television in Search and Rescue Operations. And near and dear to my heart, EM Technology on $5 a day. Including Virginia Dept. of Mental Health Website. Duty Officer Program from Minnesota Emergency Management. Outlook 97 EOC Messaging System and MS Access Action Tracking Database from Virginia. The last session is a Panel Discussion as to the future of SALEMDUG. There is much speculation on that topic.

David Crews: Speaking of Internet, I used it extensively in the FEMA disaster field offices in California and Georgia. There is increasing use of the Internet during Response and Recovery. I also used GPS. Mobile computing is finally become a practical tool in EM but not for $5!

Isabel McCurdy: If not for $5, how much David?

David Crews: I don't dare add up the receipts!

Amy Sebring: We are expecting Avagene to log in just any moment now. Craig Fugate will be standing by with her. We also hope to have the current President of SALEMDUG, David Miller, join us if we can catch him. The way we hope to do this is to have our speaker tell us a little about what he is doing here at the conference then we will open up for some interactivity. Again the trick will be not to tromp on questions and responses if possible. We are assured we will have our moderation feature back but we still don't know WHEN!!

Tim Murphy: Amy. Will you use the ? technique as before.

Amy Sebring: Tim, that may be helpful to wait and be recognized. I am going to try to take a more active role as moderator and assist with directing.

Tim Murphy: Understood.

Amy Sebring: There are some very nice excursions available also, but won't have time to do any. We will both be leaving here tomorrow during the day. Am also very interested in hearing Kay Goss speak again, especially on the topic of technology. That should be interesting.

Finally!! Avagene is joining us. Avagene, I have just given the entire SALEMDUG conference program for 3 days! Who do you have with us first, Avagene?

Avagene Moore EIIP: Amy, and folks, I have Preston Cook, SALEMDUG Secretary, with us.

Amy Sebring: Welcome Preston.

Avagene Moore EIIP: Preston. Thanks for being here. I will turn over the keyboard to him.

Amy Sebring: Preston, are you at the keyboard? OK, say hello when you are ready Preston.

Preston Cook: Yes, I am at the keyboard and thank you. Hello.

Amy Sebring: Great, thanks for being here. Preston, have you been to all of the previous SALEMDUG conferences, and how does this one compare to others?

Preston Cook: I am sorry you are not able to physically join us here at the conference. This is a wonderful conference. I have attended several others and this is one of the best

Amy Sebring: Looks like a good lineup, Preston. What is the overall purpose of the conference, Preston?

Preston Cook: We attempt to provide a forum where we can exchange information to state and local emergency managers.

Amy Sebring: There appears to be a wide range of technologies represented here. Do the conference organizers try to include a diversity?

Preston Cook: Yes, and it increases all the time. Diversity is the only way to describe our work.

Amy Sebring: What does the secretary for SALEMDUG do exactly, Preston?

Preston Cook: I am responsible for maintaining the records for the organization.

Amy Sebring: Well, thank you so much for joining us today. Audience, any questions for Preston before we let him off?

Preston Cook: Thank you for having me.

Avagene Moore EIIP: Amy, I have Mr. Addison Slayton, State Director of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Amy Sebring: Yes, thank you very much for being with us Mr. Slayton. We are very pleased to have you with us.

Kevin Farrell: It appears that both Avagene and Amy got bumped off the net.

Amy Sebring: Yes, I have made it back.

Craig Fugate: Hi, this Craig from SALEMDUG.

Amy Sebring: Hello Craig. Something must have happened with the phone. We are having some weather around us. Maybe we can last a few minutes longer. Craig, let's speak with you while we have you. You are speaking tomorrow on an EM Intranet in Florida. Can you tell us about your presentation?

Craig Fugate: Yes, it is what I call the EM Internet Tool Kit.

Amy Sebring: What is the purpose of the toolkit?

Craig Fugate: To provide a template for emergency managers on net applications.

Amy Sebring: Go ahead and put up the URL Craig if you like. This is also an excellent introduction to Internet for the emergency manager.

Craig Fugate: http://www.state.fl.us/comaff/DEM/BPR/EMTOOLS/

Amy Sebring: Craig, are you working on building an info infrastructure in FL?

Craig Fugate: Yes, what we now call the Florida Warning and Information Network or FWIN.

Amy Sebring: We will also take 1 or 2 questions from audience for Craig. How is FWIN structured Craig?

Craig Fugate: It's based on the using a standard netw0rk format such as IP. We have a satellite voice and data system we are upgrading to TCP/IP to use net applications.

Amy Sebring: Thanks Craig. I am very much looking forward to your presentation.

We now have Mr. Slayton back with us. And I would like to get back to him while we are still connected! Mr. Slayton, how did the state of Virginia manage to get ALL the emergency management conferences this year??

Addison Slayton: Good politics.

Amy Sebring: Are you going to stay for most of the conference?

Addison Slayton: No. I have a meeting back at the office.

Amy Sebring: I am sorry to hear that. Mark Pennington from your office is presenting? This morning you told us in your welcoming address how things had changed over the years. And now you rely on your email every morning. How does email help you?

Addison Slayton: That’s right, can’t do without it.

Chip Hines: Mr. Slayton. I thought your comments this morning were right on point, particularly as they related to the change in information dependence over the years.

Avagene Moore: Amy, Mark Pennington is going to join us.

Amy Sebring: Thank you very much for being with us Mr. Slayton. And welcome Mark Pennington. Mark, you are going to be speaking at the conference? Well, we have lost Avagene and Mark again. Sigh. While we are waiting from them to get back.

Yes, as you mentioned Chip Hines, Mr. Slayton was speaking about how he can give his staff answers on the spot using email, instead of taking several days. Well, technology does have its challenges.

Chip Hines: Amy, I thought the sessions this morning were terrific. The presentation on the Critical Infrastructure Protection program by Paul Pattak were very thought provoking!

Avagene Moore EIIP: Amy, I am back. Mark is with me.

Amy Sebring: Mark, are you back with us, and can you tell us about your presentation?

Mark Pennington: This is Mark. I'm on.

Amy Sebring: You are presenting on an Access Action Tracking Database? Is this an application you have developed?

Mark Pennington: I'm the Program Coordinator for the conference. Yes. I've been working on a simple program for tracking EOC actions and I hope to share that on Friday.

Amy Sebring: Great --- how long have you been working on putting this conference together?

Mark Pennington: This started several years ago when we won the bid to host this year. Real work has been going on since last August.

Amy Sebring: You have assembled a very interesting program Mark.

Mark Pennington: Thanks. My staff has put a lot of effort into making this a worthwhile event.

Amy Sebring: Any questions from the audience for Mark?

David Crews: Will SALEMDUG stay on the WWW?

Mark Pennington: With FEMA funding changing, we really don't have a good handle on that.

Amy Sebring: Dee Seymour is with me at my PC. She just told me that the BBS is going down May 1 but the Website will be staying on through FY 98. At least at the present time, that is the plan.

Chuck Arnold: Partly just practicing. Last time I tried this I got kicked out. What sort of programs for tracking EOC actions? A computer database manager.

Mark Pennington: Re: the Action tracking database, it's written in MS Access.

Avagene Moore EIIP: Mark had to go, and Merrily Powell, Essential Technologies, is with us. Merrily?

Amy Sebring: Thank you Mark. And welcome Merrily.

Merrily Powell: Hi all! Steve and David, I see you're on.

Amy Sebring: We introduced Joe Saleh earlier in the session, before we got started. Merrily is here with the Essential Technologies Exhibit (EIS).

Merrily Powell: Essential Technologies is most happy to be here at the SALEMDUG conference.

Amy Sebring: Merrily, are you sneaking any previews here?

Merrily Powell: Yes, for our NBC Security products.

Amy Sebring: Can you tell us a little about that, Merrily? Tell us a little about the NBC product. Nuclear, biological, chemical?

Merrily Powell: NBC Warning is a plotting program that works with nuclear, biological & chemical agents.

David Crews: Are the NBC products based on the Infobook concept? Who will be the prime users?

Merrily Powell: Yes, they are; in fact, the resulting plumes can show up on the EIS/GEM maps. Anyone with terrorism concerns can be a user.

Amy Sebring: Kevin, you had a question?

Kevin Farrell: Is this NBC modeling product similar to the ALOHA module in CAMEO? ALOHA = Aerial Location of Hazardous Atmospheres. Different modeling algorithms?

Merrily Powell: No, because it also handles biological and nuclear agents.

Amy Sebring: Thank you Merrily. Ava tells me we also have Walter Greene.

Avagene Moore EIIP: Walter Green from the Virginia Department of Health and the University of Richmond is on.

Amy Sebring: Welcome, Walter.

Walter Green: Thanks you, great to be out of the Office.

Amy Sebring: How are you enjoying the conference so far?

Walter Green: Have made some useful contacts and it is good to meet people who have just been names at a distance.

Amy Sebring: I agree with that! Is there anything on the upcoming program in particular that interests you?

Walter Green: Plus it is good to get some new perspectives on technological threats to the infrastructure --- something we all need to worry about.

Amy Sebring: I guess you have already done Williamsburg.

Walter Green: Grew up here - I encourage everyone to see the first real hurricane mitigation program in US history - the beautiful brick buildings.

Amy Sebring: Well, I think we are going to wrap up. Thank you very much, Walter. It has been nice to meet you in person also.

Avagene Moore EIIP: Yes, this is Avagene. Thanks to everyone who participated today.

Amy Sebring: Our program is about to resume in about 10 minutes with Kay Goss. Maybe we can ask her for a copy of her speech to post!

David Crews: Everyone have a great day. Bye!

Kevin Farrell: <clap!, clap!, clap!> Take notes Amy.


Avagene Moore EIIP: I will do that. Good group of people. Thanks to everyone from rainy Virginia Beach. Until tomorrow night.

Amy Sebring: Thank you all for coming today and helping us with this experiment. You are on the leading edge here!! Thanks and goodbye.