This is the final post in a series of 3 reports on the recent annual conference of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) held November 13-16 in Clark County, Nevada. See also Part 1 on CAP and Part 2 on CMAS at IAEM. 

There was much happening in the federal space at the IAEM conference. FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino’s major announcement in his opening keynote address was the unveiling of the FEMA Think Tank at www.fema.gov/thinktank.
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This post is Part 2 of 3 in a series of reports on the recent annual conference of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) held November 13-16 in Clark County, Nevada. See also Part 1 on CAP and Part 3 on Federal presentations at IAEM.

The Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) is a service coming online in April 2012 that will broadcast emergency alerts to all cell phones in an affected area without the need for prior sign-up. The FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) booth had a significant focus on CMAS, noting that while the full deployment will be in April there will be an early rollout of CMAS in NYC and DC.
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This post is Part 1 of 3 in a series of reports on the recent annual conference of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) held November 13-16 in Clark County, Nevada. See also Part 2 on CMAS and Part 3 on Federal presentations at IAEM.

The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) received some good exposure at the IAEM conference again this year. A session on CAP given by Art Botterell and Jason Volk was great for keeping CAP in front of emergency managers.
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This is the final post in a series of 5 reports on the recent annual conference of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) held November 1-4 in San Antonio, Texas.

Another highlight of the IAEM Conference that will be of interest to the AWARE community is the need for public/private partnerships (PPP) in emergency management.  FEMA Administrator, Craig Fugate, underscored that large disasters are realistically too much for government to handle alone, and plans should be laid for involvement of private industry to do what they do best in supporting emergency managers in an emergency. He noted that FEMA itself is now teamed with private industry for response to national emergencies. Fugate also urged emergency managers to: be more transparent in their emergency plans; leverage the expertise of private industry in developing plans; and not keep details, such as evacuation routes and shelter locations, a secret from the public under the guise of protecting this information from terrorists.

During the session “Building Collaborations through Public-Private Partnerships”, it was noted that there is a Public/Private Partnership Caucus within IAEM itself, which helps establish best practices and methods for getting relationships started. The presenters made the case that involvement in PPPs present a win-win situation for industry, as well as government, by giving industry exposure to working with government and affording industry the possibility of developing a product or service that could eventually be sold to government. Another advantage of the PPP relationship is the benefit it delivers to the greater community when government and industry work together with restoration efforts after an event. The FEMA Private Sector Division (www.fema.gov/privatesector/) presented part of the session, and noted it has 30 models of successful PPP plans on the Division’s website. One concept becoming popular is setting aside space in the EOC for a Biz EOC, to be populated by private industry leaders when the EOC is activated.

The session takeaway for emergency managers: go to industry, figure out how to help each other, and get these relationships established before the storm.

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This post is Part 4 of 5 in a series of reports on the recent annual conference of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) held November 1-4 in San Antonio, Texas.

The National Weather Service (NWS) conducted its own one hour session on “Staying Connected with NWS Social Media and Alerting Technologies.” During the session, NWS cited a statement made by Craig Fugate: “Social media can empower the public to be part of the response, not the victims.” NWS referred to a study that found 1 out of 5 people would go to social media if 911 was unavailable, 69% feel emergency management should monitor social media, and 50% believe emergency management is monitoring social media.

NWS informed the audience about some of the new tools they maintain for emergency managers and the media. One tool, NWSChat (http://nwschat.weather.gov), allows local officials and local media to chat with local NWS personnel. A second service, iNWS (http://inws.wrh.noaa.gov/), provides emergency managers and other local officials with customized mobile phone text messages and emails from NWS regarding user-selected weather events. On the public access front, NWS is now monitoring Twitter for storm reports that follow the format: #wxreportWW<location>WW<weather conditions>WW.  NWS Headquarters is also on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/US.National.Weather.Service.gov. NWS is adding some experimental local office feeds, and will decide in March 2011 if they will roll out Facebook pages to all local offices. All local NWS offices have added the social bookmarking service, AddThis (http://www.addthis.com), to their local forecast page.  Finally, NWS mentioned they will leverage FEMA’s IPAWS technology in the future as capabilities at both agencies mature.

In our final segment of this report, we will cover the use of public/private partnerships in emergency management, as discussed at the IAEM Conference.

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