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Join George Whitney each week as he speaks with people making a difference in emergency management. They talk about what works, what doesn't, how to work efficiently, and how to get it done with maximum effect. stefsaxCC BY 2.5

Join George Whitney each week as he speaks with people making a difference in emergency management. They talk about what works, what doesn't, how to work efficiently, and how to get it done with maximum effect. stefsaxCC BY 2.5
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Join George Whitney each week as he speaks with people making a difference in emergency management. They talk about what works, what doesn't, how to work efficiently, and how to get it done with maximum effect. stefsaxCC BY 2.5




#72 Barb Graff - EMAP

If someone were to survey emergency managers and ask "what do emergency managers do?", chances are the answers would still vary quite a bit, but that's been changing. Since 2003, the Emergency Management Accreditation Program has been very explicit about what emergency management programs must complete to be accredited. In this episode, Barb Graff, Director of Seattle's Office of Emergency Management and EMAP Commissioner explains the standard, the process of accreditation and how the...


#71 Beth Zimmerman - Disaster Recovery

Most emergency managers understand that disaster recovery involves a lot more than SBA and FEMA assistance, yet few local programs have developed a recovery plan. Indeed, planning for recovery requires a lot of consideration, but there's tools and an approach that can greatly simplify the overall effort. In this episode, we talk about recovery with a former FEMA Associate Administrator charged with developing a national strategy for disaster recovery.


#70 Sonny Fong - 2000/2001 California Energy Crisis

Anyone remember the 2000 energy crisis in California? Like too many unexpected events that created great impacts, the lessons learned and passed along to emergency managers have been few and far between. In this episode, a person at the center of a multi-billion-dollar response helps us recall how the event happened and how a very small group of emergency managers made a huge difference in peoples' lives.


#69 Don Boland-California Utilities Emergency Association

Few organizations know more about operational dependency than utilities. Electricity is needed to operate water, wastewater, communication, transportation and other criticial infrastructure. In turn, electricity is dependent on natural gas, coal, solar, wind or hydro electric plants. When utilities suffer interruptions, outages can affect manufacturing, the food supply, hospital surgery rooms and the overall quality of life in a community. Public safety agencies depend on close ties with...


#68 Corey Eide - Team Rubicon

It's difficult to dispute that Team Rubicon (TR) has joined the disaster relief stage with surprising success and momentum. Then again, employing veterans and others who share a desire to serve in places where people desperately need help, well, that is a good idea. In just seven years, the organization has grown from just a few volunteers to over 70,000. When I caught up with Corey Eide, the Deputy Director for Capabilities at TR, the timing was perfect to hear about the pivot the...


#67 James Madia - Southern California Edison

Utilities maintain some of the most critical infrastructure on the planet and a lot of work goes into making utilities stable, secure and resilient. In this epsiode, we speak with the manager of Southern California Edison's Emergency Operations Center to learn more about what one of the largest utilties in the U.S. does to achieve emergency management success.


#66 Rebecca Enberg - Unaffiliated Volunteers and Unsolicited Donations

If there's anything worse than seeing serious, unmet needs following disaster, it's seeing people and resources that can meet those needs, but having no efficient way to employ them. In this episode, we speak with the Volunteer Network Program Director at North Coast Opportunities, a very active community-based organization in Northern California that works, in part, with counties and cities to ensure the needs of disaster victims are matched to all practical offers of assistance.


#65 Yuri Graves - Training and Learning Management

With all that emergency managers must do to get their organizations ready for disaster, how much time can and should be invested in training? Yuri Graves, the emergency manager for the City of Henderson, NV, explains how much training plays a role in his program and how use of a learning management system makes for easier, more effective investments in training.


#64 Glenn Pomeroy - California Earthquake Authority

In September 2017, the National Flood Insurance Program received a 10-week reprieve from a $25 billion loan payment. The program is, quite literally, under water. In this episode, we speak with the CEO of another large, public, catastrophic loss insurer - the California Earthquake Authority - to hear how actuarial-based rates, only policy-holder financing and effective messaging is preparing millions of California homeowners for the next big earthquake.


#63 Thad Huguley - Legislative Advocacy

"Lobbying" may have become a dirty word, but legislative advocacy is nothing less than essential for emergency managers who rely on federal grants to operate local and state emergency management programs. In this episode, the Director of Government Relations for IAEM breaks down the business of legislative advocacy.


#62 Sheriff Kory Honea - Lake Oroville Spillway Incident

In January 2017, Lake Oroville operated like thousands of other flood control and water storage facilities in the US. Surrounding public safety agencies enjoyed good relations. A county EOP and dam EAP existed. Telephone trees were regularly tested. Occasional table-tops took place. All seemed good... then the atypical happened. In this episode of the Complete EM Podcast, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea walks us through the Lake Oroville Spillway Crisis and how mission focus, teamwork,...


#61 Joe Dougherty - Enhancing Public Information

What allows an EM program to enjoy good public relations? Joe Dougherty, the Public Information Officer for Utah's Division of Emergency Management says it has a lot to do with finding a relatable and trustworthy PIO, and earnestly integrating that person in program assessment and improvement, long before information needs to be shared with the public.


#60 Selina Hayes - Gender Equality in Emergency Management

Do we have gender equality in the emergency management profession? If not, what is a practical definition of equal, how are we measuring it and are we making good progress? How does gender equality affect our program outcomes? In this episode, Selina Hayes, a former emergency management consultant who now leads cutting-edge intelligence and security work across several continents, shares her experience, suggestions and hopes for gender equality.


#59 Josh Filler - Federal Fiscal Policy Insights

For this second of two episodes focused on Federal emergency management and homeland security funding, we hear from another veteran of such matters. Josh Filler was a legislative affairs director and office chief of staff in the NYC Mayor Giuliani administration before becoming the Director of State and Local Programs at the brand new Department of Homeland Security under President Bush. He continues to monitor and assess federal fiscal policy changes and their programatic impacts as he...


#58 Tim Manning - Federal EM Fiscal Policy

"Traditional normal" and "the new up is flat" are examples of terms and sayings used to express what's been happening to the U.S. Federal Government budget... stuff that's been far from normal for some time. With so much local and state success in emergency management riding on grants like EMPG, HSGP, PDM and others, we brought back old friend and former FEMA Deputy Administrator to discuss federal funding vehicles, processes and outcomes.


#57 Vinny Mata - Consolidated Law and Fire

Patrol officers putting on turn-outs, SCBAs and performing hose lays? Firefighters being held-over to secure perimeters and look for suspects? Qualifying at the range behind the fire apparatus bay? It's all part of consolidated fire and law operations at the Sunnyvale, California, Public Safety Department. In this episode, we learn how this happened and why it remains 60 years later.


#56 Vinny Mata - Situational Awareness and Common Operating Picture

The phrase "drinking from a fire hose" is often used to describe the tasks of establishing and maintaining situational awareness and common operating picture (SA/COP). In this episode, we dive deep into what work, processes, tools and people are needed to achieve this important and inherently complex operational objective.


#55 Luz Maria Rodriguez Robles - Vector Control

Tommy Lee Jones's character in the movie Men in Black said "There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet..." Be that as it may, in this episode, we discuss vector control with an important local partner we need to see more of in our planning, training, exercising and EOCs - your friendly neighborhood mosquito and vector control district.


#54 Steve Detwiler - EM Weekly Report

If there was an award to give to the person who has done more to share information each week with emergency managers, that award would probably go to Steve Detwiler. For over 17 years, he's been collecting, organizing and sharing a wide range of information and publishing it as the EM Weekly Report at In this episode, we find out what drives Steve to do this each week, how he determines what is newsworthy and how the presentation and consumption of news has changed in...


#53 Ed Flick - Emergency Managers & Green Berets

How does a previous career leading U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers (Green Berets) prepare one for the job of county emergency manager? You'll be surprised to hear the similarities one such officer sees in strategy, tactics, tools and day-to-day work after having served in both roles.