Radiological Emergency Response

HERE is a link to the published document superseding the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan [FRERP] published in the Federal Register originally in 1986!

I cannot speak to all the agencies that may be signatory to this document but as to FEMA it does not have the funding, staff, or technical expertise to conduct its role under this published MOA.

Whether other federal agencies [OFA] can do so remains to be seen. I also suggest that FEMA is unqualified to perform its designated role under E.O. 12657 published in November 1988.

Since I turn 70 on August 4th of this year perhaps this post reflects almost 25 years of frustration with the current radiological preparedness and response system.


Cf: Severe nuclear reactor accidents likely every 10 to 20 years, European study suggests (May 22, 2012) — Western Europe has the worldwide highest risk of radioactive contamination caused by major reactor accidents. Catastrophic nuclear accidents such as the core meltdowns in Chernobyl and Fukushima are more likely to happen than previously assumed. Based on the operating hours of all civil nuclear reactors and the number of nuclear meltdowns that have occurred, scientists have calculated that such events may occur once every 10 to 20 years (based on the current number of reactors) — some 200 times more often than estimated in the past. … > full story

Posted in Radiological Defense | 1 Comment

Published 2nd Edition of Claire Rubin’s Emergency Management: The American Experience

Claire’s second edition is out with some major reworking including a chapter on the 2011 BP catastrophe by Dr. Jack Harrald.  There is a disclaimer that none of the chapter authors are professional historians. Disclosure: I helped edit both this edition and the first one.

There are some additional disclaimers that might be added although the product is very helpful to me and others just because it fills so many knowledge gaps in the history of EM.

Will EM make it out of this century? Maybe maybe not.

What is of interest in the coverage of this book is the almost total absence of foreign disasters and catastrophes. Perhaps a conclusion could be reached that few have impacted EM in the USA although I would argue some have had impacts. Haiti and Fukishima in total have not had much impact on the USA and this Presidential administration has largely left those events orphan in the US policy field. Whether that was the correct position for the Obama Administration I leave to the future and the judgements of history.

There is almost no discussion of the impact of the military on civilian EM although those who pride themselves as EM are often former military and bring that culture to the subject.

Incorporation into DHS of FEMA has left apparently nothing to conclude in the long run about the impacts of that incorporation except the conclusion it hurt Hurricane Katrina response, although exactly how is largely undocumented. A statutory change effective in 2007, PKEMRA 2006, seems to have quieted FEMA advocates, although whether the “New” FEMA that all talk and write about is up to the level of a catastrophe is still unknown.  There is little discussion of recovery or mitigation in the new edition but gems to exist in the chapters from time to time.

Well in honor of the almost to begin 2012 Hurricane Season do you know how many hurricanes have made landfall in the continental USA since Obama became President?

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Australian Research Center

The Aussies have called for papers and reviewers on the following topics that to me look like a splendid effort for a book  to be entitled “The Future of Disaster Management”!

Here is the list:

Suggested Chapter Titles and Sub-themes:
• Understanding resilience and looking at management systems that provide for resilience;

• Circumvention strategies following an incident and their role in critical infrastructure protection so as to provide operational resilience;

• Differentiating the circumvention (immediate response) and long-term recovery zones (periods) of disaster management, and allowing smooth transition from the circumvention mode to the recovery mode;

• Use of simulation for disaster management;

• Public sector involvement in disaster management inclusive of local government inputs and international participation;

• Private sector involvement in disaster management inclusive of providing infrastructure for information flow, materials and sustenance provision, security, transport;

• Frameworks for large-scale disaster management;

• Frameworks for smaller-scale disaster and incident management;

• Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and similar remote monitoring facilities for disaster management;

• Critical infrastructure protection definition;

• International trends in disaster response and management;

• Dedicated Information Systems for enhancing response and effectiveness of DM activities;

• The role of NGO’s in DM;

• Politics involved in disaster response and management;

• The reality between the all-hazards rhetoric and the government response to single hazard inquiries;

• Best practice in disaster inquiry staff and processes;

• The different response by the public to standard emergencies and large scale-disasters;

• The role of social media in disasters;

• Establishing protocols and information sharing systems with the main-stream media

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DHS Key positions updated!

This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

  • Assistant Secretary, Office of Cyber Security and Communications, Michael Locatis
  • Assistant Secretary, Infrastructure Protection, Caitlin Durkovich
  • Assistant Secretary, Office of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Alan Bersin

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Water, Water Everywhere But Not a Drop to Drink?

In February the DNI [Director National Intelligence] produced a fascinating report on water issues. Go to:

Posted in WATER | 1 Comment

India Passes Japan as World’s 3rd Largest Economy!

According to the IMF, the European Union has the largest GDP, worth $15.8 trillion, followed by the United States with $15 trillion, China with $11.3 trillion, and India now narrowly ahead of Japan, with $4.458 trillion against $4.44 trillion. In per capita terms, of course, the U.S. and Japan are far ahead of the two Asian giants: U.S. (sixth in the world), $48,387; Japan (24th), $34,740; China (92nd), $8,382; India (129th), $3,694 (all in PPP).

These are all measured in so-called Purchasing Power which is a concept somewhat unfamiliar to me.

A recent full article in Japan Times predicts that before mid-century Japan will be only the world’s 9th largest economy. I had predicted on this blog that Japan would be out of the top ten by the end of the century.  A mere 88 years off now!

Posted in Demographics and Social Vulnerability | 1 Comment

Brennan and the US Drone Program!

John Brennan, a product of the CIA culture and career, before several audiences has defended the Administrations use of drones in the GWOT [a banned phrase that I still use]! Although not a lawyer he defends the legality of these operations under US law including the Constitution and International Law.

The purpose of this post is to reflect on the fact that I agree with those arguing exactly the opposite and that drone usage should long ago have resulted in an Article of Impeachment being introduced in the US House of Representatives.

And a US Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed cases pending against John Yoo for his opinion writing in the Bush DoJ/OLC. This is as it should be but he should have been fired not for the opinions but failing to describe fully all the legal considerations in allowing usage of torture in the GWOT.

The failures of the legal profession are deep during this GWOT and time will prove my correctness IMO.  I highly recommend, even for non-lawyers, the blog!

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