Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yes, Long-Term Recovery Does Need Coordination

I recently read an article from the Emergency Management website that I would encourage others to take a look at during the usual lull that precedes a new year. This article (Long Term Recovery Needs Coordination...) talks about long term recovery and the role that the public, private, and nonprofit sectors play in helping communities deal with the long-term effects of disasters. Stepping back from the points that were made I must say that I was pleased to see this issue being recognized by the emergency management community as a first step to dealing with the problem.

My experience in dealing with disasters is not extensive but when I've talked to people in the past about this issue it seems that the emergency management perspective has been historically slanted towards restoring vital operations rather than dealing with bigger issues (business and homeowner displacement, re-stabilizing community institutions such as schools and recreational leagues, etc). In other words we could say that they focused on Response, not Recovery. This is not necessarily a bad thing since the job description for emergency management professionals has traditionally been defined to deal with the event response but it has meant there has been a void where another set of individuals has to come in and lead the community to a "new normal" in the years after the disaster.

So now what? We have recognition from the emergency management sector of the issue and a national effort to come up with a framework to deal with recovery but what else is needed? I think we need to look at all of our communities in a prioritized fashion and make sure that they are ready to employ all of the 4 C's (Communication, Cooperation, Coordination, and Collaboration) in an effective way if they are hit by a disaster in the future. We won't have foolproof plans, but we will know how to adapt and deal with the unexpected in our communities.

I'd love to hear your questions, comments, and complaints on this post in the Comments section. I've somehow managed to get a few hits on the site yesterday so I'm going to assume that either someone out there has stopped by or the Google servers were just checking in. If you're an actual human leave me a note and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Using Twitter Lists

This is the first in a series of posts I'll be doing from time to time called Tips that will explain different tools and tricks that I use in my work.

For those of you that use Twitter I'd like to point a very useful tool that is now available for you to use.

As many of you know Twitter has become a big phenomenon as a way to instantly find out what's on the minds of people around the world . Recently Twitter has rolled out the ability to group the people you follow into lists. When this feature was added I decided to try and make a list of state emergency management offices to help me monitor disaster information across the country (my initial reason for signing up for Twitter in the first place.) Now I can easily group all of this info from the states so that I can view it on its own versus being mixed in with my general Twitter stream.

For more on the advantages on Twitter lists I suggest you check out this post on Mashable. Do you have an example of how you use Twitter lists? Feel free to share yours in the Comments section.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Welcome to my blog. As I started my work day yesterday it occurred to me just how close we are to the new year. I started thinking about personal growth and new opportunities and the idea of starting a blog rose above the surface. It wasn't the first time blog writing had crossed my mind but I decided to take action this time. You're currently reading the results.

This blog will deal with two topics of significant interest to me (recovery from disaster and urban planning) along with other related matters. I'm sure there are other websites that deal with these subjects but I hope to provide a unique perspective as well as spark some interesting dialog. I'll use future posts to talk about how I came

I used to think my opinion was of little consequence but getting an account on Twitter (@giovannitp) has proved to be a worthwhile exercise so far. We'll see how this goes.