Posts Tagged 'Disasters'

Preparing for Disasters and Terrorism

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Systems and Information Engineering Colloquium

1:30 – 2:45 pm

Olsson 011 , University of Virginia

Preparing for Disasters and Terrorism: Observations, current Federal programs and opportunities for improving preparedness

Mark A. Kirk, MD; Medical Director, UVA Medical Simulation Center; Associate Professor, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics

Preparedness and resilience are keys to surviving disasters.  Preparing for and responding to large-scale chemical accidents and acts of terrorism present significant problems for communities.  In order to save lives, communities, states and Federal government need a synergic, comprehensive overarching strategic plan.  In addition, the key elements for success include promoting a culture of preparedness, breaking down the silos, creating an interconnected, information sharing response community and training through realistic rehearsal.  History clearly identifies expected challenges we will face in a disaster.  We must understand these challenges more thoroughly through research and develop innovative processes to confront them.  This session is intended to provide an overview of challenges during disasters, a description of the elements of the emergency response system and an opportunity to discover potential collaborative research endeavors.

Mark Kirk is a board certified emergency medicine and medical toxicology physician with extensive field experience in prehospital medicine, emergency medicine, critical care toxicology, large-scale hazardous materials and chemical terrorism incident response, mass gathering medical care and disaster medicine.  He has extensive teaching experience with innovative technologies and traditional modalities.  He led the creation of several academic medical education programs including the development of the UVA Medical Simulation Center.  He recently completed a four-year tour with the Federal government where he created and led the Chemical Defense Program within the Department of Homeland Security.  He operates extensively across the Federal interagency and regional and state levels regarding public health preparedness.

Beware — Pride Goes Before a Fall

Technological “Hubris” Leads To Disasters, Experts Say.

The AP (7/12, Borenstein) reports on a “familiar” scenario: first there is “a technological disaster, then a presidential commission examining what went wrong,” then “a discovery that while technology marches on, concern for safety lags. Technology isn’t as foolproof as it seemed.” A “common thread” in these disasters, including the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig – “which the new presidential oil spill commission will be looking for – often is technological arrogance and hubris…the belief by those in charge that they’re the experts, that they know what they’re doing is safe. Add to that the human weaknesses of avoidance, greed and sloppiness, say academics who study disasters.” Bob Bea, a UC Berkeley engineering professor and disaster expert, “categorizes disasters into four groups.” Bea believes BP falls into a group in which “an organization simply ignores warning signs through overconfidence and incompetence.” The article also quotes analysis by experts from Rutgers, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Rice and Stanford.

Reposted from ASEE First Bell for July 12, 2010

Oil Spill and Restoration Info

Looking for authoritative information about oil spills, clean-up and restoration?  Give this resource a try:

Resources on Oil Spills, Response and Restoration: a Selected Bibliography

This is listed on the NOAA Central Library Subject Guides and Bibliographies page, along with numerous others:

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