By Liam O’Brien
Six years ago, on January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. The devastation was extensive: 220,000 people died and 300,000 were injured. Learn about AMU professor Liam O'Brien's work with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the challenges the agency faced trying to make its information available.
On July 12, a civilian-operated drone forced firefighters battling a 35-acre wildfire in Southern California to ground supporting air tankers. This was the fourth such incident in a month where a drone disrupted firefighting efforts in California. These civilian-operated drones pose significant dangers for firefighting operations.
However, the use of drones by the fire service holds many potential benefits. “Drones would be a generous increase in our capabilities regarding communication, safety, and command and control,” said Captain Peter Jensen, a 26-year wildland firefighter with the Ventura County Fire Department in California. Learn more about how unmanned aerial systems (UAS) could assist firefighters fight wildfires.
It has been five years since an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico failed causing one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. The emergency and disaster response to this spill had to be both immediate and sustained as the uncapped oil well, owned by BP, released an estimated 4.2 million barrels of oil for 87 straight days.
In this this podcast, Dr. Chris Reynolds, who was an EDM liaison with the U.S. Coast Guard and worked closely with the clean-up crews, provides insight about the lessons learned and the impacts on future disaster preparedness planning.
By Richard Pera, Dean of the School of Security and Global Studies at American Military University
If you ask someone from Louisiana to characterize the federal government’s response to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, you would likely receive a viscerally negative reaction. Indeed, commenting on the post-Katrina response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a spokesperson for Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco uttered these now famous and often-quoted words in a New York Times article: “We wanted soldiers, helicopters, food, and water… They wanted to negotiate an organizational chart.”
Fast forward seven years for a very different assessment of the federal government’s response—this time to Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New Jersey coast.
By Leischen Stelter
During his 30-year career as a firefighter, George Munkenbeck has been involved in many disaster response and recovery efforts. But when Superstorm Sandy hit his hometown of West Sayville, N.Y. in October 2012, the flooding was far beyond anything he had seen in his fire district and in the surrounding areas.