Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the concept of critical infrastructure protection became a priority for the new homeland security effort. Considering the potential high costs of full protection, the term “resilience” was pushed to the forefront of discussions on recovery efforts within the United States. Government agencies, businesses, and organizations began to inject “resiliency” thinking and actions into their planning processes. Defining “resilience” across multiple sectors has been a challenge over the years and, in and of itself, does adequately describe what the nation as a whole must do to achieve greater resiliency.
The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy created a descriptive definition to clearly outline specific plans and actions that should be taken into account in order to achieve resilience: “A community’s or region’s ability to effectively prepare for, respond to, and successfully recover from a manmade or natural disaster, by having the ability to quickly: return citizens to work, minimize disruption to life and economies, reopen schools and businesses, and prevent and mitigate cascading failures, often characteristic of critical infrastructure impacts.”
Since September 2001, a lot of resources have been allocated to building a more resilient nation. Now, as the 10-year anniversary of those attacks approaches, emergency planners, responders, receivers, and other stakeholders across public, private, academia, as well as not-for-profit organizations, are evaluating the progress and advancements made to better protect communities and infrastructure and to have a more resilient nation.
DomPrep wants to know your opinion on the nation’s current state of “resilience” and the effectiveness of resiliency plans, emphasis placed on resilience, and the potential role for volunteers in supporting the resilience mission.
Kay C. Goss
Kay Goss is the President of World Disaster Management, LLC. Her emergency management work began 40 years ago, as senior assistant to two state governors coordinating fire service, emergency management, emergency medical services, public safety, and law enforcement for 12 years. She then served as the Associate Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director for National Preparedness, Training, Higher Education, Exercises, and International Partnerships (presidential appointee, U.S. Senate confirmed unanimously). She was a private sector government contractor for 12 years, at the Texas firm, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) as senior emergency manager and homeland security advisor and SRA International’s director of emergency management services. She currently serves as a nonprofit leader on the Board of Advisors for DRONERESPONDERS International and for the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management, and as graduate professor of Emergency Management at University of Nevada at Las Vegas for 16 years, İstanbul Technical University for 12 years, the MPA Programs Metropolitan College of New York for five years, and George Mason University. She has been a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) for 25 years and a Featured IAEM CEM Mentor for five years, and Chair of the Training and Education Committee for six years, 2004-2010. She is also on the Advisory Board for Domestic Preparedness.
Glen Rudner retired in 2022 as a manager of environmental operations for the Norfolk Southern (NS) Railway with environmental compliance and operations responsibilities in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Previously, he was the hazardous materials compliance officer for NS’s Alabama Division (covering Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and southwestern Tennessee). Prior to NS, he served as one of the general managers at the Security and Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colorado. He worked as a private consultant and retired as a hazardous materials response officer for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. He has nearly 42 years of experience in public safety. He spent 12 years as a career firefighter/hazardous materials specialist for the City of Alexandria Fire Department, as well as a former volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician, and officer. As a subcontractor, he served as a consultant and assisted in developing training programs for local, state, and federal agencies. He serves as secretary for the National Fire Protection Association Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials Response. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Hazardous Materials Committee, a member of the American Society of Testing and Materials, and a former co-chairman of the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition. He served as a member of the FEMA NAC RESPONSE Subcommittee.