Saturday, July 24, 2010

Topics For EM/HS Research

I attended the FEMA HIGHER ED conference in early June! The 13th and hopefully not the last since it principal advocate and steward Dr. Wayne Blanchard, PhD-History is now on long term sick leave and may retire this fall. I attended the conference with the intention of identification of both broad scope and also narrow technical issues that needed research by the Academic Community or even possible the nation's think tanks. Hoping that some smarter, faster, stronger and certainly younger will take on these topics. Also many are necessarily studied in a multidisciplinary manner and have elements of both policy and issue analysis within them.

So for better or worse--here is the list!

  1. I already have identified civil military relations in domestic civil crisis management and response. There are many sub-issues worthy of analysis as for example the staffing of the National Security Council often with military leadership and up to 2/3rds of its staffing serving officers.
  2. How does the WH do its crisis management in both domestic and foreign affairs. It seems to me that much is ad hoc and whether that is good or bad is unexamined.
  3. How do the principles and operations of the federal system assist or obstruct crisis management in the United States.
  4. How prepared really is DOD and the Armed Forces for a WMD event? Can it even assist the civil sector in any meaningful way?
  5. Why have so many studies been conducted of the National Guard and its various roles yet almost none of the US Coast Guard and the USACOE? Should they not be studied to reflect their actual roles and involvement in governance and civil government activities?
  6. The Public Health system is rapidly becoming a stove-piped system separate and apart from HS/EM! Is this a good or bad thing to be happening?
  7. What are the current civil response plans to various incidents/events and how do they relate? It is obvious that the effort to combine them has failed.
  8. Why is the FIRE SERVICE so isolated and remote from the policy debates on civil government crisis management and response in both Washington and the STATES?
  9. What is the actual condition and training and competence of the FIRE SERVICE to deal with an WMD incident/event?
  10. If DHS was granted regulatory authority and standard setting authority to ensure that basic standards of technical skills were met in the responder community what should the priority be?
  11. What exactly is the DHS/FEMA role in Warning, Alerting, Notification and how does that triad operate in a WEB 2.0 environment?
  12. Who at the federal, state, and local levels is expert in how to issue a PAR (Protective Action Recommendation) or a PAD (Protective Action Decision) to the General Public?
  13. How does each academic discipline conduct research on HS and EM and should this be stimulated both by the NAS and NRC by larger and more consistent grants?
  14. Is basic preparedness funding adequate? For governmental entities, for NGO's, for private sector profit making organizations? Who is really considering basic issues like long term grid failures and consequences? Both the generation side of the coin and the transmission side of the coin.
  15. With fewer than 10,000 practitioners and academicians working and studying EM is that an adequate basis for a country as large as the US or does this need improved financing and support in the US? This also raises the issue of the comparative analysis of how other countries do EM?
  16. Should DHS be as heavily politicized as it is with over 800 politically vetted positions most of whom have no background for their current jobs?
  17. The non-traditional National Security departments and agencies should be reviewed on an individual basis for their contributions to resilience of the nation and response. The highest priority should go to EPA, HHS, and DOE!
  18. How are academic materials for both EM and HS developed and distributed?
  19. What has really happened to the priorities of DHS since it was established, including cyber security and domestic intel, and WMD prevention and response?
  20. Is DHS a learning organization?
  21. Is the role of FEMA in DHS adequate for expectations about its performance in an unplanned large scale event?
Well eventually I plan to post over 100 topics but this is my starting list! Have fun and look forwards to seeing the research products and articles and books.

Oh and by the way this is all needed right NOW!