How Can You Prepare For the Next Natural Disaster?

As natural disasters grow in frequency and severity, how can local government entities, organizations and even your family prepare? It’s difficult to be prepared for every scenario; however, there are things we can do to be ready. And while most experts would agree that gathering information ahead of time is a worthwhile endeavor, in the heat of the moment your best tools are agility and innovation.

Agility and innovation are two of the key takeaways that former Chief Innovation Advisor at FEMA, Desi Matel-Anderson, wants you to remember in the “heat of the moment.” On Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 11:55 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. on the Demo Stage at ICUEE in Louisville, Kentucky, Anderson will share lessons learned and how technology and real-time problem solving has aided in disaster response and recovery. Her deployment experiences include Hurricane Harvey, Typhoon Haiyan, Nepal earthquakes, Hurricane Sandy and countless other disaster responses in tornado, mudslide and flood regions.

“Disasters are multi-issues and we can’t always predict all of the issues that will arise,” said Matel-Anderson. “When working with governments or other organizations, I employ a simple framework to help us innovate in real-time.

“Three steps help you to get a jump on any situation you face. I’ll have groups I work with ask themselves: What problem am I solving? Who am I helping and why? And how can I make this happen?”

Matel-Anderson shared that in any emergency you might have several problems to solve. This framework helps you pinpoint the most urgent problems, recognize who needs help right now and what they need.

“I have seen the craziest ideas spark the most realistic and effective solutions,” Matel-Anderson said. “You can use the 3-Step Prep chart on any problem and practicing it will be your best preparation for emergencies.”

After her presentation, Matel-Anderson, who currently serves as the “Chief Wrangler” for the Field Innovation Team (FIT), will facilitate a discussion featuring experts sharing lessons learned from a utility company affected by Hurricane Irma, heavy equipment distributor wrangling equipment for recovery from Hurricanes Harvey and Maria and a developer building alternative utility infrastructure models that work to weather the storm. Panelists include Rob Blackadar, VP of Operations, BlueLine Rental and Jeff Prim, President SE Division, Willbros Utility T&D.

Advance or on-site registration for ICUEE is required to see Disasters taskforce: preparing for what's next. Your registration includes admission to ICUEE from Oct. 3-5, 2017.

More about FIT:

FIT empowers humans to create cutting-edge disaster solutions. FIT has been responding to disasters since 2010. In its early days, FIT operated as a grassroots group working together for neighborhood disaster resilience. Now a non-profit, FIT volunteers from across the globe deploy to disasters and work on disaster risk reduction and resiliency efforts. Past work in disasters includes Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 2013 Moore, OK tornadoes, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Philippines typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and the 2014 mudslide in Oso, WA. FIT has also worked with refugee children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras in the USA as result of the unaccompanied migrant minor crisis. In 2012, FIT’s projects include collaboration with FEMA to redesign its Disaster Recovery Centers and development of the concept that later became FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance Program.

More about ICUEE:

The AEM-owned ICUEE, International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition is known as The Demo Expo for its equipment test drives and interactive product demonstrations. It is the leading event for utility professionals and construction contractors seeking comprehensive insights into the latest industry technologies, innovations and trends.

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 950 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related sectors worldwide.

Posted: 9/28/2017 6:07:11 PM