Catastrophic incident planning by design jim greer


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Jim Greer, Vice President of Strategic Leadership and Design at Abrams Learning and Information Systems, Inc. (ALIS) presented at the 2013 World Disaster Management Conference. In this presentation, Jim discusses the use of Design Methodology for Catastrophic Incident Planning. To learn more about Design Thinking, the application of Design Methodology, and Planning, visit us at

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  • How the Federal Government deals with an IND incident, both leading up to and after an actual detonation, will have profound effects on the view and role of American governance in the future. Policy decisions taken in terms of Federal authorities; roles of State, local, and Tribal jurisdictions; and treatment of private citizens, organizations, and business will all affect the relationship between government and citizenry and have long-term impacts.Economic Impacts. The economic shock of an IND incident will dwarf that following the September 11, 2001, attacks. Not only will the actual cost of response, recovery, and remediation be measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, there will also be cascading economic impacts that may include recession, severe adverse impact on global markets and commerce, and the opportunity costs of reacting to and overcoming the IND incident.Social and Cultural Impacts. There will be a backlash against whatever group is determined to have initiated the IND attack. The call for revenge against the group responsible will be challenging for the United States Government to overcome. The call for retribution and punishment to ensure that such an attack never occurs again will be widespread. Moreover, how individuals, families, and social groups conduct themselves after an IND attack may significantly threaten American institutions and principles, including the rule of law.Health/Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The long-term health impacts of the IND attack, including radiation-induced illnesses, will affect responders and large portions of the population across all demographic groups and across a large region for years after the event. Additionally, major portions of the United States’ population will suffer from PTSD, placing additional stresses on portions of the healthcare system.Long-Term Recovery and Remediation. The goal of restoring life to the standards and conditions that existed before the IND incident may very well never be realized. The occurrence of an IND incident on American soil will likely scar the American psyche in ways that are difficult to overcome. Unlike the air bursts at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the radiation effects of a ground burst may be such that the detonation area cannot be reoccupied for decades. If cleanup is even possible, remediation of the affected area will be significant and will be measured in decades and trillions of dollars.
  • Catastrophic incident planning by design jim greer

    1. 1. Catastrophic Incident Planning by Design James K. Greer (913) 775-0309 The Worldwide Conference on Disaster Management Toronto, CA June 24, 2013 1 © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    2. 2. What Makes an Incident Catastrophic ?  Extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption  Severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions.  Sustained national impacts over a prolonged period of time  Almost immediately exceeds resources normally available to State, local, tribal, and private-sector authorities  Significantly interrupts governmental operations and emergency services  To such an extent that national security could be threatened The Book Says: Magnitude and Effects 2 © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    3. 3.  Every catastrophic incident is unique  Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill was not Exxon Valdez  Hurricanes IKE/GUSTAV was not KATRINA/RITA  Responding to and preparing for simultaneous disasters (The New Norm)  Earthquake plus Tsunami plus nuclear reactor failure  Oil Spill plus Hurricane  4 disaster types for planning  No notice disasters (earthquake, terrorism, HAZMAT)  Short notice – Anticipated (Typhoon, wildfire, floods)  Short notice –Unanticipated (Terrorism, H1N1 Spring 09)  Continuous (Port Security, organized criminality, disaster recovery)  Failure of Imagination (3 trailer tornado vs Joplin or Moore) What Makes an Incident Catastrophic ? Experience Says: Surprise and Simultaneity 3 © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    4. 4. 1o Effects: Catastrophic Detonation Effects • Blast, radiation, fire, EMP • Immediate in effect; lasting in duration What Makes an Incident Catastrophic: Cascading Effects 2o Effects: Indirect Effects •Destruction, disorganization, disruption • Downwind Fallout effects • Loss/disruption of services (CIKR) • Affect response efforts 3o Effects: Operational Effects •Multi-State/Regional impacts • Multi-functional (ESF) • Life sustaining • Nationwide prevent/protect • Affect recovery efforts 1o 2o 3o 2o 3o 4o Effects: Strategic Effects • Policy/Governmental • Economic • Environmental • Social/Cultural • Health/PTSD • Long-term recovery/remediation For instructional purposes only 4 © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    5. 5. 5 Challenges of Catastrophic Incidents  Concurrent mission sets –  Prevent, protect, respond, recover, and mitigate  Simultaneous operations at strategic & tactical levels  Against diverse threats and hazards  Combining Emergency Management and Public Safety  High tempo environment –  Compressed plan, coordinate, execute, and adapt  Complexity of information sharing –  Difficulty achieving public sector common operating picture  Horizontal and vertical  Public and private sector information sharing  Establish a user defined operating picture (UDOP)  Information systems saturation Managing catastrophic incidents requires Conceptual planning to solve and manage complex problems And detailed planning for execution “The Scream” by Edvard Munch © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    6. 6. A broad Conceptual Component: “How to “Think Strategically” about a set of problems” • A conceptual methodology for structuring thinking and learning • A strategic thinking construct for “Problem Management” The Detailed Planning Component: “What to Think about a set of problems” • Translates broad concepts into a complete and practical plan – “Problem Solving” • Allows for the near precise “Tactical” application of resources & action • National Incident Management System and Incident Command System Planning Consists of Two Separate But Interrelated Components Design is an Approach to the Conceptual Component that informs all mission areas © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    7. 7. What is Design? Definition: Design is an approach to critical and creative thinking that enables a community to understand, visualize and describe complex, ill-structured problems and develop approaches to solve them.  Terrorism, man-made and natural threats and hazards are generally complex, ill-structured problems.  Critical thinking enables examining an environment and problem in depth and from many points of view  Creative thinking involves thinking in new, innovative ways while capitalizing on imagination, insight and novel ideas  Design enables detailed and crisis action planning by enabling the team to understand, visualize and describe the environment (context), the problem and potential solutions © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    8. 8. Environmental Space Problem Space Solution SpaceAssessment Space Adaptation Space Think, Learn, Understand, & Act in 5 Spaces simultaneously Transilient - Passing abruptly or leaping from one thing or condition to another – Non-Linear Thinking The Design Methodology © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    9. 9. Capture The Difference 11 Understand the Logic of the Guidance The Design Methodology in Action © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    10. 10. Framing A perspective from which we can understand and act on a complex, ill- structured problem. Provides guideposts for analyzing, understanding and acting Framing Facilitates: • Scoping • Hypothesizing • Modeling Framing Involves: • Selecting • Organizing • Interpreting • Sensing © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    11. 11. 11 Framing the Environment Using a Systems Approach Infrastructure Health Care Public Safety Government Economic Response Capabilities Population Culture Media External Stakeholders Geography & Weather Major City/Region System Frame © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    12. 12. Desired End State First Responders Support of The People Military Forces Political Leadership Law Enforcement Terrorist Cells Limited Budgets Natural Hazards Bureaucratic Inertia Weather & Geography Conflicts Tensions Frictions Comprehensively Understanding the Problem A “tug of war” between everything that helps us respond and recover And everything that challenges those actions © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    13. 13. Framing and Re-framing Hurricane Katrina eclipsed the limits of tolerance for disasters The Reframe Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    14. 14. Design and the Planning Process Phase 1 Understand The Situation Phase 2 Goals and Objectives Phase 3 Plan Development Phase 4 Plan Preparation Phase 5 Plan Refinement © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    15. 15. 15 Coordinated Planning vs Integrated Planning StateAStateBStateC Coordinated plans are like acquaintances… Integrated plans are like long term relationships. © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    16. 16. 16 Coordinated Planning… “Out of many – many” • Stakeholders plan for and react to their immediate problem • Reveals interdependencies only in crisis • Solution sets are stove-piped and tactically focused • Resources are over committed or under committed Integrated Planning… “Out of many – one” • Sets conditions for solving simultaneous complex problems • Enables unity of effort and mutually reinforcing actions • Overcomes cascading tactical, regional and strategic effects • Strengthens synchronization and limited resource prioritization Coordinated Planning vs Integrated Planning Design enables integrated planning © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    17. 17. Design and Preparedness © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    18. 18. 18 Value of Integrated Plans Ensures common and accepted understanding of: • The environment in which threats and hazards will be encountered • Complex problem sets that make up the New Norm • Solutions the Region’s States, Cities and Counties can and will adopt Enables adaptive crisis action planning based on integrated plans Fosters effective oversight, coordination and communication • Enhancing unity of effort and information sharing • Across the Region; horizontally and vertically Enables effective preparedness and timely regional response • Identifies regional objectives/priorities; defines authorities/policies • Ensures field response/recovery organization in place and capable • Identifies, obtains, and allocates essential resources and capabilities • Considers (continuously and in-stride) future recovery requirements Design enables Integrated Planning © 2013 Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.
    19. 19. Catastrophic Incident Planning by Design James K. Greer (913) 775-0309 The Worldwide Conference on Disaster Management Toronto, CA June 24, 2013 19