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The MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management
Disaster Central
MCNY's Emergency and Disaster Management Blog

Joe Flood of “The Fires”

November 16, 2010

Metropolitan of New York (MCNY) MPA Emergency & Disaster Management announces reading/talk with book author Joe Flood (joe-flood.com) of “The Fires on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 from 6-8 PM at 431 Canal Street – Room 11K.

A former Bronx-based journalist examines the epidemic of fires that swept New York City in the 1960s and ’70s. Flood focuses on John O’Hagan, the fire commissioner who presided over the worst of “the Wars,” as the era is known in FDNY lore. Ambitious and self-educated, O’Hagan came up from the ranks to become the youngest chief in the department’s history.

When reformer John Lindsay was elected mayor in 1966, O’Hagan, who strongly believed in the use of statistics and systems analysis to organize the department, became one of his leading allies. The new mayor sought the advice of the RAND Corporation, the legendary think tank that had made its reputation analyzing nuclear warfare for the Air Force. On the surface, it was a perfect alliance. RAND needed new clients, Lindsay needed a blueprint for rational government and O’Hagan needed support for his ideas for making firefighting a scientific discipline. But as Flood shows, the reformers’ characteristic weakness was a lack of the local knowledge that had been the bread and butter of the machine politicians they had ousted.

The author writes that harried fire captains, given stopwatches to time how long it took their men to reach a fire scene, often lost or broke them, then submitted figures they thought made them look good. RAND whiz kids used simplified formulas to analyze the flawed data they received. O’Hagan, eager to help Lindsay cut the city’s bloated budget, used the RAND results to close down firehouses he already ‘knew’ were underperforming-which often turned out to be the ones where union leaders were based.

Flood casts a wide net, looking into New York machine politics, the development of systems analysis, the dynamics of urban growth and an array of unexpected byways of NYC history. While his conclusions perhaps go to far in generalizing from the excesses of Lindsay and RAND to condemn liberal reformers as a group, Flood provides a riveting look inside one of the most challenging eras of recent NYC history. Important reading for anyone who cares about cities and how they are governed.” -Kirkus

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Disaster Central is also a resource for information relating to MCNY’s MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, as well as providing insight and commentary on the topics of Disaster Management, Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

ABC-TV’s coverage of MCNY’s Haiti Effort

October 19, 2010

MCNY-EDM program prepares students from Haiti to help rebuild their earthquake-stricken country.

ABC-TV’s coverage of MCNY’s Haiti Effort

NEW YORK (WABC) – Several Haitian nationals who survived that catastrophic earthquake are now here and learning about disaster relief.

The hope is that they can teach others how to prepare for unforeseeable tragedies.

“Suddenly, the earthquake happened and I said, ‘oh, my God,’” Elie Jerome explained.

Jerome was at his office job, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti when last year’s earthquake devastated his country.

“There (are) too many people that have been dying because we don’t know what to do and how to do,” he said.

Jerome is working toward a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management at Metropolitan College of New York. The 16-month course began this semester, and includes five other hand-picked Haitian nationals on full scholarships.

“We were looking for people who had a commitment to return to Haiti and in the mitigation of future disasters,” said Vinton Thompson, college president of MCNY.

Ingrid St. Fermin was not in Haiti during the earthquake, but some of her relatives lost their homes and a close cousin lost his life.

“The roof fell on his head and he died at the same moment,” she said.

The course covers how emergency responders should handle both natural and man-made disasters.

Those involved with this course were happy to share it because they believe in it, and because they want all of us to remember that the story of the earthquake in Haiti is not over.

“I am learning here, so I don’t know what will happen later, tomorrow. But I have that feeling, that determination that I will do a good job in Haiti,” St. Fermin said.

The college hopes to help place the graduates in key positions in Haiti.

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Disaster Central is also a resource for information relating to MCNY’s MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, as well as providing insight and commentary on the topics of Disaster Management, Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

September is National Preparedness Month

September 23, 2009

September is National Preparedness Month – Here’s where you can go to register your organization to Become a Coalition Member  http://ready.adcouncil.org/.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Disaster Preparedness. Comments Off

Disaster Central is also a resource for information relating to MCNY’s MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, as well as providing insight and commentary on the topics of Disaster Management, Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Why More Men Die in Floods

June 25, 2008

In its June 24, 2008, edition, TIME Magazine published an interesting article by Senior Writer Amanda Ripley titled, “Why More Men Die in Floods.”  Disaster Central encourages its readers to read this article as it contains a number of valuable points concerning the relationship between gender and survivability.  The article can be accessed at:  http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1817603,00.html

For some time, we’ve recognized a connection between social/economic class and survivability - now there appears to be further evidence to support a connection between gender and survivability.  Are men less prepared than women?  Or are these statistics due to the fact that many first responders are male, and therefore more likely to die while carrying out their duties?  It has been suggested that many emergency management preparedness programs be directed at females as they most often play an integral role in protecting children during emergency situations – does this lead to an unintended gender imbalance in the preparedness and response matrices?

Disaster Central invites your comments.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Disaster Preparedness, Evacuation. Comments Off

Disaster Central is also a resource for information relating to MCNY’s MPA program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, as well as providing insight and commentary on the topics of Disaster Management, Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

 

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