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

MCNY/EDM Purpose 3 CA class presented to faith leaders in Brooklyn

March 8, 2013

By Michelle Johnson – The group met at Wyckoff Hospital and discussed family, community, and organizational preparedness.  The presentation was followed by an active discussion, where the community demonstrated their need for this information and desire to learn more.  The class provided practical information and resources in the languages spoken in these communities.  This presentation was the first step in a three-semester long project, with the goal of building community resilience.IMG_5597 IMG_5602

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Posted by Ali Gheith in Disaster Central. Comments Off

Ali Gheith is the Director of MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management at Metropolitan College of New York.

FEMA L363 course, “Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education.” Hosted at MCNY

March 4, 2013

From February 5-7 2013, Metropolitan College of New York hosted the three-day FEMA course, “Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education.” Nearly over a dozen colleges and universities from within the Tri-State area attended. The instructors used highly interactive presentations coupled with numerous individual and small-group practice activities and class exercises to ensure that participants developed a high level of mastery.

Group picture of the participants and instructors of the FEMA L363 course hosted at MCNY in February, 2013

Group picture of the participants and instructors of the FEMA L363 course hosted at MCNY in February, 2013

The course was specifically designed to highlight the importance of an emergency plan that meets the unique needs of an Institution of Higher Education. In addition, the instructors guided attendees on how to identify hazards that presented risks for Institutions of Higher Education; provided suggestions on creating partnerships with stakeholders; the steps necessary to identifying and assembling a planning team; the process involved in developing or revising a multi-hazard Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) in addition to developing and implementing a strategy for training and testing the EOP and shared some lessons learned on how to engage the academic community in the essential elements of emergency planning.

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Posted by Ali Gheith in Disaster Central. Comments Off

Ali Gheith is the Director of MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management at Metropolitan College of New York.

S.M.A.R.M.I.E and MHMT Presents: Social Media And Response Management Interfacing Event

October 3, 2012

UPDATE: Due to the severity of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, most of our participants are actively involved in Disaster Response efforts. As such, we have decided to postpone SMARMIE (Social Media and Response Management Interfacing Event) to a date in March 2013. We will provide more information when a formal date is selected. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

S.M.A.R.M.I.E. Logo

November 8th, 2012
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Metropolitan College of New York

11th Floor Conference Center
431 Canal Street
New York, NY 10013

Who should Attend?
Anyone in the private or public sector involved in Emergency Management or Continuity Planning. Any senior level first responder who is trying to get a handle on what the Social Media benefit is for their organization. Any leader of an organization concerned with maximizing branding and minimizing legal complications due to the ubiquity of this new SM phenomenon. Any graduate student in Emergency Management, interested in employment opportunities in this specialized area of disaster communication, planning, and education. And of course, anyone who wants to improve the survivability of individuals and first responders during disaster events.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Events, MCNY EDM Program. 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.

Third Annual Rutledge Scholarship

May 3, 2011

In June 2008, The School of Management, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), initiated the annual Philip J. Rutledge Scholarship. The award goes to a MPA student (who exhibits both scholarship and leadership in the field of Public Administration).

The late Phil Rutledge was an icon in Public Administration. Former (and first African American) ASPA President,  Phil spent 32 years in academia as a professor and administrator. He was Professor-Emeritus of Political Science and Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University;  Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Administration at Howard University’s School of Business and Public Administration. Phil also was a Presidential appointee and senior executive in the U.S. government under Presidents Johnson and Nixon.

There are three MCNY Rutledge recipients since its inception. Ms. Linda Barnes, was the initial recipient of the Rutledge Scholarship. Mr. Michael Massiah, Director, Management and Budget Department, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (former member ASPA National Council and Committee on Minorities in Public Administration/COMPA, Past President) present the Rutledge award (a 2 credit stipend) at MCNY’2008l Pi Alpha Alpha ceremony. MCNY President Vinton Thompson agreed to issue the “annual credit waiver” in honor of the late Philip NJ. Rutledge. The 2009 recipient was Ms. Shirley Bryant and the 2010 recipient was Ms. Heidi Ledgister.

Ms. Barnes is Executive Director NYC Managerial Employees Association. Ms. Bryant is an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at the College of New Rochelle. Ms. Ledgister  is a staff specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Individual Giving in the Office of Development and is Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at Metropolitan College of New York.

Michael Massiah said, “I was honored to be asked by MCNY to present their Rutledge Scholarship to such deserving students and to witness their pride for being acknowledged with an award named in tribute to Phil Rutledge. One of the most memorable moments of the ceremony were the comments of the recipients after receiving their awards.  Each of the honorees  indicated how much they were inspired by Phil’s numerous accomplishments and motivated to be the best public servants possible because of Phil’s commitment to helping to improve the quality of life for all both here and abroad.”

For more information on the Rutledge scholarship please contact: Dr. Philip M. Dodd-Nufrio ()

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Posted by Disaster Central in Scholarship. 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.

A Conversation with Kay

December 30, 2010

By Matthew Ricci-

MCNY President Vinton Thompson, Dean Humphrey Crookendale, and Program Director Ali Gheith, welcomed a small number of students and faculty members from the MPA in Emergency & Disaster Management (EDM) program, who had the pleasure of being part of an intimate conversation with Kay Goss, CEM—the former Associate Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Ms. Goss made herself available to members of the program to give the opportunity to share the work of our faculty and students, and give some feedback to how we can further develop our program.

Those in attendance included Professors Chuck Frank, Mick Maurer, Lorraine Motola, and Johnny Velez. The students in attendance were Bibi Leslie, Matthew Ricci, and Dilshad Jafarly, who were joined by alum Matthew Khaled, CEM. All were very grateful, not only for her having taken the time, but in her approachable demeanor and thoughtful advice – backed by years of pioneering the professionalization of the field.

At FEMA Kay Goss was in-charge of the National Preparedness, Training and Exercises Directorate, a position she held from 1994, when appointed by President Clinton, until 2001. She is currently the Senior Advisor for Emergency Management and Continuity Programs at SRT International, and has served as an adjunct professor at many institutions, including the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Ms. Goss who is very enthused about international programs also teaches at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in person and via distance learning. Additionally, Ms. Goss is the Chair of the Education and Training Committee and member of the CEM Commission of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

The conversation started with an explanation of MCNY’s history as a program, starting with the creation of the curriculum after the 9/11 attacks, up to present day. Faculty and students discussed the program’s long term aspirations, history of overseas class projects in Israel, and future projects in Chile, England, and other countries. Ms. Goss shared the enthusiasm in further developing the program, and offered her own anecdotes about the history of education and professionalization in emergency management. The discussion was also about the successes of our six (6) international students that were brought over from Haiti to obtain an advanced degree in emergency management to implement academic concepts and theories in a practical setting once they return (to Haiti) with new skills and tools to help in the recovery effort and other phases of Comprehensive Emergency Management.

Ms. Goss also took the time to connect with each student in the room, beginning with very helpful advice of how to approach our Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credentialing. She gave excellent advice to one student who had recently found success in creating a Business Continuity program at her organization.  This author personally benefited from her generous support with advice concerning documenting and publishing an upcoming trip to Hospital Bernard Mevs, a trauma/critical care hospital in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

With the program’s leadership constantly looking to stay current and find new approaches for ongoing development of the EDM program, the take away from such an accomplished and helpful woman as Ms. Goss was an extremely beneficial experience.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Emergency Management Planning, Emergency Preparedness, Government, Homeland Security, Interview, MCNY EDM Program. 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.

Joe Flood of “The Fires” – Part II

December 8, 2010

Joe Flood - The Fires

“Standing on the roof or floor above a blaze is the most dangerous place a fireman can position himself. Before the terrorists attacks of September 11th, 2001, the deadliest day in the history of the Fire Department of New York came when the first floor of a brownstone apartment building collapsed into a burning basement below, killing twelve firemen. Most of the deadliest blazes for American firefighters… were all collapses. But getting above the fire is precisely what the “Truckies” of a ladder company like Billy O’Connor’s do for a living.” –Joe Flood, The Fires


Chris Horan — On Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010, book author Joe Flood stood at a podium in the front of a packed room at Metropolitan College of New York, reading from the first chapter of his book, The Fires. His audience was composed of Emergency Management students and professors from the graduate program at MCNY, as well as visiting guests from the field.

The opening chapter of the book, from which Mr. Flood was reading, tells the story of a city in turmoil and its’ firefighters during a period of history the FDNY refers to as “The War Years”. During this period, budgetary limitations, mistakes, and corruption left the city vulnerable to a plague of fires which turned areas, including large portions of the South Bronx, to ashy rubble. The city was struggling to manage and contain fires, poverty, crime, and outbreaks of disease. At that time the city was in the early stages of using computational analysis to make policy decisions, with The Fires taking a look at the work of the RAND Corporation and the role it played.

Putting down the text, Flood points out that he originally was motivated to look into the possibility of racism being behind the politics that allowed so many fires to burn, but that as he researched more deeply, he found that truth to be far less complicated; it was political ineptitude. The use of computational analysis is important, he argued that policy decisions cannot be based on numbers alone; they lack “humanity and context”. Flood found that a “utopian, machinistic policy”, wherein computers could solve all of mankind’s trouble, was in vogue at the time. Use of these new ideas and techniques to counteract the policies of poor spending, left effects that can still be seen in the five boroughs today, in neighborhoods that never truly recovered.

The evenings’ discussion touched on race, politics, disease, pestilence, firefighting procedure, and economics from a period in time many modern New Yorkers may have forgotten. The dark times for the city in the 1960’s and 1970’s cannot be summed up in one book, though the smell of charred wood and ruined lives rises from the very pages of Joe Flood’s work. However, standing before his attentive audience, Mr. Flood was able to give life to a reality modern New Yorkers, in this field and others, hope never to see again.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Disaster Central, Events, Government. 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.

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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Posted by Disaster Central in Disaster Central, Disaster Preparedness, Emergency Management Planning, Events, Natural Disasters. 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.

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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Posted by Disaster Central in Disaster Preparedness, Emergency Management Planning, MCNY EDM Program, Natural Disasters, Videos. 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.

Public Safety/Homeland Security Symposium

October 18, 2010

A small contingency of Purpose 1 students attended the first-ever Public Safety/Homeland Security symposium held on October 5, 2010, at the mid-town Hilton.

Emergency and Disaster Management (EDM) students: Fritz Clairvil, Maybelle Jadotte, Shafiq Munir attended, along with Professor Lorraine Motola, who was representing DOHMH. Two other students in attendance had this to say about the event:

“The future of public safety depends greatly on technological advancements in telecommunication”–-Ishoma John-Peters

The technologies of today bring the tools of empowerment into the hands and minds of those who use them. My lesson for the day.”—Richard Ricks

While at the symposium, the group met EDM alum, Milton Johnson, who shared that earning his advanced degree from MCNY was a life-changing experience. He explained that before graduate school he was a security guard at OEM, while it was under construction. Mr. Johnson quit to attend MCNY, and is now a Program Specialist/Emergency Planner at Westchester County OEM!

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Posted by Disaster Central in Events. 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.

Tabletop Exercise at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center

October 18, 2010

The MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management Program had another successful hands-on event on October 7, 2010.  Purpose 2 students and Professor Contreras led a Tabletop exercise focusing on an evacuation due to a bomb threat for the leadership staff at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.  Approximately 20 staff members participated including the Chief Operating Officer, Harold McDonald.

Although the event started after normal work hours on a Thursday before a holiday weekend (at 500PM), the participants were initially apprehensive about the exercise but eventually became fully engaged in the discussion-based exercise.

The tabletop exercise was facilitated by MCNY graduate students Jack Finkelstein and Cliff Miller.  The remaining Purpose 2 students, Najeeb Abubakar, Dilshad Jafarly, Madeline Tavarez and Jazzlyn Martinez, served as observers, evaluators and recorders.  It was an interesting and valuable experience for all participants.  Professor Contreras led the hotwash immediately after the exercise.  A comprehensive After Action Report (AAR) will be prepared by the class and submitted to the hospital within 30 days.

The exercise finally ended at 8:30 PM and a quick debriefing was conducted.  All of the hospital staff was motivated to have more exercises.  That being said, this tabletop exercise was a precursor for an evacuation drill to be held in November.  Hospital staff was quick to acknowledge that this exercise was a very worthwhile activity.  Among other healthcare-specific issues, the importance of the Incident Command System and NIMS were highlighted.

Congratulations to all of the members of Purpose 2 for a job well done!

MCNY-EDM Purpose 2 Students and Professor Contreras at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center

MCNY E &DM Purpose 2 students and Professor Contreras pose for a picture after a successful tabletop exercise at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center on October 7, 2010.

Staff at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center

Staff at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center participated in a Tabletop Exercise facilitated by MCNY Emergency and Disaster Management students on October 7, 2010.

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Posted by Disaster Central in Emergency Management Planning, Emergency Preparedness, Events, MCNY EDM Program. 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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