Meeting Minutes: July 9, 2009
Regional Advisory Council DHS/FEMA Region VIII, Denver CO
Doug Gore convened the fifth meeting of the Regional Advisory Council for Region VIII on July 9, 2009 via teleconference. The Council meeting began at 8:30 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time and ended at 9:15 a.m. Donovan Puffer facilitated the call. RAC members Doug Gore, Del Brewer, Chris Burbank, Keith Squires, and Greg Wilz participated in the teleconference call from a meeting room at the Regional Interagency Steering Committee (RISC) meeting in Salt Lake City UT, while other members dialed into the call from other locations. Hans Kallam participated in the call while attending the National Pandemic Summit in Bethesda MD.
Participating Council Members
Doug Gore (chair) - Acting Regional Administrator, DHS/FEMA Region VIII
Del Brewer - Tribal Representative, Oglala Sioux Tribe
Chris Burbank - Chief of Police, Salt Lake City UT Police Department
Dr. Greg Burcham - Denver emergency physician, Colorado US&R Task Force
Dwight Henninger - Chief of Police, Vail CO Police Department
Bruce Hoover - Chief, Fargo ND Fire Department
Hans Kallam - Director, CO Division of Emergency Management
Larry Majerus1 - Deputy Director, WY Office of Homeland Security
Keith Squires - Deputy Commissioner, UT Department of Public Safety
Greg Wilz - Director, ND Division of Homeland Security
1 Mr. Majerus attended as a surrogate for RAC member Joe Moore.
Other Attendees or Observers
Donovan Puffer, DHS/FEMA Region VIII; designated support officer for the Council
Tim Deal, DHS/FEMA Region VIII, National Preparedness Division
Susan Jones, DHS/FEMA Region VIII, Disaster Operations Division
Stephanie Poore, DHS/FEMA Region VIII, National Preparedness Division
Mark Tijerina, DHS/FEMA Region VIII, National Preparedness Division
Patty Kalla, DHS/FEMA HQ, Office of Regional Operations
Lynn Pisano-Pedigo, DHS/FEMA Region VIII, National Preparedness Division
Keith Harrison, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security
Handouts Distributed to RAC Members in Advance of or During Meeting
Updated contact list, Regional Advisory Council
Introductions and Opening Comments. Doug Gore welcomed the RAC members and thanked them for participating in the teleconference. Mr. Gore said the Region has received no news on the appointment of a new Regional Administrator. Donovan Puffer said four RAC members reached the end of their initial term of appointment on May 2 and July 12, and had been reappointed. He welcomed back the reappointed members: Pete Red Tomahawk, Dr. Greg Burcham, Chief Bruce Hoover, and Chief Chris Burbank. Mr. Puffer also welcomed two new RAC members who were joining the group for their first meeting: Del Brewer and Jeff Jahnke. Mr. Brewer thanked Region VIII for its expression of confidence in him, and said he looked forward to working with the other RAC members.
Status Update: Utah Catastrophic Earthquake Planning. Speaking from the RISC meeting in Salt Lake City that is concluding today, FEMA Region VIII planners Mark Tijerina and Susan Jones provided a summary of the organization of the FEMA planning team that is working on producing a response operations plan for the scenario of a 7.0 earthquake along the Salt Lake City Segment of the Wasatch Fault in Utah. The planning team has a goal of completing the plan by November 2010 and conducting a full-scale exercise in 2012, and they are using the RISC membership and meetings as a means to work through the planning process. Ms. Jones said the RISC sessions have included significant discussion and feedback.
Mr. Puffer asked a question: Since the top RAC recommendation for 2009 was framed in terms of using the Utah earthquake planning process to raise the level of readiness of all Region VIII States, how does the planning team envision sharing with our other State planners information and lessons learned from the planning effort? Ms. Jones said the planning team is working on a process for information sharing, and will include it in the next RISC newsletter.
Question from Hans Kallam: If you're intending to conduct a full-scale exercise in 2012, can we plan back from the exercise date to set some key milestones? A full-scale exercise is a big enough event that we ought to start putting dates to paper, and a timeline, milestones, and objectives would help us synchronize our activities. For example, if we know the timeline and milestones for plan development and the full-scale exercise, we can incorporate them into our EMPG applications and work plans. Mr. Tijerina responded that the planning team has a timeline with key dates, and they can make it available for everyone.
Status Update: Citizen Preparedness. Region VIII Citizen Corps coordinator Stephanie Poore briefed the RAC members on efforts underway in the Region to promote individual preparedness for disasters, one of the eight RAC recommendations for 2009. Ms. Poore said the RISC's Citizen Preparedness subcommittee will be working on addressing the key findings of a recent Citizen Corps survey, available through the Citizen Corps website. The report puts an emphasis on shared responsibility between citizens and government for preparedness, and notes we have to overcome a tendency reported by 60 percent of survey respondents to depend on first responders for rescue in the first 72 hours following an incident. Ms. Poore said we need to promote greater awareness of personal preparedness actions that can be taken; the survey showed most respondents did not know what supplies to put in their family disaster kit, and 80 percent of respondents had done no planning for emergencies. Ms. Poore said promoting individual and family preparedness is a priority of the new FEMA administrator, Craig Fugate. Ms. Poore said she can provide to interested parties a three-page summary of the survey, plus a Powerpoint presentation that compares the national survey results with the results from Region VIII.
Ms. Poore said the RISC's Citizen Preparedness work group has convened twice, including a work session on July 8 as part of the RISC meeting, along with conference calls. Ms. Poore briefed the RAC on one of the work group's projects. "Preparedness on a Budget" is an awareness campaign that will provide guidance and a kit that can be used by any State to give citizens a set of tips, a top ten list, and media resources to promote increasing individual and family preparedness through inexpensive methods. Colorado will sponsor a pilot project through the Ready Colorado campaign during Preparedness Month in September 2009. A local TV station will offer an eight-week series of segments focusing on preparedness and disasters in Colorado.
Mr. Puffer asked Ms. Poore if the citizen preparedness projects included outreach to tribal governments and members, as well as States. Ms. Poore said the current approach primarily focuses on providing the information to each State, which then will disseminate it to their local jurisdictions, including tribes, but she was open to recommendations. Mr. Puffer responded RAC tribal representatives Pete Red Tomahawk and Del Brewer and Region VIII tribal liaison Scott Logan were probably the best sources of advice on this topic.
Status Update: Incident Management Team Development. Region VIII Federal Preparedness Coordinator Tim Deal summarized efforts underway to support States in developing Type 3 Incident Management Teams (IMTs), another of the eight RAC recommendations for 2009.
Following the last RISC meeting, Mr. Deal said he met with interested parties to plan how to support IMT development in other States. He said guidance on IMT development and operations is being developed at the national level, and added that as part of this effort, Region VIII was provided $250,000 in funding to develop documentation on the process of creating an IMT and getting it to operational status. Mr. Deal said the Denver UASI has scheduled IMT training in September 2009 as part of this effort, and the UASI will make available slots in the training session for other Region VIII States to participate. The Denver UASI will cover the course costs, while FEMA Region VIII will pay travel costs. Mr. Deal said a prime benefit of conducting this type of joint training is the development of contacts and trust among IMT leaders, which will promote mutual aid efforts in the future. Mr. Deal said he plans to work with the Salt Lake City UASI to do similar IMT training sessions in December 2009, and he discussed these plans with the State emergency management directors on July 8.
Hans Kallam commented that he didn't have a schedule of the IMT training sessions, and requested a copy. Mr. Deal responded that the only firm date is the session in Denver in September. Mr. Kallam added that some States already have a network of regional Type 3 IMTs, and he posed a question to fellow RAC member Dwight Henninger, who has been actively involved in Colorado's IMT development effort, asking if Colorado's IMTs are connected to the effort described by Mr. Deal. Chief Henninger responded affirmatively.
Update on National Pandemic Summit. Although the topic was not on the RAC meeting agenda, Mr. Puffer asked Mr. Kallam to share any information he could with the other RAC members regarding the National Pandemic Summit that he was attending. Mr. Kallam said the meeting was providing a forum for useful discussions, three departmental secretaries were in attendance (DHS, HHS, Education), and President Obama spoke with the attendees via video conference. He said news from the summit included $350 million in funding to be announced July 10, of which $240 million would be granted to State public health agencies to ensure they have the capability to provide mass vaccinations, once an H1N1 vaccine is available. The remaining $90 million in funding will be provided to hospitals, to promote and prepare for adequate surge capacity. Mr. Kallam summarized a four-phase approach to pandemic response (surveillance, community mitigation, social distancing, and mass vaccination) that is being used in the summit discussions, with DHS having the lead Federal role for operational coordination, and HHS having the lead Federal role for public health and countermeasures. He said the meeting produced worthwhile results, and the hope is that all States will hold similar summits in the future. Mr. Kallam asked the RAC members and Region VIII staff to consider how FEMA Region VIII and "Region C" [for pandemic planning purposes, FEMA Regions V and VIII combined] are going to conduct the initial phase of H1N1 monitoring and surveillance.
Closing Comments. Larry Majerus said Joe Moore asked him to convey thanks to Region VIII for its recent support to a large-scale nuclear exercise (1300 players) conducted at Warren Air Base, and for support to the recent flooding event in Casper.
Mr. Gore thanked the Council members for participating, and adjourned the teleconference at 9:15 a.m.
- These meeting minutes have been reviewed and approved by the RAC Chair.