Using Technology in Disaster Logistics

Overall, the typical message of send money, not supplies, just isn’t going to work. it hasn’t worked. It’s not that we should stop that message, we should continue that message, but we really need to work on mitigating and managing the second disaster through technology.

Brian Sims

Todd DeVoe:     Hi, welcome to EM Weekly, your emergency management podcast. And this is your host, Todd DeVoe. You know, they say that, troops don’t move without food. Well, same thing with emergency management. The world doesn’t move unless we have logistics. And this week we’re talking to Brian Sims about disaster logistics and an organization that he has founded based upon the disaster logistics. And logistics is one of those key principles that we really need to understand in the field of emergency management. And I think that if we take a look at programs like what Brian has started, we’re going to be well, well better off.

Todd DeVoe:     Now onto the interview.

Todd DeVoe:     Hey Brian, welcome to EM Weekly. How are you doing today?

Brian Sims:          I’m doing great. Thanks so much for inviting me on the podcast. We’re really looking forward to having a conversation with you today.

Todd DeVoe:     So Brian, tell me, how’d you get involved in emergency management and what are you doing now?

Brian Sims:          I would say my first kind of introduction to emergency management was Hurricane Andrew. I was born and raised in Miami about 12 years old when it happened. And my father owned a very large electrical contracting company and they were the only private company I was allowed to work on FP and L lines down in south Florida. Yeah. So he took me down to homestead air reserve base where the 82nd airborne had flown in and set up to do a response. And I saw what was going on down there and all these guys run around in Maroon Berets and like this is pretty cool. And he explained to me what was happening and you know, they took them up in a Black Hawk and flew him around and I saw those pictures and I, I just thought that was really cool, both on the military side and I really emergency management, which I didn’t really understand.

Brian Sims:          But after getting out of the military, it’s kind of lacking a new mission. And at that time, team Rubicon had formed, uh, it was 2011 and so I signed up and started doing emergency management with them. I was the Florida State Pio and communications manager and then I was promoted to, uh, deputy regional manager for program operations. And I also transferred over to Hawaii and did program operations for Team Rubicon over there. So during that time it was studying social work and with veterans specifically. And once I finished that up, I decided I was going to attend Barry University to kind of get more professional emergency management and a study emergency management over there. So that’s kind of the broad scope of my involvement. in the past couple of years I’ve worked with a couple of other veteran based organizations doing some responses with Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence, and most lately obviously Hurricane Michael here in the state of Florida.

Todd DeVoe:     That’s one of my favorite questions to ask specifically how you got involved in EM because everybody has such a crazy in different, uh, way they got involved. So that’s kind of cool. So what are you doing now?

Brian Sims:          So now I have formed a new organization called the Disaster Logistics Board. And our mission statement is that we merge the skills of veterans and civilians to mitigate and manage disaster supply chain issues. And that’s obviously very broad for a reason. Um, so we kind of have some core competencies and, and really what we are, we’re not really volunteer base. We don’t actively go out and seek a bunch of volunteers. Really what we are is an incident management assistance team. so it’s people that are experienced in emergency management, a lot of them are military veterans, have done deployments, we’re all hazards trained, were cross trained and chief level positions and kind of our core competencies, our data collection, a disaster mapping with a UAS systems and also disaster mapping, uh, with street level photography. So we do a lot of Intel collection and that assists, you know, state county, a city emergency managers, FEMA contractors, search and rescue teams. we’re very data driven. That’s, that’s kind of our focus.

Todd DeVoe:     So how do you get your jobs?

Brian Sims:          how do we get our jobs? what we are members of the Florida VOAD, so when there are declared disasters, those can be passed down to us either from Florida state emergency management, or it can come from VOAD themselves on a specific request. we have an MOU with both of them. So yeah, it could come from anywhere. Right now actually, our IMAT is at a level three status were assisting in organization in Haiti with some of the civil unrest down there. And we’re providing Intel logistic support, donations, coordination for some flights of aid going down. Really that’s supporting a lot of the police officers and EMT in Haiti or responding to some of the violent protests that are down there.

Todd DeVoe:     So, what are the questions that we get a lot specifically about profit organizations and none government agencies is, how do they build those relationships with, there clients for lack of better term.

Brian Sims:          Okay. I guess the question is how are we building those relationships?

Todd DeVoe:     like just in general, like if somebody, you’re talking to the nonprofit organizations out there right now and how do they build those relationships with those agencies that they want to help?

Brian Sims:          Yes. So we do a lot of direct outreach looking for the actual decision makers. I will, I’ll use hurricane Michael for instance. so West Mall is the former director for the state emergency management and he came by my operation and we liaise for about an hour. Yeah. And from there he passed me on and gave me numbers to other decision makers, branch managers, other LLCs that we had, you know, gone onsite then liaise with as well. And then we also do direct outreach to other NGOs and, response organizations that may have just kind of loosely formed. Yeah. So with that, we’re hoping to educate them, train them, and kind of fold them into the processes of what like ICS and NIMS are and hopefully get them into [inaudible] . Or be working with like long-term recovery committees and stuff like that. So it’s a lot of direct outreach to the decision makers themselves.

Todd DeVoe:     How important is it for an NGO to be involved in a VOAD or COAD?

Brian Sims:          So I think that it is vital. To answer that question, I think we need to, to talk a little bit about some of the incidents that have happened most specifically since Hurricane Harvey. what we’ve noticed is a large trends in these loosely formed organizations that have popped up, a lot of them are veterans, which is great. And they, yeah, they come out, a lot of them do search and rescue, Oh, what they call search and rescue. And then they kind of hang around and help with volunteer and donation coordination. Okay. And those organizations, they may not be educated on what’s actually happening out there. A lot of them don’t even know what ICS or NIMS is, who to contact and let’s say like in state of Florida, ESF Teams, which help with the volunteer and NGO sector. so, well, again, what we’re trying to do is get those guys folded into the process and also get them the equipment that they need to accomplish their mission.

Brian Sims:          So if we’ve got a lot of these guys that are boots on grounds they’re hanging out in the disaster AO and they’ve got pallets upon pallets of water or diapers and things like that, that, you know, do they know where to send that stuff? Is it actually moving around? Do they have a forklift to move it? Do they have shrink wrapped and stuff like that. So being able to fold those guys into the process is a major priority for us. Without the ability to track what it is that they’re doing out there. that’s what we see as a huge white space. It’s known unknown’s. Right. So what we’re trying to do as an IMAT is be able to give guys the access these organizations access to that equipment and then also get some data from them on what kind of supplies are running around. Oh. Along with what their capabilities are so that we can get that information to an ESF 15. I can pass it up the chain of commands and, you know, help them to manage the disaster and improve the response capabilities since already boots on ground.

Todd DeVoe:     Okay. I forget the name of the hurricane when want to hit North Carolina. It’s a Florence. So, so I know that with hurricane Florence a couple of towns in North Carolina actually, asked those volunteer organizations to, to leave because they didn’t understand what they’re doing or that they weren’t communicated directly with them. is doing the work that you’re kind of doing, is that going to alleviate those concerns that communities have with the volunteer organization is just showing up?

Brian Sims:          Yeah, absolutely. I think that kind of our general conversations today is going to be speaking about what we term in emergency management as the second disaster, right? Which is the unsolicited donations and spontaneous volunteers that pop up. And there is that issue. Especially an EOC. You have guys that are out in the field, whether that’s firefighters, law enforcement, um, FEMA teams that may be out there that are collecting some data, but they may not be liaising with these smaller organizations. And also what we’ve noticed is those smaller organizations Keep to themselves. They don’t want to interact with the government. A lot of that may be because they’re afraid to get kicked out of the scene.

Brian Sims:          you know, there’s a lot of mistrust when it comes to the public and you know, federal agencies, state agencies and stuff like that. So being able to kind of act as a middleman and a buffer between state level or other emergency management decision makers and those organizations. That is a priority of ours. It’s very important that an organization, a professional organization like, a state of emergency management office or you know, local county stuff like that has a volunteer agency liaison, someone that is actually reaching out actively to speak to those organizations that may be based in the area. And then most, especially in the times of response itself or recovery, that they know what the capabilities of these organizations are out there. Now, we’ve obviously experienced a lot of fraud when it comes to disaster response. So being able to get out there and understand who these organizations are, it can help get rid of, some of the guys are just hangers on. Maybe I’ll just trying to make their social media look cool and they raise money on go fund Me’s and then they pocket all that money. Which obviously creates even more mistrust down the line. so that is that, that’s a huge thing that, that we really want to work on and help mitigate.

Todd DeVoe:     Yeah. And that issue also wasn’t just for the unaffiliated volunteers. We had a problem in La county a couple of months ago during the Woolsey fire where the sheriff’s deputies wouldn’t allow CERT members to respond and the city of Malibu was relying upon those members to help work in the EOC. And uh, and so the communication down to the field level of who’s acceptable and who’s not, it needs to be done early as well.

Brian Sims:          Yeah, absolutely. I agree. and the reason why we call ourselves disaster logistics board is because we would like to move ourselves into the type of status where we’re almost like a VOAD ad where organizations that may not necessarily qualify to get into either a state level and most specifically like a national level or where you could be a tier one or a tier two VOAD organization. Um, that we can get those guys the same access to information. Um, the equipment, being able to track what it is that they have when they are boots on ground and be able to pass that information on a, either up the chain of command or down the chain of command, but whichever way that information needs to flow. West Mall when he, when he visited my site during the hurricane Michael Response, the first thing that came out of his mouth was, wow, I didn’t realize what you guys were doing here.

Brian Sims:          and that’s, and we were working with Holmes County. You’ll see Jackson. Um, and you know, it just, it’s, there’s so much chaos obviously inside of a response. I mean in emergency management, that’s what we do, right? Chaos management. Um, so the dissemination of information is extremely important. In fact, we saw some of those issues and Jackson County, um, and the reason why we responded and set ourselves up in Holmes County was specifically because we knew we were just outside the iPads. We’d have, you know, communications and infrastructure pop up a little bit faster and it’s easier to ingress, from the west to the east into Jackson County because of that I of the wall path. But what we noticed in Jackson County was because the response was being focused on what we call the strand, right? So right along the shore you’ve got to Panama City beach all the way over to Mexico and a port Saint Joe.

Brian Sims:          So the concentration of resources over there, the people that are a little bit further inland, uh, weren’t really getting the amount of support that they needed. So they were very, very overwhelmed over there. For instance, their dissemination of information to active organizations that are larger like Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon, was doing a great job of getting guys out there and doing what they do when it comes to damage assessments. But I think I was, I visited their sites maybe a week post event and they had something like 600 outstanding work orders and they were completing three or four a day. which is like unheard of. And really a lot of that just came down to the dissemination of information and the collection of information. So, if they had had a little bit better data and other organizations had better data on what was going on out there and that information was being transferred to the EOC and back from the IC to them, that would have alleviated a lot of problems and help speed up recovery. So that’s kind of where we’re folding ourselves into the processor.

Todd DeVoe:     No, that makes a lot of sense right there. I do know some of the issues too is for the coming from the professional side, is that what capabilities of these or do these organizations really have compared to what they say? And I think that’s, I think that’s where some of the questions come in. Even with like Team Rubicon when it’s funny, we think about them being so well known, but there are still pockets of places where they don’t understand what they do or what the capabilities are. And there, hesitant to pull that trigger when it comes to working with an organization. Even as big as Team Rubicon, you know, you have American Red Cross, everybody knows they’re going to shelters capabilities, but what do you go, oh, they have these capabilities. They go really? And you know, they could do this and they’re not really sure how that works. And so I think we as emergency managers have to do a better job of understanding what volunteer organizations are out there with their capabilities are. And I think the volunteer organizations have to do a better job of reaching out liquids you’re talking about. And making those relationships way prior to any disaster occurring. So I think you’re doing a great job on that aspect of it.

Brian Sims:          Yeah, I agree with that statement completely. I think that kind of falls back to Administrator Longs initiative for a whole community approach. Right? Everyone needs to be working together. We know that that has to happen. So yes, if the organization itself is not reaching out to it, I’ll use Florida as an example. So volunteer Florida is who heads up the ESF 15 function in the state of Florida. so if they’re not as a volunteer organization reaching out to volunteer Florida, no one really knows what they’re doing. Right. but I do want to circle back to an issue that’s connected to this. And that’s again about the spontaneous volunteers. So these loosely formed organizations when it comes to the capabilities. a lot of these organizations say that there, right? That they do search and rescue and yeah, they, they might have a boat or they may have some military experience of some sort, but really are, do they have that capability?

Brian Sims:          Is it just a couple of guys getting in a Jon boat and going out there, you know, in the middle of flooding or whatever it might be to go rescue guys. And, and I’m not saying that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but inherent in that is the fact that they’re probably not actually trained to do that, right? You wouldn’t just grab some guy off the street and throw him to, use our task force and say, okay, well this guy is going to help you with the technical rescue. Joe Schmo doesn’t know how to do that type of stuff. And, and similarly, especially in the veteran sector guys that may be standing up to do this, if, if all you ever did was logistics, right, you probably don’t have any type of infantry training, right? So we wouldn’t want to put that guy necessarily in that scenario with at least a little bit of some refresh for training or something like that.

Brian Sims:          And same thing in this space. So, and that second disaster scenario, it does worry us that you’re going to have secondary casualties on an already taxed first responder system. So the point is to be able to take guys at maybe a little bit of a liability and try and turn them into an asset, in preparation phase. Right? So preparedness obviously is a big deal and across the emergency management and that’s kind of one of the sectors that we’re trying to focus on is to be able to get those guys the training and fold them into the process. So we’re all speaking the same language, we’re all on the same page to help mitigate this stuff.

Todd DeVoe:     So true. When you’re talking about that has taken, I took a ropes course and I was doing a lot of repelling, but 20 years ago, I don’t think I’ve been on the line in probably 20 some plus years, I don’t think I would be the first guy that would say, yeah, strapped me into a seat and I’m going over the side. You know,

Brian Sims:          I mean it’s fun and it’s, and it’s all well and good. I think that social media is a, is a major part behind this because one access information and to the ability to, you know, disseminate that information to the public. It’s so easy these days. you have so many different platforms that you can use for that type of stuff. so yeah, I do have to applaud the, the citizens, okay. It themselves, whether that’s, you know, working with like a, a Cajun Navy type model or whatever, any of these other types of loosely formed organizations to stand up and want to help and same thing on the donation side. But I, I do think it’s a bit of a paradox that in the decade’s worth of emergency management that we’ve been dealing with here in this country, that no one is out there actively tracking the community source donations that are out there in the disaster supply chain.

Brian Sims:          You know, that that constitutes of vast majority humanitarian aid. That’s in a given disaster. When a state stands up, a pod appointed distribution, really all they’re ever going to give out is, you know, water MREs and maybe tarps in ice. Right. But a normal citizen of, after about 72 hours, that guy is, is done eating MREs. He’d like to have some snacks. and then, you know, the baby stuff comes into play, the formula, the diapers and things like that. So really that’s the majority, right? So, if we can start tracking what it is out there that has on hand and being distributed from a church, a volunteer fire station, a Kiwanis club, whatever that might be, uh, then we can really start to tackle these issues. And, you know, logistics has never changed since the moment we walked out of caves. It’s always been what’s the need, where are those resources at?

Brian Sims:          And then how do we get those resources to the people that are in need. And the only change over time has been the technology. You’d be able to do that, whether that’s actual, um, you know, technology via the internet or the wheel itself, right? Airplanes, whatever that might be. So what we’re doing is we are partners with Ezra public safety division and disaster response team. So, we utilize a lot of GIS to be able to track that stuff. And then we also have a partnership with a software for service called Boxstorm. Boxstorm is a freeware or a cloud hosted technology that basically tracks inventory. You can scan barcodes and stuff like that. So if we can get all that information on what’s going on out there and we can throw it on heat maps, you know, we can let an EOC know what’s really out there and then they can strategically deploy pod a or closed down pods, however that might be to be able to help out the citizens out there.

Brian Sims:          And one of the main ways that we do that is utilizing survey one, two, three, which is an APP that was developed by Esri and it’s basically formed centric so it can collect out both online and offline. So with the form that we have, we can go to a pod, we can train the pod leaders and the volunteers at that pod on how to use the form is very simple. first thing we do is we try and Geo tag that form itself to either the citizens address or if they don’t want to give that up, at least their zip code. And then we collect some demographics information, uh, about that household. So, you know, population size, children under five, things like that. Then we get an initial damage assessment reported by them, which is huge. So do you have power, do you have water, can you ingress and Egress from your home?

Brian Sims:          Things like that. And then the final piece that we collect is what their requests for supplies are. That’s not necessarily what there’ll be receiving, but what it is that they actually need in that household. So that data set is gold and that’s something that should be collected at single point of distribution, whether that’s community or a state run pod. So that information lets us know what’s the need and what’s going on out there. On the, on the damage assessment side, you can put your contractors and USAR teams and all that type of stuff out there with better reported data, so they can strategically take care of recovery and response aspects. Okay.

Todd DeVoe:     How do you plan on scaling up? right now you’re in one state. How could you make, to all 50.

Brian Sims:          So really we’re, we’re going to work with VOAD a lot on that. And we will be attending like the IAEM conferences, the governors hurricane conference here in the state of Florida. So we can meet other emergency managers from other districts, other states, other female regions, uh, and continue to try and disseminate what it is that we do and our capabilities. And also just try and pass on some of the, yeah, well we kind of soapbox on, which is you’ve got to collect this data. You’ve got to reach out to these organizations that have stood themselves up, um, and hopefully through that we can kind of turn the tide and, and really start to manage the, the second disaster because overall, the, the typical message of send money, not supplies, just isn’t going to work. It’s, it hasn’t worked. I’m, it’s not that we should stop that message, we should continue that message,

Brian Sims:          but we really need to work on mitigating and managing the second disaster through technology. one of the other things that we’ve put in as a capability to the DLB is the disaster mapping. so that, that type of data collection can be vital. So the first thing that we do is we utilize drones. So we have an enterprise two dual drone that allows us to collect data. Obviously, Ariel, but it also has FLIR capability alongside a high-resolution camera. So that can be utilized by a first responder organization. I use our team, they can actually take it from most of that. They like to and fly it for them, along with or working with a couple of companies to do some long range aerial mapping, some of the survey drones. But most importantly, what we’re starting to do is we’re starting to do the street level imagery.

Brian Sims:          So this capability is something we’re really trying to push out there to emergency managers on how vital this could be. So our ability to take a GoPro fusion camera, which is a 360 camera, obviously it’s very high resolution, they can collect imagery and 5.6K. We can take that data set on both driving around. And then obviously if we hit, uh, an area, you know, there’s a lot of structural damage, trees down, power lines, stuff like that. if need be, we can take the camera off, we can helmet mounted and then go survey on foot. Or we can throw that same camera onto the drone if it’s really bad or dangerous and fly that drone forward. So what that, what that imagery allows us to do is give a data set that can be utilized through a computer screen or even beyond that into VR. We’re trying to work with Oculus team, uh, Facebook’s Oculus team. And you can actually take a guy that is a decision maker that’s in an EOC that never gets out in the field and allow them to see what’s actually out there on the ground beyond some of the, the tech space, you know, whether it’s, an ICS form or an email with just a couple of pictures attached to it. So that capability and that utilization of technology, that’s the type of stuff that will really need to look forward.

Todd DeVoe:     And one of the things I find interesting right now is that we’re kind of in this transition between like the traditional emergency manager who’s used to doing, you know, whiteboards and pencils and pens and, and which is needed in times because sometimes we don’t have electricity and stuff like this to work. And then we have the new generation, you guys coming up that are really tech savvy, understand it really implemented into our disaster zones. And I, there’s my generation of emergency managers who sort of in that transitional phase, right? You know, where the guys that they were, the ones that, embrace the concept of Web EOC and the smart boards and things like this. And we keep moving up technology wise and I think that has emergency managers. We need to embrace what you guys are doing or talking about you. This organizations like you with using drones, smart vehicles in a smart technology to get into our disaster areas as the disasters happening where we’re not going to put human lives at risk doing proper windshield surveys by the air and being able to get a better understanding of it. So right now, thank you for what you’re doing. And number two, those of us that are old school emergency managers out there listening, take heed because this is what we need to be doing. We need to, we need to embrace this and not fight this. So that’s, I’m a little soapbox and right here.

Brian Sims:          Thank you for saying that. you know, I think that the, well, I know organization, I to really must highlight, it’s not just because we’re partners with them, it’s the reason behind why we’re partners with them. And that’s Esri GIS and most states, counties, cities are going to have, uh, someone that’s working with GIS. Most of them have an Esri GIS account, whether that’s, you know, online or they’re using an enterprise account or something like that. It should really be working with their GIS guys because it’s such a robust technology now, the ability to create web apps, um, and then some of their native apps that they have, like for instance, workforce, right? So Esri’s workforce, allows dispatching work order management and I’ve tracking of guys that are out in the field or they may have another system, let’s say accounting may use another system, that’s working off there. They’re 911 response system and a lot of them, a lot of those systems, I work with Esri GIS and Esri technology these days as well. So the, the kind of cross platform and industry standard stuff,

Brian Sims:          emergency managers should really be reaching out and figuring out what it is that that side of the house is doing and what those capabilities are. And vice versa. The GIS teams should absolutely be trying to disseminate those solutions to the decision makers so that those decision makers are, are aware of, of the types of deployments of those technologies that they can use. Whether that’s an operations dashboard that’s up in an EOC, all the way to being able to deploy some of the field level apps for data collection. I, for instance, I know, um, both survey one, two, three and collector apps from Esri. Those were utilized a whole bunch in the hurricane Michael Response, by some of the USAR team. So that’s basically near real time data that’s being That’s being disseminated directly into the cloud and into an EOC, uh, utilizing some of the other technologies that we need to know about somebody. You managers like FirstNet, right, also cradle point technologies or iridium system all the way over to even a tack, which is an android based technology that, DOD uses a, it’s kind of like a blue force tracker. So it gives you real time awareness, alongside maps

Brian Sims:          that, uh, shows you where your units are out there, what their capabilities are, and then being able to identify some of the hazards that may be out there. And in this type of scenario,

Todd DeVoe:     yeah, it will be for years to be able to track her units. I mean, the city of Anaheim has this software called, uh, it’s kind of funny. It’s called EVOC has nothing to do with driving. Um, but, uh, it’s called EVOC and they’re able to track where everybody’s at during any given time in their EOC, which, you know, it took a little bit to get past the, uh, the unions because they thought it was big brother at the, the, the MOU with the union basically stated that they would be using that software for any discipline. Right. So, but the idea is, is during times of disaster, you know, exactly live where your people are. And then we’ve been utilizing cameras, you know, the, traffic cameras, things like this, uh, the Caltrans cameras to be able to look at disaster. So it’s not, it’s not foreign to EOC.

Todd DeVoe:     Uh, it’s just the, the foreign part of it is the, uh, the technology that goes along with it, the ability to the track and to get proper data and to be able, make decisions based upon information coming in via that data. So I think that’s some training that we need to do, as a profession and I, and employ the a implore that the EMI eyes of the world and the CSTIs in whatever state equivalent there is out there of the training. Um, try to take this embracing and career curriculum around it and I really start training emergency managers up on, on what’s out there. Yeah,

Brian Sims:          I agree completely. I think you will see, we will see a turnover as the millennial generation starts becoming an emergency managers, and, and knows and is comfortable with a lot more technology driven stuff. But yeah, at the end of the day, I mean, here in my office I have five whiteboards. I still white board a lot of stuff. There’s still a lot of pen and paper. Because I guess I could say they’re really, my military experience is that’s rooted in my military experience. Um, technology is an assistant. Yeah. But it’s not something that we can rely on it. Same thing in emergency management. I mean, what if those cameras go down? We saw things like that happen and Mexico beach and Panama City, you know, cameras get wiped out. The unexpected almost always happens in a disaster, right? So being able to break ourselves down to the base level of response and how to manage that disaster is also very important.

Brian Sims:          So I would also kind of on a soapbox and courage, any incoming emergency managers kind of from the millennial generation to make sure that they have that skill set built into that they’re not totally reliant on a computer or a laptop or communications to happen. Because if we look at an all hazards approach, I mean, what if it was an emp, a nuclear type of thing or something like that. Coms are gone, how are you going to be able to do that? Do you know how to just fill out that ICS form instead of using, , and maybe a form centric other type of application that’s filling out a, uh, 200, three Rr, right? Like a resource request form or something like that. Um, and you know, obviously there’s guidance in the fog, you know, show how to do that. And A in a field operations guide.

Brian Sims:          But I think it’s important for everyone to be cross trained across the board as well. I think that’s another issue that we look at. Emergency management people get so pigeonholed in either planning or logistics or whatever of kind of branch or division that they’re working in that they’re not communicating with, with the other sections as well as they should be, which is like the 9/ 11 thing. Right? So the 9/ 11 event was what FBI and CIA and speak to each other the way that they should have. And that’s just an example of what can happen in emergency management. And I think the whole community approach aspect helps to mitigate that. But internally, professional emergency managers, within their, they should be reaching out across the aisle, you know, across the desktop, whatever it might be, to what the rest of their agency is doing.

Todd DeVoe:     You’re actually right at the end of the day, it comes down to a training exercise, properly put together training and exercises, you know, and practicing pen and paper, but also, you’d go to the whole, the whole gamut of it. And you’re right. Communication is always key. Um, one of the things that I encourage when we’re doing our training specifically EOC stuff is walk across the room and talk to the other divisions before, uh, divisions, the other sections, um, before you start making decisions to see if they’re on board and what information that they have as well. you know, so that that is always key. Communication is the most important thing that we can do, whether it’s face to face or, via some sort of a communications mode.

Brian Sims:          I agree. I want to touch on the training. obviously preparation and training is key too. And being able to do effective exercises. It’s key to preparing an agency or an organization for whatever type of responses that one may be common. So like in Florida, hurricanes, flooding and stuff, but also ones that are not so common. And I want to go back to some of the 360 photography and video that we do. So that data set can be taken further down the line, to train some of the incoming emergency managers and put them into the middle of a disaster. What it looks like out there was actually like, and then obviously that can be used, uh, to be reported as data for, either recovery funds, reporting from contractors that this is actually what they did. They have evidence to back that up and to be able to create white papers and, and some other research initiatives by some other organizations.

Brian Sims:          So, uh, we, we are heavy also into being able to utilize those data sets for training in the future. So the more data, the better. There’s, there’s kind of a quote that we use around here, uh, at the dob and it’s in God, we trust all others must bring data. And that’s my w Edwards Deming. And that kind of highlights what I think it’s all about in emergency management. You know, we trust in God and the fact of, you know, we can get this done, but if you’re coming to the table, you need to be bringing us something that we can use. If not, then we politely asked you to leave the scene cause it’s in chaos. The last thing you need is the hangers on and the guys that, that are just kind of sitting around and taking up space because that space could be filled by someone else. It could be bringing you something that could be a game changer or a vital missing piece of information on a critical decision you’re making at a time that could save lives or be a kind of tipping point in a recovery process.

Todd DeVoe:     Very, very true. So Brian, if somebody who’s looking to get ahold of you, how can they find you?

Brian Sims:          So, we’re all over social media as disaster logistics board, you can go to our website, Um, they can send me an email, um, go ahead and use any of the social media stuff. And obviously everyone come like and share everything that we do. Standard procedure to say that.

Todd DeVoe:     And, and for those either driving or your pencils, that sharp, don’t worry about it. We’ll put those, those links down in the show notes as well. So you can always just stand there and click. All right. Brian, toughest question of the day. Books or publications do you recommend to somebody in the field of emergency management?

Brian Sims:          So I think the first thing that I would say is keep up with outlets like EM Weekly, emergency managers, weekly report, uh, blogs and such like that that our focus on am because it’s revolving information and up to date information. When I, when it comes down to a book I got to Plug my old friend Jake Wood here, he has a great book called take command and it’s, it’s geared towards any type of leader at the end of the day. It does talk a lot about business, but most specifically he’s utilizing his experience from the military and in Team Rubicon and disaster response and being able to make critical decisions, during chaos management. Right. Like during, during the most important times and, and how to be able to take Amanda in those situations. So yeah, take command by Jake Wood.

Todd DeVoe:     that’s a, that is a good book. And he did a really good job on that book. All right, well, if you had one thing, if you were able to talk to all the emergency managers at one time, what would you say to

Brian Sims:          I would say make sure you have a volunteer agency liaison inside of your organization and do active outreach to find the organizations that are in your space, state level or all the way down to local level that are out there and what their capabilities are and try to fold them into the process, get them trained, get the POC info and also encourage them to apply for Statesville ed membership.

Todd DeVoe:     Well, Brian, thank you so much for your time today and as a pleasure having you on the show.

Brian Sims:          Thanks so much. Todd. Take care.








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