Strategic Foresight Initiative

The Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) is a transformative, community-wide effort to create an enduring foresight capability. It is intended to advance strategic planning and thinking about the future, to prepare the emergency management community both for emerging challenges and for the key opportunities presented by our changing environment. Its core focus is to understand the factors driving change in our world, and to analyze how they will impact the emergency management field in the United States over the next 20 years. Fundamentally, the SFI seeks two outcomes: (1) an emergency management community prepared for whatever challenges the future holds; and (2) a common sense of direction and urgency, to drive action toward meeting our shared future needs—starting today. Achieving these objectives will require ongoing conversations among diverse stakeholders, the creation of a common sense of awareness, and leadership throughout the community to make the needed changes to prepare our Nation for the future.

FEMA is only one member of the emergency management community. Therefore, to expand our community’s exposure to and understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing us, the SFI engages all levels of government, non-profits, businesses and individuals. This forum provides an opportunity to provide input on the challenges and opportunities the future holds for emergency and disaster management. Your ideas will help shape the future work of the SFI.

The SFI adopted a rigorous approach to thinking about future needs for emergency management. The Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030 report represents the most comprehensive analysis to date of the future outlook facing those in our community of practice.

We are providing three discussion topics – highlighted in section III of the Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030 Report - for you to contribute and share your ideas with the emergency management community.

To learn more about SFI and to read additional research materials, we encourage you to visit our website.

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Strategic Foresight Initiative

Great document! It looks more and more like FEMA and other Federal emergency management entities and members are in fact trying to seek out, identify, and marshal the capabilities of private and public sectors. This is essential if we are to improve, enhance, and reinforce our EAS . Even as recent as only months ago we had some grave concerns regarding the state of Federal, state, and local agency's capability to take ...more »

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Crowdsourcing for Situational Awareness - Australian Example

Citizens are key to resiliency and they expect to use social media during disasters as part of a comprehensive, layered info system. While some agencies use social media to distribute info, we have largely ignored the huge potential of crowdsorcing to help verify and inform the whole community. Social media is also critical for communities to self organize recovery efforts (cleanup party at a school, or clearing debris). ...more »

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Service Animals in Emergency Disaster Shelters - Training

I had the pleasure of speaking to a number of VMAT team members (Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams) at the most recent Penn Vet Working Dog Conference. (I hold a Master's degree in Assistance Dog Studies and now specialize in Assistance Dog Law.) VMATs are often called during deployments to the Emergency Shelters because a person with a disability is seeking shelter and is requesting that they be allowed to have their ...more »

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Disaster Related Violence Prevention

I suggest that FEMA have 1 or 2 violence prevention/ conflict resolution specialists on staff, or under contract. During horrific major disasters, victims will sometimes "turn-on-each-other." I know that some Emergency Managers say that Americans will not engage in such conflict. However, I have seen it happen several times during disasters overseas ... and it can happen in the U.S. It would be foolish not to have ...more »

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Preparedness Housing Options

I suggest that FEMA do more to make the public aware of housing concepts/ designs to help individuals/ families better prepare for specific types of probable disasters. In order to assist FEMA in this effort, our charity (NPI) is planning to construct a demonstration tornado resistant house in the area known as "tornado alley," in Oklahoma. We do not seek to promote or sell this house or its design, but only hope to ...more »

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Disaster relief home being shipped to Haiti this month.

Recover initiative disaster relief structure manufactured by SIPs of America will ship to Haiti this month. It has been packed into (2) 20’ containers so that a rollback can easily deliver them to the job site. In addition, Arup Engineering ran the structure through it computer modeling software and was amazed the structure would withstand a category 5 hurricane. We could do the same here, have complete home kits packed ...more »

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Accreditation and Supply Chain Establishment for Mass Care shelt

One on the major hurdles of providing healthcare in Mass Care shelters or Alternative Care Centers is healthcare accreditation. Another obstacle to providing care is the Mass Care Shelters/Alternative Care centers are not established as a receiving point for medical materials (pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment). Solving these two issues requires a lot of coordination and much effort, but I would be delighted ...more »

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Improved Preparedness Assessment

FEMA has made progress in preparedness assessment based on the evaluation of plans, resources, authorities, agencies, & human resources dedicated to emergency response(s). In addition, the reliability of response is now based on scale, scope, & complexity of disaster. I suggest that such FEMA assessments could be improved by making further advances in the following areas: 1) Understand what might go wrong; 2) Observe ...more »

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Real Flood Insurance, Saving Life and Property

Dear Think Tank Members I am going to try to paint a narrative of my idea. Imagine a home along the Mississippi. The waters of the river start to over run it's banks and the water heads toward the home. As the water approaches the home a pump starts up to pump the water into a large bladder or bladders that surround the home. As the bladder fills it creates a barrier between the water and the home. Thus saving the home ...more »

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Ethics: The Foundation for Preparedness

In recent hearings by Congress, the Dept. of Homeland Security & FEMA were found to have several recent violations of established ethical standards. If corrupt activities erode public trust, preparedness efforts are generally weakened. Most Americans already lack trust in Congress because a majority of our elected representatives become "hooked" on "political payola" (large, sustained campaign contributions) ...from ...more »

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Special EM Internships

At a time when recent college graduates find it difficult to obtain really meaningful employment, it may be time for FEMA to offer significant numbers of Emergency Management (EM) Internships. In order to gain a meaningful EM work experience, and a credible "block" of experience for their resumes, many prospective interns might be willing to volunteer or work for very minimal wage. This would be a "win-win-win" situation ...more »

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Prevent Misuse of Preparedness Funds

All too often, in the past as well as now, congressional delegations & state legislatures have diverted preparedness funds away from all types of emergency preparedness projects ... and funds were used for "political pork" on efforts unrelated to preparedness. In the interest of public safety, FEMA has a fiduciary obligation to help assure that preparedness funds are used for preparedness purposes. All citizens need ...more »

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