Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homeland Security: Information Disconnect

One of the major issues I discuss in my up and coming Homeland Security book is the topic of information disconnect. One of the largest issues I see happening over and over again is a serious disconnect in the flow of information from some states to their local emergency responder organizations. And this isn't a political beef (for the most part) either... it is a financial crisis.

The lack of communication and information can be identified by a lack of funding, which is and isn't preventable. Below are the issues as to why.

Issue #1. Emergency management training sessions are either federally-sponsored or tuition-free. Sounds great, right? Wrong. Many states and municipal agencies will not participate in these programs because it costs money to allow the staff person taking the training time off. Yes, having to pay for PTO and then a placement person to assume the job duties of trainee during his or her absence is a major challenge. There are funds to help cover these costs, you just have to know where and when to look. If you don't know about these funds, you don't seek them out and then training sessions are missed.

Issue #2. This broken link: https://www.firstrespondertraining.gov/content.do?page=pageMoved. Yes, have you even decided to take up a course or seek out help only to land on a broken link. Why bother searching for the new page, right? Well, broken links to federal training programs are really preventing the flow of information and other homeland security training issues. How do you overcome this? I know it is annoying, but you will have to play detective and track down the right information and find key links. Don't give up when you arrive on the broken page. BTW- here is the PROPER link (yes, I played detective) for the training programs: http://training.fema.gov/

My point is there always will be challenges. Don't think you can't change things. Seek out information, seek out resources and don't get stumped by broken links. You have to be proactive the be preventive!

Twyla Garrett

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