SDMI unveils Industry Emergency Management Orientation

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News & Highlights

Stephenson Disaster Management Institute Releases Report Outlining Research from Gothenburg, Sweden-New Orleans City-to-City Exchange

August 6, 2015

Learn more – Resilient Cities

Resilient Cities

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University today released its final report on making cities more resilient as part of a United Nations program that focuses on reducing loss from disasters.

As part of the United Nations’ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the “Making Cities Resilient” campaign, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency planned and financed an international exchange of knowledge for five practitioners from Gothenburg and five Swedish researchers as well as five practitioners from the City of New Orleans and five researchers from Louisiana State University.

Following a February 2015 meeting in Sweden and a May 2015 meeting in New Orleans, SDMI has compiled a report supporting the UN’s 10 essentials for resilient cities and published comprehensive information about the trip, including presentations, photos and biographies of participating researchers. To view the report and learn more about the project, visit SDMI’s project website, designed by Baton Rouge-based Covalent Logic and located online at
Brant Mitchell, SDMI’s Director of Research and Operations, said, “The New Orleans-Gothenburg City-to-City exchange proved to be a tremendously valuable experience for all parties involved. The City of Gothenburg has some of the most advanced city planning that I have had an opportunity to observe. As a coastal port city, they are very concerned about the predicted rate of sea level rise and are incorporating planning measures now to ensure their city is prepared. To help prepare for the anticipated impacts they have develop advanced models and also utilize advanced visualizing techniques to communicate anticipated changes to the public. Spending a week in Gothenburg was very helpful in seeing how the communicate risk and I hope to include some of their techniques on research SDMI is currently conducting to benefit the Port of New Orleans and coastal cities along the Gulf of Mexico.”
The researchers said that spending time with the Swedish officials in the field helped them see how a city with a progressive approach to mitigation and resiliency approaches the same problems that affect communities along the Gulf Coast.… Read the rest

SDMIs Col. Joseph Booth, participates in Homeland Security Planner’s Course at U.S. Coast Guard

May 8, 2015

Dr. Julie Pullen, Director MSC, and MSC research primary investigator, Col. Joseph “Joey” Booth, Executive Director, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI), at Louisiana State University, recently participated in the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) Homeland Security Planner’s Course (HLSPC), held at the U.S. Coast Guard Base New Orleans in New Orleans, LA.

Tailored to U.S. government and military personnel, the objectives of the course is to provide participants with an understanding of national level policy, strategy and plans for homeland security, insight into the Joint Operations Planning Process (JOPP), and an overview of the Department of Defense (DoD) policy, strategy, and plans for homeland security defense and civil support. The 40 hour certificate course included lectures, guided discussions, case studies and guest speakers. The course was led by Joint Forces Staff College Assistant Dean, Glenn Jones.

Participants in the April course included representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), among others.

In addition to participating in the class, Dr. Pullen and Col. Booth each provided presentations on their respective areas of research. Following completion of the course, Col. Booth engaged in an operational tabletop exercise, coordinated by Dr. Joseph DiRenzo, Senior Advisor to the Atlantic Area Commander for Science, Research, Technology and Innovation and Coast Guard Chair, Joint Forces Staff College, and Mr David Boyd, Operations Analysis Branch Chief Coast Guard Pacific Area, to test national response plans to a crisis event.

International workshop facilitates discussion and inspires academic study and research in Resilience Engineering. Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean, Charles V. Schaefer, Jr., School of Engineering and Science, recently led a three-day workshop focused on resilience engineering research and education. Sponsored by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the workshop was designed to define the emerging multi-disciplinary field of resilience engineering and its applications to global challenges in climate change, critical infrastructure protection, transportation systems, energy security, and food and water availability.… Read the rest

SDMI and Louisiana National Guard Begin New Cyber Security Initiative

March 18, 2015

BATON ROUGE – The potential of a cyber threat is an ongoing and pervasive one that could affect anyone. The LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, or SDMI, works to protect the country’s systems and networks by teaming with partners from government and military, the private sector and academia to provide solutions. The most recent partnership has led to the Cyber Security Initiative, in conjunction with the Louisiana National Guard.

Training with the Louisiana National Guard has already begun using a newly constructed joint “Cyber Range” in Baton Rouge. SDMI is working with university-based experts in cyber security at LSU and other universities to create a cyber research and incident response capability to protect information security.

SDMI’s executive director Joseph Booth said the partnership with the Louisiana National Guard is designed to facilitate information sharing about cyber threats between military and civilian sectors.

“Partnering with the Louisiana National Guard and participating in their training is a big step in that direction,” he said. “We are proud to work with our National Guard in building a leading cyber defense program.”

According to Booth, the SDMI cyber security initiative is designed to utilize applied research expertise to the growing problem of cyber threats. Work is being focused on protecting information security and information assurance.

“As the state’s flagship institution, the problems of Louisiana are the problems of LSU, so it is a natural that our researchers help with the issue of cyber security and cyber threats,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “We all rely on technology and mission critical systems to sustain businesses and our way of life. We have to be able to rely on the certainty of those systems operating without disruption, and our researchers have the expertise to help in those areas.”

Approximately 40 Louisiana National Guard Soldiers and Airmen with the state’s new Cyber Defense Incident Response Team, or CDIRT, have participated in the training.… Read the rest

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