Typhoon Haiyan

November 14, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On Friday November 8th,  super-typhoon Haiyan swept through Tacloban, the provincial capital of the island of Leyte, leaving the city in ruins and its population of more than 200,000 in desperate conditions.  Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, devastated a massive central portion of the Philippines and continued its destructive and deadly path, also making landfall in Vietnam and inflicting more damage and suffering.

SDMI is monitoring the response and will provide updates on response and recovery efforts, as well as contribution information, on our website. You can visit the page here: http://www.sdmi.lsu.edu/typhoon-haiyan/

To date, over 11.8 million people have been affected by Haiyan, including an estimated 2,344 fatalities. President Benigno Aquini III estimates the number could climb as search and rescue operations continue. Those surviving the super-typhoon are currently in desperate need of food, water, and shelter. Of these 11 million, over 900,000 have been displaced in the storms aftermath, some relying on evacuation centers set up for temporary housing. While massive relief efforts are currently underway, blocked roads and poor conditions at some airports have made delivering aid to those in need an extremely difficult proposition.

One of the world’s most massive relief efforts is currently underway to help this area in desperate need. This effort will require support from across the globe to assist in both immediate and long-term recovery. As experts in Disaster Management, with direct experience in catastrophic events, SDMI recognizes that every effort helps in these times of need. To assist and spread the word in the response and recovery mission, SDMI encourages you to consider making any contribution you can, large or small, to any of the international agencies that are providing support to the recovery process.

We encourage you to continue to check back for the latest information on response and ways you can support the recovery from Haiyan.… Read the rest

Sid Fuchs, SDMI Senior Fellow and MacAulay-Brown President and CEO, is recognized for leadership and creating a top workplace.

December 17, 2014

Fuchs Official Executive Photo

Sid Fuchs, SDMI Senior Fellow and MacAulay-Brown President and CEO, is recognized for leadership and creating a top workplace.  Executive Director Joseph Booth adds “SDMI congratulates Sid Fuchs for this latest accomplishment and recognition.   This news brings no surprise, just proud delight to see Sid once again singled out for his strong corporate and personal strengths.” Read full article.… Read the rest

SDMI Senior Fellow Fights Ebola in West Africa

December 10, 2014

Workers practice correct donning and doffing of PPE

The largest ever outbreak of the Ebola virus is an ongoing health crisis in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.  Sierra Leone has been especially hard hit with over 7,000 cases since July.  SDMI Senior Fellow Dr. Christopher Mores is there to develop and deploy biocontainment strategies to mitigate this current outbreak, both in the community and at the Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) in Port Loko outside of Freetown.  Dr. Mores is serving as the lead epidemiologist, biocontainment specialist, and infection control officer in collaboration with the Irish NGO GOAL Aid Agency. He is providing critical leadership in addressing the ongoing Ebola outbreak.  Dr. Mores has previous experience in developing means to deal with outbreaks of the Ebola virus, having worked with the virus as a postdoc at USAMRIID.  His expertise and experience is being used to develop strategies to better understand the drivers of transmission in effort to eventually slow the transmission of Ebola. Especially important is his work in biosafety for healthcare workers, as over 200 healthcare workers have contracted Ebola since the start of the epidemic. Additionally, Dr. Mores and SDMI are providing advice and guidance to government and private sector entities to provide greater resiliency against Ebola virus outbreaks.

You can keep up with Dr. Mores and his Ebola response by following his blog: http://www.epiresponse.com/; or by following him through SDMI at http://sdmi.lsu.edu.… Read the rest

SDMI Develops Mobile App for Louisiana State Police

December 3, 2014

Mobile dashboard for HazFlow web application

Recognizing the important role that the Louisiana State Police (LSP) has during an emergency, SDMI has recently assisted the LSP in developing a responsive desktop and mobile web based application to assist first responders in planning and response to HAZMAT within their jurisdictions and organizing collected data efficiently.

The HazFlow application allows participating parties to collect information from vehicles carrying hazardous cargo traveling through various intersections, checkpoints, and other locations.

HazFlow utilizes a selected mobile device’s internal GPS to capture the hazardous cargo survey point and/or lets the user select the exact location on a map. The app records all of this data as well as dates and times of the survey, time-stamps of each vehicle that is recorded, the id of the user conducting the survey, and provides reference images of different types of hazardous cargo vehicles and placards. The app is available for the LSP and their Joint Emergency Training Center (JESTC) to use with IPad, IPhone, and Android devices.

Lieutenant Kelly Feet of the Louisiana State Police Department said the HazFlow app is simple, easy to use and timesaving.

“We can now get days worth of work done in a couple of hours,” Feet said. “It’s simple to record data and the way it is exported makes it even easier to analyze.”

The LSP and JESTC provide training and support to first responders for the application. SDMI is responsible for the support, storage, and maintenance of HazFlow data captured by users as well as long-term analytics and statistics to further part of SDMI’s mission to continuously improve disaster management.

Other emergency responders or disaster management personnel may obtain access to the Hazardous Commodity Flow Survey training and the HazFlow web application by contacting Richard Browning or Kelly Feet of JESTC at 225-658-2618.… Read the rest

SDMI Welcomes Dr. Christopher N. Mores as a Senior Fellow

December 1, 2014

Chris Mores image

SDMI is pleased to announce Dr. Christopher N. Mores as our newest Senior Fellow.  Dr. Mores is an arbovirologist whose research program focuses on the role of arthropod-borne viral characteristics on transmission and infection kinetics.

“When the Ebola crisis reached the U.S., it became apparent that the outbreak in West Africa had the potential to impact private and public enterprises here in significant ways,” said Mores. “I am pleased to join with the SDMI team to lend our expertise to our partners as we develop more resilient response plans at home, and assist with the task of eliminating the threat of emergent pathogens from abroad.”

According to SDMI Executive Director Joseph Booth, “The Ebola Virus is another example of the emergent state of disaster worldwide, as well as here at home.  SDMI quickly realized that traditional national information sources were not satisfying the demand for guidance from the disaster and emergency management community.  We were able to get leaders like Dr. Mores engaged to provide credible information to both public and private sector entities.  Dr. Mores is a tremendous asset to SDMI and we are happy to rely on his expertise.”

Mores is currently an Associate Professor of Pathobiological Sciences at Louisiana State University. He is the Associate Director of the Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research at LSU, and the Director of the high containment (BSL-3/ABSL-3/ACL-3) laboratory at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, which serves as an experimental resource for researchers and collaborators.

Bridging containment techniques with theoretical approaches through the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study program (NIH), Dr. Mores leads a consortium of researchers enhancing the computational methods for predicting and understanding arbovirus infection and transmission dynamics.

During his graduate studies, Mores directed the arbovirus surveillance program and zoonotic disease laboratories at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.… Read the rest

FBI New Orleans / InfraGard Louisiana / Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI) Joint Threat Briefing

October 7, 2014

InfraGard_logo_wbg

SDMI, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Louisiana InfraGard and the Louisiana-State Analytical & Fusion Exchange (LA-SAFE), will host a joint briefing with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that focuses on cyber and physical security threats and vulnerabilities to critical infrastructure. The briefing will include special sessions on effective use of cyber ranges, cyber scenarios, response and evidence handling, and electric power grid restoration. The briefing will take place on October 10 at the LSU Business Education Complex from 8am to 3pm. Participation is by invitation only due to limited seating. If you are interested in attending please send an email to Henry “Paco” Capello at SDMI@lsu.edu to request a formal invitation.… Read the rest

SDMI Welcomes Shell Pipeline LC as a Corporate Member

October 3, 2014

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SDMI recently announced Shell Pipeline LC as an SDMI Corporate Member. Corporate members of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute’s Center for Business Preparedness consist of corporations, foundations, and individuals whose passions are aligned with our pursuit of the improvement of emergency management, business continuity, and community resiliency. These organizations and individuals provide the private support needed to sustain these programs and continue to assist our communities in being better prepared and more resilient when disaster strikes.

Shell is a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology and one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, gasoline and natural gas marketers and petrochemical manufacturers. Shell operate in 50 states and employs more than 22,000 people delivering energy in technically innovative ways.

Joseph Booth, Executive Director of SDMI, is happy to have Shell Pipeline as a member of the SDMI family. “SDMI welcomes Shell Pipeline as its latest corporate sponsor,” says Booth. “Shell Pipeline has a substantial presence in Louisiana and we are happy to partner with them to advance the science and practice of disaster management. I am looking forward to working closely with them on meaningful projects that will have lifesaving affects.”

Corporate Memberships make it possible for SDMI to research and develop current and relevant disaster knowledge, and to provide executive-level leadership education to the next generation of disaster managers, as well as business, volunteer, and government leaders. The memberships also ensure that SDMI will continue to be available to our University, state, and region as an international disaster resource center as we continuously improve disaster knowledge and education for our country.

For more information on how you can help support the mission of the Stephenson Disaster Management Insitute, contact Pat Santos at 225-578-7853 .… Read the rest

SDMI Welcomes Sid Fuchs as a Senior Fellow

September 18, 2014

Fuchs Official Executive Photo

SDMI is pleased to announce Sid Fuchs has joined SDMI as its newest Senior Fellow. Since 2011, Fuchs has been the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of MacAulay-Brown, Inc., a leading National Security company that provides advanced engineering services and product solutions to Defense, Intelligence, Special Operations Forces, Homeland Security and Federal agencies. Fuchs is a nationally recognized business leader with over 25 years experience in a variety of markets, industries and business models that include government, commercial, international, investment, and academia with a history of developing exceptional teams, strategies, operations and results.

“As a native of Louisiana and graduate of LSU, it is truly an honor to join an Institute that was born out of the College’s outstanding response to those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Fuchs. “I look forward to working closely with my colleagues at SDMI to help the Nation prepare for the next disaster.”

Although recently appointed at the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, Fuchs is no stranger to Louisiana State University. He earned BS (1984) and MS (1987) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from LSU. In 2013, Fuchs was appointed by LSU to the position of Executive in Residence for the LSU College of Engineering and in 2012, was inducted into the Louisiana State University College of Engineering Hall of Distinction in recognition of his lifetime of achievements and contributions to the engineering profession. Fuchs is also the current Chairman of the LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Board of Advisors.

SDMI Executive Director Joseph Booth said of Fuchs joining the SDMI family, “Sid Fuchs is a wonderful addition to our Senior Fellows bench.  Sid has enjoyed enormous success as a result of hard work, a sharp mind, and willingness to take risks.  He is a respected leader and innovator who I will count on for thought leadership.… Read the rest

SDMI Welcomes Waguespack Insurance as a Corporate Member

September 10, 2014

Waguespack Photo

SDMI is delighted to announce Waguespack Insurance as an SDMI Corporate Member. Corporate members of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute’s Center for Business Preparedness consist of corporations, foundations, and individuals whose passions are aligned with our pursuit of the improvement of emergency management, business continuity, and community resiliency. These organizations and individuals provide the private support needed to sustain these programs and continue to assist our communities in being better prepared and more resilient when disaster strikes.

Waguespack Insurance is an independent agency that handles all types of commercial and personal insurance. Waguespack Insurance is dedicated to not only providing quality insurance to its customers, but also providing tools and information to help businesses succeed.

Tim Waguespack, President of Waguespack and Associates, Ins., Inc., is excited to announce this partnership with SDMI. “Waguespack Insurance is delighted to become a corporate member of SDMI. SDMI and its Center for Business Preparedness is focused on community and business resiliency and we see this partnership as a way to serve our clients and help their businesses become more prepared in the face of disasters and business interruption.”

Corporate Memberships make it possible for SDMI to research and develop current and relevant disaster knowledge, and to provide executive-level leadership education to the next generation of disaster managers, as well as business, volunteer, and government leaders. The memberships also ensure that SDMI will continue to be available to our University, state, and region as an international disaster resource center as we continuously improve disaster knowledge and education for our country.

For more information on how you can help support the mission of the Stephenson Disaster Management Insitute, contact Pat Santos at 225-578-7853 or Lauren Bourg at 225-578-7668.… Read the rest

Turning the Tech Tide. SDMI Featured in Baton Rouge Business Report

September 9, 2014

SDMI and the newly-established Transformational Technology and Cyber Research Center (TTCRC) was recenlty featured in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. The story highlights the importance of technology in Louisiana ,the role of the research center, and its close relationship with the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute.

 “The role of the TTCRC will be to raise money and attract private grant funds. In that endeavor, it will work closely with the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, among others. SDMI has been one of LSU’s great success stories in recent years. Founded after Hurricane Katrina with a $25 million donation from Emmet and Toni Stephenson, the institute has become a national leader in the field of major disaster management, developing practices, protocols and attracting companies that are coming up with useful tools and products in that all-important arena.” - Stephanie Riegel

For the full article, click here: Turning the Tech Tide

Read the rest

SDMI Discusses Cybersecurity and How to Protect Your Business

September 5, 2014

SDMI’s Information Systems Program Manager, Henry “Paco” Capello, recently sat down with The Advocate to discuss cybersecurity risks that small businesses face and the steps SDMI is taking to bring awareness to this issue and ensure these businesses are protected.

Capello, and SDMI, are spreading the word that even the smallest firm or business can easily take the steps necessary to minimize the impact of a cyber attack, and do so on a very small budget.

“One of the things we wanted to share is that we want small businesses to know we’re a resource for them,” Capello said. “We’re looking for what kind of training they need, and we’re going to set it up and provide it for them.”

For the full article and a list of steps your business can take to protect from a cyber attack, click here: Businesses Face Increased Risk of Hacking

 … Read the rest