October 16, 2018 — Coordination is the heartbeat of emergency management. That is the message emergency management leaders emphasized on the latest episode of “Prep Talk”. Hosts sat down with Barb Graff, director of the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, Thomas Sivak, deputy director for the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications, and Joseph Esposito, commissioner of NYC Emergency Management, to discuss the importance of information sharing on the heels of the Big City Emergency Manager’s fall conference here in New York City.
“The goal of Big City Emergency Managers is to bring emergency managers from the nation’s largest municipalities together to share information and resources and to discuss areas of mutual concern, ”Commissioner Esposito said. “From Seattle to Chicago, Houston to New York City, it is a great way for emergency managers to share best practices and lessons learned so that we can make our own cities better prepared and resilient.”
“When you put all of us in a room together, we represent nearly a quarter of the nation’s population, and we attract gravity by asking cabinet member officials or the FEMA Administrator to be present to talk policy with us. It is even more effective that way,” Graff said. “We’re creating the relationship with the federal government that at some point we’re all going to count on.”
“One of the greatest things that we have is that we can always pick up the phone, and there’s always someone across this country that’s going to answer your call, especially when you have a complex issue or problem,” Sivak said. “When we’re able to get together and work through these kind of problems it really gives us another set of skills that we are able to leverage when we have incidents.”
The episode’s special guests discussed the role emergency management plays in emergency preparedness education, in addition to disaster response and recovery, and emerging threats emergency managers may face. Find out what keeps these emergency managers up at night, and learn why emergency management is becoming a growing field. To hear more, click to listen to episode 18 on SoundCloud and iTunes. Big City Emergency Managers’ fall conference was held October 16 – October 19 in New York City.