Disaster Zone

First Bi-National EAS Test

It is about time that we learn to cooperate!

by Eric Holdeman / April 28, 2016

Jeffrey A. Friedland, the emergency management director for St. Clair County, Mich., shared, "The first ever bi-national EAS (Emergency Alert System) test between US-Canada that occurred this week in St. Clair County. The Canadian EAS system activated the EAS system at Radio First. This was part of the CAUSE IV experiment."

In my position at the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR) we try to work on cross-border issues — those between states, and since we are a bi-national organization, between states and Canadian provinces. I continue to be amazed at the lack of interaction that we have in emergency management between our two nations. The U.S. State Department certainly gets in the way with any agreements and the natural focus of Americans seems to be what Donald Trump would call an "America First" approach.

I commend Jeff Friedland's efforts at building partnerships locally between his county and his counterparts just across the border. If you are waiting for our federal government to lead the way, you will wait a long time. I suggest that we all take a "the border be dammed" approach. I'm going to do what needs to be done to jointly work with our Canadian partners when and where we can.