Disaster Zone

Gordon Graham: Part II at IAEM

Risk and emergency management--The ten families of risk.

by Eric Holdeman / November 15, 2011

The Ten Families of Risk


Family Risk Number 1 is external risk:  Weather is an external risk.  Earthquakes are another example.  Terrorism is an external risk.  Very difficult to control external these types of risks.  For terrorism you need vigilance and random irregularity.  We fall into complacency quickly as Americans.  We've been lucky to date.  


We've lost our vigilance since 9/11.  Random irregularity, don't be so predictability.  Bad guys look for patterns.  We need to be random.  We are very predictable in our behaviors. 


Number 2 Legal and Regulatory Risk:  We need to not be out of compliance with our own policies and procedures and with those of our states.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.  


Family 3 Strategic Risk:  We need to look into the future to see what is necessary for the future.  In 1960 firefighters put out fires.  They looked at the needs and came up with the Emergency Management Services (EMS).   The firefighters need to reinvent themselves again because the cost is too high.  They are coming under the gun for the cost of their services.  


Family 4 Organizational Risk:  We need to keep looking for root causes for the tragedies.  People, policies, training, supervisory and discipline when policies are not followed.  Need to pay attention to recruitment--hire good people, background investigations (background investigations need to be done even once people have been hired, every five years?).  Use probation to get rid of bad people during probation.  His opinion is to do away with performance evaluations.  Your average government employee is overrated.  Rules must be enforced or they are part of the problem.  Employees Google Czar 52 and see what is there.  Every day needs to be a training day.  There are unthinkable events that happen.  We need to understand the core capability tasks.  Everyday needs to be a training day.  Sully the pilot who landed on the Hudson made every day a training day.  Discipline must happen if policies are not followed.


Family 5 Operational Risk:  We need a decision making process.  Send him an email and he will send you a copy.


Family 6 Information Risk:  How do we know that our decisions are being made on the right information


Family 7 Technology Risk:  We are behind the curve on technology.  In Denmark every new cop has to have a strong technology background.  He doesn't like social media.


Family 8 HR Risk:  Show your worth as an employee.  You need the advice of competent HR and legal consul.  


Family 9 Financial and Management Risk:  Few people are trained and we need more experience and training.


Family 10 Political Risk:  It exists everywhere.


Look for his recommended reading list on risk.