A: When it comes to emergency management, I think that the magazine you have is a perfect forum for an intellectual conversation, a perfect forum where hopefully the right kind of policymakers would actually pick it up and read it.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, most politicians tend to look at the dailies; they tend to look at the New York Post, The Washington Post, The New York Times and the L.A. Times. ...
They look at those and say, "What is America talking about?" That's not necessarily the case when it comes to the more in-depth issues and responsibilities that we have as policymakers and as a country. So I think it's important for specific kinds of magazines like yours to hopefully have dialog, question-and-answer, and exposure to facts and truth. But they would have to pick that up and tell their staffers and say, "You know what? This seems very important." Unfortunately I think politicians in this country tend to react to the dailies.
Q: What would you want to convey to the policymakers and politicians who might read Emergency Management?
A: First of all, what we need to convey to them is the kind of vulnerabilities we have. For example, 9/11 occurred on the East Coast, in New York, and then a portion of it occurred in Washington, D.C. The fact of the matter is, if you look at the West Coast, the most vulnerable city is Los Angeles - perhaps even more vulnerable today than New York.
Thank goodness we didn't have an incident like we did in New York. What we need to do is expose the fact that those communities still need attention and focus. We shouldn't have to wait for an incident or tragedy where we lose 100 or 1,000 American lives in order for them to give the proper attention. Washington needs to help with fortifying us in protecting ourselves.
Also, when it comes to emergency operations, it's the actual command-and-control issues, the responsibility and responsiveness of the community when we have an incident such as that. It's one thing to prepare - that's always important. But at the same time, it's equally important for us to be fortified with the kind of communication and networking necessary when you have a situation where massive response is required.