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Eric Holdeman

Contributing Writer


Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.

He can be reached by emailTwitter and Google+.

August 13, 2015

Regional Collaboration: Rural Style

Darrell Ruby discusses collaboration in Region 9.

July 22, 2015

When it Comes to Emergency Management There Are 100 States, not 50

Get rural and urban areas on the same page before a disaster strikes.

April 27, 2015

When Is Good, Good Enough for Emergency Planning?

Planning, training and exercising are supposed to be continuous in the emergency management field. The question is, when are you done?

February 4, 2015

12-Step Program for Emergency Managers

It is only natural that we look for ways to escape our addiction to homeland security grants and gain control over our individual programs.

December 10, 2014

Washington County Plans U.S.’ First Vertical Evacuation Tsunami Building

Chuck Wallace discusses tsunami mitigation measures in Grays Harbor County, Wash., including its plans for a vertical evacuation, tsunami-engineered, safe haven building.

November 14, 2014

Redundancy vs. Duplication: Understand the Difference

Disaster-resilient organizations will have a level of redundancy that others don’t have.

November 5, 2014

How GIS Can Aid Emergency Management

Susan Cutter, a geography professor at the University of South Carolina, discusses the use of GIS in emergency management and the ‘why of the where’ when working with maps.

September 19, 2014

More Diversity Is Needed in Emergency Management

We are limiting our effectiveness by not having a more diverse cadre of emergency managers.

July 14, 2014

How to be a Liaison

We talk about it, write about it and have it on our EOC organization charts, but what does it really mean to be a liaison?

June 26, 2014

Technology Plays an Increasing Role in Emergency Management

Microsoft Disaster Response’s chief technology officer discusses the use of tech in emergency response.

May 8, 2014

Are You Promoting Climate Adaption Measures? (It’s Time to Start)

While the rest of the world has been thinking about the warming climate for some time, we in the U.S. are catching up on the issue.

April 17, 2014

What’s the Best Way to Deliver Emergency Management Training?

California’s training chief, Curry Mayer, addresses effective emergency management education.

March 28, 2014

‘Asymmetric’ Helps Define Disaster Resilience (Column)

What does it really mean to obtain disaster resilience, and what does resilience look and feel like?

March 21, 2014

Sharpening the Focus on Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Interdependencies

Bob Kolasky of the DHS discusses the new National Infrastructure Protection Plan and other important aspects of critical infrastructure protection.

January 24, 2014

How and When to Brief (Column)

Briefings in an activated EOC come in all shapes and sizes, and there are more bad briefings than good ones.

November 21, 2013

Never Say You're Ready (Opinion)

The question "are we ready?" strikes at the heart of being an emergency manager.

October 14, 2013

The Challenges of Managing Risk

It is more critical than ever to have formality, structure and measurement around a risk management framework, says Brian Schwartz of PwC.

September 12, 2013

How You Can Lead Without Authority (Opinion)

The key for emergency management professionals is gaining and maintaining relationships.

September 11, 2013

Fugate’s Digital Push Includes Improved FEMA App, Social Media as Two-Way Dialog

FEMA administrator urges emergency management agencies to boost social media efforts.

July 31, 2013

Is Emergency Management a Profession? (Opinion)

A profession is defined as a calling that requires specialized knowledge and academic preparation. Does emergency management fall under that description?

June 24, 2013

School Security: Planning Tips for an Active Shooter Scenario

Sgt. Jesus M. Villahermosa Jr. of the Pierce County, Wash., Sheriff’s Department addresses how schools can develop better plans and prepare staff members for an emergency.

June 3, 2013

The Role of Standards in Emergency Management

National Fire Protection Association 1600 standard co-author Don Schmidt reflects on the evolution of standards in emergency management and business continuity.

May 30, 2013

5 Ways to Educate People About the Realities of Disaster Recovery

The public doesn’t know that much about emergency response, and even less about disaster recovery and what's involved with getting federal assistance.

April 11, 2013

911 Call-Takers Are the Real First Responders (Opinion)

In some cases, it’s the call-taker who helps a frantic person on the other end of the line administer first aid by giving instructions over the phone.

March 8, 2013

Consultants: When, Why and How to Hire Them

While there is less federal funding available to hire consultants, they remain a viable option for governments looking to supplement their efforts with additional staff and expertise.

February 4, 2013

It’s Time to Dump Government-Centric Thinking (Opinion)

The full impact of the continued reduction in federal homeland security funding has yet to be felt.

November 21, 2012

Preparedness Should Be Marketed like Coca-Cola

What’s needed to overcome this woeful lack of disaster preparedness is a national-level campaign that's never-ending.

October 12, 2012

Contacts Are Key in Emergency Management

Emergency managers’ contacts must cover a wide spectrum of people and organizations.

September 17, 2012

Change Management: A New Model for Organizations Implementing Change

How change impacts organizations and individuals, and why most efforts at change fail.

September 10, 2012

Disaster Management: Not Just a Government Matter

U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center advances the ability of businesses to address community and societal issues.

September 4, 2012

How to Demonstrate the Fruits of Your Labor

Emergency management professionals are increasingly under pressure to show return on investment. Here is some advice from an expert.

August 29, 2012

Hurricane Katrina and the Lessons Learned from Mississippi’s Recovery

Katrina slammed the state seven years ago and Jon Mabry has been in the middle of its recovery.

August 15, 2012

The 10 Commandments of Emergency Management (Opinion)

"Thou must establish relationships with others" and nine other commandments for disaster preparedness and response officials.

July 24, 2012

Health-Care Coalition Ensures Service During a Disaster

King County, Wash., health-care coalition program manager, Cynthia Dold, shares her experiences.

June 15, 2012

Concept of Disaster Volunteers Is Evolving (Opinion)

21st-century emergency managers should provide direction, rather than trying to control every aspect of response and recovery.

April 23, 2012

Recovery Process Is a Disaster (Opinion)

We spend most of our time on preparedness and only 1 to 2 percent of our time on the disaster response phase — which can last years following a large emergency.

March 19, 2012

FEMA’s David Kaufman Addresses Emergency Management Trends

Kaufman discusses the Strategic Foresight Initiative and how it will help guide efforts to better prepare people and programs.

February 23, 2012

A Peek Into the Future of Emergency Management Solutions

Knowledge Center’s John Degory discusses EOCs, information management and more.

February 10, 2012

Emergency Management Is a Complicated Profession (Opinion)

It’s no longer possible for one person to have all the information available on emergency management and homeland security.

January 25, 2012

2011's Weather Is a Precursor of Things to Come, says NOAA Assistant Administrator

John Hayes addresses how NOAA is keeping up with a warming climate and societal changes.

December 7, 2011

The Changing Face of Disasters (Opinion)

There are fundamental social changes occurring rapidly everywhere — and disasters are changing too.

November 7, 2011

Russ Johnson Talks Esri and All Things GIS

How GIS supports response and recovery, and how Esri plugs into disasters.

October 6, 2011

Leadership Is a ‘Lifestyle’ Built on Relationships

Garry Briese shares a lifetime of knowledge on building relationships and what leadership really means.

June 2, 2011

Black Swan Events Require Expanded Thinking, Planning

“Black swan events” are those that exist in the realm of possibility, but are totally unexpected — an aberration of our expectations.

May 13, 2011

Is There Potential for an International Emergency Management Assistance Compact?

Minnesota EMAC Coordinator Kim Ketterhagen discusses the evolution of the EMAC and its future.

March 23, 2011

It May Take a Major Earthquake to Make Seismic Safety a Priority in the U.S.

Focusing on hazards other than earthquakes and tsunamis could cripple the U.S. when a big one hits, says John Schelling of the Washington State Emergency Management Division.

March 16, 2011

Japan Catastrophe Should Prompt U.S. to Re-Examine Policies, Procedures

The United States’ complex government system makes responding to large-scale disasters arduous.

March 9, 2011

How to Avoid a ‘Kaboom’ Event by Communicating Effectively

Author and former emergency manager, Betty Lochner, enlightens on improving communication skills.

February 28, 2011

Tales of Two Earthquakes Offer Lessons for the Future

But an inability to change behavior and not just ‘observe’ lessons will lead to catastrophe.

December 13, 2010

Glen Woodbury Shares Lessons Learned, Future Emergency Management Trends

Woodbury is director of the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security, and leans on decades of experience when he shares lessons learned.

December 8, 2010

If Gophers Were Terrorists (Opinion)

Envision what would happen if authorities discovered that these burrowing animals were trained terrorist operatives attacking critical infrastructure.

November 22, 2010

The Consultant Conundrum: When to Hire One and Why

Gisele Parry shares her expertise on when to hire consultants and how to manage them once onboard.

November 11, 2010

Beware the Snow: Lessons From Snowy Disasters

Public officials, and mayors especially, can learn what not to do during a snowstorm by examining the past.

June 24, 2010

Selling Emergency Management: An Unspoken Job Function (Column)

Emergency managers’ jobs require more than disaster mitigation and recovery, marketing is another important component.

June 10, 2010

A Conversation With Denver's Director of Emergency Management

Dan Alexander discusses his emergency management experience and has advice for others in the field.

April 16, 2010

The Importance of an Agency’s No. 2 Person in Charge

Although the focus of many programs is on the No. 1 person in the organization, the No. 2 person can play a pivotal role in the day-to-day affairs of the agency.

March 24, 2010

International Search and Rescue: How it Worked in Haiti

As a disaster management technical adviser for Microsoft, Gisli Olafsson provides guidance internationally and describes how technology aided response to the Haiti earthquake.

March 1, 2010

Killer Buildings Here at Home Are a 'Predictable Surprise' (Opinion)

Earthquake risks in the United States include some of the same that took a deadly toll in Haiti and Chile.

February 12, 2010

Cultivating Emergency Managers

It's time to begin developing the next generation who will be taking our places.

January 11, 2010

The Difference Between Lessons Observed and Lessons Learned

Though successful exercises are good, it’s many times the failures that provide the real learning opportunities.

December 30, 2009

Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Ed Wall Hopes to Bridge the Gap

Law enforcement background may lend itself to today's link between emergency management and homeland security.

November 30, 2009

A Retrospective of the 1999 World Trade Organization Riots in Seattle

Worst-case planning, resource planning, joint agency planning, among the lessons learned from seminal event in the Pacific Northwest.

November 11, 2009

Interview: A Next-Generation Emergency Manager

Jay Hagen, emergency preparedness officer of the Seattle Fire Department, discusses education, maritime security and the homeland security/emergency management relationship.

October 13, 2009

What's the Secret Ingredient to Success in Emergency Management?

A lack of trust is a major block in moving regional emergency management initiatives.

September 9, 2009

Former California Emergency Services Director Discusses 21st Century Challenges

Richard Andrews addresses technology’s role in emergency management, and the relationship between emergency management and homeland security.

August 12, 2009

National Commission Addresses the Unique Needs of Children During Disasters

Commissioner of the National Commission on Children and Disasters addresses the barriers to protecting children during emergencies.

December 1, 2008

Homeland Security, Emergency Management and the Economy

Implications of the economic crisis.