This was written by Richard Rudman as a
years of warning research has shown that a very likely
place for warnings to fail is right at the origination point. A lot of
warnings never go out.
This research resides at the Natural Hazards Center of the University of
Colorado at Boulder. When the Partnership For Public Warning (PPW) was
founded in 2001 we drew heavily on this repository for reports. Many of
them were authored by someone I consider to be one of the foremost
experts in the field, Dr. Denis Mileti, Professor Emeritus at the U of
C, Boulder. Denis was also a key supporter and member of the PPW.
I would suggest that anyone interested in the priceless body of
knowledge accumulated on warnings at the University of Colorado, Boulder
and the work of Dr. Mileti check out these links:
What I think is needed here is to make it crystal clear to local
government that they have a legal duty to warn. There are many
highly trained and dedicated people in the warning business, but not
enough. Making their duty more clear as a legal point will help.
But, the legal argument is not enough. I think the best way to get
where we need to go is to build effective local, state and national
partnerships. This partnership idea was behind the PPW, and has
been suggested by me and others (including the SBE) to the FCC as the
Commission looks at national EAS testing. SBE in fact suggested in
its Comments that the EAS National Advisory Committee (NAC) be
revived. The NAC charter as a Federal Advisory Committee was allowed to
expire in 2002 by the Commission.
As I have said many times in the past, where you see EAS working
well, you will see broadcasters and local emergency management literally
and figuratively meeting each other half way.
If you look at where EAS is working, you will already see such
partnerships. Washington State is a great example. Probably the
greatest value of such working partnerships is how they operate
when things go wrong, as well as when they go right. What happens after
EAS events, including tests, is a post event analysis. Some in
emergency management call them "hot washes". They look at what unfolded,
take lessons learned, and strive to incorporate those lessons for
Those of you involved with viable EAS partnerships know exactly what
I am talking about. You will also "get" another of my favorite lines --
"The day of the emergency is a bad day to go and meet your
local emergency manager."
Vice Chair, CA SECC
Standard disclaimer: I am speaking as
an individual. My thoughts do not necessarily reflect the views of the