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EMERGENCY

An investigation into best practices in urban design

Design addresses flooding, heat, climate change

Melding of urban planning & crisis management

The Impossible Agenda

Survey of 8,000 pages of emergency plans & studies

Update for the social media era

fog of battle

Case studies

A finer pointurban evacuation orders

A possible explanation for lack of interoperability in plans

Your questions

What Little We Know

What kind of public communication works?

What will change behaviour?

What will be your ethical, legal and moral obligations?

What works with which demographic group?

Why Me?

Shocked at Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, 2005

Crisis response business for 30 years

City Hall reporter, correspondent & national newscaster

Started with Exxon Valdez oil spill

Risk, crisis & disaster management at Leicester University

Urban Planning at the University of Toronto

Book Safer Cities of the Future

Book An Ounce of Prevention

Problems in Emergency Plans

BLANK PAGES, REDACTED TEXT, MAPS WITHOUT STREET NAMES

401 ERRORS, DROP-DOWNS, POP-UPS, AND PRINT-OFFS WITH


OBSCURE TEXT AND/OR SMALL FONT

GLOSSARIES, DEFINITIONS, LISTS OF PEOPLE, AND FACILITIES

OUT OF DATE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW

SOME CITIES WITHOUT PLANS

SOME PROBLEMS HAVE NO APPARENT SOLUTIONS, AND SOME


SOLUTIONS ARE SUGGESTED IN THE ABSENCE OF A MATCHING
PROBLEM (BERKE & BEATLEY, 1992)

Crises by the Numbers

MOST PLANS HAVE 1 TO 3 CRISES RANKINGS:

3 is the most severe,

Except for London, Ontario and Houston where 1 is the worst

SOME HAVE A 4 STAGE RANKING OF CRISES AND SOME HAVE SEVEN

HOUSTON HAS 4 LEVELS OF READINESS

COLUMBUS TELLS READERS TO BE READY IN THREE WITHOUT


SAYING WHAT TO BE READY FOR, OR WHAT THE THREE UNITS ARE

SOME ARE COLOUR CODED

Lack of Interoperability

PLANS AND PLAIN LANGUAGE ARE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

GUELPH (2014): THERE HAS BEEN A VARIANCE OF APPROACHES


A LACK OF STANDARDIZED TOOLS TO MANAGE INCIDENTS, AND
HENCE NO SINGLE PROVINCE-WIDE SYSTEM TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE
CO-ORDINATION

Glossaries & Definitions

BALTIMORE, 2004:

Winter storms are large storms occurring during the cold, winter
months

Hail is a large frozen raindrop

Flooding occurs when rivers, creeks, streams, ditches or other water


bodies receive too much water from rain or snowmelt

Freezing rain: Rain that falls and freezes to a cold surface such as a
road or tree causing a glaze of ice

PITTSBURGH, 2007:

Notification:

To make known or inform

Notify:

To inform about a condition, event or situation

WATERLOO, ONTARIO, 2012:

Chief of Police: The Chief or alternate of the Waterloo Regional Police


Service

More Glossaries & Definitions

BRISBANE, 2013

Self Evacuation: Evacuation from an area under a persons own


arrangements.

PHILADELPHIA, 2012

Precipitation deficits are the earliest indicators of a potential


drought

Interoperability an Example

DETROITS PLAN CALLS FOR LEAVING EXTERIOR LIGHTS ON TO


SIGNIFY A HOUSE THATS BEEN EVACUATED

1. Is this is widely known?

2. Will citizens remember in a crisis?

3. Will emergency responders assume its followed?

4. Will there be power or functioning bulbs?

5. Will a storm damage the bulb?

Jargon

PLANS USE ACRONYMS FOR EASILY EXPLAINED CONCEPTS


SPW = shelter in place

EVE = evacuation

TOE = 911 outage

(BALTIMORE)

WHAT IS ICE INFORMATION?

The Fog of Communication

VON CLAUSEWITZ (1909) FOG AND FRICTION

BATTLE PLAN GOES OUT THE WINDOW AT FIRST CONTACT WITH THE
ENEMY (WARFIGHTING, 1997)

Fog of Communications
A NATURAL DISASTER IS USUALLY ALSO AN INFORMATION DISASTER.
WHEN INFORMATION FLOWS ARE NEEDED THE MOST, THEY ARE LEAST
ABLE TO FUNCTION (SOOD ET AL., 1987)

KOBE EARTHQUAKE: RESCUE DOGS HELD UP BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS,


AND RESCUE WORKERS UNAWARE OF WHICH RUINS HAVE BEEN
SEARCHED ALREADY (THE ECONOMIST, 1995)

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING

See what?

Say something to whom?

Fog in Action
RISK PLANNING SHOULD

1. To predict what risks might befall

2. To take action to prevent/mitigate those risks

DYKES OR LEVIES AND PLANNING EVACUATIONS

PLANS ARE MADE TO INFORM AND DIRECT PEOPLE

FLIXBOROUGH

KINGS CROSS STATION

WALTON TOWN CENTRE

IN AFTERMATH OF DISASTER, SOME VICTIMS WILL BUSY THEMSELVES


IN UNIMPORTANT, BUT MANAGEABLE TASKS (APTEKAR, 1990)

Picking up soda cans at disaster scene

Busy work like this provides sense of mastery over a world that had
abruptly lost its predictability (Aptekar, 1990)

Evacuation: Problems

NEW ORLEANS: FAILED TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE TRANSPORTATION


FOR CITIZENS TRAFFIC QUICKLY OVERWHELMED THE LIMITED
EVACUATION ROUTES. THENSOME EVACUATING VEHICLES RAN
OUT OF GASOLINE AND OTHERS WERE FORCED TO TURN BACK
BEFORE REACHING A SAFE LOCATION. (KANSAS CITY, 2008)

(The most useful resource is a 1984 FEMA document)

CONTRA-FLOW IS POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING (WOLSHON, 2001)

25-56% OF URBANITES DONT OWN CARS (HESS & GOTHAM, 2007)

50 HOURS TO EVACUATE 1 MILLION PEOPLE (KENDRA, 2008)

CRISIS PLANS RELY ON FANTASY ASSUMPTIONS (KENDRA, 2008)

TWO-CAR FAMILIES MIGHT TAKE BOTH AND MAKE TRAFFIC WORSE

NO SERVICES ALONG THE EVACUATION ROUTE

Evacuation Questions

Will families try to reunite?

Will coworkers evacuate in groups?

People will return for pets?

Are emergency messages being received?

Are emergency messages understood and followed?

Evacuation Advice from Charlotte

Knock on doors, TV and radio announcements, loudspeakers


(Sorenson & Vogt)

Messages from multiple official sources

Describe the risk simply and clearly: The danger is in the air outside

Longer warning needed for some events (flooding), shorter for others
(nuclear power or chemical plant releases)

Shadow evacuations of those near danger zone between 12-59% of


population, with 26% being average

Dont use technical language, or presume knowledge lay people may


not have:

Use landmarks to communicate:

The colored post upriver from the bridge

Higher than the top of City Hall

EvacuationSome Good News

KANSAS CITYS PLAN BULLDOZER

EVACUATION PLAN ENUMERATES:

Transit and school bus capacity

Number of drivers available

Paratransit capacity

Estimated population of the city during the day and at night

Leedsenumerates visitors & shoppers by location

Birmingham fuel shortage plan including rationing

SACRAMENTO NOTES:

The number of people who can stand in light rail cars

The amount of water those cars can travel through

Toronto Risk Chart

Quantitative Risk Assessment

ROYAL SOCIETY 1992

RISK ASSESSMENT NOT A SCIENCE PER SE (CUMMING, 1981)

QUESTIONS WHICH ARE BEYOND THE CAPACITY OF SCIENCE


TO ANSWER (CUMMING, 1981)

RUCKELSHAUS (1984): RISK ASSESSMENT DATA CAN BE LIKE THE


CAPTURED SPY; IF YOU TORTURE IT LONG ENOUGH, IT WILL TELL YOU
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW

FLYING IS SAFER THAN DRIVING BUT PERCEIVE THE OPPOSITE

Is QRA Helpful to the Public?

10 YEAR FLOOD 100 YEAR FLOOD 500 YEAR FLOOD


(NASHVILLE, 2012)

Nashville (2012): the probability of dam failure is low and not


predictable. There have been 51 failures and 21 partial failures.

Actually means it has a 10%, 1%, or 0.2% likelihood in any given year

OTHERS HAVE EVEN MORE COMPLEX WEIGHTING CALCULATIONS

CPRI = [(3x0.45)+(3 x 0.30)+(4 x 0.15)+(1 x 0.10) = 2.95 (Long Beach,


2015)

Score for events which may not have occurred


- Tsunamis (2.55), windstorms (2.90), and flooding (2.45)

Leeds, UK Suspicious Package

Oklahoma Citys Hail

Social Media

33% of adults under 30 obtain news from social media (Pew, 2012)

90% of 18-29 year olds sleep with their phones (Blodget, 2012)

56% of adults used smart phones in 2013up 33% (Google, 2013)

Wrong name of suspect in Boston bombing

Retweeting calls for help during Fukushima (Lee, 2013).

33% would call for help via social media

63% think emergency responders should react to social media

Tweeting names of victims of Virginia Tech shooting (Palen, 2008)

No reverse 911 yet, but coming

Whats Really New in New Media?

NEWSPAPERS ARE, SEEMINGLY UNABLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A


BICYCLE ACCIDENT AND THE COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION

SOCIAL MEDIA SEEMS CLUTTERED WITH KITTENS & MEALS

NON-NEWS ABOUT NON-EVENTS (LANGER, 1998)

ALL MEDIA HAVE FEATURES & PADDING

ALL MEDIA COPIES OTHER MEDIA

SOCIAL MEDIA MAY JUST REFLECT VIEWS OF FRIENDS

LIKE THE CONVERSATION IN THE BARREINFORCES VIEWS

Social Medias Potential

SPECIFICITY THAT COMES WITH GEO-TAGGING EXACT LOCATIONS

TRACKING A PANDEMIC BY TWEETS FROM PEOPLE TAKING THE DAY


OFF WORK

TWEETS MAY WORK FASTER THAN SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS IN A


SEISMIC EVENT

MISLOVE (2007) NOTES THAT THERE ARE MASSIVE DATA SETS ON


SOCIAL MEDIA THAT CAN BE USED AND STUDIED

TRADITIONAL MEDIA HAVE FINITE AMOUNT OF SPACE FOR THE


DRAMATIC IMAGES THAT SHAPE PERCEPTION; INSTAGRAM AND
TWITTER HAVE ESSENTIALLY INFINITE CAPACITY

More Creative Clarity

SOME PLANS WOULD USE DEVICES WHICH REQUIRE POWER TO


NOTIFY PEOPLE OF POWER OUTAGES.

Birmingham would use door to door leaflet drops and temporary


specialized street signs

Leeds would use Sky Shout on helicopters, and can deliver different
messages to segmented audiences (pubs, clubs, hotels)

Fort Worth has sirens, and assumes phones wont work

Houston plans for strobe lights in homes or bed-shakers

Clarity & Help vs ??

RATHER THAN QRA, KANSAS CITY (2014) QUICKLY AND EASILY LISTS
POTENTIAL TARGETS

LOUISVILLE LISTS DATES ON WHICH TO BE MORE VIGILANT

Fort Leavenworth, Americas only B-52 Stealth Bomber Base, Army


Command, General Staff College, with feds as largest employer
9/11, anniversaries of Waco Siege, Oklahoma City Bombing, Roe v.
Wade

SHERBROOKE, QUEBEC TELLS PEOPLE TO ENSURE THAT WATER IS


DRINKABLE WITHOUT SAYING HOW TO TEST. RICHMOND, BC
PROVIDES DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW MUCH BLEACH AND
WHAT KIND WILL PURIFY WATER.

Good Artists Borrow

Oshawa lists hidden water sources like ice cubes, hot water tanks, and
the toilet reserve tank

Guelph has concise information emergency kits in cars, first aid kits
and food for self-sufficiency

New Orleans has 14 foot street art as evacuation pick up points

Burnaby and Surrey, BC provide links a 26 step guide to being ready


for emergencies, prepared by the provincial government

Houston and Long Beach give good advice for dealing with reporters

Great Artists Steal

Milwaukee, Wisconsin notes that rubber tires and lying on the ground
will not keep you safe in a lightning storm

Auckland notes that a volcanic event could trigger a reduction in


GDP twice the size of that in the Great Depression

Jacksonville, Florida describes a hurricane as being like a bulldozer


clearing everything in its path and flying debris as a battering ram
destroying objects in its way

Boston notes that the city only maintains enough food for 3-5 days

Boston has an excellent climate change report

Bradford notes that 6 of water can knock you off your feet

A car will float in two feet of water

The Shape of Emergency Plans

ORGANIZATIONAL CHARTS IN BUSINESS MAKE SENSE - IS THE SAME


TRUE IN A CRISIS PLAN?

Some US cities put voters at the top

Some put the mayor

Some put the emergency manager

Some put issues or activities

Oakville

Oakville After Incident

Many Cities Use This Site Plan

Calgary

Kitchener

Calgary

Milwaukee

Toronto

Milwaukee

Houston IPAWS

Houston Victim Handling and


Emergency Scene Flow

Jacksonville: The Planning P

Naturalistic Decision-Making-NDM

GLOSSARIES, DEFINITIONS, LEGAL FRAMEWORKS MAY BE USELESS

Firefighters put out fires, not stand around discussing how fires start or
how best to put them out

ALSO CALLED RECOGNITION PRIMED DECISION MAKING

DOCTORS, POLICE, FIREFIGHTERS, EMS IMMEDIATELY TAKE ACTION


AND CONTINUE UNTIL NO OTHER ACTION CAN BE TAKEN

BIRMINGHAM ROLL OUT AND THEN STAND DOWN

Corporate Structure Quotes

ROBERTSON (2003): MUCH OF THE INFORMATION IN


ORGANIZATIONS HAS BEEN GRADUALLY ACCUMULATED OVER A
LONG PERIOD OF TIME, WITHOUT ANY BROADER PLAN OR STRATEGY
GUIDING ITS MANAGEMENT. THE RESULT IS A VERY LARGE BODY OF
CONTENT, MUCH OF WHICH IS OUT-OF-DATE, INACCURATE OR
POORLY STRUCTURED

DRUCKER (1998): LAYERS OF MANAGEMENT NEITHER MAKE


DECISIONS NOR LEAD. INSTEAD, THEIR MAIN, IF NOT THEIR ONLY,
FUNCTION IS TO SERVE AS RELAYS HUMAN BOOSTERS FOR THE
FAINT, UNFOCUSED SIGNALS THAT PASS FOR COMMUNICATION IN
THE TRADITIONAL PRE-INFORMATION ORGANIZATION.

Corporate Structure - Contd

KIERANS (1989): MODERN ORGANIZATIONS SO COMPLEX THAT EVEN


SENIOR MANAGEMENT DONT UNDERSTAND MANAGEMENT
OPERATIONS

HOW DOES MANAGEMENT PROCEED? USUALLY PIECEMEAL. FIRST


A SECURITY OFFICER (PROBABLY UNQUALIFIED) IS HIRED, FOLLOWED
BY AN ALARM COMPANY TOGETHER, PERHAPS, WITH GUARDS AND
GATEKEEPERS. NO ATTEMPT IS MADE TO MAKE AN INDEPENDENT
ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK HAMILTON (1987)

SCHON (1983): THE PROFESSIONALIZATION OF EVERYTHING

Conclusions, Solutions, Studies


MEDICAL ANALOGYONE DOSE FOR ALL IN A TOWN HALL?
UNITARY STATE, US STATES RIGHTS, CANADIAN FEDERATION
CULTURESWISS AIR VS FED EX

Need for Improvement

EMERGENCY RESPONSE LACKS A POLITICAL CONSTITUENCY


(FISCHHOFF, 1985)

THE BENEFITS OF MITIGATION PLANNING GO BEYOND SOLELY


REDUCING HAZARD VULNERABILITY. PRESERVING OPEN SPACE,
PROTECTING VITAL INFRASTRUCTURE, DESIGNING SUSTAINABLE
BUILDINGS, MAINTAINING ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, AND
PROTECTING CRITICAL FACILITIES MEET OTHER IMPORTANT
COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES INCLUDING PUBLIC SAFETY, NATURAL
RESOURCE PROTECTION, AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.
(ALBUQUERQUE, 2014)

Video Fear of Flying