Weather Ready Nation: Building Resiliency into Cities, Towns

Event Wrap-Up Report
The Event
 Saturday, March 22, 2014
 9am – 12:30pm
 At the Loudermilk Center, 40 Courtland St NE, Atlanta, GA
 Sponsors and Supporters
The Center for Sustainable Communities
Emerald Cities Collaborative-Atlanta
Office of the City Council President, Atlanta City Council,
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta Regional Commission
American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Atlanta Public Schools
U.S. Small Business Administration
United States Environmental Protection Agency
National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration -HQ
National Weather Service
Sustainable Atlanta
Resurgens Atlanta, GA
The Weather Channel
US Army Corps of Engineers
Department of Health and Human Services USA
BlueGreen Alliance
Grady Hospital Emergency Services
Metropolitan Area Rapid Transportation Authority (MARTA)
Atlanta Daily World
Community participating/attending entities; Centers for Disease Control; Georgia
Power; Atlanta Housing Authority; City of Atlanta Mayors Office; Neighborhood
Planning Unit Leadership
Weather Ready Nation: Building Resiliency into Cities, Towns, Communities and
Infrastructure to Help Mitigate the Impacts of the Increasing Number and Severity of
Extreme and Severe Weather Events
The Speakers
o Garry Harris, Managing Director, The Center for Sustainable
Communities and Executive Director, Emerald Cities CollaborativeAtlanta
o Ceasar C. Mitchell, President of the Atlanta City Council
o Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, Honorable International Civil Rights Leader &
Former Pastor of the Providence Missionary Baptist Church
Keynote Speaker:
o Keith Stellman, Meteorologist-in-Charge, National Weather Service,
Peachtree City
o Paul Goodloe, On-Camera Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
The Panels
Panel 1:
Panel 2:
Global Risk Assessment for Severe Weather Lessons/Impact from Sandy,
Katrina, Ike; Making the Case for Severe Weather Preparation and
Building Resiliency
 Speakers:
o Bryan Myers, Associate General Counsel, Region IV,
Environmental Protection agency
o Steve Nelson, Science Operations Officer, National Weather
Service, Peachtree City
o Katrina McCrary, Captain, Emergency Medical Services,
Grady Health System
Mitigating Severe Weather Impacts: Developing an adaptation Plan for
your community, Cities, Towns
 Speakers:
o Suzanne Burnes, Executive Director, Sustainable Atlanta
o Ceasar C. Mitchell, President of the Atlanta City Council
o Doug Hooker, Executive Director, The Atlanta Regional
o Mayor Deborah A. Jackson, City of Lithonia, Georgia
o Marquenta Sans, Director of Safety and Security, Atlanta
Public Schools
Panel 3:
Mitigating Severe Weather Effects to Critical Infrastructure: Developing
an Adaptation Plan for Your Industry Sector
 Speakers:
o John Eaves, Ph. D., Chairman, Fulton County Commissioners
o Rob McCulloch, Director, Infrastructure Programs, BlueGreen
o Aston T. Greene, Sergeant, Emergency Preparedness Unit,
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
o Richard Mendoza, Commissioner of Public Works, City of
Panel 4:
Local Action Planning Resources, Funding Sources and Technical
 Speakers:
o Jack Camp, Public Affairs Specialist, Small Business
o Paul Purcell, Natural disaster Preparedness Trainer
Results / Recommendations
1. Devise an overall severe and extreme weather and climate response action plan to
help to develop and ensure policies; effective measures, best practices, regulations
and aid in identifying resources (including human capital and equipment) and
relevant organizations are effectively designed, coordinated and deployed to
effectively mitigate the effects the increasing frequency and severity of severe and
extreme weather events; consider schemes and benefits of the use of green
technology and infrastructure in planning and mitigation strategy.
2. Create a metro Atlanta Severe Weather Emergency Response Regional
Coordinator position with the authority and responsibility to plan, assist in
prediction and risk assessment, coordinate and execute credible responses for all
types of severe and extreme weather emergencies to ensure a comprehensive
approach to mitigate the impact of these events; map current assets to identify
potential gaps in regional response adequacy.
3. Devise methodologies to better educate and increase the awareness and
engagement of the community in all aspects of severe and extreme weather
impacts and preparedness including utilization of resources from faith based
entities; schools, neighborhood leadership organizations, technical colleges and
universities among others; implement a scheme to routinely communicate
preparedness messaging including proven school based learning approaches.
4. Devise methods to ensure all community based entities are trained, equipped and
readied to ensure an adequate response with a special emphasize on the utilization
and creation of faith based “response and shelter hubs” and associated complexes.
5. Devise methods to ensure that individuals are fully engaged and take full
ownership of the both their own family and community emergency preparedness
and response measures including resources, plans and training for mitigating the
effects of severe and extreme weather; place emphasize on the creation of
functional severe weather “kits” to ensure individuals, families and communities
can survive for an extended period following an event.
6. Devise methods on a community scale to identify and register individuals with
special and critical needs to ensure a high priority is placed on mitigation and
recovery efforts to optimize survivability and maintain quality of life both before
and after a severe weather event.
7. Devise communication schemes to ensure a highly reliable network ( including
public messaging; internal communication; broadcasting to the public; emergency
operations center and communication with leadership) that links all components
of the emergency response teams such that communications occurs in a high
quality manner for both critical and non-critical instructions, plan execution,
resource delivery and that established lines of command and control are
8. Devise measures, policies, regulations including code requirements to ensure
critical infrastructure including buildings, roads, energy and power delivery,
transportation, communications are designed, built and maintained in a resilient
manner that provides a high degree of reliability and performance prior to and
following severe and extreme weather events; train and utilize a highly skilled
workforce to implement broad scale repair measures as necessary of critical
infrastructure components to enhance overall resiliency to severe weather impacts
9. Conduct a review of previous responses to severe and extreme events occurring in
the metro Atlanta region; create a “lessons learned” and operating experience
asset map and inventory to address potential weakness in mitigation strategies and
schemes; ensure all actions from previous events and mitigation plans are
identified and executed; example, priority secondary road clearance for
transportation ( i.e., MARTA Buses)
10. Conduct a probabilistic risk assessment of severe and extreme weather events
including consequences such that adequate command and control structures can
be assembled in an adequate manner to ensure a credible response; identify
critical to mission needs and assets including communications and technology.
11. Upgrade messaging and communications practices using social science methods
derived from best practices and research to ensure that initial and subsequent
forecasts, warning, alerts and instructions are well understood to ensure timely
and adequate response and deploy of resources and mitigation schemes.
12. Devise specific reaction plans for vulnerable populations that include senior
citizens, homeless, hospitalized individual to ensue special handling, appropriate
resources are acquired and their special conditions do not degraded and quality of
life maintained. (Example: priority restoration of energy systems)
13. Devise schemes to mitigate post event recovery effects for businesses (small,
medium, large business and manufacturers) to incorporate disaster planning for
both preparedness and recovery; address potential impacts; and ensure business
owners are both knowledgeable and have access to on-site mitigation resources;
ensure plans are robust and adequate to allow for a modest business ramp up and
recovery in a timely manner following an event.
14. Enhance communication through policies, procedures and protocols that promote
the sharing and the deliberate communication of vital information to ensure all
severe weather response command and control components are “on the same
page” before, during and after an event to ensure a reliable and consistent flow of
information and optimize recovery efforts.
15. Use proven best practices and schemes to enhance decision making science and
methodologies for schools and similar entities such that the youth and child safety
are maintained a priority in the balance with forecast and risk assessment to
ensure timely, accurate and adequate responses to severe and extreme weather
16. Continuously identify technical assistance and financial resources to initiate
resiliency planning and assessment and to ensure appropriate and through regional
plan implementation; review and consideration implementation of the Resilient
America Communities Initiative; consider federal agency grant (such as
Homeland Security/FEMA) and foundation support.
17. Utilize state of the art technology to ensure a high degree of reliability and
performance in communications such the implementation of a 311 network
system and use of special telecommunication devices including priority access
cards to ensure mission critical schemes are can be fully implemented.
18. Continue implementation of current WRN objectives ( including Lunch and Learn
and Tours and Youth STEM Education Initiatives). Repeat “WRN” in 2015 and
beyond to ensure the recommendations are top of mind and being executed to the
fullest; and to implement up-to-date analysis and practices accordingly… Learn,
Prepare and Act!