COVID19 is different things to different people. Some are fighting for their lives and those of their loved ones who are vulnerable to the disease. Others are fighting to save their 401k and their lifestyle at any cost.
Underserved Communities Are In Greater Danger
Here's Why You Need To Keep From Getting Coronavirus
As Coronavirus infections explode in the U.S., hospitals could be forced to make harrowing choices if pushed to the brink. Planning is already underway.
Click Image to Read the Full Story.
Rumor Control is Essential
Stop Believing Everything You Hear
One of the biggest challenges of the current situation is rumors. People are making up all kinds of stuff, all of it untrue. It doesn't help that the White House continues to be a source of conflict and inconsistency with regard to the virus and what is being done. As an experienced emergency manager, I can tell you that rumors in a disaster can spell death to many people who are anxious to believe SOMETHING, and will often believe anything.
I can only tell you who my trusted sources are, then make you own decision. Don't let social media influence anything you do. It is so full of nonsense and fake news, you will more than likely be misled or misinformed. Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with friends and family. Don't let it become your news source. The President stood before his adoring supporters in Michigan just a month ago and called this a hoax. How many believe that now.
Who do I listen to? My reliable sources are:
1. Dr. Sanjay Gupta - he is as fair and as balanced as you will find.
2. N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo. He knows what he is doing and is the most articulate voice of reason in this entire event. Too bad he isn't leading the entire country.
3. Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is a leading expert in infections diseases. So far, he has managed not to be influenced by the mixed messages coming from his boss. The minute he feels pressured to deviate from the facts, you'll know it, and he'll be gone.
For Some An Economic Depression Is Worse Than Death
Are You Ready To Risk Your Life To Try To 'Save' The Economy?
At the start of his Tuesday show, conservative radio host Glenn Beck spoke in an upbeat cadence over a jaunty music track, even as he discussed possibly sacrificing lives during the Coronavirus outbreak to save the United States and its economy.
“I would rather have my children stay home and have all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working,” Beck said. “Even if we all get sick, I’d rather die than kill the country. Because it’s not the economy that’s dying, it’s the country.”
Beck’s offer to sacrifice his health and other older Americans’ lives for the good of the U.S. economy comes amid President Donald Trump’s evolving rhetoric against the social distancing guidelines that have urged people to avoid public gatherings and work from home as much as possible to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
I pursue passions not paychecks.
Every year, disasters cause devastation to families and communities. If you have personally never been affected by a disaster, chances are you will. Eighty percent of Americans live in areas that have experienced major natural disasters since 2007.
My career in emergency management has been an incredible journey. I've been blessed to work with some of the best professionals in the industry, learning and collaborating to transform organizations and prepare communities. Throughout the past 20 years, I've developed lifelong friendships, establishing an outstanding network of disaster experts with decades of experience that can work on any aspect of resiliency planning.
I recently began yet another chapter in my calling to make a difference in disasters with Feeding America.
My incredible wife and awesome family has supported and encouraged me through all the ups and downs, the triumphs and trials of emergency management. I believe our work as emergency managers is a special calling that transcends our personal pursuits, fueled by a deeper desire to make a difference and to save lives and reduce suffering for people in disasters. Only after we have done all we can to prepare can we then leave the outcome to the Creator.
A few organizations I've been privileged to serve...
Developing workplace and workforce plans, frameworks and processes for corporate offices in Seattle and beyond. Work included catastrophic earthquake planning, public-private partnerships, and implementation of best practice and promising practice community resiliency lifelines.
Senior Emergency Manager
Sony is a global leader in entertainment. I developed disaster response and business resiliency programs for the company's North America corporate locations, trained and exercised security operations center staff, and developed planning frameworks for resiliency of corporate centers and employees.
Preparedness and Response Manager
Asset Protection and Business Continuity
Design emergency preparedness, response, and business continuity framework for the worlds largest retail pharmacy chain's 8,600 stores, distribution facilities, and corporate centers in the U.S.
Beck Disaster Recovery Division
Project lead for development of the Regional Catastrophic Incident Coordination Plan for FEMA, planning for evacuation and mass care of citizens in 16 counties in the Chicagoland area following a major disaster.
Regional Preparedness Manager
Greater Chicago Chapter
Spearheaded capacity building initiatives for shelter site, public private partnerships, and community management. Conducted research and developed the Regional Emergency Preparedness Report for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Go-To-2040 community preparedness project.
External Affairs Manager
Greater Chicago Chapter
Organized, trained and led field teams on community relations deployments for 11 Presidential disasters. Managed external affairs, public information, and agency events and initiatives as a member of Regional Administrator's staff.
Public Affairs Specialist
Sate Area Command
After 4 -years active duty in the U.S. Air Force, I served 19 years in the Illinois Air and Army National Guard. There I developed relationships with media representatives, maintained a robust community relations program. Served as public spokesperson for Guard units during military events and incidents statewide, and retired with honors.
THINGS I DO
Workplace Resiliency Consulting
Protecting your business and employees
We'll help you craft your strategic framework for a comprehensive emergency management, business continuity, and crisis management planning that reflects your organization or company's unique culture and brand voice. I'll also create engaging content and design actionable programs and processes that will help your employees, facilities, and stakeholders prepare for natural and human-caused emergencies.
Speaking and Workshops
Supporting Current and Future Emergency Management Leaders
I've been privileged to provide Keynote and Workshop presentations for organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2019 my Keynote address at the Disaster and Emergency Management Conference in Toronto garnered the highest attendee rating for any speaker in the history of the event. As part of my own professional development, in 2019 I was privileged to graduate from the NEMAA cohort at FEMA Region X. The experience brought me together with peers from government, private industry, public health and the military. As a disaster subject-matter-expert, I believe one can never stop growing and learning.
Supporting Diversity and Inclusion
Ensuring social equity in the continuum of disasters
Today, less than 7% of directors in our profession are people of color, and a larger percentage (29%) are women. To achieve a culture of preparedness the emergency management profession must be more representative of the communities we serve. This “diversity gap” in emergency management leads to inequities in administering disaster relief programs, and further despair for underserved populations that are already struggling to cope. We support the work of I-DIEM.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
CEO Black Emergency Managers Association
"Vince is one of the most talented creative individuals I've ever worked with. He is the rare combination of big picture thinker and skilled doer. He is one of the most respected voices in our profession, and has a passion for serving the interests of marginalized people."
Dr. Jacqueline McBride
Founder International Network of Women in Emergency Management
Vince is a highly motivated, caring, and action-oriented person; who will deliver excellence in any endeavor he embraces. His passion and tireless works for underserved disaster survivors is a testimony to his leadership."
Sean M. Scott
Author - The Red Guide To Disaster Recovery
"Vince is a visionary and thought leader in the world of emergency management, disaster preparedness, and resiliency. Having worked public and private sectors, Vince literally wrote the book on disaster resiliency and clearly understands what works and what doesn't."
Books and I've written
Lost and Turned Out - A Guide To Preparing Underserved Communities for Disasters
Originally published in 2012, Lost and Turned Out outlines the issues and challenges of the underserved (below poverty, elderly, children, people of color, the disabled, limited English speakers and transportation challenged) citizens in disasters. Moreover it provides solutions on how to support disaster literacy and empower communities to care for themselves and create better outcomes.
Click the Image To Order.
The Native Family Disaster Preparedness Handbook
A collaboration with National Tribal Emergency Management Council and other native stakeholders, the Native Family Disaster Preparedness Handbook was designed to provide a ready resource to prepare and plan for disasters. The Native American population faces unique challenges because many still live in austere conditions on remote reservations. The 66-page color Handbook provides quick tips, Native resources, and a family plan template. Click the Image To Order.
Native Public Media
Emergency Communications Guidebook
Broadcasters in Indian country are often small operations with limited staff to produce, edit, and provide broadcast ready copy, especially during emergencies. In collaboration with Native Public Media, we developed the Emergency Communications Guidebook to help Native radio and TV outlets better prepare to go on air quickly when emergencies happen. The Guidebook includes script templates for most frequent major disasters, and a station emergency plan template. It serves as a training tool for new and current Native broadcasters.
Click the Image for Native Public Media Website
Here are a few of the outstanding partners we urge you to support
Recovery Guidance and Information
Often forgotten in the disaster cycle is preparing for recovery. Sean Scott's four decades of expertise in recovery and restoration is brought to bear in this definitive work which is a must have for anyone who has or will experience a disaster. Sean's thorough and complete guidance covers every aspect of what you need to know to be resilient. Brilliant! http://www.theredguidetorecovery.com
Preparing and Equipping Communities
More than providing disaster related items, Dean Reese's company truly understands the important intersection between need and effectiveness. They revolutionized seismic bracing products, water purification systems, and a host of other quality product offerings that meet the needs of families, businesses, and the community. http://www.readyamerica.com
REMEMBERING MY FRIEND
Kenneth R. Bibbins
Remembering my dear friend and colleague
In the many chapters of our personal and professional lives, few people leave a lasting impression. Kenneth R. Bibbins was one such special person for me and those who knew him. In our brief five year friendship, Kenneth and I shared a deep passion for making a difference in the lives of people in disasters.
A New Orleans native, Kenneth survived hurricane Katrina and played a major role in the city's recovery. More importantly, he advocated for and worked tirelessly on initiatives and programs to help prepare children cope with the trauma of violence, neglect, abuse, and disaster trauma.
Author of Hopper's Disaster Adventure Series, and creator of Prep-biz, a video gamification concept aimed at teaching children about disasters, Kenneth dreamed of a day when all kids would be protected in emergencies. He and I shared a bond and special friendship that I will cherish always. Kenneth's positive, can do spirit continues to be with me as I endeavor to carry out the dreams and hopes he pursued so passionately every day.
Godspeed my dear friend and I'll see you on the other side.