Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management

November 5, 2014

Cyber Risk Summit – October 30, 2014

Filed under: Education,Event,Washington State — coe at 6:50 pm


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The Center is one of the sponsors of the Cyber Security Summit being held today at Whatcom Community College. Over 100 people are attending and the focus is on business and industry needs. Whatcom and Western have a new pathway program in Cyber/Computer/Info Security Corrinne Sande who is the program manager and also the Director for CyberWatch West which is sponsored ny a National Foundation Grant and who’s purpose is to increase the quantity and quality of the cyber security workforce throughout the western US The Center and CyberWatch West are working together to help focus all hazard emergency management training and education needs to include understand the cyber risk.


Agnes Kirk the CFO for the state’s Technology Services shared the statistic that 60% of small and mid sized firms who have had a cyber breach go out of business in six month. This statistics mirrors our know statistics on what happens to small and medium sized business after an any disaster ‎ 50 to 60% will go out of business. Small and medium sized business normally don’t have the basics for good access control and will not have a business continuity plan.


The Center is working with the HSEM Degree Program and our partner colleges to offer a Certificate in EM Continuity and HSEM in Cyber Security for managers. This Summit it highlighting also the need for K-12 to focus not just on STEM but also information technology and security and the fact that most organizations only train IT people on security when it really it not just an IT issue it is everyone’s issue in the organization and company.


Agnes said that DHS has now identified higher educations as the next target for critical infrastructure hackers because we spent less then 1% on IT security and we have a huge amount of incredible valuable data to cyber hackers‎. Guess our focus on educating manager/administrator is very timely.   Cyber crime has now surpassed organized crime in revenue.

Passenger Train Emergency Response Training Select Dates November & December 2014

Railroad personnel will provide twelve (12) opportunities for PTER training on six (6) dates regarding passenger train emergency response

This Training is Free

Training, presented by Elizabeth Klute, AMTRAK

Northwest, David Albert, Southwest, Gary Miller

Midwest and Mike Stammel Southeast Regional

Emergency Managers, is specifically designed for Fire

Service, Law Enforcement, EMS, Emergency Health, Emergency Management, Public Works, and Utilities workers who may find themselves responding to a passenger train emergency or disaster.

Classroom training activities will Include familiarity with the following railroad topics:

  • Track / Train / Engine Dangers
  • Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Hazardous Conditions / Keeping Safe  Challenges of Extrication / Entry
  • Who’s in Charge?


 Equipment orientation activities will Include:

  • Hands-on Walk Through
  • Access
  • Dangers of Power/Crush Injury etc.

Optional Equipment Drill activities can include:

  • Window Pull/Ladder Slide Extraction (Fire Only)
  • Emergency Medical Passenger Extraction(EMS/Fire)
  • Equipment Suspect Search & Clearing (Law Only)

Agencies must bring their own emergency equipment and pre register for the drill/exercising option by calling Lis Klute, Regional Emergency Manager for Amtrak.

 There is time for up to two agency exercises per class and a release of liability will be required.

 Water will be provided, Class size limited to 25 PER CLASS

 Training Sponsored by:


Seattle Fire Department

King County Emergency Management

Burlington Northern / Santa Fe (BNSF)



10 – Monday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

  • – Thursday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)
  • – Friday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)


8 – Monday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

10 – Wednesday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

18 – Thursday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

Training site:  

Amtrak Maintenance &  Administration Facilities

Pacific International Room    187 S Holgate Street Seattle, WA    98134

Onsite Contacts:Elizabeth Klute (Lis)  (206) 445-5952 


Applied Baccalaureate Conference – November 4, 2014

Filed under: Education,Event,Washington State — coe at 6:33 pm




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Pictures of the opening presentations for the BAS Conference. The purpose of the panel was to share experiences about collaborating with industry from the beginning to ensure that the degree meets workforce need: leveraging the knowledge and services of Centers of Excellence; and establishing An active and appropriate advisory committee.

Protecting Washington State’s Supply Chain: Security & Resilience 2014 Summary

Filed under: Education,Event,Washington State — coe at 5:49 pm

The Centers of Excellence for Global Trade & Supply Chain Management and Homeland Security Emergency Management collaborated to conduct a one-day educational forum on October 15, 2014 at Highline College. The purpose of the forum was to examine the challenges and vulnerabilities businesses and organizations can endure while developing resiliency plans for supply chains and establish awareness of need for education and training that integrates security and emergency management training into the supply chain management career pathway.

Through discussions with supply chain management experts, representatives from private and public sectors, educators, and students we were able to focus on what the issues are and what skills are required to secure the physical infrastructure, conveyances, and information that is asset to building resiliency of our supply chain.

Welcome & Keynote

Welcome and opening remarks were made by Alice Madsen, Dean, Professional-Technical of Highline College with moderators Dr. Meg Ryan, Director, Center of Excellence Global Trade & Supply Chain Management and Linda Crerar, Director, Center of Excellence Homeland Security Emergency Management.

The Keynote Address by Representative Gael Tarleton, 36th Legislative District for Washington State helped set the tone of the forum. Rep. Tarleton spoke about being ready for risks and not waiting until they happen. She also shared that we need to know what is at stake if we do not establish security and resiliency for our supply chain industries. Rep. Tarleton said, “You are responsible for the choices you make. Resilience and security affects where we live and our everyday lives.” She also mentioned that knowing our environments psychologically, ecologically, socially, and diversity can help lead us in the right direction on building resiliency.

Morning Panel Discussion

Linda Crerar moderated the morning panel discussion about “Threats, Disruptions, and Vulnerabilities of the Supply Chain” in order to understand how we can secure our supply chain industries.

Panel members were: Representative Gael Tarleton, Member of Governor’s Task Force on Maritime & Manufacturing Industry; Eric Holdeman, Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, Pacific NW Economic Region Foundation; Dr. Tim Melbourne, Director, PANGA Geodesy Lab, Department of Geological Sciences; Mike Williams, Supply Chain Manager, World Vision, and Chair of the Puget Sound Roundtable of the Council on Supply Chain Management Professionals; Jim Mullen, EM Northwest Consulting, INC.

Duplication and redundancy in order to fix our failures was brought up by Eric Holdeman. Jim Mullen said” If it doesn’t break than you don’t have to fix it, but you have to be prepared for it.” Introducing Lean Management as a way to collaborate with businesses and organizations on how to build an effective framework for restoration and mitigation.

Working Lunch – Cyber-Security in the Supply Chain

Dr. Amelia Phillips, Chair, Pure & Applied Sciences, Computer Information Systems/Computer Science, Highline College gave a presentation about cyber-security in the supply chain industry. The risks that can occur in the industry are new hardware and software, new threat vectors and contractors, and distribution of software systems between companies. Dr. Phillips informed everyone about the malware called “Blackshades” that have affected over half a million people worldwide. This type of malware sells for as little as $40 on the black market and is used to hijack computers, turn on webcams, access hard drives, and capture keystrokes to steal passwords all without the victim knowing what is going on.

Afternoon Panel

The first afternoon panel focused on the topic of “Natural Disasters and Economic Disruptions.”

Panel members were: Dr. Carlo Smith, Director, Supply Chain Management Institute, Central Washington University; Dr. Walter Szeliga, Geophysics Central Washington University; Dr. Toni Sipic, Economics, Central Washington University; and Dr. Jennifer Lipton, Environmental Geography, Central Washington University.

With our panel members expertise in their respected fields Forum attendees were informed about  how natural disasters can affect the supply chain industry and have a critical impact on the economy. The supply chain industry has become more complex with broaden geographical coverage and has increased the vulnerabilities that can occur within industry.

The second afternoon panel was a “Networking Roundtable: Information sharing on education/training programs.”

Panel members were: Steve Lettic, Faculty and Program Coordinator, Administration of Justice Department, Highline College; Robert Lord, Program Coordinator and Faculty, Statewide Homeland Security Emergency Management, Pierce College; Raegan Copeland, Program Coordinator and Faculty, Business, Highline College; Jesse Cooley, Manager, International Business, Bachelor of Applied Science Degree, North Seattle Community College; Abdul Waheed, Director, Transportation and Logistics Program, Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) were the main focus of this roundtable. All of our educators explained that it is vital for students to be able to think critically and apply what they have learned to their internship. Applying what students have learned helps to build their critical thinking skills and work on their soft skills. Being an effective decision maker and collaborator are other skills that the panelist talked about students needing to develop.

2015 Summit: Save the Date

The third annual Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management Summit will take place June 16-17, 2015 at Pierce College – Puyallup Campus.

This Summit will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Center of Excellence of Homeland Security Emergency Management.

January 24, 2014

Puget Sound Cyber Security Summit

Filed under: Education,Emergency Preparedness,Event,Washington State — coe at 5:32 pm

2014 Puget Sound Cyber Security Summit

Cascadia Subduction Zone 2016 Castrophic Earthquake and Tsumani Exercise Kick-Off Meeting

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,Event,Training,Washington State — coe at 5:31 pm


December 16, 2013

Prevent Cold Injury, Frostbite, and Hypothermia

Cold injuries can occur whenever air temperature is below freezing (32 degrees F). Freezing of the skin surface is called ‘frost nip‘. When freezing extends deeper though the skin and flesh, the injury is called ‘frostbite‘.

Hypothermia is a life threatening condition in which deep-body temperature falls below 95°F (normally 98.6°F).

While you can get hypothermia even during relatively warm conditions, when temperatures plummet the danger and risk of getting frost nip, frostbite, or hypothermia becomes even greater – because it can come on much faster.

Tips to prevent hypothermia…

Body temperature falls when the body cannot produce heat as fast as it is being lost.


Heat Loss Through The Head

At rest, the body core loses about 7 percent of its heat through the head.

When exercising, the head will lose more body heat which can ramp up to 50 percent heat loss, but the heat loss percentage will then diminish when you start to sweat and when your muscles start demanding more blood flow.

When in hypothermia however (shivering), core body heat loss through the head increases to as much as 55 percent and remains at this high level.


Cold Injury and Hypothermia Prevention Tips

Stay hydrated. A dehydrated body will slow blood circulation.

Avoid smoking – nicotine will constrict the blood vessels.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine which can lead to dehydration.

If cold, it is better to be active than to huddle up.

Heat production is increased by physical activity, but avoid sweating.

Don’t skip meals which will lead to slower metabolism and blood flow.

Wear the right clothes the right way.

Too much clothing can cause overheating and dehydration.

Avoid tight fitting clothing.

Clothes should be worn loose and in layers.

Clothing should be made of material that water vapor can pass through.

Avoid 100 percent cotton. Use synthetic fabrics for wicking moisture.

Use water and wind resistant outerwear. Nylon, Gore-Tex.

Socks should be changed frequently.

Keep hands well protected. Mittens are better than gloves.

Cover your head. Wear a hat!

Use insulated hats and gloves made with materials such as Thinsulate™

Stay Dry. Stay Dry. Stay Dry.

A very lean person is more susceptible to cold (fat is an insulator).

Self Check by pinching your fingernail to watch how fast the blood returns to your finger.

Avoid being alone in the very cold. Buddy system.

Keep an eye on your children who don’t know about the dangers of cold.

Keep a survival kit nearby which should include a means to make fire.

Know how to build a fire and how to procure tinder and kindling in wet conditions.

Understand ‘wind chill’ and avoid windy places.


Winter Storm Prepardness

When there are forecasts of a winter storm bearing down on you, remember this… BEFORE the winter storm hits, check the following winter weather preparedness items for your home and your vehicle…

This short list should be a general reminder of things for you to think about BEFORE a winter storm strikes. In no way is this list all-inclusive (it would take a book), and in fact this list is quite minimal. If you’re interested, there are many additional articles to be found within our blog regarding preparedness, preps, and being better prepared.
Food Supply
While most people have enough food in their home to last at least a few days, double-check your consumables in advance of others clearing out the grocery store shelves of milk and bread, etc.

You should ALWAYS have some food in your vehicle (as in, 72-hour emergency kit). At a minimum, keep a number of food bars (typically 200-calories each) in case you’re stranded or delayed in bad weather. In theory, 10 of these would be enough calories for a day’s survival for one person.

Medicinal Needs
If you know that you are nearing a prescription refill, it is better to take care of that before a winter storm.

Flashlights and Batteries
Check your flashlights that they work. Do you need more batteries? Do you have a flashlight in your vehicle?
LED Lantern technology 
Best Rechargeable Batteries

Portable AM/FM Radio
Having a battery operated portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio is imperative for when the power goes out. It will become your source to information from the outside world.
Best Cheap Portable Radio
Best Portable AM/FM/Shortwave Radio

Weather Radio
A public alert weather radio is good all year round for all severe weather. During the winter you will be alerted to winter storm watches and warnings, and more…
NOAA Weather Radio Basics

Portable Emergency Heater
Most home heating systems will not operate if the power goes out. It is prudent to consider an alternative means of keeping warm in your home.
Mr. Heater Buddy

Sleeping Bag
If the power goes out, it would do you well to have a decent sleeping bag, which will keep you warmer than just in bed with blankets. Lots to pick from… Check temperature ratings…
Queen Size Sleeping Bag

Coffee Percolator
Creature comforts are important too. If you are like most people and you drink coffee in the morning, about the only way you’re going to get that cup of coffee when the power goes out is with a percolator (along with a portable camp stove to heat it).
Coffee Percolator

Portable Cook Stove
Without power, a portable camp stove will allow you to heat food, etc. Check for safety issues regarding cooking indoors. Some are deemed safe, while others are not.
Portable Gas Stove

Do you have warm blankets at home? It is also important to keep a blanket to wrap around you in your vehicle during the winter.
The Warmest Survival Blanket

Road Flares
Should you get ditched in a snow drift or an unfortunate accident, a series of road flares will greatly increase visibility and caution for other drivers. You can find these at auto-parts stores and other stores…

Snow Shovels
I know this is pretty obvious. But don’t forget to keep a snow shovel in your vehicle! They make all sizes and shapes, so find one that will fit in your trunk.

Ice Melter
There are several types of ‘road salt’ for melting ice. There are also specific varieties that are pet-safe (won’t hurt their paws). Keep some at home, and a small bag in your trunk of the vehicle. Kitty litter works well for temporary traction.

Ice Scraper
Just be sure that you remember to put it in your vehicle. I would get a new one each year because the plastic blade tends to chip after a bit of usage and will not always do as good a job on the window the following winter.

Windshield Washer Fluid
Get the kind that is good to below zero-degrees! Otherwise it will freeze and won’t spray on your windshield when you need it the most. Check the label.

Fill Your Tank
Always keep your gas tank closer to FULL than EMPTY, especially during the winter.
The point is to run through an overview of what you might need BEFORE a winter storm hits. The big thing is to plan for an assumption that you may lose power. This is where it gets most dangerous (other than the dangers of driving during a winter storm). Be safe.


May 21, 2013

HSEM eNews Volcano Awareness Month

Filed under: General Interest,Washington State — coe at 5:50 pm

The Month of May is Volcano Awareness Month  and a good time to mark your calendars for the Great Washington ShakeOut!  Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:17 a.m. on October 17th*. 


Last year the Center and our over 75% (twenty-five) of our SBCTC colleges and members of our SSEM Council partnered with state Emergency Management Division (EMD) and Pierce College’s Homeland Security Emergency Management Degree Program (HSEM) to support the involvement of our community and technical colleges in The Great Washington Shakeout. This is the state’s largest earthquake preparedness drill and helps colleges meet state and federal requirements for preparedness drills and exercises. Forty four Washington colleges and universities reached more than 158,000 participants.


Again this year the HSEM Degree student interns from Pierce College are working with State EMD to support the ShakeOut event which will be held on October 17.    We look forward to having even more of our colleges participate in this year’s event.  The link to register is below along with additional information.




Register now for the largest drop, cover, and hold drill in history at

May 18, 1980 remains a vivid memory for millions of Washington’s residents as the day that Mount St. Helens propelled volcanic ash skyward to an altitude of 80,000 feet in just 15 minutes.   Volcanic ash clouds traveled across our state and around the world, as did the message that Cascade Range volcanoes can erupt. They can disrupt our lives, our state’s economy, and entire regions of our nation. Eruptions in the Cascades have occurred at an average rate of twice per century during the past 4,000 years, and future eruptions are certain.   Many of those eruptions, lasting weeks to years, would have caused considerable property damage and loss of life if they had occurred today. The USGS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network monitor the Washington Cascade volcanoes to detect subtle changes that may herald the next eruption and work closely with local, State and Federal emergency managers to prepare for the next volcanic eruption in Washington.


We invite you to learn more about volcanoes and volcanic hazards in Washington State by visiting the USGS website at!  Now, you can register to receive regular volcano activity updates and be notified of new activity via the Volcano Notification System (VNS), and keep informed about USGS-CVO current events at home page HOT STUFF. 



April 16, 2013

Seattle Emergency Management Summit on May 7th.

This summit is a rare opportunity to connect with peers across jurisdictions and throughout agencies.  We know it can be difficult to make time to interface with some of your fellow emergency responders when we all get caught up in the whirlwind of our own projects.  The EM Summit is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with past acquaintances and develop a few new relationships. Furthermore, these summits are the ideal setting to engage with top technology leaders on what’s new and what’s needed in the field.  Joining us on the stage this year will be leaders from the City of Seattle, the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, the Northwest Healthcare Response Network, and others.

  You will hear about emerging technologies in preparing for mass casualty events, how experience and innovation are influencing public safety solution development , FirstNet, new video surveillance capabilities, situational awareness in disaster response, next
generation 9-1-1, and much more.  This is the event to hear about the top new technologies all in one location. Don’t miss your chance!

The full agenda and more featured speakers can be
viewed here:

I hope that you can join us for this important
event! There is no cost to attend and you can register online here:

For more information contact Marty Pastula, Publisher & Vice President, Emergency Management Media

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