Cal EMA Secretary Bettenhausen Keynote for Silicon Valley Disaster Management Initiative Kickoff
*The following news release was issued by Cal EMA on Monday, March 29, 2010. The official release may be found here.*
Moffett Field, CA – California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen served as the keynote speaker for Carnegie Mellon University’s launch of the Silicon Valley Disaster Management Initiative on March 26, 2010 at NASA Ames Research Park.
Secretary Bettenhausen emphasized the importance of volunteerism, community involvement and public-private sector partnerships in working collaboratively on the management of disasters in California.
“We must enlist, entrust and empower to make California a safer and more prepared place for our families to live,” stated Bettenhausen.
Bettenhausen acknowledged the great need for tactical interoperability and the investments the state has made to help prepare for reestablishing land, mobile and internet communications as soon as possible after an emergency.
“Communication is a real priority in the management of disasters, and not just for the first responder community,” according to Bettenhausen. “We in emergency management cannot forget the psychological impact of disaster and the real need for family reunification and must partner together to address this need.”
Bettenhausen spoke of communities and neighborhoods coming together to aide one another, to lessen the demand on the potentially strained emergency community in a disaster. He also addressed the role of social media and the proliferation of information sources.
Bettenhausen also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Golden Gate Safety Network (GGSN). The network was formed in 2002 as a voluntary confederation of San Francisco Bay Area public safety agencies and others, including Non Government Organizations (NGO), to develop effective methods of mutual aid to improve interoperability in the event of a major natural or manmade disaster. In addition to Cal EMA, the GGSN membership includes the San Francisco Communications MapLab Project (SFC MapLab) and Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley campus.
The Disaster Management Initiative is a technology research partnership in Silicon Valley. The goal of the initiative is to allow for better managing response and recovery of all disasters and emergencies in California and beyond from a technology standpoint. It brings together key partners, including Cal EMA, to collaborate on next generation solutions.
The DMI workshop also served as the kickoff to CrisisCampSilicon Valley, a three day disaster management forum.