Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response for the Workplace

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response for the Workplace: From awareness to action

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8:30 AM – 4 PM Friday, Nov. 30, 2018,
University Place, Portland, Oregon

This symposium approaches emergency management, disaster planning, and business continuity through a refreshing lens: psychology. Why is it that some organizations thrive, while others fail, when threatened with uncertainty? What makes some people prepare for the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, while others ignore it? What are the best ways to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an active shooter situation? Our expert panel of speakers will help tackle these questions by delving into the why so that we can better understand the how—taking us from “awareness” to “action” in the Pacific Northwest. 

Tentative Agenda

9:00 - 9:15 AM Welcome
Jennifer Dimoff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, PSU, Portland, OR


9:15- 10:15 AM     Communicating Risk and Adapting to Threats: A psychological perspective

William Burns, Ph.D., Decision Research

Bill Burns, PhD

Focus on understanding the social psychology behind enhancing public resilience, effectively communicate risk, and adapting to threats.

Bill Burns completed his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in Decision Science and subsequently held positions as a professor at the University of Iowa and UC Davis before moving to San Diego. He is currently a research scientist at Decision Research (Eugene, OR), an institute that focuses on judgment, decision making and risk perception, and is also associated with the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE at USC). His work has appeared in media such as The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and National Public Radio. He has been the guest editor for a special issue in Risk Analysis entitled "Risk Perception and Behaviors: Anticipating and Responding to Crises". He has also given keynote addresses at the International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference and the IEEE Intelligence Security Informatics Annual Conference. Recently he spent three summers working in Washington D.C. at the TSA on a Department of Homeland Security University Faculty Fellowship.

10:15-10:30 AM   Break

10:30-11:30 AM    Building Resilience by Planning: A Business Continuity Perspective

Eric Holdeman, Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience

Eric Holdeman

Eric Holdeman is a nationally known emergency manager and consultant. He has 31 years of emergency management experience, serving at federal, state, local government levels and the nonprofit sector. governments. He is the Principal for Eric Holdeman and Associates and also serves the Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, which is part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER).

He is a prolific writer authoring numerous articles for professional journals and opinion pieces for local, regional and national newspapers including the Washington Post. He is a Senior Fellow and contributing writer for Emergency Management Magazine and columnist for the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Eric has the United States’ most popular blog on the topics of emergency management and homeland security at www.disaster-zone.com

11:30 -12:30 PM    Lunch (provided) and Networking

12:30 -1:30 PM     Responding to Threat: Active shooter response and prevention

Sierra Walker, Community Service Coordinator, Public Safety, OHSU

Sierra Walker

Sierra Walker received her BS in Administration of Justice from PSU during which she worked undercover for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a fraud investigator or WIC Program. She was Patrol Officer/Supervisor at University of Portland for two years before being hired In 1997 as a public safety officer for OHSU. Sierra spent 6 years working patrol and was then promoted to her current position of Community Safety Coordinator for OHSU Public Safety. As the Community Safety Coordinator for OHSU she is tasked with setting up a workplace violence prevention and response program with a focus at that time on clinical violence. The program has morphed to meet the needs of our community with services being provided to all our community members who have safety concerns including personal safety, domestic violence, workplace violence and threat assessment.

Tom Forsyth, Lieutenant, OHSU Police

Tom Forsyth

Tom Forsyth currently serves as a Lieutenant with Oregon Health Sciences University Police where he supervises all training programs for the University's Police Officers. Lt. Forsyth comes to OHSU Police following a 27 year career with the Portland Police Bureau where in 2017 he retired as a sergeant in the Tactical Operations Division. Lt. Forsyth is a 1987 Graduate of Portland State University with a B.S. in Administration of Justice.

1:30 – 1:45 PM     Break

1:45 – 2:45 PM     Prepare Out Loud

The Prepare Out Loud presentation covers the science and history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, human behavior during disasters, what to expect during and after an earthquake, how to prepare to quickly locate your loved ones following a disaster, and how much food and water and supplies you will need.

Steven Eberlein,  Donor Development Officer, Author of "Prepare Out Loud," American Red Cross

Steve Eberlein
Steven Eberlein has worked for the Red Cross for nine years. In 2016, he created Prepare Out Loud, a presentation focused on preparedness for the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. The Cascadia earthquake and preparedness are topics of special interest to Steve as he was a witness to the destruction of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in Sri Lanka. He also experienced the unexpected earthquakes in his native Klamath Falls in 1993. In 2018, he was invited to speak at TEDx Portland, where he discussed how culture can both thwart and propel our preparedness efforts.

2:45 – 3:30 PM    Panel Discussion, Take home messages, Questions and Wrap-up - all presenters Facilitated by Jennifer Dimoff, Ph.D

Register Online

Registration fees (includes lunch, refreshments and parking):
$60 - By November 28, 2018 (online)
$75 - Day of Symposium (check or cash only at event)
$30 - Reduced fee for Oregon city/county/state agencies, educational institutions, labor unions, companies with fewer than 25 employees, non-profits and students
$20 - Webinar