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. 

New: If you are registered and plan to attend this event and have resources directly related to the symposium subject matter that you would like to share with attendees, please email us. We have shared table space for limited, applicable resources.


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

9:15 - 10:15 AM    Public Preparedness and Response: The Role of Risk Perception, Personal Efficacy, and Inoculating Risk Communication

People are motivated to take protective action when they perceive the threat of a disaster to be high and believe their ability to cope with the risk to be sufficient. Disasters differ in their nature and scope. Perceptions of risk and efficacy are therefore critical to our understanding and ability to get people to act on their own behalf.  Risk communication seeks to skillfully influence risk perception and efficacy. This talk will 1) describe what's known about risk perception in different risk domains 2) discuss the pivotal role of self and response efficacy and 3) illustrate how a novel form of risk communication based on inoculation theory can be implemented. Examples will be drawn from natural and technological disasters, terrorism and most recently "fake" news. Q &A will follow.

William Burns, Ph.D., Decision Research

Bill Burns, PhD

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 - 11:15 AM    U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) Securing the Nation at the Community Level

In this presentation, I will discuss the role of DHS, NPPD, Office of Office of Infrastructure Protection and the resources that are available to you to assist in planning, preparation and risk mitigation, which improves your organization's overall resilience. Infrastructure is the backbone of our Nation's economy, security and health. We know it as the power we use in our homes, the water we drink, the transportation that moves us, and the communication systems we rely on for business and everyday life. Protecting and ensuring the continuity of the critical infrastructure of the United States is essential to the Nation's security, public health and safety, economic vitality, and way of life. While individual sectors operate in seemingly unrelated fields, the success and vitality of all sectors is interrelated and dependent. Understanding risk improves your ability to prepare for and adapt to disruptions from hazards and man-made threats, thereby enhancing your resilience. By making resilience improvements, you can reduce the degree or severity of a disruption, shorten the duration, and improve the speed with which normal operations can resume.

Chass Jones is a Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Advisor (PSA) assigned to Oregon

Chass Jones, M.S.

Chass Jones is a Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Advisor (PSA) assigned to Oregon. In this capacity, Chass serves as a critical infrastructure security and resilience subject matter expert and is the Department's liaison with private, federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial organizations, as well as other infrastructure mission partners. Additionally, Chass is responsible for the identification of critical infrastructure, analysis of interdependencies, and mitigation of consequences from potential all-hazards or man-made threats. Prior to becoming a PSA, Chass served for over 4 years as a Department of Defense (DoD) technical expert on the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP). Within that capacity, he supported the Joint Chiefs of Staff, leading DoD Mission Assurance (MA) Assessment Teams and over 15 assessments around the world analyzing critical missions and assessing reliance on infrastructure. Chass is the recipient of the Bronze Star and U.S. Army Combat Infantry Badge for his combat experience and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his distinguished career upon his retirement in 2009.

11:15 - 11:30 AM Break

11:30 -12:30 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.

12:30 - 1:30 PM   Lunch

1:30 - 2:15 PM   Building Resilience by Planning - Business Continuity Planning

In preparation for disasters, individuals and families are to construct a personal preparedness plan, assemble a disaster kit and get disaster response training. What are businesses expected to do as an organization in advance of a disaster? This session will have you understand what needs to be planned for, the complexities of our modern business model and the interdependencies that exist between our critical infrastructures that support our 21st Century mode of living. The business case for Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and the components of such a plan will be briefed with explanations for why each part is needed.

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

2:15 - 2:30 PM     Break

2:30 - 3:15 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.

3:15 - 4:00 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