From Natural Disaster & Emergency Management Digital

Where safety and security meet. The prepare. respond. recover. podcast features industry experts talking about the tools you need to make your organization more secure and resilient, all while minimizing operational disruptions and ensuring public safety in this ever-changing world.

Join host Todd De Voe as he and his guests discuss how to stay secure and resilient all while maintaining operational continuity and ensuring public safety in this ever-changing world.

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EPISODE 25: Leadership Inspiring Preparedness

Creating a culture of preparedness is every emergency managers’ dream. Tune into the latest prepare.respond.recover podcast episode as Charles Mullenger, President & CEO of Ethos Preparedness, and host Todd De Voe discuss how Ethos is inspiring preparedness from the personal to organizational level, with the mission to save lives while building culture and community along the way.

EPISODE 24: The Hard Working Verizon Emergency Response Team

Thousands of employees work tirelessly behind the scenes of what we take for granted on a daily basis. Join us in this week’s Prepare.Respond.Recover episode as we hear from two Verizon Emergency Response Team members, who are at the forefront of emergency response. When called upon, this dedicated team responds to ensure communications are in play from rural area manhunts, wildfires, and hurricanes. Within hours of an issue, this team often finds themselves on the road dragging a trailer towards the issue.

EPISODE 23: It Is Critical to Have a Mass Notification Plan

Emergency notifications save lives. Listen in on the Prepare.Respond.Recover Podcast as CrisisGo’s David Kaylick, VP of K-12 Solutions, and Kelly Moore, Director of Safety Leadership, explore how organizations can effectively implement mass notification strategies. Having a good plan in place ensures that your team will receive information when they needed it the most.

EPISODE 22: The Cooling Solutions Challenge: DHS's Fight Against Climate Change

Join Prepare. Respond. Recover. as we explore the Department of Homeland Security’s prize competitions on strengthening the nation’s resilience to climate change. The “Cooling Solutions Challenge” is part of DHS’s effort to implement a proactive approach to climate change resilience. DHS is looking for novel ways to protect those at risk of heat-related illness or death, including first responders, households or group quarters without access to conventional cooling systems or are experiencing sustained power outages, plus displaced or homeless populations. Relative to current cooling solutions, these new designs will be more eco-friendly and energy-efficient, while being cost-effective, scalable, durable, and allowing for alternate power sources.

EPISODE 21: Planning for the Known and Unknown

If you have spent any time in the Northeast during the winter (or in other areas of the world with regular snowfall), you may have seen on the local TV or heard on the radio that schools and businesses are closed due to snow. We call this a snow day. COVID-19 has impacted the way we live our lives, and the world has just experienced the largest collective snow day in the history of snow days. Mark McCourt waves the tail of what it means to pivot and make changes due to unforeseen problems (Black Swan events), as well as make changes due to issues that we should have seen coming (Gray Rhino events).

EPISODE 20: Exploring SBP's Five Steps to Holistic Disaster Recovery

Join us as host Todd De Voe sits down with the CEO of one of the most dynamic, disaster recovery non-profits in the United States, SBP. SBP was founded in March of 2006 by Zack Rosenburg and Liz McCartney after they volunteered at St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina. Rosenburg noticed a deficiency in how recovery was being done, and together he and Liz put a plan in place to help rebuild a community in need. Today, SBP has built thousands of homes for disaster victims across the United States with a simple five step plan. Tune in now for this must-listen episode of the prepare.respond.recover podcast.

EPISODE 19: The Future of Purposeful Emergency Management

Jeff Schlegelmilch joins us to discuss the educational programs that the faculty and staff of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute are bringing to the Natural Disaster & Emergency Management Expo this year, taking place November 17-18 at the Javits Center in New York City. As a veteran in the emergency management space and host of his own podcast “Disaster Politics,” Schlegelmilch’s lively discussion touches on issues we all face while working in emergency management. Listen in today and learn more about NDEM Expo at

EPISODE 18: The Vital Role of Consultants in Disaster Planning and Recovery

For more than 35 years, IEM has been advising government agencies and industry professionals on improving protection for people and infrastructure. In this episode, we talk to Brian Koon, Vice President of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, on how IEM works with numerous public and private organizations to increase their capability to battle emerging threats, as well as apply technology to gain efficiency and resiliency.

EPISODE 17: Sports, Concerts, and Events are Back! How Venue Safety and Security Teams Keep Us Safe at Mass Gatherings

In 2020, we saw stadiums, arenas, concert halls, and convention centers go dark.  While some facilities transformed to care centers and vaccination sites, others started planning for fans to return under new COVID guidelines.  Not only do these large event spaces need to take into account man-made or natural crisis situations, now they must plan for a safe and healthy return of guests.  So much goes on behind the scenes to make sure your trip to the ballpark is not only enjoyable, but safe.  In this episode we talk with James DeMeo, founder of Unified Sports & Entertainment Security Consulting. DeMeo, who consulted on the opening of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, shares with us what you don’t see behind the scenes.

EPISODE 16: How Hughes Provides Critical Communications in Times of Crisis

From Superstorm Sandy to Hurricane Maria and the Baltimore Riots, communications and network interoperability are key. Hughes provides an array of satellite communications solutions that allow key stakeholders to stay connected in times of catastrophe. When terrestrial lines go down and cell towers are damaged, Hughes delivers the essential connectivity that governments and communities need. Tony Bardo, Assistant Vice President of Government Solutions, and Dan Williams, Senior Director of Business Development in Defense, join us to discuss the critical role Hughes plays in connecting people and first responders.

EPISODE 15: Keeping Schools Safe and Secure in the Face of a Disaster

First established in 2014, in response to the school shooting at Sandy Hook, the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) was created to bring together expertise from the education, public safety, and industry communities with a mission to develop a coordinated approach to enhancing safety and security in K-12 environments. In this episode we speak with Vice Chair, Mark Williams, on how PASS provides school administrators, school boards, and public safety and security professionals with the information, tools, and insights needed to implement nationwide best practices to secure and enhance the safety of school environments based on their individual needs. We are also joined by Paul Timm, VP at Facility Engineering Associates, to cover an all hazard approach to school safety.

EPISODE 14: For Waffle House, Keeping the Doors Open is About Community

In the Southern U.S., spotting the iconic Waffle House sign means a hot meal any time of day, a stop on a long drive, or a place to gather with friends. Waffle House is Americana at its best and a symbol of pride for Southerners. Following the 2011 Joplin Tornado, FEMA Director, Craig Fugate created the Waffle House Index, an informal metric that helped FEMA determine the impact of a storm based on if the local Waffle House restaurants were closed or open. But even before the index, continuity of operations was ingrained in the culture of Waffle House. We are joined in this episode by Will Mizell, VP of People for Waffle House to talk about how they prepare, respond, and recover from a disaster. While it may not make fiscal sense to remain open, Waffle House keeps operations going for the communities they serve. Don’t be surprised if you happen to be in a Waffle House after a bad storm, the person working the grill may very well be the CEO.

EPISODE 13: Minimizing the Time Between Disaster and Recovery, a Conversation With SBP

After seeing firsthand the inefficiency and slow progress of traditional disaster recovery, Zack Rosenburg and Liz McCartney founded their own non-profit in 2006.  Named for the parish they volunteered in post-Katrina, they called their organization the St. Bernard Project. Today, the organization is known simply as SBP.  Headquartered in New Orleans, SBP seeks to achieve its mission through five interventions:  Rebuild, Share, Prepare, Advice, and Advocate.  In this episode, we speak with JR Sanderson, Senior Government Advisor and Director of the Resiliency and Recovery Lab about his role within SBP in preparing and advising public servants.

EPISODE 12: Why Mitigation Matters In Flood Protection

Flooding causes approximately $20 billion dollars a year in damage to homes and businesses and roughly 4.3 million homes are at substantial risk of damage from storm water and rising sea levels. In many cases, expensive premiums for flood insurance cost people their beloved homes. Today we talk with Tom Little of to discuss flood mitigation procedures that not only reduce premium costs but protect homes and business from serious damage and down time. With a suite of products for both wet and dry flood protection, Tom and his team work with insurance agents, builders, and homeowners to help determine the best possible mitigation techniques.

EPISODE 11: Building Fortified Homes – How IBHS Prevents Destruction During Disasters

About 45 minutes south of Charlotte, North Carolina sits a unique test facility measuring over 40,000 square feet and equipped with 105 electric fans. This facility is where the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) can build and test structures against damage caused by high winds, hail, wildfire, and rain. Testing realistic re-creations of severe weather hazards enables researchers to accurately evaluate residential and commercial construction materials and systems. The research conducted at this unique facility significantly advances building science and influences residential and commercial structural design and construction, helping to create more resilient communities.

EPISODE 10: It Takes a Village – The Story of Small Town Resilience

In August 2011, hurricane Irene destroyed towns up and down the east coast. While Irene headed north, it weakened to a tropical storm making landfall in southern New Jersey then again in Brooklyn, NY. What happened next devastated many small towns as Irene transitioned to an extratropical cyclone striking Vermont. Marion Abrams, a resident of Pittsfield, VT and a documentary filmmaker captured what happened to her town of only 500 people; a town cut off on both ends as the small White River became a raging natural disaster. This is Marion’s story of what became known as the most isolated town in Vermont.

EPISODE 9: A First Responder’s Story of Resiliency and Hope with the Challenged Athletes Foundation

The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) supports hundreds of permanently disabled athletes through grants and training programs. One of their programs, Operation Rebound, works solely with military personnel, veterans, and first responders. Before even leaving the hospital after the loss of his leg, Chappie Hunter, a San Diego Police Officer was approached by CAF to be part of Operation Rebound. This podcast focuses on how even if times are dark and hope is fading, personal strength, resiliency, and a supportive community can lead one out of darkness.

EPISODE 8: Beyond the Glitz and Glamour—Security and Safety in Hollywood

Security on a Hollywood production lot has come a long way from just guns, guards, and gates. Today, an all hazard, global threat approach is employed to not just secure “inside the gates” but a wide reaching world beyond the production lot. Jeff Reider, VP of Global Threat and Emergency Management at Paramount Pictures joins us to talk about his team’s role in protecting the studio lot, off site productions and events, and in the current pandemic state how employees are working from home. From natural disasters, overzealous fans, and even IP leaks from a set, you’ll hear how the role of the “security guard” has changed dramatically. 

EPISODE 7: Rethinking Readiness, Bringing Lessons Learned in Disaster Recovery into the Mainstream

While traveling and learning new cultures in South and Central America, Jesse Levin saw a need in a market and capitalized on it. Using his natural entrepreneurial skills, Jesse started a cultural mediation firm in Panama, working with local indigenous populations. This experience sparked a career in disaster relief that brought Jesse and his firm, Tactivate, to Haiti, Puerto Rico, and other disaster zones. Now, Jesse is using the knowledge learned in these situations to rethink and rebrand readiness for local communities. His newest venture, The Readiness Collective, looks to disrupt the prepper model and create resilient communities that leverage every person’s unique skills.

EPISODE 6: Tribal Nations and Emergency Management, a Closer Look at the Choctaw Nation

Tribal lands hold unique challenges for emergency managers. Jeff Hansen, Director of Emergency Management for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma joins us to discuss some of these challenges. From jurisdictional issues to managing relationships with the federal government, Jeff talks about how the Choctaw Nation is handling the current pandemic, infrastructure development focusing on preparedness, and piloting drone programs in tornado alley.

EPISODE 5: How the Restaurant Industry Has Adapted to Survive During COVID-19

Many can argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected small businesses tremendously but restauranteurs have been hit the hardest. Limitations on restaurant capacity have forced restaurant owners to be nimble and innovative during these challenging times. In this episode, we speak with Linda Kavanagh, former chef and founder of Max Ex Public Relations on how the hospitality industry has adapted during COVID-19. From outdoor dining to changes in menus, and creative solutions for food delivery this episode discusses continuity planning to help restaurants and other hospitality businesses build towards a stronger more resilient future.

EPISODE 4: How Uber Leverages Technology to Ensure Safety and Security

Uber’s former Director of Global Security, Carla Gray, joins the podcast to discuss the company’s role and importance in emergency management. Uber keeps the safety of their customers and drivers top of mind whether it’s helping people evacuate during a natural disaster or as a transportation source during a global pandemic. Carla discusses the need to develop strong public and private partnerships and the importance of leveraging new technologies to advance emergency and community response in the last mile. During this unique time, when faced with COVID-19, civil unrest, and an abundance of natural disasters, the security team at Uber has been tasked with being nimble and creative, showing incredible resilience.  NOTE: At the time of recording Ms. Gray held the title of Director of Global Security for Uber.

EPISODE 3: One Tiny House at a Time, Building Community and Bringing Hope

In 2014, Gabrielle Rapport, Founder and Executive Director of Operation Tiny Home, set out to help one veteran battling PTSD and housing instability. That one simple act led to a mission and the creation of Operation Tiny Home. After teaming up with Tiny House Nation star, Zack Giffin, Operation Tiny Home has helped veteran communities across the country build hope and reintegrate into society after years of service. Through workshops, grant programs and the support of individuals and corporations the organization has assisted veterans, tribal nations, and those impacted by natural disasters. When all hope seems lost their mission and their tiny homes have brought communities together, built resiliency, and instilled belief one 2x4 at a time.

EPISODE 2: Continued Service in a New Uniform

David Burke, Team Rubicon’s Senior Vice President of Programs and Field Operations, joins the Prepare. Respond. Recover. Podcast in time for Veterans Day. David tells us about his service in the Marine Corps and how through continued service in disaster response, he found a new uniform as a Team Rubicon Greyshirt.

EPISODE 1: Keeping Your Business Valuable During a Crisis, Why Planning Matters

For our first episode we welcome Ambi Silk, Director, Governance, Risk & Compliance and Mohinder Kainth, Senior Global Risk Consultant both from CyberCX.  CyberCX provides business continuity services for a range of global clients including RELX and its exhibitions subsidiary Reed Exhibitions, host of this podcast. Ambi and Mohinder dive into a range of topics including the current COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain management, the importance of the “pivot”, risk management for your staff in the office or working from home, and more. The episode wraps up with the importance of a robust incident management plan using the real-life example of when Reed Exhibitions employees were in Las Vegas for one of RX’s largest trade shows during the 2017 mass shooting.