Saturday, April 28, 2012

Counter Terrorism - Preparing for Acts of Domestic and Foreign Terrorism

Sal Lifrieri
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sal Lifrieri, former Director of Security and Intelligence Operations for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management and current principal at Protective Countermeasures & Consulting, Inc., for a podcast produced by the American Bar Association's Tort, Trial & Insurance Law Section's Disaster Preparation and Response Initiative in conjunction with Thompson Reuter's WestLegalEd Center.  This podcast will be available via the WestLegalEd Center and the TIPS website in the near future.  Sal outlined measures businesses, individuals, and local governments can take to be better prepared for terrorist attacks.  Interestingly, Sal was most concerned about home grown terrorists and the potential for explosive devices being used to cause major disruption.  While he did not discount acts of foreign terrorism, including cyber attacks (which recently have been in the news again), he thought that vigilance against domestic terrorism was the biggest issue we face.  Sal is concerned about how the US has become a bit complacent since September 11th and still lacks the preparation necessary to withstand a major attack.  Sal counsels businesses and municipalities to think out of the box and go through the process of creating a substantive disaster recovery plan addressing the disruptions that might arise in the wake of an act of terrorism.  I hope all of you will have a chance to listen to this podcast when it is posted.  The TIPS DPRI podcasts are made available by TIPS on its website for free as part of its year-long Disaster Preparedness and Response Initiative.  For a list of the existing podcasts, please click here.  Please join us on August 3 in Chicago for the ABA's Annual Meeting where TIPS will put on two fabulous programs on Disasters Caused by Acts of Terrorism.  For more information about the TIPS Disaster Initiative, please click here

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Free CLE Program on Katrina

The American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, in partnership with West LegalEdcenter, is offering ABA members a complimentary program, “When the Levees Broke: Lessons Learned From Judicial and Governmental Response to Hurricane Katrina,” available April 5 – May 5.  The program was presented during the 2012 ABA Midyear Meeting and was produced by the TIPS Task Force on Disaster Preparedness and Response. The program focuses on the challenges that the judiciary as well as federal, state and local governments faced in the Katrina disaster, and the response to those challenges. Those affected by the disaster relay their experiences and offer lessons learned. Speakers include Kathleen Strickland of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley; Jennifer Kilpatrick of Degal, Blanchard & Nash; Judge Madeleine Landrieu of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Orleans Parish, La.; and Judge Karen Wells Roby of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  While this is a free program, CLE credit can be obtained for $50. For more information, including how to register and view the program, click here.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Must See Katrina Program - Offered Free for a Short While

Sometimes a program comes along that is exceptional, something that all ABA members should see. This program is one of those exceptional programs. It makes you feel the tragedy that happened to one of our greatest cities, one of the treasures of this country, like no other program on Katrina has done to date.

Because this is a MUST SEE program, the TIPS Task Force on Disaster Preparedness and Response, in partnership with West LegalEdcenter, part of Thomson Reuters, is offering complimentary access to this program to all ABA members for 30 days. The fact that TIPS is making this extraordinary effort to make this program available to all members, means this is a program you won't want to miss! We hope you find it to be a valuable experience like those who saw this program presented live at the ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans on February 3rd. Additionally, our hope is that airing this program will increase disaster preparedness efforts in your local communities.

When the Levees Broke: Lessons Learned From Judicial and Governmental Response to Hurricane Katrina, discusses the unique challenges that Federal, state and local governments, and members of the judiciary encounter when faced with a disaster. This program features Kathleen Strickland of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn and Bentley, Jennifer Kilpatrick of Degan, Blanchard & Nash, Honorable Madeleine Landrieu and Honorable Karen Wells Roby, as they discuss their experience with these issues in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and what they've learned in the process.

If you have previously registered with West LegalEdcenter, you can simply click on the link below, sign in and enroll in the free program. If you have not previously registered, you can create a free profile, sign in, and then enroll in the free program. It's that easy!

View the Complimentary Program
*Complimentary program does not include CLE Credit

For CLE Credit, View the Program for $50

Kathleen N. Strickland
Chair, TIPS Task Force on Disaster Preparedness & Response

Randy J. Aliment
Chair, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Disaster Preparation and Building Codes - Florida is Number One

According to the linked article, Florida's building codes are rated the best for hurricane protection.  Building codes and land use ordinances are critical in the preparation for natural disasters like hurricanes.  The videos of houses being swept out to sea off of spits on barrier islands are dramatic, but also demonstrate why building on lands likely to flood makes little sense.  Building codes, land use codes, and other similar measures protect against unnecessary loss of property (and life) in the face of natural disasters.  No different than earthquake building codes, hurricane building codes help ensure that the roof won't blow off and the buildings won't collapse during a hurricane.  The article points out how some other Gulf states received very poor scores for their building codes.  If we are going to prevent excessive and unnecessary damage from hurricanes and windstorms, building codes need to be updated and land use codes need to be implemented that address these risks.  Congratulations to Florida for learning this valuable lesson.  Now its up to the other Gulf states and other shoreline communities to get on board with preventing unnecessary damages caused by natural disasters.

To learn more about disasters caused by nature and how to prepare and respond to them, please visit the American Bar Association's Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section's Disaster Initiative page and join us on May 17, 2012, in Charleston, SC, for a great program on Disasters Caused by Acts of Nature.  For more information, click here.