The Internet of Things and Emergency Management

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This is one of those national critical functions that allow us as a society to be secure and prosperous and live in the free world. You know, so generating power, you know, that’s a very high-level thing.

Sean Griffin
Episode 103 The Internet of Things and Emergency Management

Todd DeVoe:      Hi and welcome to the EM Weekly show and this is your host, Todd DeVoe speaking. This week we have Sean Griffin from disaster intelligence with us. Sean Griffin is a Navy veteran and a president and CSO of disaster intelligence corporate. Well, we’ll let Sean tell his story.

Todd DeVoe:      Speaking of disaster intelligence, have you registered for the EM Weekly Webinar or this March 28th the topic is emerging technologies at emergency management. We have all seen the newest and greatest tech out there, but do you know what is good, bad, or indifferent? So we’ve invited Desiree Matel-Anderson, the CEO of Global Disaster Innovation Group, futurist Mary Jo Flynn from Sacramento County Emergency Management and Gregory Brunelle of One Concern. I hope to see you there.

Todd DeVoe:      You still have time to get your discounted registration for the EMLC be early bird registration of $100 off ends on February 28th if you’re a student, take advantage of your $200 discount. And this is a great opportunity to meet leaders in emergency management community. Stop by the EM Weekly booth and say hi.

Todd DeVoe:      Before we get into the interview, I want to take time to think, Brock Long for his service to the United States and to the profession of emergency management. Your vision and leadership will be missed. Jeff Byard. I want to let you know that we support you and good luck in the confirmation process from a Corpsman to a Marine. Semper Fi.

Todd DeVoe:      Now onto the interview.

Todd DeVoe:      Sean Welcome to EM Weekly and how are you doing?

Sean Griffin:       I’m doing well. Thanks for having me.

Todd DeVoe:      Sean tell me a little bit about your background you got to where you are today.

Sean Griffin:       Sure. So thanks for the question. I started my career in the United States Navy in nuclear power. Actually, of all things. from there I segued into occupational safety and health. so, you’ll figure out my career sort of zigzags but there’s some continuity. From there I left the Navy, came off active duty and joined the federal services as a civilian, the national institutes of health. I’m also an occupational safety. And then that’s where I transitioned my career into emergency management. I worked in the emergency management office at the National Institutes of health in Bethesda and then transitioned my career, from there. So that’s, I’ve been in emergency management since then. I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Very passionate about this because ultimately people are at the center of it. And it’s about taking care of, of your neighbors from, from NIH. I went to defense logistics agency, I’ll send emergency management, then the US Department of State, the US Department of Energy and also emergency management. And then I was detailed to the White House national security council. I was the director for incident management integration policy. And then I went back to the Department of Energy and once my detail was over and then a left DOE decided to start a few companies. The one that is at the center of my attention and my focus as a Disaster Intelligence. And I’m the president and Chief Strategy Officer at DI.

Todd DeVoe:      When you talk about Disaster Intelligence, What exactly is that?

Sean Griffin:       Our focus at Disaster Intelligence is both big data and FIT data. There’s a buzz term, big data that a lot of focus are a lot of people like to focus on. And that’s really talking about the qualitative or excuse me, the quantitative analysis numbers with the advancement of smart cities and the Internet of things and humans as a sensor, right? Everybody has a cell phone, a smartphone or many people do high penetration in United States and across the world. We have now all become remote sensors. And we are at I think, an interesting conversation in the world on what do we do with that data. And in our opinion, there are ways that we can benefit the public in leveraging, access to, to these datasets while recognizing privacy, and doing things like identifying data on ingest into large parallel computation models into a parallel computer, that we can, we can leverage this data for public benefit.

Sean Griffin:       But there has to be, a strong consensus on how we do that regulation, that supports it and policy, at all levels of government, internationally, federal US, state, local, tribal, territorial, that there is agreement of how we manage this data, and, and, and leverage it for public benefits. So, for example, we’re working with the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, which is the Department of Defense, federally funded research and development, a laboratory. And, they, did something really simple all, it seems very simple. Ah, there’s math and some horsepower behind it, but basically pinging the Internet of things, and seeing if the devices are on or off and that provides a prediction or real time, model of, of power outages. So as the devices go off, the heat map goes from green to red or to orange and some percentage of, of, customer outage.

Sean Griffin:       And interestingly, it’s also been used for insights or evacuation, evacuation or prediction of evacuation. So for example, in Hurricane Irma, before the onset of tropical force winds in Florida, you start to see all this red. On the model, because folks were evacuating from the keys and from the southern portions of the state. and then of course, as the hurricane made landfall and passed and traversed over the state, or I’m a basically just ran up the middle of it. You start to see this large clusters of red and, MIT had done the analysis with the actual data that the power to understand that the, the utilities themselves are reporting to Florida State EOC as well as the Department of Energy and the, the numbers are, are very, tightly correlated. So, the model’s been proven, they tested us and in Hurricane Matthew.

Sean Griffin:       And so, we’re underway, seeking the tech transfer to move, that model, which is not an operational code over to our platform so that we can, leverage that great work and continue to provide that to the public, which ultimately, we would like to do for free. And if we can cross correlate, say a power outage model to include what Argonne National lab is doing for their power prediction model and cross correlate that with other key data sets that are useful for making decisions. For example, if we had insight to at risk populations, vulnerable populations, say, older populations who may be dependent on medically or electrically dependent medical devices like ventilators and dialysis machines, we made, we may be able to target our response more effectively to assist those in need and do it in real time.

Sean Griffin:       And so, the other thing we rent disaster intelligence we’re doing is we have architected our backend optimized for the graphics processing unit through our partnership with Nvidia, who, who makes the GPU. And so, in order to take advantage of these big data, large data and just applications, you need the parallel processing compute, to match it. So you see this, you know, autonomous vehicles and other smart city applications. The Future of the grid your name and, GPUs, are, are changing the game as far as being able to create these types of useful insights to big data in real time. And we’re talking real time in hundreds of milliseconds, and we’re talking hundreds of billions of, of, of records, datasets to be able to ingest that simultaneously and interact with that 10 poorly in real time. So, it’s a very exciting time, I believe.  and we’re just getting to the, to the beginnings. The technology is there, but we’re getting to the beginnings of integrating into the emergency management, homeland security enterprise, and it’s just the start. So, I’m really looking forward to collaborating with anybody who’s interested to leverage these technologies to provide for public benefit and ultimately save lives and reduce risk to our communities.

Todd DeVoe:      So I have a few questions based upon that. So, one is that you’re working on right now. And a little while ago I interviewed a couple of people that use AI for different things. I had a professor that created an AI for flooding and I talked to a company that does Ai. for mapping a type stuff. Could your technology integrate with, with, with theirs. And then the second question on that is, how does your, oh, how does the technology that you’re working on now also help out with emergency management, with the, with the safety power shut off set they were doing here in California.

Sean Griffin:       Those are interesting questions. So, first question, artificial intelligence and, and what we can do be due to our partnership with Nvidia and how our backend is, has been architected. We are optimized for artificial intelligence as well as deep learning applications. That is not the center of our focus. It’s certainly on our horizon from a strategy perspective. But right now, what, what our main focus on is number one, getting all the key data sets into our system, either on our system or through some subscription, a capability like API so that we have all the necessary data to do, to drive, the analytics that we, that we need to make decisions. So that’s really our primary focus now. And we’ve been collaborating not just with MIT but with, for example University of North Carolina down in Chapel Hill where they have the add sec model.

Sean Griffin:       You know, the problem with the add sec is, it’s a great model, but it’s very slow. And so, the rendering time, you know, can be three hours. Well, as we know with Hurricane Michael for example, it moved, it was very dynamic, a storm. And so because it’s so violent fast, you need to have the models perform at much faster speeds than three hours. So, by the time you, you developed or render the model, it’s effectively useless because your data is out, you know, it was old and the results are, are, are effectively useless. So, it’s something that DHS and the new agencies, cyber security infrastructure security agency says, which has the national risk management center, which is an amalgamation of what used to be OCIA, the office of cyber infrastructure analysis, where they do a lot of the modeling work and they’ve identified that some of these models, which they were useful and somebody said, all models are wrong, some models are useful, and it’s really important. Yeah. Thankful is that, you know, a lot of these require they’re computationally intensive. They require a lot of math, which means, you, you have to have the, the parallel processing power to match the models as well as the massive amounts of data that needs to be pushed in pipe. So that’s where we, we have a tremendous value to this, to the space is that, you know, rather than us trying to build new models or build new algorithms, if there’s already existing models that none have been well tested, when that are evidence based, well researched, you know, tested in academia, but they don’t have the technology partner to optimize their models, or the math to be fast enough or performing enough to actually provide useful insights that are timely, and where you can make decisions.

Sean Griffin:       So, you know, we were more than happy to work with the one concerns of the world with the juice visas of the world, with any of the companies who are active in this space where we’ve just started a partnership with a company called flood map on it out of Australia. We are, we are of the opinion as a company, as their ethos that we are collaborative and because we have a shared interest in, in the risks because it’s, it’s a civilization risk, it risk to our communities. And so, we, we need to be working together to solve these problems rather than hyper competitive in my view. , now as far as the, the wildfires out west and, the interesting discussion that the utility commissioners is grappling with, do you do shut off the power and advanced to essentially remove as source of ignition, to prevent the fire as well?

Sean Griffin:       I would argue that that’s control based risk management, which can be helpful. We really need the root cause of risk management, which I would argue is the fuel, the problem with the trees, versus the, the power. But however that being said, if we decide to go in a direction where we want to proactively as a control measure, , de energize and shut off parts of the grid to, prevent, that as a source of ignition, I think we have to do it with, with careful and thoughtful analysis that knee again, risk that the benefits outweigh the costs of the, that decision. , and so for example, , what, what we can do and what we’ve, what we would like to do is use an orbital platforms, specifically with our, our tech partner and digital globe and identifying change detection and so that we can rapidly, as well as integrating other sophisticated weather models, and advanced weather modeling to be ahead of the curve and anticipate, when, when things shift rapidly and you know, the wind blows one way and then it goes the other way, to inform the power companies that, hey, you need to shut the power off and, and give a, a higher confidence, a higher, a degree of certainty of that that’s the right decision.

Sean Griffin:       And, and we can articulate, the, the, the tradeoff there. So my, my thinking is I think it’s a useful conversation to have, with the utility commission. , but my concern is if we don’t give it enough careful thought, that we may be trying to, you know, use that one control as, as a stop gap, which could be a false sense, false sense of reality, but we are certainly willing to engage in a conversation. And if we can be helpful, we would, we would love to do that.

Todd DeVoe:      So before we started the recording, we talked disaster resilience and what that means, it kind of your take on it. And I think that all everything we’re talking about right now kind of leads into that, that overlay of what resilience is. What does resilience mean to you and how can your company help with that mission?

Sean Griffin:       Sure. Thanks. Yeah, I mean, resilience is a, is a sticky term that, you know, we, you know, communities has struggled with, you know, for example, in the power industry, the focus of, the power industry. , not just since the 2003 blackout and the establishment of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which the keyword there is reliability. So in the power of community feel that if they operate reliability and efficiently, that resilience is inherently integrated data. Well that’s not necessarily as true. Reliable power is not necessarily secure power. You know, whether it’s from a cybersecurity perspective or a physical security perspective, there are clear vulnerabilities there, where you have single points of failure and you could take down a number of large power transformers and, and cause a tremendous amount of, difficulty in that restoration mission because large power transformers a, they are in low quantity.

Sean Griffin:       So, there’s a supply chain risks there, even if they are available, they’re huge. And so, you need an, you know, a seven-lane highway to move these things and they’re slow. So when we talk about reliable power, we can’t just use that as an end to a means. We have to look at the resilience. And so it’s a, it’s a systems view, root cause understanding what are the most critical functions. And I think DHS is, is thinking in the right way, this and this perspective where folks like Bob Klaskis and Chris Krebs and others, Bob Hanson and that whole team at the CISA shop is they’re trying to identify one of them, one of those national critical functions, that, that, that allow us as a society to be secure and prosperous and live in the free world. You know, so generating power, you know, that’s a very high level thing.

Sean Griffin:       Well, what does that mean? We need to unpack it, understand all those various touch points from a risk perspective, again, if we lose a high-power transformer, a large power transformer in in multiple ways where we have kinetic attacks against them, and it takes six months to a year to manufacture it. And it’s also huge. You’ve got to move it. We have to understand how the system interacts and then make risk decisions to, to bring down, to mitigate against those, those threats. And as a result, we, we can create a more resilient community because the community is able to survive and is able to work through the shocks, the system while we rapidly or accelerate response time. So what we’re interested in in, in our company is, is two things. Number one, we want to be able to leverage this large computational capability and a big data capability to, to run models very fast and in an interactive way where we’re not waiting weeks or a month to wait for the wait for the results that when you were at the, at the macro level, at a national level and you want to understand, you know, risks to a great interconnect.

Sean Griffin:       That’s a huge machine and there’s a lot of data points, so there’s a couple of actions going into that. In order for us to be helpful, when we need access to the data, we don’t have access to the data. We, it’s effectively useless., and we won’t, we won’t understand how that system interacts. So, and then on the response side, getting it in real time, again, another data limitation to have real time access to certain key data sets. Like say for example, river gauges. You know, some of these are quote public data sets and the, they even though their quote public datasets, me as now a private citizen, I don’t have access to them. And if, and if I do have access to them, the data and so disorganized that I have to on ingest, clean up the data to make it useful. So there’s a, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. And that’s why I mentioned up front that this conversation requires some thought around how do we, how do we regulate, how do we govern this in order to have access to these key data sets for the public benefits so we can start to understand the risks of the system and make decisions to bring down risks to that. , so we’re, we’re more resilient in the end.

Todd DeVoe:      You were doing some work with the Rockefeller Foundation? Is that correct?

Sean Griffin:       Yes. So, the, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, at the, the Rockefeller estate up in White Plains, New York, Rocky Mountain Institute is out of Colorado. And one of their, one of their points of focus is how to leverage a new market winning grid technology, microgrids, distributed energy resources, renewable, solar, wind, et Cetera, for the benefit of resilience through the lens of national security. So, thinking about, we have multiple department of Defense, military installations in the US, more of the fight is being conducted, know the projection of power is being conducted here domestically, whereas we may have been doing that and overseas bases. And so, the U.S. Now has to be more resilient, from system shocks that, where the DOD, for example, the department offense doesn’t own the asset. The power company owns the asset. The water utility owns the asset.

Sean Griffin:       , the natural gas provider owns the assets. So the DOD has just as much equal risk on supply chain, as does any community has amenities. DOD Installations, there are many cities, are many towns. And, and so the question is, well, how can these, these new technologies help, ensure mission assurance, for, for these critical installations and key national security assets? And we can leverage that same thinking and methodology and approach to nonmilitary applications. So, you know, an emergency operations center can benefit from a micro grid. A hospital can benefit from a micro grid or combined heat and power. We’ve seen examples of this and in the United States where it’s been very successful and around the world. So, we have to be more deliberate and intentional in understanding how to leverage these technologies because frankly, one of the key outcomes of the conversation was that, over the last few days is that if this is really a technology agnostic problem, it’s, it’s, it’s cheap.

Sean Griffin:       The economic, the economics are there. There are companies that want to be very active in this space. in fact Shell was one of the companies represented at the meeting and they want to invest billions of dollars in these distributed energy microgrid technologies, because the market’s changing in the energy space and they want to get ahead of that. , and that’s why you see BP and other, you know, who have been traditionally petrol based companies, getting, getting into this space because, because there’s actually a profits to be made there. There’s a, there’s, there’s a market winning strategy there. And so, so we as these technologies that are available because they are, they exist while we’re making improvements to the system today, how do we leverage it? So, for example, the water systems, and particularly wastewater or huge power demand, there are not any, backup generators, same FEMAs inventory, the Army Corps of engineers or at a local level.

Sean Griffin:       There’s not, there’s not a generator that’s going to meet the wastewater demand of New York city or LA or San Francisco. And so, we need these, large, large, more localized power assets, everything from battery storage to combined heat and power and these other technologies. So that these key critical assets that ultimately will make decisions on mortality and morbidity, the survivability and, and, and, viable recovery of, of a community following disaster. We can leverage these, these, grid, these great technologies for that benefit. So why shell interested? Well, Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria happen and all of their, all of their gas stations were out. We were without power. And so, you can’t sell gas because you can’t pp the gas up the ground when you don’t have electricity. If you don’t have point of sale, you don’t have an ATM, you don’t have ability to swipe a credit card. Shell was not able to sell their product. And so now they’re investing, they’re going to put backup generation capabilities that every single shell gas station around the world. And, and that’s really exciting. And, and it’s good to see the private sector step up and take care of some of these resilience issues. But, but we need to do it as a partnership between both public and private entities.

Todd DeVoe:      So California is leading the way with implemented solar this year. 2019 will be the first year where if you build a new home, you have to build, unless you’re in the shade, you have to have a solar integrated into your home. Is solar the key to a sustainable career?

Sean Griffin:       Well, the challenge is solar is that the sun doesn’t shine all the time. I know it’s oversimplifying it, but that’s just the fact, right? So, it’s how do we combine these in, to their various strengths and how do we integrate these as, as a, as a dynamic portfolio, right? It’s like the basic, when you’re making, you’re investing in a stock market, right? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. , similar in the power of community. , there is a huge swing towards natural gas as its primary fuel input. , we still have bought a third, it’s a, you know, a third coal, the third natural gas, and in the third nuclear power as far as, generation capacity, and renewables in that mix. But at a much smaller percentage are we talking about the bulk level? But the solar alone doesn’t have the capability to power it all, at all times. Right? It’s going to, you know, the night nighttime happens. So, so where do you store that energy So there’s, there’s been a challenge on, on storage and how do you do that effectively? And there are many ways to do it, but batteries, particularly acid base or lithium ion just doesn’t have the, the capacity as efficiency, to, to store solar or wind or other variable renewable energy technologies in a way that could be beneficial at a bulk level. So I appreciate what California is doing. I think it’s, it’s the right approach. You know, we have to come to terms with, with our climate goals and to actually, help protect this planet that takes care of us and so you know, rather than focusing on these, these myopic approaches is like everything’s solar.

Sean Griffin:       Everything wind where everything natural gas we must take, take an approach that, that leverages all of the various technologies and capabilities so that it benefits the whole in the system, in, in an integrated way. So, so I think, I think California should maybe take a step back and understand, and possibly relitigate some of these, some of these actions and focus on what is the goal of the goal is, no, no carbon future or carbon neutral future. Well, let’s not focus on one specific technology to get there. Let’s understand how we get to that goal. And it’s a mixture of things.

Todd DeVoe:      I was thinking along the lines of with, with solar, especially in the disaster situation. Earthquake. Yeah. If you’re out of it you can still have some power. . And then we were talking earlier a little bit about how with fire, you know as well, there are some issues associated with the power grid and fire. It’s California doing the right thing with for disaster resilience. You specifically, you know, with their building codes with building. And I know that there’s some issue that we’re talking about with building in the urban/wilderness interface areas. What can we do better to, to prevent these large scale disasters that we’ve seen in California regarding fire and, and the grid?

Sean Griffin:       Well, I think the ultimate challenge and something you know, that FEMA is squarely pushing on and, and I agree with them is the culture issue. , you know, the culture of preparedness is Administrator Long says, in the strategic plan is that we, we need a, a citizenry Eh, public, not just in the United States but globally who, who have higher risk literacy, that they understand, how to approach, their life from a risk decision. If you have a more informed, risk thinking public, then you know, in theory, and is in a democratic society that the public will help, and ensure that those who are, who are leading and are making legislative and executive decisions, that, that it really, it really comes from, from, from that perspective. So, you know, I think we have an opportunity with a distributed network and the Internet of things or everything that we could have this, this open environment in which we can bring together, as many people who want to be engaged.

Sean Griffin:       You know, there’s a, there was an interesting story about the, Malaysia, aircraft incident where, you know, the debris field is so wide and so large that just random people could go in and essentially go into map and if they saw a piece of debris, they flag it. And it helped with the, it helps with accelerating the investigation on, on the crash. Right? So that’s one way of using crowdsourcing. I mentioned earlier that that people are sensor. So I think ultimately, you know, the way that this is going to change, not just in California but around the world, is to have, is to have a global citizenry that have high, high risk literacy. And so that means we need to in in the schools at a very young age where this becomes as fundamental, as, you know, taking physics in, in school.

Sean Griffin:       I think if we had a, a hyper focus and attention on not just disasters, but, but risk in general, and understanding how to navigate life through that perspective, I think we’d be better off. So, but in a more tangible, what can we do today? you know, I think states like California who were very progressive and forward leaning or, or, or approaching this the right way. But again, I think we need to avoid the silver bullet, you know, alert, like just shut the power off and prevent this because in Pacific gas and electric have been, you know, on, on record of being many of the sources of the, of the ignition for some of these fires that have happened over the past couple of years. , but again, I encourage folks to not get so hyper focused on the silver bullet or the shiny object and taking a step back and look at the forest to the trees and understanding what the system, how the system operates, and then reducing risks to that system.

Sean Griffin:       So that because we can’t, we’re in a resource constrained environment. We don’t have infinite money, or infant and physical resources. We must make a decision to reduce that risk for it’s acceptable.  but we’ve all, we’ve all understand that it is a, an accepted risk. It’s just like getting on the, on the road every day.  you know, you more likely to die in a vehicle, but people do it every day and knowing knowingly that that is a risk. So we, we understand this. I think fundamentally in a behavior level, it’s just that folks need the literacy to match, their, their intuition and I’m making risk decisions, so they can make smarter, more informed decisions.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s so true. I’ve tried to do with my kids as far as far as that type of decision making or why you do things. And I think if everybody kind of takes an approach a much, much, much more, disaster alert, Society. So we’re kind of here close to the end. And a couple more questions for you. So if anybody wants to get in touch with you, how could they find you?

Sean Griffin:       So many ways. You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn. My name’s Shawn, Michael Griffin. And, you can also find a center website www.disaster-AI.com. And you’re certainly welcome to send me a note. Email sean@disaster-ai.com. again, you know, at our company philosophy is hyper collaboration and extreme collaboration and cooperative environment. We want to work with anybody who’s interested on a reducing risk to, to, global citizenry from disasters because it is a global problem and, and we want to do this together with our neighbors. And so, so yes, please reach out and we would love to, hopefully find a way to collaborate together. Yeah.

Todd DeVoe:      Well Sean, here is the toughest question of the day, what book, books or publication, do you recommend to somebody in Emergency Management?

Sean Griffin:       Books or publications? So, I would say that, a recent publication and it’s really not, well, I guess it’s a TEDx talk. The TEDx talk and I can send you the link, Todd, and you can share it however,

Todd: Sure.

https://www.ted.com/talks/tricia_wang_the_han_insights_missing_from_big_data?language=en

Sean Griffin:       She’s an Ethnographer who we’ve been working with at disaster intelligence and I’ve been very, she’s changed the way that I’ve done, I’ve thought, in, in my life, but also in the context of, of, going through disasters. And managing and disasters are preparing for them. And so, the top, the title of her TED talk is called the human insights missing from big data. And I think this is a really important discussion are important perspective in, in this discussion of big data and Internet of things, the electrification of everything.

Sean Griffin:       And we’re just drowning in this data. Facebook has all this information on every single person on the planet, I’m assuming like, and what do we do with it? And that’s just the law. And the problem is they think we can create tremendous bias. I’m from looking at it purely from a, a macro level, quantitative, you know, massive number issue. But really what she talks about is a thick data that has small datasets from people and as an ethnography or sheet, she studies, sociology and people. And so, there’s, there’s some interesting, I point you to anything that Tricia Wang does, I find her very insightful and certainly the human insights missing from big data is definitely one of them, you know, when I think about in a policy context, you know, working on the National Security Council staff, when we got the principles around the table, you know, you’re talking a 10 to, you know, 15 principals around a table and they weren’t looking at major charts and, and, visualizations and all, all this, you know, high computational stuff.

Sean Griffin:       They were, they were making human decisions and I think that’s really important context. You know, ultimately this is, this is a human problem. And so, we don’t want to just get so admired in, in, in this big data thing and the illusion of all these interesting technologies. I think we need to take a step back and, and, and, and to ensure that, that people, and, and, and smaller data sets that provide useful human context, to these problems, it should be an equal part of the conversation. So big data paired with thick data and then, and then deriving insights from that and sort of just like, Eh, if anybody, you know, in high school, college that the mixed method, qualitative and qualitative and quantitative research approaches. So, I would, I would point you there you kind of sent me on the book, the book thing.

Sean Griffin:       But in fact, recently I was rereading an Amanda Ripley’s, Amanda Ripley something that I like the unthinkable. I really liked that book because it ties well into the, stories to, to articulate the challenge that we have and, and, and being ready for disasters and the stories, provide the emotion and provide the empathy that is lacking in those, in those big data, you know, tables and charts and excel files. And so how are we, how we ensure that we have the human story element.

Sean Griffin:       And I think in the disaster world, we, you know, we should probably have a more historians, ethnographers and anthropologists engaged in the, you know, in the real time response to these disasters. In today’s world, everything is so widely disconcerted with social media. We have all of this, all of this source material, and, and to be able to drive insights from, but the better we can be at storytelling and, and using that as a way to increase risk literacy and disaster literacy, I think that’s going to be, I think that’s going to be critical in, in making any fundamental changes in the world. , and so yes, the art of the story, we know we’ve existed for thousands of years before written word and the story was the way we got by and I don’t think we should forget.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s a wow, I got to chew on that for a little bit cause that’s, that was a really profound statement right there. Well, so before I let you go, is there anything you’d like to say directly to the emergency manager?

Sean Griffin:       So, I think to the emergency manager, number one, we need, you don’t get discouraged. More disasters are going to happen unfortunately, as the years come by. But the emergency manager I think is, it’s a profession that, that, I was lucky I’ll say to stumble into, I certainly wasn’t the, my, my intention, you know, coming from nuclear power certainly. But it’s such a great profession and you know, like many public servants, particularly at the local level, you don’t get paid that well. So again, don’t get discouraged, don’t leave the community. If anything, say, we, we, I think, are at a point where with an ageing populous and folks leaving the work environment, we want to be able to, maintain an institutional knowledge. And so, the things that we’ve built over time and in the community, like the incident command system, are now national incident management system you know, that these things were built off of the history of emergency management. And I think that, again, please, please don’t quit. Even though the deployments are hard and, the hours seem to never end, and it seems like you’re moving from popping from one disaster to the next just stay in it and know that there are people out there that, that, that care about you and believe in what you do. And I certainly do and I’m, I’m honored to be part of that, that community.

Todd DeVoe:      Thank you so much for your time today.

Sean Griffin:       Thanks Todd.

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