It will take time to get answers to many of the questions arising from the landslide that buried the small town of Oso, Washington. Appropriately, the top priority of those on scene is to complete recovery efforts while attending to the heart wrenching needs of the survivors. Meanwhile, with the passing of each day, the attention of those of us not directly involved with the tragedy inevitably drifts away. Before that happens, we need to pause and consider three key lessons from this and other recent large-scale disasters.
A decade of disasters from Hurricane Katrina to the 2008 financial crisis to Superstorm Sandy, coupled with the onset of cyber risk, has perceptibly altered the way some risk managers approach risk.
Whereas many sought to squelch risk at its source, this view has gradually given way to a more nuanced view that — because risk cannot entirely be avoided — a risk manager’s primary efforts should entail building an enterprise robust enough to withstand risks when they do occur.
Stephen E. Flynn, Boston-based professor of political science and director of the Center for Re-silience Studies at Northeastern University, said a process-based, rather threat-centric approach works best in prudent risk management.
The Cold War and 9/11 has forced the U.S. to enhance its defenses, making it difficult for suspicious planes to cross borders without being detected. The U.S. is skilled at detecting intruding planes and at intercepting them.
On GPS this Sunday: More than 10 million Filipinos have been either displaced or left homeless by Typhoon Haiyan. But why was the impact so bad, and why was the response so slow? Fareed speaks with Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Center for Resilient Studies at Northeastern University, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett for their take on why this typhoon was so deadly.
The U.S. Department of Energy has led some of the discussions between policymakers and the industry, and Hoffman thinks the lessons learned from Sandy will be applied moving forward. That concept is appreciated by Stephen Flynn, director of the Center for Resilience Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.
“Obviously he’s got a strong background in weighty issues of the war on terror,” Dr. Flynn says of Johnson. “What will challenge him at DHS is that most of the heavy lifting in protecting the nation is really at the state and local level – and in somehow getting the private sector that operates critical infrastructures that are particularly vulnerable to go along with measures needed to increase security.”
“Homeland security expert Stephen Flynn says neglecting infrastructure may have dire consequences.”
“The threat to critical infrastructure like the Quabbin Reservoir is less about someone doing something to poison the water and more about someone seeking to do damage to the physical components of the supply system to cause mass disruption,” said Stephen Flynn”