Three Important Lessons From The Oso Mudslide Tragedy

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.

Risk managers advised to focus on building resilient firms

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.

On GPS Sunday: Understanding Typhoon Haiyan, and assessing China’s future

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.

Fuel Supply System Fixes Pick Up Gas After Superstorm Sandy

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.

Homeland Security: Can Jeh Johnson handle agency’s big challenges?

“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.”

Seven Arrested for trespassing in Quabbin Reservoir

“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”

Cargo, the Terrorist’s Trojan Horse (video)

“Economic losses were put at $6.3 billion or more. Homeland Security says it would cost $16 billion or more to meet the mandate, but that projection assumes that the department would pay to acquire, maintain and operate scanning equipment and … Continued