Disaster Zone

Disaster Zone

Disaster Zone is hosted by Eric Holdeman, an emergency manager with over 30 years of experience at the federal, state and local levels of government. Disaster Zone is a podcast that focuses on all facets of disasters; the before, during and after of events that are increasingly impacting communities around the world. Podcasts run between 35-45 minutes with a mix of guests covering a range of disasters and issues that flow from them. Sponsors of this podcast include: Dynamis, a leading provider of information management software and security solutions. The Blue Cell, a by-design crisis and consequence management consulting firm. Bent Ear Solutions offers comprehensive capabilities and deep industry knowledge necessary to help you solve the most complex issues of your organization. T-Mobile for Government provides innovative connectivity solutions that help government better serve citizens by enabling agencies to work more intelligently, efficiently, and securely. Story topics and suggestions for people to interview are welcomed. You can contact the host via email. Podcast listeners might also be interested in the Disaster Zone Blog which is the number one blog on the topic of emergency management here in the United States.


May 30, 2023 37 mins

Every region of the globe is looking to harness the full capabilities of drone technology. How do you do that and do it safely, even in densely populated areas that include cities and metroplexes? Vincent Pedrini, co-founder and CFO of Nomoko, as well as President of the Luxembourg Drone Federation is the guest for this podcast. After several years of experience in audit and management in companies such as Deloitte and PwC, Vincent...

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Maritime pilots provide a valuable service to the safety of broader maritime enterprise. This podcast explores their functions and what their role is in shepherding huge ships safely to dock and then back out to sea. The guest, Captain Eric Von Brandenfels is an experienced mariner and Puget Sound Pilot. He learned to sail at an early age and worked a tugboat job in high school. He stayed on tugs before joining the Puget Sound Pilo...

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May 16, 2023 34 mins

The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) is the largest such organization in the world. Their 2023 IAEM Conference will be held in Long Beach California.  Leading the conference preparations is Duane Hagelgans, Conference Chair. In this podcast we find out about the conference in general and more specifics on how the event is organized, how speakers are chosen and then other opportunities like the Exhibit Hall, wh...

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May 9, 2023 49 mins

Everyone is familiar with the functions of the National Weather Service (NWS) and its role in forecasting the weather here on earth. They also have another function which is forecasting “space weather.” That is the topic of this podcast. Yes, there are potential dangers that can come from solar activity. The podcast guest is Mr. Shawn Dahl, a physical scientist who has worked at the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) since 2015...

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May 2, 2023 35 mins

A key player in the maritime industry comes in the form of Marine Exchanges that provide a variety of services to a wide assortment of maritime organizations. The Marine Exchange of Puget Sound is one of them. In this podcast we hear from Patrick Gallagher, Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of Puget Sound and a retired Coast Guard Commander with over 25 years of maritime experience. His experience in the maritime industry i...

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April 25, 2023 52 mins

The fire service is having to adapt to the realities of today’s challenges. In this podcast we hear from one of the national leaders in the fire service. To give you the depth and breadth of his experience I’m including much, but not all, of his biography. How do you measure up when it comes to experience and education? 

In May 2016, Mayor James Kenney appointed Adam Thiel to serve as the 20th Fire Commissioner for the City of Phila...

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April 18, 2023 49 mins

Disaster debris is a huge challenge for a wide range of disasters. Debris can come in all shapes and sizes to include cars, houses and hazardous materials. They pile up in front of homes and clog waterways following storms and other weather related events. In this podcast the expert guest is Rob Ray, Senior Vice President, for Operations at AshBritt, a national government solutions provider specializing in emergency management and ...

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Perhaps you have never heard of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and don’t understand what the implications from one being used as a weapon against the United States or other national powers. That is what this podcast does, looking at the full impacts of such a weapon being used in the future. The guest for this podcast is 

William R. Forstchen who is a New York Times bestselling author and holds a doctoral degree from Purdue Universi...

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The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) is the largest such organization in the world. It is where people join to meet their counterparts, learn from one another, and make a positive impact in advancing the profession of emergency management. In this podcast, Cathy Clark, the President of IAEM shares a great deal of information on how IAEM is organized, who the membership is comprised of and all the different way...

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March 28, 2023 43 mins

Election security has been in the news since 2020. How secure are elections in the United States and what specifically makes vote by mail a secure way to cast your ballot? To get answers from one state, in this podcast we hear from Kevin McMahan, Assistant Secretary of State for Washington State. He is charged with the executive oversight of the Washington Secretary of State's Elections and Information Security & Response ...

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March 21, 2023 34 mins

The COVID 19 Pandemic has disrupted much of our society for the last three years. There was an arc to the pandemic. Moving through different phases, from a period of uncertainty to a period of Knowledge and then finally a period of Recovery—which we are still in the midst of. In this podcast we explore how businesses and governments can work in concert with one another to, from an economic standpoint, individually and collectively ...

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March 14, 2023 40 mins
In this podcast we will be talking about technology in general and more specifically about data, the use of data and how we can mine it and apply it to a variety of purposes, using tools like GIS.  

The podcast guest is Jim Featherstone, He is a native of Washington D.C. and a veteran of the United States Navy, Jim began his public service to the City of Los Angeles in 1986 with the Los Angeles Fire Departm...
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Doug Stockham co-founded Emergency Assistance Foundation (EAF) – a 501(c)(3) public non-profit – in 2011 to help companies take care of their team members in need. More than a decade later, EAF administers over 350 disaster and hardship relief funds in partnership with well-known sponsoring organizations on a global scale. In the last three years combined, EAF awarded over $205 million in financial assistance to more than 295,000 i...

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February 28, 2023 48 mins

The guest for this podcast is Jim Mullen, a long-time emergency manager who led the Seattle Office of Emergency Management for 12 years before spending eight years as the Washington State Emergency Management Director…and also being selected by his peers to be the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) President, that ended up being a two-year term. In this podcast we discuss a wide range of emergency management topics, f...

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February 21, 2023 39 mins

In this podcast we explore the connection between climate and the weather and how we are seeing significant changes in the frequency, level of destruction and duration of a wide variety of natural disasters. The podcast guest, Ted Buehner worked for the National Weather Service (NWS) for 40 years. His last position was as the NWS Seattle Warning Coordination Meteorologist, a key customer liaison position, with its partners and cust...

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February 14, 2023 48 mins

This podcast’s guest is Patrick Hardy who is the founder and CEO of Hytropy Disaster Management™ Patrick is a Certified Emergency Manager®, Certified Risk Manager®, Master Business Continuity Professional®, and a FEMA Master of Exercise®, he has extensive experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in disaster management from micro-businesses to Fortune 500 companies. He has been published in dozens of industr...

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Before you get to the hospital, after calling 911, there is an entire pre-hospital medical system that exists to come to the medical aid of people who are sick or injured. These are the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics who have received specialized training and operate under strict protocols for providing medical aid. In this podcast, we hear from Eric Kuehlthau, a Paramedic with Central Pierce Fire and Rescue Di...

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January 31, 2023 45 mins

In this podcast we learn about the mission and functions of our nation’s most recently established Federal office. We also achieve a better understanding of the challenges that came with starting from scratch, hiring staff and supporting states and local jurisdictions on the subject areas of cybersecurity and critical infrastructure security. Pat Massey is the guest.

Mr. Massey has served as the Regional Director of the D...

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January 24, 2023 54 mins

Not everyone can lead during a crisis. Some think they can, others fear that they will not be up to the task. Sometimes the crisis finds you, whether you are ready or not. In this podcast, Pete Gaynor, the immediate past Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator shares his ideas on Leadership Essentials for Unthinkable Events.  See www.femapete.com for more information. 

Before becoming FEMA Administrator, he held lea...

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Can you believe it—we are coming up on the three year anniversary of the COVID Pandemic. In this podcast we explore the challenges that we faced collectively and then in particular for public health and the rest of the emergency management community who responded. The podcast has an excellent guest with intimate experience with the pandemic. 

Nathan Weed is the Chief of Resiliency and Health Security for the Washington State Departm...

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