Date/Time
Date(s) - 03/14/2018
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Location
Sands Regency Hotel

Categories No Categories


Please Save the Date for this upcoming National Security Forum, certainly very timely!

Northern Nevada Public Alerts and Warnings –

No Rockets Please

 A Presentation With

Aaron Kenneston

Washoe County Emergency Manager

Wednesday, March 14, 9 a.m. The Sands

‘We made a mistake’: Hawaii officials apologize after false emergency alert. (Associated Press headline 13 January 2018)

“It turned out to be a false alarm, a computer glitch. The damage? An erosion of trust.” (ABC News Report 10 February 2018, “False Alarms Highlight Weaknesses in National Alert System” after a false tsunami alert was issued for New England)

Remember that gut tightening feeling that comes after you get a text or call from Washoe County warning you about an emergency in our area? I remember getting avalanche warnings last year for our neighborhood in Incline Village telling us to “shelter in place until further notice.” I also remember NOT getting them on a bright sunny morning in September 2001 when unbeknownst to most of us working in national security agencies in Washington, DC, the nation was under attack.

Now imagine the feeling of thousands of residents of Hawaii when their cellphones beeped with an emergency alert at 0807 Saturday 13 January that said: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Now imagine the ensuing panic that ensued in the following two hours as residents raced for shelter…where???…and even posted fond farewells to family and friends before the U.S. Pacific Command tweeted at 1048: U.S. Pacific Command has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon possible.

Lucky for those of us living in Northern Nevada we have Aaron Kenneston, an Emergency Manager Extraordinaire, at the helm of the regional and national alert system designed to keep us safe from everything from floods to earthquakes to active shooters to alien invasions from other galaxies (well, maybe not that one) to armed rockets from adversaries, which Aaron categorically wants never to have to respond to.

Aaron promises us an enlightening and informative discussion at our next NSF meeting on 14 March 2018. To set the stage, he will share a brief history of alerts and warnings that worked or went terribly wrong including the ones cited above. Through and introduction to the National Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) he will present lessons learned from past successes and failures and innovative ideas for improving these systems in the future. He will also introduce us to Nevada’s Homeland Security Initiative on Public Warning, for which we are all active participants (or should be).

So, now you can let your gut relax knowing that Aaron is the one behind the alert button…at least until you get that text telling you that Northern Nevada is under attack from…California…(only joking California)

Aaron Kenneston, leads planning, training, mitigation, response, and recovery actions for all-hazard emergencies including natural disasters and human-caused events. He manages the Northern Nevada Alert System from the impressive Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC) on Spectrum Blvd in Reno. A long-time Nevada resident, he served on active duty in the Army National Guard for nearly 25 years, retiring as a Colonel. He also served on the Local Emergency Preparedness Committee and leads several Task Forces for the State Homeland Security Commission. Both as a student and a practitioner of emergency management, Aaron is a graduate of both the Army and Air Force Command and Staff Colleges and the National Emergency Management Executive Academy.

A full breakfast will be served ($20 Members, $30 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII Veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee, and conversation. Breakfast service and registration open at 8:00 a.m.

Please RSVP below.  Membership forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.

At the conclusion of your registration, the RSVP for this Event button will complete your RSVP and/or take you to PayPal to pay online.

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