Who Should Perform the AAR/IP?
Must one have ‘skin in the game’ to contribute to an after-action report/improvement plan?
A little while back I got into an interesting conversation on LinkedIn with a former colleague of mine (we worked together at the Red Cross in New Jersey) – it was on After- Action Reports / Improvement Plans (AAR/IPs). He is of the opinion that AAR/IPs should only be conducted by - and their value to that organization exists only when – internal Emergency Management folks are involved. In other words, if you were not part of the Response team - the “boots on the ground” - he did not believe your educated opinion and analysis about what happened – or didn’t happen – does not really benefit anyone. Monday-morning quarterbacking, so to speak.
What do you think?
At the CEMIR, we recently completed an independent emergency management after-action report and improvement plan from the 2022 Buffalo, NY Blizzard. We noted it here on the EMN in June, 2023. No one asked us to write it – but we found some other emergency management professionals around the U.S. who agreed with us: an AAR/IP must be written from an overall EM perspective for this level of incident.
And no one else – so far – has done this for Buffalo and the surrounding area. They really need solutions from an whole-of-community full cycle emergency management perspective, too.
And, as of this writing, the City of Buffalo still does not have a full-time professional Emergency Manager on its staff. There is in-fighting between the city, the county, and the state as to whom to place the ‘blame’ for the failures to preserve life safety, stabilize the incident, and protect property and assets. The process of completing and reviewing AAR/IPs from the various entities involved in that blizzard, appears to be a legal wrangling event, rather than a constructive method for supporting meaningful and impactful positive change. You can download our AAR/IP for free, at our CEMIR store.
Still, my friend and EM professional himself, has a point about any AAR/IP being taken ‘seriously’ by the government (or governments) needing to be fixed. Since they (Buffalo, Erie County, New York State, etc.) did not ask us for our opinion, it did not really matter to them, as far as we can tell. We sent the report to politicians, the local media – even to the group that created the transportation-focused AAR/IP for Buffalo. No one has indicated any interest in even acknowledging our opinion/analysis is out there – let alone ‘worth it’.
And speaking of polls – here’s another one. Our founding partner (and fiscal sponsor) Barton Dunant is continuing their research and advocacy for increasing the capabilities and capacity to support infant and toddler human milk feeding in disaster shelters and other fixed feeding sites. You can learn about their work on this concern, at their website’s page here.
They just put out a non-scientific (and non-IRB approved) quick poll, seeking the voluntary reporting of status on disaster human milk support in any jurisdiction around the world – it’s two quick questions – where and what – and an optional third box to put in your e-mail address if you would like to help them with their advocacy – or if your jurisdiction needs help getting more tools and training to increase (or even begin) supporting human milk distribution (a fancy way of saying breastfeeding and donor human milk, instead of just powder-based formula) at incidents involving evacuation and/or sheltering.
Please check out the CEMIR’s website at www.cemir.org – we are adding new material all the time. Mike’s peer-reviewed article in The Journal of Information Warfare entitled “Cyber Threat Intelligence: A Component of Emergency Management Intelligence” was just published. This one is behind a paywall, so you will need a subscription – or your academic institution’s library may have one – to view the full article. You can see an abstract here.
If you have created any material published as open-source intelligence (including in journals behind paywalls) which has an EMINT spin, drop us a line – we would love to add a reference to our website.