Disaster Zone TV logoMy passion is sharing information with people and organizations. One tool for passing information to others is the visual medium in the form of video. Here in the 21st Century that is not just limited to watching programming on your home TV set. With mobile devices you can watch programs wherever you are and have them on demand. With that concept in mind, I have worked to create Disaster Zone TV, which is a show about emergencies and disasters. The programming you will find below covers a broad cross section of topics. Please contact me if you want to suggest a topic that you think would be of interest to a broad cross section of people and organizations.

A Changing Climate and Summer Hazards

It was not that long ago that in the Pacific Northwest it was the winter hazards that came from storms, flooding, and power outages that dominated hazard planning. Now, due to climate change, summer weather, with heat, drought and wildfire are major considerations. This DZTV program highlights the issues being brought on by global warming and what people can do to protect themselves.

The Blood Supply During Disasters and Pandemics

The blood supply is a critical element in our medical system. It is a daily effort to maintain an adequate supply of blood just for the everyday needs of surgeries, births, cancer treatments and emergencies. In a disaster the need can surge. This is an interview with Curt Bailey, President and CEO of BlookWorks Northwest. In this short interview he speaks to the challenges of maintaining that supply during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Western Washington Wildfires

Wildland Fires are possible in Western Washington. The myth that it rains all the time is not true. Conditions were just right in September 2020 for a wildfire to threaten homes and businesses. This interview with Bud Backer, Fire Chief for East Pierce County Fire and Rescue highlights how close the region came to having a major fire that burned hundreds of homes. You can also find out how you can protect your home from a wildfire.

When Your Home Burns Down

Beyond our personal lives, a house, our home is precious to us. When we see the wild land fires burning hundreds and even thousands of houses, these are individual families being impacted. This podcast is an interview with Sean Scott, a disaster recovery expert and author of the book, Red Guide to Recovery—a Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors. In the interview he provides tips for disaster survivors

How Secure is Vote by Mail?

Elections are a vital part of our American democracy. The validity of our voting systems has been challenged in 2020, and vote by mail particularly questioned. This DZTV show is an interview with Julie Wise, Elections Director for King County. She reviews all the protections that are in place to make sure that votes are recorded properly and all the physical and cybersecurity protections that are in place.

COVID-19 and the Annual Flu

2020 has been a challenging year because of the onset of the coronavirus that has killed tens of thousands of Americans. Now as we approach the fall, we are faced with a flu season coinciding with COVID-19. This show explores what the impacts might be to our communities when faced with two respiratory diseases occurring at the same time.

Making Bellevue Resilient

The City of Bellevue is turning into its own metropolitan area, just east of the City of Seattle. Rapid business expansion in the city has brought it own challenges. Curry Mayer, the Emergency Management Director is interviewed in this episode. She brings a wealth of experience having worked in the emergency management field for decades in California. You will find her views and opinions of interest.

New King County Emergency Management Director

King County is the largest county by population, 2 million, in the State of Washington. Brendan McCluskey joined King County as the Director for the King County’s Office of Emergency Management in 2019. In this interview he shares his perspectives on emergency management in general and King County in particular.

Media Use of Drones

Drones use is multi-faceted today. One of prime users of drones are television stations. They use the tool to enhance their story-telling. In disasters, they can help in a significant way by giving emergency managers and others a “birds eye” view of what is happening or has occurred. This DZTV program explores how the media uses drones and the policies and procedures they follow to do so safely and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations.

Analyzing Disaster Response from a Social Perspective

Disaster events and disaster exercises can be complex events. There are many different organizations participating and processes happening simultaneously, and many times, in an uncoordinated manner. Professor Hans Scholl has done extensive investigations into several different events to determine, what worked and what did not work. I call it dissecting what really happened. In this show he shares his methods and some of what he has found out about our ability to respond to disaster situations.

Using Drones in Emergency Management

Drone usage is about to skyrocket here in the United States. Public agencies and private businesses are discovering the huge advantages and productivity enhancing characteristics that come with drone usage. My guest on this edition of DZTV is Charlton Evans, a drone expert and someone who knows how to work with the FAA to ensure all safety measures are met and you can have the permissions you need to move forward. The drone usage for delivering blood supply he covers was also mentioned in the DZTV BloodWorks Northwest show immediately below.

Bloodworks Northwest

The importance of having a continuous supply of a wide variety of blood products for everyday use by hospitals and for disaster situations is very critical to our medical system and the patients being served. This program focuses on the collection, processing and distribution of blood here in the Pacific Northwest. I guarantee you will learn something from watching this program.


If there is one single risk that is hanging over everyone’s head, it is cybersecurity. The risks are there for individuals, businesses, critical infrastructures, and government.  No one who is on-line is immune from cybersecurity risks. This program highlights the challenges of cybersecurity and some solutions. In particular the issue of what to report, when to report and who to report cyber-incidents to is covered. An ongoing project to establish an standardize process in Washington State is explained.

King County Election Security

Election Security is a hot topic in the news. With Russian meddling confirmed, people and governments are working overtime to make our system of voting as secure as possible. This programs looks at the security procedures, both physical and cyber, for one large county of 1.3 million voters.

King County International Airport

Airports are significant for the ways that they can help during disasters. In some disasters, ground transportation is disrupted and perhaps disaster relief personnel and equipment can only get into a region via air. This show explains the daily operation of the airport, which is called Boeing Field by many in the community. We also explore their potential role in a disaster impacting the Central Puget Sound.

Emergency Management Program Accreditation

There is a formal Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) that King County Office of Emergency Management successfully completed. This program is an interview with Jody Miller, Deputy Director. She explains the basic function of office and what it takes to become accredited.

The Role of Chaplains during Emergencies and Disasters

One of the team members in emergency management community and supporting first responders are the police and fire chaplains. This DZTV program delves into the role of chaplains and what they do to support others. Another interesting segment of the program covers the selection of chaplains and who fits well into that role.

How the Media Covers Disasters

One of our emergency management partners is the media. They are a critical element in our ability to warn people of impending events and then to keep them abreast of disaster situations so that they as businesses, families and individuals know the situation and how best they can protect their people and livelihoods. This show is an interview with a veteran news reporter who has experience in covering disasters and now is working to help media outlets become better prepared so they can stay on the air when disasters strike.

How to Gear-up for Floods

Flooding is one of the most prevalent disasters in the United States. As I write this, portions of Texas just got six inches of rain that is causing flooding. In King County Washington they have worked hard to mitigate future flood events. Watch this episode of Disaster Zone TV to get tips on what you can do to protect your property.  Remember: Don’t drive your car through flood waters. It is the number one cause of flood deaths.

Landslide Hazards and Insurance

Landslides in the Pacific Northwest usually happen in January and February when the ground is saturated by rains. Watch this two minute video for some tips about how to prevent and avoid landslides impacting your home. And, “No!” your homeowners policy does not cover land movement.

Electric and Natural Gas Safety

Two things that are in almost all homes in the United States are electricity and gas. Gas sometimes is natural gas and in many rural areas there is a propane tank out in the back yard that drys the cloths, heats the home and cooks the turkey for Christmas. With every modern convenience comes some risks when either there is a problem associated with a disaster, or sometimes people use these improperly. Recently I had the opportunity to interview a safety expert in the areas of electrical and natural gas safety. Charlie Gadzik is with Puget Sound Energy and he took time to share a number of ways to be safe when using these modern utilities that make our lives so rich, and as I write this in December, warm.

The Washington State National Guard in Disasters

Here in the Pacific Northwest, all of the states in this region have emergency management as a component of their National Guard. In this edition of Disaster Zone I interview Major General Bret Daugherty who wears many hats, but one of them is Washington State Emergency Management Director. In this interview you will learn about the National Guard and their role in helping in times of disaster and also some lessons learned from the Cascadia Rising 2016 Earthquake Exercise.

Generator Safety

Whenever there is a major power outage that lasts for days at a time I know, unfortunately, that someone, somewhere will die due to the improper use of a gasoline powered generator. This DZTV segment is less than six minutes long and will show you how to safely put a gasoline powered generator into operation and also hook it into your home’s electrical system.

Social Media Use in Disasters

Social media is part and parcel of our daily lives for millions of people world-wide. Today it also plays a part during disasters as a way to communicate disaster information to those impacted and for people to share information with government agencies, giving first hand accounts of events. While more agencies are beginning to use these tools, more progress is needed.

There is a Coffee Disaster Brewing

Disasters come in many forms and one that is projected for future is the potential for a world-wide coffee shortage. What could be worse than that? This edition of Disaster Zone is really in two parts. The first is about coffee and the second part is about the Northeastern University’s new Graduate Certificate in Resilience and Security Studies

Mass Shootings

It seems that the Columbine School Shooting in 1999 set off a national sequence of events where active shooters have wrecked havoc not just in schools, but workplaces; malls; parks and homes. It is an unfortunate reality that we have this risk that we must plan for as agencies and as individuals. This program features an interview with John Urquhart, King County Sheriff where he shares his thoughts and recommendations on these events.

Becoming Disaster Resilient

Disaster resilience is a hot topic these days. People use the term in multiple ways. In this program we explore what it means to be disaster resilient and also what the National Academies of Science is doing with their Disaster Resilience Roundtable to promote that topic in four different communities across the United States.

Cascadia Rising 2016 Earthquake Exercise

Cascadia Rising Earthquake Exercise is likely to be the largest exercise of its type and size here in the United States in 2016. Scheduled for June, it will involve participants from federal, state and local governments. The military is also playing extensively in the exercise.

Pat Massey, the FEMA Region X lead for the exercise development is interviewed about the  genesis for the exercise and details about who is playing and what is expected to be accomplished.

University Emergency Management Programs

Universities are really small cities. Some have their own police departments and the equivalent of public works that cares for their buildings and other infrastructure. Today most if not all institutions of higher learning have an emergency management program. This DZTV program is an interview with Steve Charvat, Emergency Management Director for the University of Washington. He speaks to the scope of their program and the challenges of working in a university setting.

The Small Business Administration (SBA)

I had the opportunity to interview Calvin Goings, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Region X Administrator. I learned some new things from participating in the interview process. For instance, I didn’t know that the federal SBA administrator sits on the President’s cabinet.

When a state submits a request for a presidential disaster declaration and it is denied, you may be able to get an SBA declaration that provides low-interest loans to qualified businesses and individuals. If you don’t know much about the SBA’s role in assisting businesses before a disaster, and then their disaster recovery role, this program is a good place to start.

Preventing Flood Damage

Flooding expert, Bob Freitag talks about the importance of floodplain management.  In this program we discuss the three options that people who live in a flood plain have.  Bob also describes water, in all its forms, as energy that is being released.


Drones are frequently in the news these days. Typically the news reports are about some mishap that has happened with a drone being flown in the wrong place, either conflicting with air traffic or even landing on the White House lawn. This show is really an introduction to drones and their capabilities and limitations. In the end it comes down to the owner of the drone operating it responsibly. I think this will be perhaps the most popular Disaster Zone TV show I’ve done to date.

Drought and Flooding will Both be More Frequent

Flooding is perhaps the most common hazard across the United States.  In 2015 we have had some torrential rain storms in South Carolina and Texas.  A recent storm in California dropped six inches of rain in one hour, causing mudslides across Interstate 5 highway.  My guest for this show is a resilience and sustainability expert who has traveled the world looking at what countries and cities are doing to adapt to a changing climate. And, flooding is not the only issue.  We are going to have more frequent periods of drought in addition to more flooding.  Watch and learn what can be done to “live with water.”

Earthquake Risks and Unreinforced Masonry Buildings (URM

The New Yorker article, The Really Big One generated a great deal of interest nationally about the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake risk.  This was followed up by a Seattle Times story written by Sandi Doughton on Unreinforced Masonry Buildings (URM) which pose the greatest risk to life in an earthquake.  In this DZTV show I interview Sandi about earthquakes, the URM risk, the science debate that seems to happen more and more, and one last item about careers in journalism today.

Pacific Northwest Economic Region, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) is a five state and five Canadian province/territory organization here in the Pacific Northwest. The Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR) is a division of PNWER focused on disaster resilience.  The center was established back in 2001 and has been actively addressing critical infrastructure interdependencies that reveal themselves during disaster events.   Today I work there as the Director of the CRDR and this is an interview with other PNWER leadership.

Earthquake Risks and Warning in Seattle

There have been many new discoveries when it comes to seismic risks in the Pacific Northwest.  This show shares what those risks are and also what is being done to install an earthquake warning system that will give seconds and maybe even minutes of warning before shaking begins.

Tips for Communicating More Effectively

When you think about it, we spend most of our days communicating with one another in a variety of modes. Email dominates many aspects of our work in emergency management, and verbal communications skills are also critical. I highly recommend you take 30 minutes and watch this Disaster Zone TV program on effective communications. You will come away with a number of tips on how you can improve your listening, speaking and writing skills that you can apply immediately in your workday.

Northwest Healthcare Response Network

How would the Puget Sound Region handle a healthcare emergency. Learn more about this unique network of healthcare professionals who are prepared to act upon large scale medical emergencies to ensure response and patient care do not decrease during times of emergency.


There is a proliferation of hazards that we face as emergency managers. One that has “popped up” in the last 20 years is cybersecurity. When you watch this Cybersecurity Disaster Zone TV Show you will see how the hazard has changed overtime and what we should be doing as organizations and individuals to protect ourselves. We may wish for a simpler time, but this issue is not going away and we need to learn to adapt and do so quickly.

Military Support to Civil Authorities

Because of the popular media, television, movies, games and the Internet there are a whole host of misperceptions about how and when the United States military forces will be brought in to assist in times of disaster. The urban myths around authorities, martial law, who’s in charge and how the system in general works are far and wide.

Higher Ed for Emergency Management Careers

I’ve been asked many a time about the wisdom of getting a degree in emergency management. Where to attend? Should the degree program have a concentration in emergency management or homeland security? What skills are most in demand?

Climate Adaptation

I believe that we need to be thinking about how emergency management will work to establish climate adaptation measures to cope with rising global temperatures and seas. There are all sorts of implications for emergencies and disasters due to anticipated impacts to our enviornment.


Information on FirstNet the new Federally funded digital network for first responders is starting to become more available. While the funding is “top down” there is a great deal of work to be done by each state to position themselves to participate.

Disaster Preparedness Kits

I have to say that getting people to become prepared for disasters is an uphill battle. Without something happening on a recurring basis that impacts individuals and families; disasters and becoming prepared are far from the top priority.

Interview with Commander, USCG 13th District

Previous to this interview I had heard Admiral Taylor speak on the need for disaster resiliency. He has been a strong advocate for a number of resiliency issues including building a cross-border effort to get United States and Canadian maritime interests to find ways to coordinate their activities before, during and after a disaster. You will also find this interview of great interest if you don’t know much about the functions of the Coast Guard and the assets that they bring to the table.

The Impact of Social Media-on-emergencies

Social media is changing just about everything about how we plan for, respond to and recover from disasters. It is impacting society in general and for emergency management and the companies associated with preparing for and responding to disaster it has significant ramifications.

School Safety–School Violence

School violence keeps popping up in the news. The last big news story was a high school student who was planning a bombing at his school. Luckily someone notified authorities when they were tipped off that something could be up. I guess you would call that, “Hear something–say something.”

Interview with King County WA Emergency Management Director

See this show with the Director, King County Office of Emergency Management.

“With higher wireless connection speeds, the use of video for communicating information is on the rise. It is another way for emergency managers to share information and expand the knowledgebase concerning emergencies and disasters. Our end goal is to prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from disasters. I encourage you to use video in your own organizations and professions.”

Eric Holdeman