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Thread: New APA division: Planning for Disaster

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    New APA division: Planning for Disaster

    This informal blog, started by a member of the American Planning Association and a self-confessed “disaster junkie,” is a forum for discussing the framework for a new APA division that would address disasters, natural hazards, and emergency management as they relate to planning at all levels.
    http://disasterjunkiesunite.blogspot.com/

    I know what some of you think/feel about the APA Divisions.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I really don't like the tongue-in-cheek name "disaster junkie." It really makes light of a subject that should be taken seriously. They sound something akin to ambulance chasers.

    With regards to the creation of a new division, we've discussed this before, and I'm still on the fence. APA has divisions for just about everything under the sun now, and most members don't really see a benefit. At one point, I was a member in 3 divisions and the only thing I got out of it was an occasional newsletter (with outdated information).

    I do believe that APA could do more in terms of disaster planning, but that could be said for just about anything with APA - they could do more (for its members) period.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Woohoo... another division that probably won't do anything but take your money and spend $3 to send you an outdated newsletter in return. I think I'll pass.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    I'm not a professional planner, and am not an APA member. But isn't the point of having a division like this mainly networking and resume padding? You're able to put "Member, APA Disaster Planning Division" on your resume--thus signaling to potential employers that you have some interest/background in that subject. At the same time, you're connected to a group of people who share that interest or desire to learn more. You take advantage of mailing lists, meetings, dinners, etc. to meet people with mutual interests.

    These things might make it worthwhile, but I imagine you'll be disappointed if you expect too much more out of it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Those that I know who work as an EMS planner do not consider themselves as planners, nor want to. I have been involved with some EMS work and it is different and fun, but they have different kinds of support groups as opposed to "the normal planning world." I don't think many of the EMS people will really take part in the APA stuff, but who knows?

  6. #6
    In my experience, the planning that takes place within the emergency services focuses heavily on the preparedness, response and recovery stages of emergency management. Mitigation isn't something that's easily done by emergency response organizations, but proper planning can certainly reduce risk, and make response easier. I don't know all the politics of how APA will handle this, but from my perspective (with my past life being EMS), I'm 100% for increased planning involvement and dialogue.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by SuperPenguin View post
    In my experience, the planning that takes place within the emergency services focuses heavily on the preparedness, response and recovery stages of emergency management. Mitigation isn't something that's easily done by emergency response organizations, but proper planning can certainly reduce risk, and make response easier. I don't know all the politics of how APA will handle this, but from my perspective (with my past life being EMS), I'm 100% for increased planning involvement and dialogue.
    I agree with you, SuperPenguin. It surely can't hurt to have some people thinking and collaborating on making our cities safer (without having to resort to a police state!).

  8. #8
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    I enjoy the divisions for what they are...going to receptions and meeting similar people... or people with similar interests.. purely networking or for fun. I know many may disagree... but if disaster interested people want to get together to chat about hurricanes... go for it. Conversation may solve some problems...whatever opens the doors. I don't put my division on my resume... what would be the point?
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    BUMP UPDATE

    The steering committee needs 100 original signatures from APA members around the nation to get the APA to consider the formation of this division.

    A copy of the petition is available at http://disasterjunkiesunite.blogspot.com.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Woohoo... another division that probably won't do anything but take your money and spend $3 to send you an outdated newsletter in return. I think I'll pass.
    This past year I was a member of the transportation, private sector, new urbanism, and the urban design divisions (all of which my company paid). I got very very little out of it. I agree with suburb, most of the notices I get in the e-mail are constant annoucements about upcoming elections for division officers...and that is about it.

    If I were to advocate for any APA division it would be "clean up the beareaucratic mess" division. You can't plan for disaster. Let's say a metour the size of Jupiter were headed towards the earth, how could we plan for that? I agree with what was said earlier about emergency planners and that they really don't consider themselves "planners".

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