Article Out Loud - Planning for a Cross-Country Special Event

By MARK HOWELL AND LAUREL RADOW , An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness, September 27, 2023.

A solar eclipse is a unique form of special event that does not always fall under emergency planning protocols, but it should. This article urges preparedness professionals to collaborate with eclipse planning committees to ensure the safety and security of all those involved.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler.

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Mark Howell

Mark Howell is Grounded Truths LLC’s director and emergency and fire management specialist. He has 25+ years of public safety experience, including fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and emergency management at the local, state, and federal levels, including 14 years with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) full-time in progressive fire and emergency management positions. He is a graduate of the Wildland Fire Apprenticeship Program and the first cohort of the USFS’s Field Command School, an Incident Management Team Academy program designed and taught by the National Incident Management Organization. During the 2017 Great American Eclipse, while a supervisory fire prevention officer on the Malheur National Forest, he served as the federal interagency liaison between the Northeast Oregon National Forests and their federal, state, and local government cooperators andprovidedsubstantial planning and operational support to affected communities andjurisdictionswithin totality in Northeast Oregon. 

Laurel J. Radow

Laurel J. Radow is an American Astronomical Society Solar Eclipse Task Force (AAS SETF) member and co-chair of the AAS Local Planning Working Group. She joined the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of Transportation in 1996. From 2004 until her retirement at the end of 2016, she served as a member of the FHWA Office of Operation’s Traffic Incident and Events Management Team. In that capacity, she served as program manager for the agency’s Evacuations/Emergencies and Planned Special Events programs and managed a range of Traffic Incident Management tasks. From 2014-2016, she served as vice chair of the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Standing Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection (AMR10). She recently completed her second and final term as chair of the same committee. In addition to co-chairing the TRB at the October 2018 Resiliency Conference (T-RISE), she also served as guest managing editor for the TR News September/October 2021 Issue no. 335, “State of Emergency: What Transportation Learned from 9/11.”



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