Panel: What We Can Learn From Preparation and Response to Disasters Elsewhere-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Panel: What We Can Learn From Preparation and Response to Disasters Elsewhere-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Panel: What We Can Learn From Preparation and Response to Disasters Elsewhere

Monday May 23, 3:00 pm, Bldg 23, tent

Col. Steven Butow, Vice Commander, 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard

Summary: Following on the Sunday panel, “Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as an Enabler”, the panelists will focus on challenges and solutions to EmComm issues encountered in preparing for and responding to disasters elsewhere outside our Northen California region. Panelists will describe where they were, their role, the situation as it affected EmComm, and what they learned that might affect what we should do, either for our own preparation and response in California, or to better prepare us to help elsewhere.


Allard slides (.pdf)
Butow slides (.pdf)
Birnbaum slides (.pdf)
Dolci slides (.pdf)


  • Col. Steven Butow, Group Commander, 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard
    Colonel Steve Butow is Vice Commander of the 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard, located at Moffett Field, CA. He is a highly experienced rescue instructor pilot with over 20 years and 3500 flying hours supporting personnel recovery operations in combat, foreign contingencies and during homeland disasters.
    He is a Steering Committee Member with Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network's disaster preparedness initiative.
  • Steve Birnbaum (Global VSAT Forum (GVF))
    Steve Birnbaum is the Lead for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response with the Global VSAT Forum, the non-profit association of the global satellite industry. He is also an independent telecommunications industry consultant with 17 years experience developing business and technology solutions in North America, the Middle East and Africa. Previously, he held the position of CTO & VP Enterprise Solutions for Sky Vision Global Networks, a large VSAT Service provider where he was responsible for technology and product strategy, as well as managing key initiatives. Mr. Birnbaum cofounded the first commercial ISP in Ottawa, Canada, and has held a variety of roles within the Service Provider and telecom fields. He has provided consulting services to clients that include Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Nokia and the UN.
    After the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, Mr. Birnbaum assisted as a civilian advisor to the NPS Hastily Formed Networks communications team under the JTF‐J6 with the deployment of ICT systems, and he organized the first frequency coordination meeting between the Government of Haiti, the UN, the US military, the FCC and various NGOs. In March 2011, at the request of UN OCHA and other private sector and USG partners, he successfully established procedures with the Japanese Government for the import and use of satcom technology by NGOs and other emergency responders. He has written articles for both online and print publication, and has spoken at conferences and seminars both in North America and Africa. Mr. Birnbaum is a member of various working groups hosted by the US State Department, MIT-Lincoln Labs, DHS and UN WGET that focus on technology and disaster response. Steve is also a volunteer firefighter in Montgomery County, MD and has a background in wilderness and technical rescue. [slides (.pdf)]
  • Steve Jordan, NDRC and Triaden Global Solutions
    Mr. Steven Jordan is the founder of Traiden Global Solutions and the President/CEO of the National Disaster Resiliency Center. Mr. Jordan has over 35 years of experience and is recognized throughout public and private industry as a leader in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management System development. He has developed a standard for strategic planning, and instructional delivery that has been adopted by agencies throughout the United States and in 32 countries.
  • Mark Allard, NASA Ames, DARTCOM
    Mark Allard has been actively involved in federal and local emergency communications since shortly after the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989. He has been involved continuously throughout his career as a Telecommunications Specialist in providing, supporting, and managing a variety of communications related research projects, activities, services, infrastructures, and, regulatory responsibilities over a wide range of communication technologies. Mr. Allard is currently the Telecommunications Subsystem Lead for the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, a new class of small spacecraft being readied for launch in early 2013 to study the lunar exosphere that will utilize several new and innovative radio communications and antenna technologies.
    Mr. Allard voluntarily supports NASA-Ames specific, NASA wide, and local community emergency communications activities in several key leadership roles. These program level responsibilities provide unique opportunities and insights into preparing for, responding to, and, coordinating local impacts of, disasters beyond our local area including being a primary contributor in the development of a comprehensive emergency communications annex proposed to NASA’s Emergency Response Plan. As Deputy Chief of the NASA-Ames Research Center’s Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team’s communication element, DARTCOM, he has supported communications planning, field preparations, and field responses associated with several disaster responses outside of the local area including hurricanes Iniki and Katrina, and the Columbia shuttle recovery effort. He is NASA’s HF Net Program Manager, responsible for the NASA-wide HF Net backup emergency communications net linking NASA Centers and other key NASA facilities, with ties into other National Communications System (NCS) sponsored federal HF radio nets. Through a unique agreement between NASA-Ames Research Center and Santa Clara County RACES, Mark has been designated as the Santa Clara County RACES Emergency Coordinator (EC) for NASA-Ames Research Center/Moffett Field. He is also president of the NASA-Ames Amateur Radio Club, responsible for promoting and balancing the AARC’s recreational opportunities, and, voluntary, RACES emergency communications commitments. Mr. Allard holds a General class Amateur Radio license; KD6CWM.
  • Rob Goodson, American Red Cross, National Disaster Technology Manager, DSHR
    Rob Goodson has been involved with the Red Cross since his college days in the early 1980's. He is National Disaster Technology Manager, Disaster Services Human Resources system (DSHR) for the American Red Cross. He is qualified for the disaster technology role up to a level 6 disaster. At first responding to primarily flooding and tornado events in the great plains and mid-west with Northern Arkansas and Kansas City chapters he moved to the Dallas area. After working on the first large scale domestic terrorism event he moved to Northern California. As part of the American Red Cross Bay Area he has been involved with communications issues and government liaison roles, the latest being San Bruno. Previously, he was Lead of Government Relations, San Mateo county and former Lead of disaster services technology, San Mateo county, former Lead of disaster communications, San Mateo.
    Professionally, company's Rob has been involved with have provided hardware infrastructure to the federal government in satellite based video systems, video and voice over IP for many international telecom company'. Rob studied film at the University of Arkansas and holds a M.B.A. and a masters in marketing from Tulane's Freeman Business school. Having held a General radio-telephony licence in the past from the FCC, he now only holds the amateur licence N2RAG.
  • Robert Dolci, Chief NASA Ames Protective Services
    Robert Dolci is the Protective Services Division Chief for NASA-Ames Research Center at Moffett Field. As Chief of Protective Services, he is responsible for law enforcement, security, counter intelligence, counter terrorism, emergency services, and fire protection and prevention. In addition to being the Chief of Protective Services, he holds the position as Chief of NASA’s Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART).
    In 1986, Chief Dolci formed the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), a hundred person urban search, rescue and emergency response team. DART is composed of search, rescue, structural assessment, logistics, emergency communications, damage and utility control, emergency medical and emergency operations elements. Although DART’s primary responsibility is to NASA Ames, the team is available to support local, state and other federal agencies as requested.
    Under Mr. Dolci’s lead, NASA Ames’ Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team supports California Task Force Three. CATF-3 is one of the eight Urban Search and Rescue Teams (US&R) in the State of California. There are 28 US&R teams in the country. Bob, and other members of DART, have deployed with CATF-3 to disasters such as Hurricanes Iniki, Katrina and Rita, the Northridge Earthquake, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the World Trade Center. DART members have also responded to the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Oakland Fire Storm and the California floods of 1992, 1995/96, and 1997/98, as well as the Columbia Shuttle Recovery effort.
    Bob received his Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University’s School of Engineering in 1977. He received a Master of Science in Safety from the University of Southern California in 1989. In addition, Bob has over 4,000 hours of education and training in Emergency Services, including both crisis and consequences management with an emphasis in field operations.