Skip to main content

tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  May 8, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT

2:00 am
as we improve our efforts to respond to and recover from disasters it is important that we find new and creative ways to communicate information to those facing the often chaotic circumstances that surround it emergencies and disasters. i want to thank all our witnesses for appearing today and contributing to an important conversation that i am certain will lead to more effective tools and a delivery of assistance better in the future. >> my thoughts and prayers go out to those in alabama and the southeast dealing with a loss of their loved ones and homes this past week. there's no better time to discuss what we are discussing today. i know our witnesses will provide useful insight into the tools and technology for a better response to recoveries.
2:01 am
unfortunately future disasters that may be forthcoming. i had an opportunity to go to google and other types of social media companies to understand what they do and how they do it. we met here on capitol hill facebook folks and others. having kids, i understand how they have adjusted and adapted and really learned a lot quicker than the and other members of my family in using social media and related technology, and i have used it quite a bit myself and the last couple of years. it is important to understand how it has been used in what the opportunities for future use are and how we can use this when we have national disasters and other types of situations to get out reliable, important, sometimes life-saving information. i think it is another tool in the tool box, so to speak.
2:02 am
and i am looking forward to the testimony and i appreciate everyone appearing today. >> thank you. our first witness is the honorable w. craig few gate doubleday's fugate, appointed on may 13, 2009 to service administrator and based on his career in an emergency management. he would discuss the long-term goals for the enhanced use of social media tools. i know the director of fugate has just come off the road. he has come off the road and may tell us about some of that as well. we will do five minutes on your opening and all of your written testimony will be put into the record.
2:03 am
>> it is another tool in our toolbox but it is by no means the only way that we communicate with the public. warnings as well as communicating with them. social media offers a new challenge to us. previously we have had the ability to communicate at the public. whether it is radio, tv, web pages, even billboards going up across much of the southeast, but our ability to communicate with the ability -- with the public and have to wait conversations has always been limited. -- two-way conversations has always been limited. we need to create systems that people adapt how we communicate. we do not always said that how they are communicating. as we see people begin to use these tools differently, many of
2:04 am
which are in fact double theirs social media was never designed with disasters in mind but they became tools and how people were communicating day-to-day in sharing information with families and loved ones to provide a role in the disaster in ways that for us in government, we did not innovate this. we then i created or directed but we began observing it. at the federal emerge as a management agency, as well as the volunteer agencies and other groups that are active the disaster response, we began to see a whole new group of volunteers in merge with skill sets of being able to apply this technology in real time situations without necessarily a direction from a central location but more of a term of outsourcing. many people working on similar
2:05 am
problems, sharing information, getting the better solutions. mr. chairman, it is caused me to realize that in some ways, social media and particularly volunteers and in groups involved in this, we need to innovate faster than the speed of government and they are doing it. they are making systems that us. make the public that how we communicate. we're trying to meet that need. we're figuring out how to apply this. someone says, craig, what is the performance nature and the measure of success and how you're doing it, i would say that we are still experimenting. we are just trying to understand how these tools can be applied. mr. chairman, was the time to come to these meetings, the first time you do is turn off your cell phone but i am going to bring my now. this is what i want to communicate. in most disasters when you are away from your home, you know longer have access to your computer, you may not have wifi
2:06 am
access, but in many disasters like in haiti, where people within a day of the earthquake, i went down the road week later, the one thing that was working were mobile devices. it is this that i think we in the federal government need to understand. we are moving more and more away from a web-based capacity to a mobile environment. one of the things that we did at the mall was to start moving our information into mobile formats. we have a mobile web are -- mobile web page -- you need information that will be low bandwidth that you can get to a phone and get things that you need. we designed our resident duration said that you can access it by your smartphone. -- registration so that you can access it by your smartphone.
2:07 am
many times we have taken the approach that it was not official are not usable because it did not come from the traditional forms of communication. mr. chairman, i was just that we should look at these as data points, as sensors, that individually may not provides the best information but collectively oftentimes are the earliest and best reports of the severity of an impact and are telling us stories faster than any assessment team or ability to get into an area. we've seen this in haiti, we sought in japan, in christchurch, and even the tornadoes in the south. pictures, stores, updates, getting this information. i think we need to take the approach in the federal government that the public is a resource, not a liability, and learn how to listen. we are in a mobile environment and the federal government should focus on developing that data to support our citizens in a way that they can use in the
2:08 am
disaster rather than make them fit our traditional models. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i think those are points very well made and very well taken. arkansas has had so many tornadoes, storm events, floods, in the last couple of weeks and again you have been great about being down there and being on the spy. being on site and helping people. i've been giving out the website that you're talking about, the disaster assistance website enured toll-free number. pretty much everything i have done this week, talking to arkansas media, i have given that out and encourage them to do that. it is just people communicating that way this days. it is such great tools for people to access immediately and it is a game changer. i appreciate you being on top of that. at fremont, d you have people -- fema, d you have people focusing
2:09 am
on that or is it part of your overall effort? >> we do have dedicated staff working on what we called digital engagement. of regionally when i got to fema, the web page, updating videos on youtube, beginning partnerships where we could do joint facebook pages on disasters jointly with governments to share information. one of the things and ask for early on was to begin tweeting which i had done at the state of government -- the state of florida. i do my on tweets. and i do not tweed about me but about things i think are interesting. i communicate with my peers and practitioners. not only is it useful in disasters but it helps to build a community in emergency
2:10 am
management that had to go the courses are conferences originally to see like this. there are things -- when you get into the nomenclature of all these terms, the concept of what a hashtag is in twitter. it is something that you build into a message that you can link on deck and take everyone using that tag, and you can link every message together. very early in the emergency management committee, they ask these questions, smem, social media emergency management. it is a conversation taking with local, and we have never had those -- we never saw that interaction outside the conference adding or the courses they were limited. it underlies some key
2:11 am
principles. get information, all the way from high been with the low bandwidth to in person. we cannot forget that they're people that do not use social media. communicated provide tools the way that people are communicating and use of those tools, not just limiting them to what they're easy for us to administer. >> you may not have this available. do you have examples of how social media has save lives? >> there are examples and i think you'll have some people in the next year in the will talk about this. but some of the examples in haiti, where the wireless infrastructure came back on rather quickly. as people were trapped in debris and rubble, and you did not have a centralized government system to receive those calls, because of the extreme damages to both the government of haiti and the un, people were able to get out text messages that were being received by people outside of the area. they were able to figure out where those people were and approximately based on the
2:12 am
towers and went back to work with the cell providers. i think you will hear stories about how a lot of volunteers and the people with a lot of technology experience were able to start mapping and providing data in a way that it allowed the un and other forces from usaid to get up search and rescue teams were needed. and that is just one example in the country that many of us were taken aback on the devastation, but the resiliency of the haitians themselves and how much mobile technology has been integrated into their country prior to the earthquake. >> i think that to katrina and about all those folks in the superdome and other places, was the wireless network running at that point man? was that in those early days? did mr. chairman, i really do not know.
2:13 am
one of the things that we have learned in my experience in 2004 and 2005, and i don't know of we have many of the wireless operators that could provide us the information, but it has been i am starvation that the industry learned from those events and now has worked very hard to get in additional resources to bring back up wireless and increase capacity. we saw this in the tornadic is with a broad an additional commitment and work to get cell coverage back up, get wireless back up. because of this, and again, i like haiti in the lessons learned. we were assuming until haiti that wireless communications and areas of devastation -- in the areas of devastation would be unreliable and we should not rely on a. we've learned that it is becoming more resilience. it will be many people in the public the first communication because but up, the wireless services. >> we have a chart here, if you do not mind.
2:14 am
it says the internet usage after four major events in haiti is one of those. then you mentioned christchurch, new zealand, chile, and japan. south the peaks of the top internet usage and the valleys are when people are sleeping. but they keep using the internet. it is a great way to communicate with folks. like you said, a lot of folks are out of their homes at that point. they may not have electricity or whatever, but there mobile device, they certainly can utilize. i am glad that fema is on top of that trend and is leading the way to try to communicate in that way. you hear from people but also your communicating that to people what they know. in some ways, it sounds like a social media is emergency managers dreams, because it is
2:15 am
such a tool that is so widespread and so many people have a. is that fair to say? >> some of my peers now played the wireless combined with social media as a revolution in emergency management, as powerful as wireless and the original radio systems. i think it is far more reaching in the ability to communicate with the public. our role at fema is to keep up with the public and not necessarily fall back into what i call innovation at the speed of government. as senator brown said, i have been the facebook and twitter, an early look at their insights of how we better utilize the private sector as part of the team and not try to recreate things that they do better than us but use those tools to better communicate and listen to the public as we deal with disasters. >> is it your impression that during a disaster, the public will find you using social
2:16 am
media? or do they know where to go? >> no, sir. those people have had disasters and do not. so this is why we work so hard -- you know the drill, to get people to register, that the people out there, so it is always for us important to get people to know where they can get that information. working on things like joint facebook pages, but by and large most people are not thinking about fema, and that is why building systems that are government-specific tend to fail. we need to direct them to things that they are used to using. we used to total web page that is a difficult federal web page, is not easy to find the affirmation in the disaster. that is why we built the mobile page and send them there. it is strictly about disaster for mission that they need, not the traditional way of laying
2:17 am
out information on the web page. >> i hope that over the next few weeks you keep the committee posted on how many people are using your page and how that is going. >> we have that and i will provide that back to staff. you can see some of the data -- who is using the mobile page in the traditional calling into the 1-800 number. >> senator brown. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate that too been trying to push out the homepage, web page information, and when i was preparing for the hearing, we're going to actually do the same thing. we're going to put on our official site, who you can contact, how you can do it, the various social media, et twitter as well as facebook. i think i have to edit 50,000 but i think we would do the same from there because i think it is so important, to get the information out.
2:18 am
when you're having a national disaster, you're not thinking. you just want to get in touch with somebody. you use any mechanism, if any fun, landline, shortwave radio, whatever, to help your family and help the people that you care deeply about. that triggered me to work with my office to develop the plan as to how we can get that information out and i would courage all of us -- encourage all of us as elected officials to do the same thing. i know that the "washington post" said that people text 911 frantically and those tests go nowhere. people have a lot of faith in 91 been. we honor young children regularly for: 911. now the text 911.
2:19 am
part of the biggest challenge is to bring emergency services like 911 into the 21st century. >> this is a project that the federal communications commission is heavily engaged in, calling next generation 911. it is a recognition that is technology has continued to of all, it has evolve faster than the originally 911 system design. when 911 was originally created, we used rotary dial phones. it was an analog technology. over time, we added the ability to get the address and the location and phone number that people are calling from. but then cellphones started to occur. all the sudden we realized that all those phone lines were hard maps and cellphones were not. the industry and the fcc were to matt cellphones. if you cannot tell people where you were bajaur calling for an emergency, they could find you with your cellphones. and now we have people that are using text nexuses -- messages,
2:20 am
they expect for their to be an answer. and this is something that next generation 911 is looking to address. most likely the first part of that will be text messaging. it would be very similar to a traditional 911 call from his cell phone. the other types of social media is going to take time, but i think it is a recognition that the fcc told us that we need to do that to get that help, but also to provide to responders -- and looking what is done in europe and other places, often times they have the capability to take live video feeds from people on the scene and give it to the responders as they are on route. one of our challenges are, 911 essentially the architecture and the equipment and investment based on rotary phones. now has look at next-generation 911, how we incorporate the new
2:21 am
technologies and not limit ourselves to just a voice called. >> and that is a good seque into my next question. a possibly and $9 billion price tag to actually implement those potential changes and a time when we're in a fiscal emergency dealing with a lot of issues. i'm on a subcommittee that deals with fraud, waste, and abuse, trying to zero in on all the stuff. is there a way to work with companies like google and facebook and twitter any of the social media, any of the entities to not reinvent the wheel and try to spend a tremendous amount of money when they can incorporate what is already out there so that we could just add on potentially
2:22 am
saving dollars? is that possible? >> having served if the county level where i was as low responsible for the 911 system, and knowing the history of that, primarily the wow -- wired equipment, they will be one of the challenges moving forward to next generation 911 is to incorporate the other technology players in the way that builds the system that we can continue to enhance without necessarily limiting ourselves to just what we know now. will look to the architecture of the systems, they will look at where we were and where we are going, we still call them public safety answering points. it is not a network. you taliban, he goes to a dispatch center, and then they operate the call from there. -- you dial a phone, it goes to a dispatch center, and then they
2:23 am
operate the call from there. that will open up a lot more of the technology companies. but i think you're correct that this has to be done not just what the immediate needs are, but also building a system that we're going to be able to adapt to new technologies -- nobody knew about twitter five years ago. >> right. >> booking systems that take decades of capitalization the bill, how do we build the system allows people to adapt to new technology? >> and with the storms in alabama and around the southeast, when cellular service is interrupted come out what the federal government's efforts to set up mobile cell towers, getting in that hot spots, is this part of the sop in major events? you have working partnerships with any of the mobile companies to do these sorts of things?
2:24 am
>> yes, sir. this is something i have been pushing for a long time. our primary focus with our federal communications act sets has been to get the public safety responders back on the air. that will continue to be the primary. we're working with an industry and i agree that it is just as a board that we can into the back to the public. if you brought up something to bless it is just as important that we get connectivity back to the public. we've often brought in found bags into areas of devastations of the people and start making phone calls. we are working on cellphone chargers out there so that people can charge their communication devices. we tend to be reactive, but it
2:25 am
points out the need for looking at how the public communicates and recognize that some banks are gun but cell phone charges for the variety of cellphones is often needed. >> i think they would want to be part of the mobile response, so charge units or whatever. >> we are definitely going to be adding that to the tool kit. it is being implemented as we speak to out many of these areas. >> think it for what you're doing and i appreciated. >> i have some follow-ups. i wanted to put slide #1 back up. it is greater affirmation, but 69% of the people out there think that emergency response agencies should regularly monitor their websites and social media sites so that you can respond promptly. i guess the question is, are we building and expectation here that we cannot meet?
2:26 am
and now we monitoring these as we should? some of this may be state by state or even city by city issues. >> this is one of the questions that people are saying, should we do this because we may create a false expectation? as we do this, we're trying to figure out the best way to direct people to the best information which oftentimes is their local emergency managers, and then there state emergency managers, and what information we provide from fema. ,f you're going to post a blog we do moderate comments and we did not necessarily -- we make sure that whatever comments are not offensive, but we do not self-centered any criticism. we posted. the only moderating we do is to make sure there is not offensive
2:27 am
material. we will post a good, the bad, and the ugly and we will respond to it. when need to make it clear that in many cases is difficult to have one-on-one conversations. in many cases we are looking at what the community is telling us. we may not be able to directly respond one on one. that is one of the reasons that we could very clear that this is an emergency contact, this is information or opinions or what you're saying. we may not be able to respond to each one of those postings. we have to be able to listen to the community but we may not be all have that conversation one on one. but it one of them, we had a tropical cyclone in the central pacific bearing down on american samoa. i was updating and tweeting out that the forecast would come for the national hurricane center actually coming from the central
2:28 am
pacific center in white. one person was tweeting to me the conditions on the island. i said thanks for the updates and keep sending them. he kept giving me the updates. in real time i had a person down there in american samoa giving me updates about the tropical cyclones. it was almost humorous but to get a good sense of what was going on. midway through the back into the storm, he began tweeting the chicago bears-green bay game because he was the packers fan. if he was giving information about a game, maybe the storm was not so bad. it turned out that it was minimal damage. that is a rare example but it is also very telling of the power of looking at the public as part of the team and every source and doing a better job of figuring out how to communicate with them. a lot was trying to do was get information out about where the storm forecast was coming from. this is not something that many
2:29 am
people are familiar with. but it is one anecdotal example of how the public and often tell us more about what is going on than even our official sources. >> that is great. thank you for that. thank you for being here today. we probably have more questions for the record that we will submit. thank you for being here. i know that you have to be hurried back to do your job. thank you for being here. as he is leaving, we will set the table for the next panel. if you want to go first and ask questions, ok. we will go ahead and set the witness panel for the next panel. although a general introduction of both as we go through this, as they are getting squared away. our first witness will be rene
2:30 am
pressler public information officer for the arkansas office of information. she has been a vital resource in managing communications in some of arkansas's worst disasters. thank you for being here today. and secondly we will have susie defrancis of the red cross. thank you for being here. we appreciate your time today. next we will have come is that shauna brown? she is vice-president of the she was sure some of her experiences with us today and we
2:31 am
appreciate that. and then we will have had their blanchard, the co-founder of crisis commons. it seeks to connect people and organizations using technology to innovate crisis management in global development. she will detail her experiences with the most recent disasters as well as the emerging trends in the uses of social media in emergency response. again i want to thank you all for being here miss blanchard, i understand your mother is in the office as well? thank you, mom, for being here. we appreciate that very much. if we could do a five minute opening statements and try to keep those to five minutes as best as possible, and then we will ask a few questions. renee, do you want to go first or smart >> thank you for letting us come. i know all this had been busy with the storms that have come for the nation. it was extremely important to go
2:32 am
through and explain what we do, not only from the state perspective, but a local perspective, to hopefully move forward with the social media presence in disasters. arkansas has played the lead as we have been using social media pretty much since 2008, the summer of 2008. we started with facebook, not because it was new and we thought this was amazing are something that we could do, but because we physically saw documentation where our communities were coming together on the social sites in the wake of disasters. we realize that was of being un an audience that we are not reaching directly because we're using our traditional sources, print, television, radio stations. using on-line with the exception of website as a media allied and the tool, we have not done that yet. without a was a vital resource. we began with facebook and used it on a prepared this stance, talking about what to do.
2:33 am
he can get a kick and get compared. you can stay informed with all the information going on. he also used as is a mitigation aspect. it showed people different projects that they could to protect themselves in the wake of disasters. and then after the severe storms, the tornadoes that came through the month we had this for netizen february. and we dealt with a lot of flooding in may and march and april and then december again. and then we had more tornadoes and we saw were there was a need for us to transition from the prepared this and mitigation side over to response and recovery on the social science. socially we began putting out messages on facebook and twitter talking about the specific areas need to take cover. the national weather service were not on any sites at that time. the information we receive from them, we would pass it on.
2:34 am
in the state of arkansas, the way that the locals can get the sirens governed by the local individual jurisdictions. some jurisdictions use tornado sirens. some news reversed 911 and things of that nature. we wanted to make sure that people had an ability to give him permission from wherever they were going in that is where we started using. you might not be in your home listed to the television or you might have satellite television and you hear severe weather, the tv goes out. you need additional outlets to get that affirmation. we decided to use that as a tool to go ahead and take care of them making sure that they still got their emergency information taking care of. in the recovery process, it worked fantastically. all across the state, they were dependent on locals to get our information. but when they're dealing with live-saving resources, because
2:35 am
of the local communities with individuals on facebook in social media sites to take it to those emergency managers in their communities to make sure that they can get the resources that they need. >> mr. francis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the recent deadly storms across much of the south and midwest really on the store that time limits and importance of this hearing. the mission of the american red cross is to help people prevent and prepare for and respond to disasters. today a lot to talk about how social media is enabling the public to play a much bigger role in helping with that mission. i want to draw your attention to the reference in the gap that exists today between the public's use of social media in a disaster and the ability of the disaster response organizations and relief agencies to act on that information in a timely fashion. and finally i want to offer some thoughts about how we can begin to close that gap.
2:36 am
american red cross is 130 years old and the tools that we used to respond have evolved over the years. but perhaps the most exciting innovations are social technologies. they allow us to listen engage with the public as never before. we saw this with our fund- raising efforts during haiti, when we rolled out a local giving campaigns, text haiti to 90999, it was people on social media he took it borrow. in the first 48 hours, there were 2.3 million we tweets -- retweets, and we had raised $32 million via text, $10 at that time, and 42% of our text donors were under the age of 34. this is the same phenomenon with japan. the earthquake happened at 2:47 a.m. east coast time. before even most of us that to the office, our tax number was
2:37 am
on twitter. the social media communities were way ahead of us in trying to give out ways to help. but new technologies are not just helping a fund-raiser. they're becoming part of our overall if project operational dna. in haiti, we send out 4 million text messages to haitians about cholera and how to prevent and treat it. we built the jet and the shelter map with google to update our shelter reformation. we have this on our website and we have built-in iphone ag said that people can find shelter on their mobile phone. we also have families connecting in those first hours after disaster strikes there are safe and well website, where people can post their whereabouts and update their facebook and twitter status. we're training red cross volunteers to use their smartphones in social media to let people know where they can go to find shelter, food, and other services. and really exciting, we are creating a new digital volunteer
2:38 am
role where volunteers can help us monitor, authenticate, and route incoming disaster request without ever leaving their homes. we know that in a crisis, it has been said that people turn to the communication tool they are familiar with every day, and disaster response and agencies must do the same. in the survey, we found that more web users get emergency affirmation from social media than from may noaa weather radio, a government website, or an emergency broadcast system. and they are sharing it. one in five social media users report posting eyewitness accounts of emergency events. if someone else is in need, they are enlisting their social network to help or using facebook and twitter to notify response agencies. and they expect us to be listening. as you said, 69% said the
2:39 am
emergency responders should be monitoring social media sites as 74% expect help to come less than an hour after they tweaked or put a post on facebook. these are extremely high expectations but unfortunately today do not match reality. was disaster responders are still not staff to monitor a response the flood of incoming request during a major event. at the red cross, we experience of heartbreaking situation after the earthquake in haiti. we began receiving tweets from people trapped under collapsed building. we did not have a good way to handle those tweets for helps. we had to route them for the state department and other places. in some places, we were too late. these are life-and-death situation so we must find ways to respond more quickly. all will not solve these issues today, we're making prosperous in collaboration with our partners as we just demonstrated
2:40 am
in alabama. people affected by the tornado were posting needs to an on-line gathering. maine. in working with an organization called tweets for tweaked, we were able to sit at intermission with the alabama state emergency operations center. for the first time we were able to connect crisis social data with a decision makers who can act on that. i believe that you can help us continue to find ways to link up social data with response. we also believe as you discussed with the administrators, that the federal government has a role with helping with the next generation 911, and we agree that the first and best choice for anyone in an emergency is to call 911. however 911 should be compatible with text and social media. if i could leave you with one thought, it is this -- social media is enabling real citizens to play a role in helping their neighbors down the street,
2:41 am
across the country, or around the world. what we do to help that process will literally save lives and help ensure that our country is as prepared as possible to handle any disaster. thank you for your leadership on this issue and i am happy answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. and now, ms. brown, understand that you have a video that you want to show? >> yes, a short video. >> if you want to start with that, that is great. go ahead. ♪ >> [unintelligible] they have overwhelmed this corner of southwest china. gigot our race to save lives as prospects are dim. >> [unintelligible] ♪
2:42 am
>> the worst damage among the national cathedral before and after the earthquake. >> it looks like, look at that. nothing is left. >> the latest technology. people are searching where people postern name and picture. >> it is being used by organizations like the red cross is. -- like the red cross.
2:43 am
>> thank you for inviting me here today on this important issue. [inaudible] >> how about that? all to apologize for my voice as well. i am the picture of california health. thank you for having me here today and for your attention to this important issue. i appreciate your efforts to use technology for critical information. our thoughts are with the communities that have been hit by devastating tornadoes in alabama. it took the lives of a los like over 300 people. i'm here today because we
2:44 am
believe technology can make their jobs easier. in the aftermath of last week's tornadoes, we supported maps from shelters, updating satellite imagery, and we directed local users with enhanced search results. we're not experts in crisis response and we play a modest role compared to the relief organizations and agencies but our experience over the past three years has given us a singular bandage. . we've responded to more crises than we did in all of last year. allow line three reasons why open technology are important tools for emergency responders and population. i was a just of the government can support these tools. all like to tell you about a father he used one of these tools to find his son in japan. he was teaching at a school when
2:45 am
the earthquake sty -- stock. he turned to google person finder and posted a picture of his son. he asked if anyone had seen him. a few hours later, someone responded and said that he was a local elementary school. a few hours after that, liam responded alive and well. not long after that, he could use an intonation -- and in na phone program to chat with his son. the internet remains available with other networks fail. in japan, what other systems were on the disabled, the internet was uninterrupted. we're able to get person finder up in japan in only 90 minutes. second coming during emergencies, people tend to turn to open internet services
2:46 am
that they know well. in that earthquake in haiti, we said in a team to better understand our relief organizations were using google tools. we were with the 82nd airborne. when they explained that they were using google maps to plan patrols for the area, and finally the internet scales towards openness. after the earthquake in haiti, we found there were individual missing person data bases. there were not integrated in they all ran on different infrastructures. we saw an important opportunity to leverage the power of crowd surges to create one common data base. that they became person finder. the response has been overwhelming. minister for 600 founder -- 600,000 records in japan and more than 36 million cases within the first 48 hours long.
2:47 am
we have the infrastructure ability to handle them with these. will foreperson finder, tomlin had had gone to multiple websites in check in -- in order to find his son. in addition long before the recent flooding in pakistan, to pakistan a developer's noticed that several were incomplete and inadequate. they used to google mapmaker to update the information for millions of people to see in google maps and to alert. and 20% of pakistan was under water, we shared maps with the u.n. agencies to help them plan their recovery efforts. similarly my friend said open street map helped asians volunteer their knowledge. what can government do to support this kind of tools? in the top simple ways of publishing and disseminating
2:48 am
emergency permission. in divergent -- diverging standards make it more difficult to respond and collaborate when speed is of the essence. for example, we lost valuable time trying to gather and translate into the open standards information kept in arcade formats on government websites. also critical information is spread across multiple websites. in other cases, it may not be on-line at all, but stuck in a spreadsheet. if alerts are implemented an open fashion, governments can provide information and others can publish updates that are easily as a symbol for people when they search for information on their computers or other smartphones. this can be coordinated with commercial mobile alert systems.
2:49 am
so that people have the same opportunity receive alerts. tele-communications provided for internet providers. auletta conclude by thinking chairman of pryor for holding this hearing today. we are committed to helping users and relief workers instantly find the information they need during emergencies. >> and morning. and the co-founder of crisis commons, a volunteer technology committee thick and its people and organizations to use open data and technology to internet i spent seven years at the u.s. department of homeland security, including the position of deputy director. on behalf of our community, is a true honor to testify before you today. in a crisis occurs, it is not
2:50 am
emerge as a responders were first on the scene. it is everyday people use every day resources like their mobile phones and social networks to share what they know. this could be a roadblock by tree in a storm, or creating a map with a cease-fire five -- with fires. they can direct technical pass at the and data and collaborative tools to help first responders in communities makes sense from a delusion of information that occurs in a crisis. we believe that information at the right time and place can help responsible parties make better decisions, especially in a crisis. since the spring of 2009, prices commons has been an open forum to explore how information including social media can help in a crisis. are committed to supporting organizations and citizens in the response to the japan earthquake, tenn. floods, and last week that tornadoes which impacted the southeast. justice sharron exhibit, in
2:51 am
chicago this year, our volunteers were in collaboration to support a snow meant to assure the public request for assistance were routed to 311 and other local authority a. one challenge we often see today is that government agencies simplify the use of social media as a public affairs fussing, when enduring a crisis, access to system- generated information is a necessity. during our support for the national level lexan the size -- the national level exercise, it could be coroneted from an operational perspective. we would like to recommend to the committee that government create an operational liaison function which connects communities to our response systems at the federal, state,
2:52 am
and local levels. it could be a support during a steady state in crisis event. there should be the capacity harness volunteer expertise in collaborative systems. we've also observed that the connection between social media information and operations is largely absent. your site to find that some sectors like high bandwidth internet or collaborative tools. many agencies have stringent security policies blocking their work force from using social media tools for operational purposes. without this capability, emergency managers could be missing the critical information in their operational picture. we recommend that emergency management infrastructure people in modernize. we also recommend that policy be modified to allow emergency management personnel to engage
2:53 am
outside their own organizational networks and to take advantage of social media tools and capabilities. as you can sink a member to see management may not be prepared to utilize social media tools and data to augment their operations and to inform their mission priorities. when there is a crisis, to see management continually find themselves overwhelmed with information. we recommend that research be devoted toward helping emergency managers what that unpreparedness, skill training, increasing their level of digital literacy of the emergency management work force, and in power in their ability to connect with technology support. in looking at the government role in the system, the days of agencies passively sitting on the social media sidelines from behind the bar while are over. the time is come to evolve to a more open participatory management possible. we feel that institutional support is needed to move as to the next level.
2:54 am
to emphasize, we should recommend the following. create an operational liaise and to volunteer with the community. revised policy doing corporate social media and other technology capabilities. invest in modernization of emergency management infrastructure and collaborative tools third support data prepared as a training and increase the level of digital literacy of the emergency management work force. and empower their ability to connect with technology support. in spite of these challenges, we know many emergency managers who are pushing the envelope every day. sometimes it their own professional risk. they apply social media tools and data to their work. we're supportive on the enlightened leadership to create displays every day. we have open institutional challenges by example. we are asking for your help today to support the and needed enhancements that emergency management needs to fully utilize social media information
2:55 am
and provide activities to communities who can support their efforts just like crisis commons. thank you very much for the opportunity to testify before you today. >> i want to thank the panelists. senator brown just let that hearing just a few minutes. he wanted to ask a few questions. >> when introducing the first question, it should be noted that toolbar four witnesses are actually public affairs officers. analysts are utilizing the tools that we're talking about beyond simply public engagement but actually informing operations and responders to what is happening? mrs. defrancis is probably the best one. >> we have a very small group. if i could introduce w
2:56 am
endy, she does a great job. we're trying to get into our own disaster operation center right there at headquarters to make sure that the people who are actually sending out volunteers are getting misinformation, there integrating a. we now have twitter feeds going on in our disaster operations center. we pay attention to this. this is important. and as i mentioned, what happened in alabama, there is the first beginnings of being able to take this data -- and i have to tell you, it does not come in a neat, easy to read forman. comes in in a lot of places with cameron has tags and symbols. -- different hashtag and symbols. in alabama they told us, put it clearly. food, water, organize them that way so that we can read them
2:57 am
quickly and figure out how to act on them. like you said, it is part of your operational dna. it is far more than just listening to people. it is cleaning that information, putting it into a simple format, that emerges a responder is been very busy and they can act on it. there is authenticating it and verifying it but it is more getting it clear to them how to use it. >> it must be interesting to, the language. >> when you first the ken the crisis commons data in an formation, is said that it look like a spaceship. >> my own kids send me stuff, i have to call them and say what? that being said, where is the potential for more information -- innovation in this area? anything that has taken place so
2:58 am
far? >it really was for either/or. >> there are a lot of pluses ago. but we have to remember that disasters are local. investors do not -- disaster to not happen at the federal or even the state level. they're usually local emergency management offices. the technology is where we need the government to work with the social companies to create something at that our first responders can use on the ground zero level. oftentimes, speaking for arkansas directly, a lot of the emergency managers are 1-person staff and they have -- the rely on volunteers. you do not need the person monitoring the social status of what is going on in these different areas. we need to be able to work
2:59 am
somehow what the companies. it was not created for disasters and now that we see it is able to be used effectively in emergency response systems, we need to work with those companies to see how to utilize and narrow it down so that we can inc. at the local level first and then move up from there. >> mrs. brown, if i could ask your question. i appreciate the video and everything. the impact of disaster response and a dedicated response team that you have, is this a full- time group within google? [inaudible] press again. 101'm failing microphone come opposite. we have a dedicated team that is based in new york. is important of the when a crisis occurs, it brings together in addition to that team a lot of googlers who have
3:00 am
another -- a lot of other jobs. in japan, we're fortunate to have an office there. it was not difficult to have people drop their current activities and readily live in the office, day and night, certainly for the first four or five days. we supplement that with a permanent team as needed with resources around the world. but it is a permanent team based in the united states.
3:01 am
3:02 am
3:03 am
3:04 am
3:05 am
3:06 am
3:07 am
3:08 am
3:09 am
3:10 am
3:11 am
3:12 am
3:13 am
3:14 am
3:15 am
3:16 am
3:17 am
3:18 am
3:19 am
3:20 am
3:21 am
3:22 am
3:23 am
3:24 am
3:25 am
3:26 am
3:27 am
3:28 am
3:29 am
3:30 am
3:31 am
3:32 am
3:33 am
3:34 am
3:35 am
3:36 am
3:37 am
3:38 am
3:39 am
3:40 am
3:41 am
3:42 am
3:43 am
3:44 am
3:45 am
3:46 am
3:47 am
3:48 am
3:49 am
3:50 am
3:51 am
3:52 am
3:53 am
3:54 am
3:55 am
3:56 am
3:57 am
3:58 am
3:59 am
4:00 am
4:01 am
4:02 am
4:03 am
4:04 am
4:05 am
4:06 am
4:07 am
4:08 am
4:09 am
4:10 am
4:11 am
4:12 am
4:13 am
4:14 am
4:15 am
4:16 am
4:17 am
4:18 am
4:19 am
4:20 am
4:21 am
4:22 am
4:23 am
4:24 am
4:25 am
4:26 am
4:27 am
4:28 am
4:29 am
4:30 am
4:31 am
4:32 am
4:33 am
4:34 am
4:35 am
4:36 am
4:37 am
4:38 am
4:39 am
4:40 am
4:41 am
4:42 am
4:43 am
4:44 am
4:45 am
4:46 am
4:47 am
4:48 am
4:49 am
4:50 am
4:51 am
4:52 am
4:53 am
4:54 am
4:55 am
4:56 am
4:57 am
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am
they have added automated software monitoring to defend against attacks. they have enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network. if these are just a few of the new safety precautions, my question is given how many consumer records were at risk, or these measures not in place
5:01 am
before? >> it boggles the mind that they are leaving open access to 2007 data bases of credit card information that they were not even using. it has to be a legacy system. a lot of times it is more expensive for consumers -- for a company to erase data at than to leave it laying around. we have talked to companies and try to get them to use privacy by designed to build these concepts into products from the ground up. so many places, it is not someone's job to go around and do that. i talked about the idea of an eraser button. i think it is a very strong idea. if i want to unsubscribed in my relationship with the company, they should delete that data. that is a very strong ideas. it is hard for congress to say keep data for so long because it
5:02 am
varies across industry. giving the consumers the power to say believe that now is a very good idea. >> if you're speaking about the vulnerability that was known to many. i assume you are speaking about the san diego facility. some speculate there was a breach -- they are saying it was a service center in san diego that had no vulnerabilities. if there are known for our abilities, what do we do with policy that met -- known of vulnerabilities, what do we do with policy to protect those physical locations? it seems we are always sort of behind the bad guys in our efforts to stop them from what they are doing. >> a lot of times what we see we do investigations -- our study
5:03 am
shows that 96% could have been avoided. if there were 100 servers that the company owns, they probably past 99 of them but forgot to patch that last one. >> you say it is corporate responsibility at that point? >> what i am saying is, no matter the size of the company, you have to be diligent with your systems. you have to maintain that diligence and monitor your system's on a constant basis. >> thank you. with my remaining 25 seconds, i take it is important -- you spoke to the concept of harm. i think people do not understand what it means to have your personal information stolen until it happens. g location, your kids, and health records -- can you speak about the obama abilities beyond credit cards? people need to understand what the crimes could be.
5:04 am
>> we are concerned about the definition. for example, eli lilly is when the first cases we did. they set out an e-mail blast which associated particular patients with prozac. that is a reputation no harm that most people would like to avoid. we do not know if eli lilly committed a crime, but people ought to be notified in those circumstances. in cvs and rite aid, they were dumping prescription records in dumpsters. people ought to know that is happening. geolocation data can be used for we urge the committee to take a broader view of what constitutes harm in these areas.
5:05 am
>> the chair recognizes mr. butterfield for five minutes. >> technology evolves rapidly. cutting edge technology today is obsolete tomorrow. at the sony press releases have stated that credit card information was encrypted. i stated yesterday that passwords were protected using a hash function. the data breach provision in the bill we passed last year established a presumption that no reasonable risk of harm exist following a breach if the data is interested. dr. stafford, do you agree or disagree with that? >> i disagree because it is possible that disclosure could also include the password necessary to decrypt those passwords. that would mean that they could be degraded and read as well.
5:06 am
encryption all by itself is not a solution. it has to be such that the increase did material cannot be read. encrypted e intere material cannot be read. one has to look at the overall risk of whether or not be protected material would be disclosed if that material were breached. >> encryption has its downside, but do you agree it is the gold standard? >> some kinds of art. some could be broken fairy it -- fairly trivially. some forms are very good and some are not.
5:07 am
some previous versions of legislation that were introduced in this committee, we have sent letters about problems with encryption. i would be happy to provide copies of those to you later. >> i in your testimony you describe a strong working relationship with the fbi, which uses eight words for the cyber investigative task force. it is the federal government's response to online security. i imagine there is some fuzziness around cyber threat to businesses and that some of them could be threats to national security. that is probably part of the reason there is a task force and white or agency is involved. i understand that businesses, not the government, almost of the it infrastructure. the private sector is responsible for the vast swaths
5:08 am
of the networks, and our energy grid. given your experience, is the private sector doing enough to guard the security and integrity of networked computers. >> i think there is always more we can do. from what you see today from some of the testimony and the intrusions we are discussing, there is more that needs to be done. what is important is that the public sector needs to collaborate with the private sector to improve our security. >> would you extend that to the federal government? >> yes. i believe there steps that already been taken in the federal government. >> special agent, you also describe your relationship with the united states computer readiness team. according to your testimony that group defense against cyber intrusions and shares in folk
5:09 am
and collaborates with state and local governments and -- information and to leverage or state and local governments. can you please describe this relationship a bit more? >> yes. i think it can be better explained by you assert, but they have taken a role for mediation and investigation. we encouraged the private sector partners to reach out so they can come up with a mitigation plan or best practices and so forth. in the last year or so, we have undergone efforts to try to improve our work in having them take the lead in mediation and mitigation. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. stern's for five minutes. >> the gentleman from north carolina makes a good point. when you look across the federal government, it is almost a
5:10 am
sector by sector approach in dealing with the government. serving in veterans affairs, there were several breaches when a computer was taken home and at the information was a breeze. for the veterans affairs, they had the veterans affairs information security at. you had the federal information security management at, which is sector by sector. we have to struggle with how to decide what applies to the federal government. do you think there should be a small-business exemption for this? i have heard from a lot of small businesses that they do not want the day that security officer -- how much is destroyed to cost me? it is more regulation. is there a possibility that a small business of less than 100 employees could have been
5:11 am
modified approach or should it a applied to them? >> we need to separate out the various requirements of the legislation. what we did support was rulemaking authority for the commission to determine when small businesses should be granted a waiver from the provisions relating to the payment for monitoring credit reports falling a breach. i think that was the objection raised by small businesses. we favored some flexibility that would be determined after public rulemaking and, perhaps, exemptions would be authorized pursuant to that rule making. >> there is some talk about cloud computing being done here in the house.
5:12 am
when a logger help our servers. if a company moves towards that type of storage, is that safe or less safe in your opinion then keeping the servers proprietary protected. >> it depends on where the storage is and how well it is protected. on're putting your records computing resources that are stored somewhere else and protected by someone else. if you have a private cloud, that is within your private domain, but if you are using at outsourced, you may not even know how it -- we're is or how it is protected. some service providers may actually have their storage located outside the country. we have a whole new set of problems. best which is now outside the domain of the united states. >> we do not have reciprocity
5:13 am
with countries outside, so it gets more difficult. >> if the information is breached, then where do people get to sue? i guess you still get to the holding company. >> that is beyond my area of expertise. >> does anyone else want to comment on this cloud computing? >> the crime scene now does not become the server located at a building. the crime scene could be in the philippines, part of the could be in mexico. it makes it much more difficult for law enforcement to take action and obtain that information. but we have to go overseas, and there's a whole nother set of requirements that we have to go through. the question becomes do we have treaties with countries where some of this information reside? >> in many cases it may be the
5:14 am
case that a cloud computer service would provide better security for you. a small business may not have the technical know-how to protect the data or what the latest cutting edge encourage and techniques are pre it may make sense. on the other hand, epsilon was a third-party service provider. obviously it is not a fail-safe. >> we have been captured this issue already in our enforcement efforts. our position is u.s. companies storing data involving u.s. citizens or u.s. transactions, they are responsible to us even if the date that is stored in a cloud computer offshore. we have made that quite clear. we have not tested it in the
5:15 am
course, but we are confident we would be able to assert our authority. >> i think mr. martinez's concerns may be more complicated than ours. >> thank you, mr. chair. quite the chair recognizes mr. lance for five minutes. >> thank you, madame chair. good morning to the panel. dr. stafford, in the letter to the subcommittee, sony said it acted with care and caution. i am wondering if that is the case, why would sony not notify consumers as soon as it shut down its network? >> i do not have full access to all the details of what was required for them to gather the information as to what happened to determine what individuals were involved and what law enforcement needs were involved for them to gather evidence
5:16 am
before notifying people. certainly they also work in a state where they had to make sure they closed all the vulnerabilities before notifying individuals, i would assume. that probably introduced a lag and to the notification. >> is there anyone who might want to comment on that? i know it is speculative. aged martinas, sony also said it believes it has identified how the breach occurred. from your perspective and your expertise, why do law enforcement officials need a window of opportunity, said tuesday, to investigate a data breach before consumers are notified? >> i can tell you based on experience in previous cases there may be times when we are
5:17 am
conducting an active investigation, we are the fine -- we are the ones who find there is a breach. we work with the company. a lot of states have enacted the delay of location for law enforcement forces -- porpoises -- law-enforcement purposes. you can hurt the end -- you can hurt the investigation and not allow us to apprehend the individual. we do need some form of delay in notification. we try to delay that as much as possible. >> thank you. madame chair, i yield back to the balance of my time to you. >> i thank the gentleman. i will gladly take you up on your two minute and 30 socket offer. mr. dingell is on his way down. i would like him to participate, but i would like to say this has
5:18 am
been a very insightful hearing. h member has brought a different complexity in understanding how they understand these problems. we brought out the threat to seniors. i had not thought of that. with sony playstation, we were thinking about the younger generation. i will continue to work to explore the senior ankle. -- angle. i want to thank the members of work on on this legislation. understanding briefly, do we also risky -- risk over legislating and sending more off shore if we are not careful? >> frankly, i do not think this legislation will affect cloud
5:19 am
computing. i think companies are migrating to the cold. -- cloud. the physical location of the server is much less important than the security provided. the legal regimes, i think, will adapt. we have not gotten pushed back from companies we have investigated where there was an issue about whether the data was physically within the united states territory or not. we looked at a global company. we settled the case in a way that makes it crystal clear that accounts for u.s. companies or other companies employing people in the united states are covered whether -- no matter where the server may be. >> thank you. dr. cassidy, do you have a question before the panel? the chair recognizes dr. cassidy
5:20 am
for five minutes. >> there was another committee hearing. i apologize if somebody has already answered this. i am driving to my in-laws. i popped open myself all and it shows me the congestion of the freeway. i read an article on msnbc's it website about how this application data is stored for ever. i am thinking, "well, this is great. i can see where i am going any given time." on the other hand, why should do or apple keep this for ever? >> there are definitely wonderful secondary uses of application data that google and apple views. the map example is a great example you have to remember
5:21 am
that it is me for a little bit. but forget that after an hour. there are things we can do to not remember it is and me for my entire life. apple's story about storing location and follow up to a year for what seems to be a marginal performance improvement and to increase better late life -- battery life is a good example of processed by design. it would be a great idea if you had all the cell towers nearby you stored on your phone so instead of checking back with apple to say where am i, you can just check your phone. within the last year, i might not want someone to get their hands on that. i think a lot of companies have taken the idea of publication permission it seriously. i am glad that android, google,
5:22 am
and microsoft are asking can we use your location right now? they are working to the secondary issues. you can't create detailed logs about people. >> i am sensitive to it. i am looking at my phone and logging onto a map. there pops up a sort of "click here" after you have read the legalese to proceed. it turns out it is totally optional. it gives them the fig leaf of being careful about my data, but in reality, it was a trick. i was thinking this is -- i am not going to rip off their copyrights. it was they set the price for privacy. i am just stumbling across this
5:23 am
because of i am driving to mobile, alabama. what is the best way to address this? >> there are two responses. for the purposes of data security, we have already discussed what we said would be an important amendment to the prior legislation, which is to talk about geolocation data as a form that would trigger the notification requirements. were you had been for the last -- you ought to be notified of that. >> there should be legislation that says about shall not keep this x number of -- >> the commission is very concerned about your vacation data. we are looking at the privacy protection act. one question we have asked is
5:24 am
how should we treat geolocation data? we view it as sensitive data that requires a heightened protection. >> should we have a rule or a law that says about not keep this for x number of days? >> the commission has not taken a formal position on that other than to underscore the protection of that data. >> again, i was only aware of it because i stumbled across the website i do not normally read. >> part of our concern, of course, is that the notice of consent is scarecrowed. it is not substantial. we are worried about those things. >> what is the argument against that? that is my question. >> one argument is
5:25 am
functionality. the data is being retained to enhance the punctuality. >> we suggested that was a short-term benefit. >> that is correct. it is not my argument. it is the argument for functionality. the other is it helps their analytics. >> that is precisely my point. >> i am not disagreeing with you. these are the arguments you will appear. >> i see. >> i think there are reasons. there are abuses of data or it might be reasonable for it to be tied to me for a period of time. i have a traffic program on my computer and night what it to
5:26 am
remember where i get to give me optimized directions. that could be a legitimate use of my data. people used different programs to check in two places to create a permanent lot of the places they have been. some people like that. i had used a similar trip adviser future -- feature. i think it depends on the usage. if you want to create a, hey, -- i dowhere i've been not want to tell people they cannot do that. very clear about the uses your taking the day at 4. nudges variant on paragraph of 40 of the terms of service.
5:27 am
-- not just visit -- not just bury it on paragraph 40 of the terms of service. >> i appreciate your courtesy in keeping the hearing opened for me. to all witnesses, this will be a yes or no answer starting on your right, my left. first of all, do you believe that the current industry efforts with respect to ensuring data security are sufficient? yes or no? >> i would say no. >> next witness? >> no. >> no. >> can't such efforts be improved or should congress
5:28 am
passed comprehensive security legislation? can efforts be improved? should the congress passed a comprehensive security -- data security legislation? >> yes to both parts of the question. >> yes to both. >> yes to both. >> if yes to both. >> gentlemen you are being very patient. your courtesy is particularly appreciated. i understand that the comprehensive data security requirements do not at this time exist in the united states. whether there exists a patchwork of federal or state law of regulations that impose varying requirements on different people. should federal data security requirements supersede state requirements? yes or no?
5:29 am
>> i cannot say yes or no. yes to the extent they are not as substantial as federal requirements. >> i believe there should be a national standard for data breach reporting. >> without knowing the standards, i cannot answer. >> if they are strong enough and allow for state innovation, yes. >> the panel thinks we need a lot of work to achieve the standards needed of the national character. am i correct on that? >> yes. >> we have been doing a lot of work for several years of multiple data breach legislation in all different types of committees. i believe the administration is close to submitting to congress a package that was worked on by executive agencies. quite and give you a more friendly question this time.
5:30 am
>> gentleman, this is always a question we run into. in the light of fiscal constraints, should state attorneys general be allowed to enforce federal data security requirements? yes or no? >> yes. >> can you repeat the question? >> should federal fiscal restraints be able to be enforced by state attorneys general? >> i am not sure if i am qualified to answer that. >> i will not press you. sir? >> i am not sure if i am qualified to answer that, but i think so. >> sir? >> absolutely. >> do you believe that the federal data security legislation should include the flexibility for the federal
5:31 am
trade commission to update requirements in order to keep pace with the advancements in threats to data security? yes or no? >> if yes. >> if yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> do you believe the magnosun- moss will stifle the ability to keep pace with technical advancement and threats to data security? >> yes. >> do you want to give a comment? believe the ftc should be able to write security regulations according to the administrative procedure act? there is a difference between the two standards for rule
5:32 am
making. >> yes to the extent we are giving rulemaking authority. we would ask that it be under the administrative procedure act. >> to all witnesses, does the federal trade commission currently have the resources with which to implement and enforce a comprehensive data security requirements? >> we always need more resources. >> i would defer to the ftc regarding the resources. >> a wise move. >> i do not know. >> they could use more. >> again, to all witnesses who had demonstrated extraordinary patience here, if you felt no in that case, what additional authorization with the ftc require to enforce such data security requirements?
5:33 am
it would be perfectly appropriate if you submit this for the record at some future and comfortable time. >> we currently have a relatively small staff working on privacy issues relative to other agencies, but it is an important part of our mission. we would benefit greatly from having enhanced resources in this area. >> again, i would defer to the ftc. >> i would defer to the ftc. >> our last weekend -- our last witness? >> larger staff. >> gentlemen, you have been most patient. >> i thank the gentleman. i am quite impressed for him to tackle those questions in five minutes. i am asked unanimous consent to
5:34 am
put sony and epsilon's statements into the record. i want to sum up by saying that prior to 2005 we did not spend a lot of time talking about the dangers of date it preaches. things have gone -- we have gone from a stolen laptop to a sophisticated criminal cyber attacks on a worldwide network. this begs the question, if we do not do something soon, what is next and where does it end? i would like to remind members that they have 10 business days to submit questions for the record and as the witnesses to respond promptly to any questions they receive. this hearing is now adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
5:35 am
>> next, eight committee meeting on preparing for national -- natural disasters. live at 7:00 a.m., and your calls and comments on washington journal. >> we have a saying in the military -- if the amateurs do it over and over until they get it right, professionals do it over and over until they cannot get it wrong. >> dick couch was a platoon leader of the seal team in vietnam. sunday, he would discuss the life and training of today but the navy seals on "q&a". you can download a podcast at c-
5:36 am
>> this week on prime minister's questions, david cameron and the opposition leader discuss spending cuts for front-line police services and the increase in university tuition fees. the prime minister also talked about thursday's vote. prime minister's questions, tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> in the aftermath of the recent earthquake in japan and the tornado outbreaks in the u.s., a hearing was held on natural disaster preparedness. it focused on the national response plan. senator jay rockefeller of west virginia chairs this hearing.
5:37 am
>> we want to have all of you say what you are going to say and then we will probably at the end of that kind do vote and question you when you get back if you can put up with that situation. dr. william hooke, we welcome you.
5:38 am
the senior policy director for the american neurological society. bob ryan, chief meteorologist for nbc covering five west virginia counties. n us. do warren dr. anne kiremidjian, professor of civil and environmental engineering at stanford university. dr. claude dawson at the university of texas at austin. you all are extraordinary in what you know and without getting into it, let's get into you. dr. hooke, why do we not start with you? >> thank you, mr. chairman. today we grieve for those who suffered loss because of violent weather in recent weeks.
5:39 am
we can best honor their loss and suffering by working together to reduce the risks of further tragedy in coming years. thank you for convening this conversation on this topic and thank you for letting us take part. because of its size and location, the united states bears a degree of risk from natural hazards. we suffer from as many winter storms as russia or china. we have as many hurricanes as china or japan. and our toes are exposed not just the the -- our coasts are exposed not just to storms, but to earthquakes and tsunamis. 70% of the world's tornadoes and 90% of the damaging ones occur on our soil. because of our global reach, disasters a world away call for a u.s. response. if you think of the earthquakes in haiti and chile, the earthquake in japan, they are
5:40 am
all waiting to see what the u.s. will do. our current disaster preparedness remains far from ideal. warnings are more accurate and timely, but in that last mile where they struggle to reach those in harm's way, they are all too often lost or garbled or misunderstood. compromise is in land use and building codes mean that our homes are not always as safe as we might hope. 85% of small businesses that closed their doors because of disaster never reopen. the dollar loss from property -- the dollar amount of property loss and business disruption has grown faster than gdp. virtually every disaster quickly becomes a public health emergency. we can do better if we take the following steps. we must maintain our central warning systems. that means funding for the day-
5:41 am
to-day operation of those systems, but also funding for modernization. it also means of funding continuity from year to year. these programs cannot be shut down for a year and be restarted. the biggest gap right now is the satellite system which needs an additional $800 million this d acal year in order to avoi gap in coverage. that will throwback are warning capability to what we had 20 years ago. it is not enough to bring meteorology and engineering to the problem, we also have to bring social science. we need to hear from those who study communications in a disciplined way. we need to hear from sociologists. the title of this. asked the question, our investments paying off? the answer is, we think so, but
5:42 am
we do not know how much. if they were really investments, we would have a better idea of the return of those investments. that requires we invest a little bit in economic analysis. when it comes to natural disasters, we should also do better at money from experience. we do this in aviation. when the windfalls of the airplane, we noodle around the wreckage site to see what happened and did we go and fix it. we want the agency like the ntsb to do it for natural disasters. because we do that, we condemn future generations to a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering. all of this requires the government and the private sector work in partnership. they were collaborative lee and effectively at all levels. noaa with the aerospace firms,
5:43 am
the weather service with the broadcasters -- that one is going quite well. at the local level, the private sector and local government need to work together to prepare communities. the academy just issued a report on that subject, which is in your notes. we need to bring in the insurance industry. finally, we need to support wonderful private sector efforts like the business civic leadership council, the chamber of commerce, and their work on hazard mitigation and disaster relief. as we are blowing up levees in the midwest, we need to discuss no impact policies for floods and other hazards. we need to track our progress and keep score. the department of commerce is a suitable agency home for many of these notions. we should not look at this just domestically. these measures can build
5:44 am
international goodwill and international markets for u.s. products and services. finally, we should not forget the impact of these measures on jobs. protecting jobs americans already hold, protecting their communities and their homes in the face of natural hazards, and creating new jobs to serve those international markets. thank you senators. >> mr. ryan, we welcome you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity. usually it is done for me. [laughter] this is a non-union job, so i thank you. i think you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to prevent -- present my views. i am speaking for myself and not my employer. i served as president for the national meteorological society as well as to the national
5:45 am
research committee that wrote a report on effective partnerships. the fair weather report, which has advanced the entire enterprise, as well as a recent report, completing the forecast, communicating uncertainty using weather and climate forecasts. federal investments in disaster preparedness are paying off. as we have so recently seemed, the united states has more severe weather and more rather related -- whether-related disasters than any other country. 90% of the tornadoes in the world occur in the united states. the science of meteorology has made remarkable advances in the last 50 years thanks in large part to federal investment in knowing that their forecasts and advance warning are of tremendous public and economic
5:46 am
benefit to all of us. i would argue that if we all agree that what a deep fundamental purposes of government is protection of the life and property of the citizens, few organizations do that more than our nation's weather services, but public and private. many may ask, after all the investments we have made in advancing the science in weather forecasting -- satellite, doppler radar, supercomputers -- how could so many lives be lost in the tornado outbreaks last week? more than 90% of last week's tornadoes were warned on it with a lead time of 25 minutes, something impossible years ago. we had more than 11 ef-4 tornadoes in a single day, more than any day in history.
5:47 am
without proper protection as storm sellers, it was impossible to survive tournedos with winds of one 1960 to more than 200 miles per hour. -- 190 to 200 miles per hour. if we had the same out right before the investments, the loss of life with been in the thousands. the current communication on mornings system is a shared enterprise. sometimes federal, public, private, non-governmental organizations, emergency management, the community, and the media -- there are such early warnings and communication of these mornings through every means from whether radio to digital media and, especially, local broadcast which were on
5:48 am
the air continuously last week. that allowed so many people as possible to survive what is probably one in 100 year in national disaster -- natural disaster. the system worked. the shared partnership helped more than 99% of our fellow citizens in the path of a killer tornadoes survive. we hope it was a once in a lifetime experience. today's forecast for an end to end process. the communication of the forecast information to the public and other users and the decision making using that information by the public. if we have a 100% accurate
5:49 am
weather forecasts, which may not be effectively communicated and results in a poor or bad decision, we have failed. 8100% accurate forecast is of little use. effective communication is as essential as a correct weather forecast. the media and over the air broadcasters play a vital role in communications. my fellow broadcasters in mississippi, georgia, texas, west virginia, alabama -- in the last few weeks were on the air continuously to communicate the warnings, helping the community to make the best life saving decisions. the last stop on our weather forecast process is the decision by the public and user and in weather emergencies. that is what i do. the local broadcast
5:50 am
meteorologist, known in the community -- they still use traditional methods of communicating by over the air, by radio, and continuously, as we saw last week, during weather disasters is a trusted source of the public to make a decision. just to wrap up, my colleague in alabama during this terrible outbreak was on the air using all the assets at his demand from the public radar to spotters. he has received hundreds and hundreds of bank use for his efforts in pinpointing the terrible outbreak of tornadoes and helping people make the proper decision to save their lives. yes, the system is working. the way we communicate whether information is expanding every day. other -- federal investment in our whether enterprise is of vital.
5:51 am
efforts to stop funding will degrade our ability to adequately forecast and one of the next potential disaster. certainly we do need to bring social science expertise into our shared enterprise and learn how we can better use these expertise in every new and old media to communicate what we know and what actions should be taken to better help the public to make the best lifesaving decision rather than like risking a decision in the face of the next whether emergency. with continued federal support, the court structure -- what we have accomplished together will continue and continue to be a shining example of how government meets its key role on the protection of the lives and property of its citizens. thank you very much, mr. chairman. i would be happy to answer
5:52 am
questions later. >> dr. anne kiremidjian. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, it is an honor to be here today and represent the american society of civil engineers. i have been a professor at stanford for 38 years. but to might research has been on earthquake hazards and risk analysis. my comments will be focused primarily on earthquakes, but they easily apply to many other hazards. the question that you have put in front of us is whether our investments in earthquake hazard and other national -- natural disasters have been paying off. the short answer is yes. the public is a lot safer today because of of the projects we have been involved in.
5:53 am
we have made great strides in understanding the behavior of our buildings and other infrastructure when subjected to earthquakes, help people and economies are affected by earthquakes, and how we should mitigate and upgrade our structures to prevent and minimize future disasters. however, we are not there yet. not even close. the reason being that with every earthquake we see and learn how much we do not know. we continue to be hobbled by every single earthquake yvette and we find something new and different that we did not know before. the last earthquake in japan, the earthquake of march 11 of this year, has indeed shown us what a chilly devastating event can do to a very large community.
5:54 am
our laboratory tests are sophisticated numerical models, but cannot replicate, produce, or teach us what such a large earthquake can do. what we can't do, however, we can take measurements and study these events, which enable us to greatly improve and enhance our models in order to apply them and enable us to prevent future losses. europe has played an important role in mitigation. i happen to be involved in a study in 2005 where we looked at the effect of mitigation and hal each dollar we spend is paying off. the study was conducted by the national institute of building scientist. the key conclusion was that for
5:55 am
every dollar spent in mitigation, we are saving $4 in future losses. with recent budget cuts and committees getting deeper in debt, we have seen major reduction in many places of mitigation programs. the results will be devastating. if future -- if we reduce our mitigation budgets, we will not be been a feeding -- benefiting from the current events and we will put our communities at greater risk. moreover, we need to invest funds specifically to study the earthquake of march 11. this is the first sign that the magnitude of nine earthquake has yet a country that has a building and it infrastructure
5:56 am
of very similar to ours, that has design practices of very similar to ours, that has a social and economic environment similar to ours, and we have seen for the first time the largest tsunami we have observed. some of the waves were as high as 37.8 meters -- almost 100 feet if not higher. the lessons to be learned are enormous. i'm should mention that after the 1995 earthquake, japan invested more than $1 billion in all kinds of instrumentation. the data has been gathered, waiting to be analyzed. it is our duty to participate in these activities. we are fortunate to have alliances with our japanese colleagues. this gives us an opportunity to
5:57 am
study, test, and improve our models, are mitigation practices, and understand what we need to do to prevent future disasters. you might ask after spending all of this money over the years, why are our structures still at high risk? there are at least two answers. the first one is our infrastructure, all of our structures, the majority of them were built prior to current design practices. we have allowed our infrastructure to deteriorate, making the problem even worse. the second problem is that earthquake engineering and earthquake related science is relatively young.
5:58 am
we have been working on this problem for the last 30 years, but with every earthquake we learn more and more. in order for us to start addressing some of the questions, we need to continue in a systematic manner. but to give you one example. after the 1994 earthquake, what we observed was particularly businesses require facilities to continue functioning in a manner with the business would not be interrupted. our design practices up until then had been to designed strictly for safety. we did not worry about how much damage there was to the structure as long as the structure did not collapse and kill people. we have done very well in that respect looking at the number of casualties. what we understand now is that in order to have economic viability, we need to have -- are critical infrastructure needs to function after an
5:59 am
earthquake. we have been in the center of the design and development of these mitigation activities. i am see that i am out of time. i will conclude by saying something we have said over and over again -- we cannot prevent earthquakes from happening, however, what we can do it through our research, to our mitigation activities, which can greatly reduce the consequences from such events and prevent them from becoming a disaster. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i call on senator hutchison. >> i just wanted to introduce the witness that i invited. dr. dawson is a professor for the institut of computational engineering and sciences at the university of texas at austin. we are also the of water --


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on