In this episode, host John Verrico is joined by Dan Cotter, executive director of S&T’s Office of Science and Engineering and DHS Scientific Integrity Officer, for a wide-ranging discussion of the complex world of emergency management. Learn how a hydrology major wound up helping ensure government research is free of political interference and discover some of the many S&T efforts to enhance preparedness for individual citizens and their families, state and local first responders, and the nation.
- At the time of recording, Dan Cotter’s title was S&T Senior Advisor and DHS Scientific Integrity Officer. He is now S&T Executive Director for the Office of Science and Engineering and DHS Scientific Integrity Officer.
- Blog: Developing the DHS Scientific Integrity Directive
- Blog: Bringing Tech Solutions to Global First Responders
- Smoke and Particulate Resistant Structural Turnout Ensemble Fact Sheet and Video
- FINDER: Detecting Heartbeats in Rubble and Rescuing Victims of Disasters Fact Sheet and Video
- Feature Article: Ensuring Next Generation 911 Interoperability
- Feature Article: New Guidebooks Help Urban Communities Install Low-Cost Sensors to Reduce Flood Risks
- Flood Project Area Fact Sheet
- Feature Article: Stoking Wildfire Resilience in Oregon
- Wildland Fire Sensors R&D
- First Responder Capability
- FEMA Disaster Declarations
- Small Business Innovation Research Program Success Stories - Combatting Denial-of-Service Attacks
- Tech Talk: Distributed Denial of Service Defense
- Secretary Mayorkas Delivers Remarks at Extreme Heat Summit
- News Release: DHS S&T Announces $45M Funding Opportunity for New Center of Excellence for Homeland Security in the Arctic
- Future of Flood Insurance Evaluation Activity Fact Sheet
- Feature Article: Breakthrough Alert Messaging for a Mobile Public
- Recorded on October 20, 2023
Guest: Dan Cotter, S&T Executive Director for the Office of Science and Engineering and DHS Scientific Integrity Officer
Host: John Verrico, Chief of Media & Community Relations
[00:00:00] Dan Cotter: Things like ransomware were not an issue when I was working at FEMA, right? And all this ends up at the local emergency manager's doorstep.
[00:00:06] Dave: This is Technologically Speaking, the official podcast for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, or S&T as we call it. Join us as we meet the science and technology experts on the frontlines, keeping America safe.
[00:00:20] John: Hello, and welcome to the latest episode of Technologically Speaking. I'm your host, John Verrico, and with me today is a very special guest, Dan Cotter. Dan, you've been with us for a while now and we've gotten to know each other, and I love having the opportunity when we can get together and talk. And so let's chat a little bit about the stuff that you're working on and how that really impacts emergency management.
[00:00:47] Dan Cotter: Yeah, thanks, John. Happy to discuss that with you today. I really think that the emergency management role is something that we need to be paying a lot more attention to. Not just in this country, but also around the world as we interact with our international partners. You know, everything that is an emergency really does start at the local level. And that emergency manager, whether it's a flood of fire, what we've been through with COVID the last few years, those are all things that ends up in the emergency manager's lap.
[00:01:15] John: How would you describe the role of an emergency manager?
[00:01:19] Dan Cotter: I think it's a really busy role, particularly when you think about what's going on at the local government level, the state government level. Emergency managers are responsible for the full emergency management life cycle. So, they're the ones out there thinking about what might happen, you know, building plans for that. They're thinking about how to mitigate things in advance. So, that's a flood or fire or something else bad happens that its consequences are minimal. When an emergency does occur, they're the ones who are responsible for coordinating that response, and if the response or scale of disaster is something bigger than they can’t handle locally, you know, they're the ones who are looking to the state for help, to the region for help, and potentially to FEMA, the national government for help. And then they’ve got a huge role to play in recovery. They have huge roles to play in how grant funds are managed and distributed. They have a big role to play with the local government and things like building codes so that maybe we're more resistant against wildfires. They have a big role to play in the alerts and warnings that go out there. It's just an enormous job that these folks have.
[00:02:26] John: And yeah, I think so many people are completely unaware of what's involved there. And you're right. I mean, they have to have that crystal ball to be able to predict what's the next potential disaster that can happen. How do we prepare for it? How do we mitigate the damage that can happen from it and how to recover, if something does happen. So Dan, your title is Senior Advisor for S&T. And you're also the DHS Scientific Integrity Officer. And we're going to talk a little bit about that maybe later on in the conversation. I really want to focus more on this emergency management, type of function. And first of all, how did you get interested in this side of things?
[00:03:03] Dan Cotter: Well, early in my career, I started out as a hydrologist. I joined FEMA back in the early 80s, and…
[00:03:09] John: A hydrologist.
[00:03:10] Dan Cotter: A hydrologist. So yeah, a hydrologist is somebody who studies water quality, water quantity, water availability, water resources, and in my case, working for FEMA, I got very involved in the national flood insurance program. You know, trying to develop those, insurance rate maps, flood hazard maps to show people where areas are that are risky to live and to help steer people away from them to help, help with development of better building codes and to, um, allow insurance to be available in communities as well. So, you know, get involved with that…
[00:03:43] John: We know people don't always listen and they still build in those areas that they probably shouldn't.
[00:03:47] Dan Cotter: Yeah, absolutely. But, you know, we make progress. you know, I think things are a lot better off today than they were, back when that program started, people have a much better idea where hazards are, flood insurance is available to people today. That's something that wasn't available in the 60s and 70s from the federal government.
[00:04:05] John: And so how long were you at FEMA?
[00:04:07] Dan Cotter: About a dozen years.
[00:04:08] John: Wow, and when did you make the transition here? I know it's been a while.
[00:04:11] Dan Cotter: I came over to, um, DHS, Science and Technology in 2012. Prior to that, I'd been the Department's Chief Technology Officer and prior to that, I'd left FEMA about 1995, spent some time in the private sector, before I came back to the Department.
[00:04:24] John: So how does your role here in S&T complement what, you know, FEMA does?
[00:04:30] Dan Cotter: What I really like about the opportunity to work in the Science and Technology Directorate is being able to take that understanding of missions such as FEMA has. And S&T gives you the chance to think about that, those missions, and think about what's difficult and hard to do and, you know, the problems they have, then go looking for, uh, sciences and technologies that we can bring to bear on those missions to make those agencies able to be more effective and more efficient, you know, as they support the American public in times of crisis.
[00:04:59] John: Yeah, that's also a really key point for our listeners. I'll just throw it out there, Dan, what's one success story that you really love to brag about, over the course of your time here at S&T?
[00:05:11] Dan Cotter: I think we are making a real difference with the, you know, thinking about the first responder emergency management community. We've done a lot of stuff that's you know, improved garments and protective equipment for firefighters. I think a lot of people realize that, you know, the smoke and particulate matter in fires, you know, is getting increasingly hazardous. You know, some of the work that we've done is about creating better interfaces around, you know, gloves and, you know, collars and necks of garments, turnout gear, you know, just to keep those cats are causing particulates off of firefighters, you know, help them.
[00:05:44] John: And that's something people don't realize too, is that, you know, just the smoke from a house fire or a structure fire, I mean, has a carcinogenic components in it.
[00:05:53] Dan Cotter: Sure. And it's just so important unless we can provide the types of turnout gear that keep firefighters and other first responders safe and doing their job, you know, they can't keep us safe. They can't help us in our times of need. So we do a lot of work in that space. We do a lot of work in, um radio communications interoperability.
[00:06:12] John: I remember hearing a story early on when I started here at S&T, and we were talking about things like multiband radios and those kinds of ways of communicating across the spectrums, because everybody's on a different frequency or a different type of…uses different types of equipment. I remember one, I think he was an emergency manager, he was one of the planners, literally had eight radios that he had to walk around with in order to communicate with all the elements that were working together.
[00:06:38] Dan Cotter: It's a problem. We're making lots of progress, though. and I think it's an area that we've made some contributions to. And it's one of those areas which, really needs to be working, you know, at the local emergency management level, and we work with some of the associations out there, other federal partnerships. Emergency management really is a collaborative activity. You really need to bring in people from all over to our, to make to make a difference.
[00:07:01] John: Oh, it's such a broad-spanning responsibility.
[00:07:03] Dan Cotter: Yeah. Getting to some of the more exotic things that we've done…we developed a piece of technology called a FINDER, working with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It actually is a microwave…
[00:07:14] John: That's NASA's laboratory out on the West coast.
[00:07:17] Dan Cotter: Absolutely. And it actually is a device that emits microwaves, and you can actually detect heartbeats in rubble. So imagine after a building collapse or an earthquake, instead of the normal ways of being quiet and listening and digging a little bit, or, dogs, actually being able to scan buildings using a microwave device. You're looking for those heartbeats signs of life and that allows you to focus your resources on where you actually have a chance of saving lives and do it a lot more rapidly than you might be able to do using conventional methods. So that's just a kind of an example of something much more…
[00:07:54] John: That FINDER tool is very unique and extremely important.
[00:07:57] Dan Cotter: Yeah, it really is. And I'm sure your listeners hear a lot about, you know, the Internet of Things and, you know, world of systems and everything's connected and we've been doing a lot of work in that space. You know, we're in particular trying to develop low-cost sensors that can be made available to everything from, you know, detecting air quality or dangerous pollutants or chemicals, you know, inside structures and be able to provide warnings of those to, um, the sensors, that will detect you know, the first signs of wildfire ignition. You know, so that we can get the early suppression. We have, uh, some of the things we're working on with, low-cost flood sensors and, you know, other types of, uh, hazard detection sensors, and associated with that, we work a lot on, how do you share that information? How do you make sure you get it to the right person in time to make a difference? How do we develop better tools, perhaps artificial intelligence, for a decision support to help out emergency managers as well?
[00:08:50] John: So, Dan, you're talking about some really interesting ways of bringing the various communities together that, that need to work on various types of disasters and how to predict them and how to get ahead of them and how to try to mitigate the damage, as we said. And then on the recovery side, what are some of the new challenges that we're facing out there?
[00:09:09] Dan Cotter: So, you know, we definitely are seeing increased, severe weather patterns. You know, if you look at, sort of FEMA disaster declarations before 2000, and they have records going back to, I think, 1953, and you look post 2000, the rate at which we're having, um, disasters of all types declared at the national level is almost two and a half times more frequent than it was. So, one of the things our emergency managers are dealing with at all levels of government is just the increasing pace of disasters. At the same time, we're seeing more severity. We're seeing more billion-dollar disasters, you know, more frequently, you know, in this country, a lot of that driven by changing weather patterns, climate change, that puts a lot of stress on that community. In addition to that, though, think about what's happened in the cyber world since 2000, or even the last 10 years or so. Things like ransomware were not an issue when I was working at FEMA, right? And all this ends up at the local emergency manager's doorstep when, um, a ransomware attack takes down some piece of local critical infrastructure, maybe a hospital, you know, maybe a school, you know, that impacts what they do…
[00:10:17] John: Even, even denial-of-service attacks on 9-1-1 systems…
[00:10:22] Dan Cotter: Which is very concerning and as we move towards next generation 9-1-1, you know, which will be digital, not analog, it will be able to accept multimedia, you know, text, video, you know, other types of, um, sources, you know, that create more vectors for attack, or create more vectors people can use to provide disinformation going into, uh, 9-1-1 centers, which would be a distraction to our stretch first responder services. Certainly, the pandemic, COVID, is a new experience. And it's not like, well, COVID was going on and we stopped having other emergencies. It’s not like we weren't having hurricanes and tornadoes and floods…at, at their increasing frequencies. But then thinking about some of the other things, you know, we talk about emergencies, and I think we think of them often as the kind of the acute activity of something happened. And we run around and respond to it, and we take care of it… whether, a train derailment, a car wreck, a tornado, but we're also facing a world where're having increasingly, I think, issues that are chronic. And I think heat's probably the one to, to think about that's most illustrative. You know, we're seeing heat, heat waves and, you know, temperatures rising, across the country. There's projections out there that just by the end of the century due to, the heat stresses, we could have over a hundred thousand, additional, mortalities of this country a year just from heat.
[00:11:42] Now think about your agriculture workers out there. You know, think about people living in the Southwest who might not have access to air conditioning. You know, so these are kind of different and we have these acute disasters, and we have a fairly well orchestrated way to deal with it. You know, local emergency managers, you know, they can rely on mutual aid. They can rely on states and if things are severe, you know, they can rely on FEMA. But, you know, how do we really think about these things that are kind of more chronic and they're just. Kind of getting, you know, worse a little bit over time. Another example of that is up in, Alaska, you know, the, the Arctic is kind of one of the more rapidly warming places on the planet. And some of the consequences are that sea ice no longer binds with the shoreline. So, villages up there, indigenous villages, you know, homes where probably people have been there for, millennia, are now all of a sudden eroding away. Permafrost is melting. You know, that has a lot of consequences to structures and ways of life in the Arctic. And those are kind of, you know, these chronic things are just kind of happening in the background. And, you know, I think the science is just really starting to catch up to recognize the pace at which these things are happening, and we really need to start thinking about, what that means. How do we start addressing some of these issues that are more chronic and, and not just these acute emergencies?
[00:12:56] John: We can't just go and adjust the thermostat on the world, right? So…
[00:13:01] Dan Cotter: We certainly can’t.
[00:13:03] John: So, what can we do to try to, alleviate the symptoms?
[00:13:07] Dan Cotter: I think we have a real role to play in understanding how we can make the nation, whether it's the governmental level, private sector level, individual citizens more resilient. You know, as we move into the future, and there's a lot of things, you know, about that. I mean, you know, there's interesting technologies out there to think about how we could have better shingles, maybe in those shingles that won't burn when there's a wildfire and when there's hail or wind, they're not going to peel off and get damaged. You know, there's ideas about self-healing materials, which are really interesting. But then there's other mechanisms as well. You know, we're doing quite a bit of thinking and trying to work with the insurance industry. And one of the big problems with resiliency is often after major disasters, you find that people are underinsured for all kinds of reasons. And, FEMA, the federal government, you know, they're there to help. But if you lose your house, what you're going to get from, you know, federal government grant programs is going to be minimum. It's not going to make you whole again. So, really thinking about some of these insurance mechanisms on the ways that, you know, that we can work with people and communities to make sure individuals are more resilient, that their family is more resilient.
[00:14:16] John: I know that in some disaster-prone parts of the country, there are insurance companies that are kind of backing out of, providing coverage in those areas now. And that's really a challenge.
[00:14:26] Dan Cotter: Yeah, it is. And recently, I was at a meeting of the National Emergency Managers Association, that was a kind of a key topic. They had people from the insurance industry working there, and state and local emergency managers, state insurance commissioners, and, um, you know, industry are looking for solutions to these problems. Insurance is a very kind of interesting business…in a lot of businesses, people might want a monopoly, insurance companies don't want that, they want to own part of the risk, but not the whole risk. Right, because this is a major disaster, that can drive out of business. So, they want to be, have their pools kind of separated around the, the country. And then there's all kinds of complexities on reinsurance, things like that. But I think those partnerships and thinking creatively between the government and, and private sector, um, thinking around insurance and what that means is one of the tools we've got to have to get real resiliency going in the future. You know, another thing that might be interesting to talk about for a minute, John, is, our work to, uh, provide emergency alerts to people. I think there's some really interesting technologies developing in that space, in addition to what we're doing with FEMA.
[00:15:26] John: Oh, absolutely. I think people obviously need to know when danger is approaching, and I know we've been working a lot on the emergency alert system. So, can we talk a little bit about some of that work?
[00:15:37] Dan Cotter: Sure. So, I think most people are familiar with the, uh, FEMA Integrated Public Alerts and Warning System, and you know, you get those alerts on your, cell phone and, you know, all kinds of alerts. You know, I'm at the point now where I might be in a Silver Alert, but, you know, flood alerts, tornado alerts, are very effective, wildfire alerts. But one of the issues out there is…
[00:15:57] John: And those are new wildfire alerts, right?
[00:15:59] Dan Cotter: Well…
[00:16:00] John: Or were they always kind of prevalent in those wildfire-prone areas?
[00:16:03] Dan Cotter: Yeah, and remember, FEMA provides the IPAWS system that acts as a kind of an aggregator place where the messages can be, be put out through, but the local, the alerts themselves originated at the local level. It's not FEMA originating those alerts. So, depending on where you are, alerts that are coming to your cell phone through IPAWS are probably originated by local government and they may have other alerting things where you may opt in. Like, I opt into the local Metro alerts and things like that pop up through email or text messages, things like that.
[00:16:37] So it's a pretty rich space, but making sure that people get alerts. And making sure the messages are clear and things that are understandable by people, you know, what's the shortest message you can send to somebody that tells them what's happening and what they need to do, you know, that's been a real focus of our research over the years. But in addition to, to, alerts using traditional cellular, we've been doing a lot of work, in strong partnership with the American Public Broadcasting Corporation on something called data casting, where we're actually able to send out alerts on digital TV signals, places like California, working with that to reduce the amount of warning time needed from an earthquake to letting people know that it's coming, if we can. And this technology that exists today, about 97 percent of Americans are within are within TV signal broadcast range. So, as we're able to push this type of technology forward, you, you move and make it much more likely that an American can receive the results from an alert. You could be out of cell power range, or the cell power system could be down, and you could still get an alert from a TV signal. And there's some issues with that, obviously, you're probably not going to carry a TV with you everywhere you go, right? But we are working with technologies today to get those types of alerts from a TV broadcast signal, digital TV broadcast signal, to your cell phone. So, those are things over the next couple of years we're hoping to make more progress on.
[00:18:04] And the FEMA IPAWS team people, you know, they're looking at how satellites can be used to get those alerts out there. So, start thinking about very remote places, you know, perhaps up, you know, in Alaska and the Yukon or middle of the Rocky Mountains, places like that. But the idea is, as long as you have your 5G phone with you, you would never be out of range of an alert, even if you're out of range of a cell tower. So those are some of the things that we're thinking about. And I think as you look at what happened in Paradise and Maui, I've been talking to Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, the U.S. Fire Administrator, you know, asking her if we're going to have more of these events and she feels like we absolutely are, you know, she's very concerned that we continue to build infrastructure homes, push our suburbs into increasingly, you know, dangerous places and we're going to have more of these types of problems. So, we need to have ways that we can early detect what's going to happen. That's some of our sensor work, but we also need to be able to reach Americans and make sure they're going to get those alerts and get them on a device that they're familiar with and make sure that that alert tells them something useful about how to keep themselves and their families safe.
[00:19:15] John: And when I started out, we would only get alerts obviously through the radio. AM radio and then FM radio. And obviously, we know we get these alerts on our cell phones, but now there's also a movement and we've tested recently, getting these alerts on your mobile GPS system, or your infotainment system in your car because that's probably something that people always have on, too.
[00:19:38] Dan Cotter: Yeah. Yeah. And I think you're referring to an experiment we did here in Fairfax County, where kind of working with the infotainment system providers and Fairfax County. Actually, we could do that. We're planning on a…
[00:19:51] John: What an amazing…
[00:19:52] Dan Cotter: Yeah, it is. We're planning on a larger demonstration of that actually out in Arizona. We're going to try to see if we can link sort of our, our well done fire sensors and our flood sensors and, the FEMA IPAWS crew together, and maybe looking at, things like Waze. So, not only can we, you know, get the alert out there through IPAWS, but, think about it if, know, you've got your phone in your car and you're using Waze and, um, Waze starts telling you that, you know, this is where the fire is, or this is where the bridge is flooded out. You know, would that be an effective way for people to really understand how to evacuate safely and not evacuate into a disaster?
[00:20:25] John: Yeah. Yeah. That's truly important and amazing. I know I'm happy if I get an alert just that there's, you know, construction up ahead, an accident or something that will help me to divert my route. But wouldn't it be even more important if I can get a warning that says, ‘hey, there's flooding or a fire…’
[00:20:41] Dan Cotter: Yeah. And if we can figure out how to work with the private sector with some of these tools are out there that you know, that you and I, and other members of the public, kind of depend on every day, It's just part of our ecosystem. You know, there's nothing new to learn. There's nothing to teach. If we can get this type of information out through those types of systems, it could just be a very effective way to communicate with the public about how to keep themselves and their families safe.
[00:21:04] John: You know, Dan, you bring up, learning and teaching. So, I'm just gonna take us in that direction, all together. And so, what would you tell folks they should be learning? Where should they devote their studies if they would want to try to get into these kinds of fields in the future? And where do we need people?
[00:21:21] Dan Cotter: So, if you're talking to kind of young people out there, thinking about things and what they want to do, I do believe that emergency management is a field that's going to need to start evolving very rapidly. Just came back last week from a trip to visit the University of Albany, which, has stood up a few years ago, a very unique new college focused on emergency management, homeland security, and cyber security. And it's very interesting to look at how they're trying to train the emergency managers of the future, among other things, you can't graduate from there without having taken a course in artificial intelligence, you know, for example.
[00:21:54] John: Wow.
[00:21:55] Dan Cotter: Um, maker labs, you know, understanding how to use things like 3D printing, you know, to, to 3D print PPE in case you had a, um, a pandemic and needed new face masks and things like that…um, how to use drones, you know, how to use some of these new technologies that are coming into emergency management, but also understanding how to model better. Um, you know, all these projections, you know, that we're getting from the UN and NOAA and others on the future climate or other types of threats we're facing. Um, how do you, how do you understand those types of models? How do you take them down to your local level? Uh, one of the things that they're working on up there is you may have heard, um, been some, you know, sudden downbursts in New York City. Uh, and not everybody get the word and, um, you know, people get trapped in basements and there were some deaths and injuries, but, but how do you actually start managing, uh, emergencies at almost the individual level? You know, um, you need, you need to tell somebody who's in the basement, something different than the guy on the third story, or the person maybe who's planning on taking the subway home from work in those conditions. So, I think those are really, really, um, kind of interesting fields. If you want to get into emergency management, I think it's going to be very different in the future.
[00:23:14] We're really moving into an area with climate change, where the experiences that we'll have in the future, they may not be anything like what we've had in the past. So, how do we really understand how to forecast and predict better what they're going to do? And if we can understand those things, you know, we can do a lot better job of planning today for how to mitigate against that future. And so I, you know, I think it's an exciting time and there's just so much going on in science and technology. It’s just remarkable.
[00:23:38] John: So, there's some great encouragement for people out there who are maybe looking for a career field, looking for areas that they think their services could be needed, to get into these kinds of fields. I think that's brilliant. I mean, you're right. These are certainly there's job security in this kind of stuff, right? Because the emergencies are not going to go away.
[00:24:01] Dan Cotter: Yeah. And emergency management, you know, it's very interdisciplinary. I mean, you've got to understand government. You've got to be somebody like a John Verrico. You've got to understand public communications, uh, you know, before, after, during the event, you've got to understand how to build public trust. You’ve got to dabble a little bit in building code. You’ve got to understand evacuation planning. I mean, it's just a very broad field and the new threats that are going to be enabled by, artificial intelligence, you know, by our adversaries, you know, we're seeing disinformation among other things, starting to undermine some of our response to, um, the disasters at the local level and national level. But, you know, how are you going to, how are you going to deal with these thing?
[00:24:38] John: Right, it's not bad enough dealing with a regular disaster, but then having that kind of stuff happen on top of it to skew everything.
[00:24:45] Dan Cotter: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:24:46] John: Dan, you have a second title, which is the DHS Scientific Integrity Officer. That sounds like a pretty cool title, but what does that actually mean?
[00:24:54] Dan Cotter: Yeah. So, one of the things that, the administration, you know, is very concerned about is making sure that as the scientists develop new information, they develop, you know, the results of the research work, that we've done that research is made available, those results are made available to the public, to other researchers, in ways that are unfiltered. You know, that there's not political interference. Maybe you don't like the answer, but the answer is the answer. The data shows what the data shows, and we can't be holding back those results. So scientific integrity really is all about making sure that results of science by a government scientist that they are published, you know, they're made available and that's done in a timely manner without political interference.
[00:25:36] John: That is so incredibly important. How does it feel to have all that on your shoulders?
[00:25:41] Dan Cotter: Fun. It keeps days interesting. Interesting days go by fast.
[00:25:45] John: To all of our listeners, I wish you could have seen the look on his face when he said that, but it's so true. It is so absolutely true. Right. There's no two days that are the same here at S&T. That's for sure.
[00:25:54] Dan Cotter: Absolutely, John.
[00:25:55] John: So, Dan, I know we're running out of time. A couple of things here really quickly. You know, a lot of what you're talking about in the emergency management realm is understanding preparedness. What does preparedness mean to you?
[00:26:10] Dan Cotter: That, I'm not surprised, you know, when something bad happens, you know, you don't want to be surprised, you want to say this is something that we anticipated, and I've got a plan on the shelf and we're going to go execute that plan. You know, we always are getting caught by the new thing, but, if your house is flooded three times, you shouldn't be surprised if it floods a fourth time, you know, you ought to have a plan for that, right? People should have fire alarms and smoke detectors in their homes and, and they should be prepared for that alarm to go off and know what they're going to do. I mean, small stuff like that, right? You know, you don't have to be surprised by these things. It's not necessarily a big effort at a personal level I think to be prepared and understand what might be coming your way and what might happen.
[00:26:53] John: Absolutely. Any advice that you want to put out to people out there listening?
[00:26:58] Dan Cotter: I, I go back to a couple of my earlier comments. I mean, spend a little time looking around your maybe local, or state, website to see what your emergency management plans will look like, what your hazard mitigation plans in your state are. So anyway, I think, make some of those small efforts. So just kind of increase your awareness. I think it will pay off for you in the future.
[00:27:17] John: Absolutely. Dan, thank you so much for spending your time with us this afternoon.
[00:27:21] Dan Cotter: Thanks, John. Really appreciate it.
[00:27:22] Dave: Thank you for listening to Technologically Speaking. To learn more about what you've heard in this episode, check out the show notes on our website, and follow us on Apple and Google Podcasts, and on social media at DHS SciTech. DHS SCI TE CH. Bye!