The The Heat and Fire Expo Miami logo

Mar 1 & 2 / 2023

Miami, FL

Keynote Theatre 1: Sponsored by SeeDevil Lighting

The KeyNote Theaters at The Natural Disaster Expo are at the heart of the event. With the Keynote Speaker topics being tailored by industry leaders at the forefront of disaster prep and recovery, all visitors who attend a Keynote Seminar will expect to discover some of the latest trends, insights, and expertise in their profession.

Expect to see plenty of visitor recordings and selfies, online press and blogger coverage, as well as numerous photos, announcements and posts regarding the Keynote Theater lineup.

    • Monday

      Robert McSwain: Speaking in the Keynote Theatre 1

      11.00 - 11.30

      Robert McSwain

      Exploring Opportunities Between Autonomy Research and Emergency Response Operations

      Emergency response operations provide a unique environment where autonomous systems can build trust and save lives. NASA has several research projects which can be leveraged by emergency response communities. The relationship between research experiments and operational deployment can be complex, but when understood can empower first responders with cutting edge technologies. Autonomy research is a multi-disciplinary field with many stakeholders, and it is critical to have basic concepts understood by all. From satellites to small aircraft, the scale of applications of autonomous systems in emergency response is vast. A NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) project called CAS (Convergent Aeronautics Solutions) has initiated an activity called STEReO (Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations) to research the feasibility of increasing air traffic capabilities to support manned and unmanned aircraft in wild fire and hurricane operational environments. STEReO concepts and ideas are being developed in collaboration with emergency response communities.

      Christopher Landsea, Ph.D.: Speaking in the Keynote Theatre 1

      11.45 - 12.15

      Christopher Landsea, Ph.D.
      National Hurricane Center- NOAA

      Hurricanes and Global Warming: Expectations Versus Observations

      Climate variability and any resulting change in the characteristics of tropical cyclones (tropical storms, subtropical storms, and hurricanes) have become topics of great interest and research within the past few years. Some recent scientific articles have reported a large increase in tropical cyclone energy, numbers, and windspeeds in many basins during the last few decades in association with warmer sea surface temperatures. These increases in tropical cyclone activity have been linked to man-made greenhouse gas changes. It is not disputed (by this speaker) that anthropogenic forcing has been the cause of at least a substantial portion of the observed warming during the 20th Century. It is likely that some increase in tropical cyclone peak windspeeds has occurred and will continue to occur if the climate continues to warm. However, whether greenhouse gas warming is related to increases in tropical cyclone activity is NOT the most relevant question. One needs to address instead: What is the SENSITIVITY of tropical cyclone intensity, frequency, and overall activity to greenhouse gas forcing? Is it indeed large today, or is it likely to be a small factor even several decades from now? These questions as well as an attempt to reconcile theoretical/numerical modeling studies with some recent (well-publicized) observational papers will be addressed in the talk. Finally, how these greenhouse gas warming changes compare versus other alterations in our society (increased population and infrastructure in vulnerable coastal locations) will also be discussed.

      Brittany Black: Speaking in the Keynote Theatre 1

      12.30 - 13.00

      Brittany Black
      Erickson Inc

      Developing an Optionally-Piloted 40,000 Pound Firefighting Drone

      Night firefighting is a major key to managing damage due to forest fires. Our approach to aerial firefighting at night is to develop an advanced pilot-optional firefighting system based on our S-64 helicopter using airliner-grade avionics and sensor systems. Come learn about this new technology and how it is being developed at Erickson.

      Antwane Johnson & Norman Speicher,: Speaking in the Keynote Theatre 1

      13.15 - 13.45

      Antwane Johnson & Norman Speicher,
      FEMA & DHS

      A New Phase of Emergency Alerting

      DHS S&T and FEMA IPAWS Equip Emergency Managers and First Responders with New Tools to Notify Public and Enhance Safety The IPAWS Program Planning Toolkit will change the way our public safety community prepares for, responds to, manages, and recovers from emergencies. It''s a first step for alerting authorities and emergency managers to set their teams up for success in the Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications (AWN) landscape. And, thanks to the stakeholder-driven research that''s gone into the development of this toolkit, it is uniquely tailored to provide the AWN community with guidelines that they will need when implementing emergency response plans. Developed for and by alerting and public safety stakeholders, the toolkit provides guidance on establishing a new AWN program or refining an existing one. Emergency managers, public information officers, alert originators and administrators, and experts all contributed best practices that will help additional agencies/jurisdictions nationwide ensure their AWN programs run smoothly. Previously, stakeholders would contact IPAWS with issues or questions. The goal of the new toolkit is to put reference tools at their fingertips.

      Christopher Todd: Speaking in the Keynote Theatre 1

      14.00 - 14.30

      Christopher Todd
      Airborne International Response Team (AIRT)

      Drones and Related Technology for Emergency Management and Disaster Response

      Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) – widely known as “drones” are revolutionizing how the Whole Community prepares for, responds to, and recovers from complex incidents and disasters. Discover how emergency response teams are using sUAS to support response and recovery operations. Learn about the latest drone tech innovations that AIRT teams are using to help to prepare communities to use sUAS to save lives and gather crucial information during a response.

      Erik Salna, M.S.: Speaking in the Keynote Theatre 1

      14.45 - 15.15

      Erik Salna, M.S.
      FIU | Extreme Events Institute

      Community Resilience: Increasing Public Understanding of Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards through Research and the NSF-NHERI Wall of Wind

      The Extreme Events Institute (EEI) and International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami is at the forefront of reducing the impact of natural hazard events by reducing community vulnerabilities and understanding and managing exposure to hurricanes, storm surge and earthquakes. The goal is to provide a better public understanding of how changes in exposures and vulnerabilities will determine whether a community experiences an emergency, disaster or catastrophe. The end-result is improved community resilience. This is accomplished through research in disaster risk reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean, storm surge modeling, economic loss modeling, and wind engineering by the NSF-NHERI Wall of Wind. The Wall of Wind is the largest and most powerful university research facility of its kind and is capable of simulating a Category 5 hurricane. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has designated the Wall of Wind as one of the nation’s major “Experimental Facilities” under the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) program. EEI also collaborated on a one-hour independent documentary, “Built to Last?” Saving our Homes in the Age of Disasters.” The documentary focuses on how architectural innovations can mitigate the harm caused by natural hazards and illustrates what ordinary people around the world can do to make their homes safe and hazard-resilient.

      Lisa Orloff: Speaking in the Keynote Theatre 1

      15.30 - 16.00

      Lisa Orloff
      Resiliency Advisors & World Cares Center

      The Importance of Emotional Resiliency In Disaster Management

      Traumatic events have the power to overwhelm normal coping abilities of individuals and groups. Emotionally charged, high stress jobs and volunteer work can have a negative impact on individuals if they are not aware of the risks or coping skills, the negative impact a manager with low resiliency skills can significantly hinder their team's and client's recovery. Resiliency training can reduce the impact that disasters, disaster work and caregiving has on those that seek to help. During the session attendees will understand the emotional risks related to disaster work and its impact on their team, recognize the signs and symptoms of disaster work related stress in their team and learn techniques to increase their ability to build and maintain emotional resiliency in disaster response.