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#23 - Planning for Pandemic Pandemonium:
Business Continuity Planning in the Post-COVID Era

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
>>Download flyer here<<

** This presentation is not endorsed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) **

Some things are more easily understood once broken. The damage reaped by COVID-19 can help us asses the soundness of our business continuity plans so that we might better prepare for the next natural disaster. What insights have we gained? How will our new understanding of the supply chain reshape our COOP plans? How sound would your COOP plans be in a scenario where there were no resources, personnel or supplies to back it up?

In this first joint webinar between Tipping Point Resilience and Reimagine Resiliency, we take a look at the role that viruses – past, present and future – play in our world and examine how COVID-19 has forced us to rethink the modern-day COOP plan.

About the Speakers:

Steve Eberlein is a professional speaker and co-owner of Tipping Point Resilience, a west coast company focused on fostering workplace preparedness culture in anticipation of the major earthquakes to strike the Pacific seaboard in our lifetime. He has delivered more than 200 presentations based on this learnings from Sri Lanka, where he saw the impact of the Boxing Day Tsunami and personally experienced the trials of an exotic virus. 

Barb Payne, MPA, has been with FEMA for almost 4 years. Starting as a National Reservist, she quickly learned the backbone of federal response and recovery missions. Living in the Northwest on and off since 1995, Barb has focused her attention on seismic threats facing the Pacific Northwest. Her pet issue is the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub in Northwest Portland, which is severely lacking in seismic upgrades, posing the largest threat to Portland, Oregon, and the region, if impacted by an earthquake of 6.0 or higher. Starting Reimagine Resiliency in 2018, Barb is committed to a pro-bono approach for organizations and individuals by offering 5 project hours to community resiliency projects.

#22 - NW Natural Energy System Resilience Report

Thursday, December 12, 2019
>> Download event flyer <<

Speakers from NW Natural and PSU will present a study that focused on Renewable/Compressed Natural Gas (R/CNG) for Transportation System Resilience.  The PSU Center for Public Service (CPS) and Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC) study team employed a systems approach that considered stationary infrastructure and included the transmission and distribution system and storage.  The speakers will address the background, findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the study.

Lineup of speakers


Chris Kroeker, Natural Gas Vehicle Product Manager, NW Natural
Rick Williams, Senior Fellow, PSU Center for Public Service
Peter Hulseman, Senior Economist, PSU Northwest Economic Research Center
Katelyn Kelley, Research Assistant, PSU Northwest Economic Research Center
Hoang Nguyen, Research Assistant, PSU Northwest Economic Research Center
Bill Henry, Graduate Student, PSU Engineering & Technology Management

#21 - Presentation by Participants of
"Learn from Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis"
International Field Experience

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

In June of 2019, a group of students and practitioners from diverse background and academic discipline joined the international field trip, "Learn from Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis", to learn first hand about the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

This 7-day intensive program included visits to various cities in the Tohoku (Northeast) region as well as Tokyo, with meetings with leaders in local communities, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses and universities who shared valuable lessons from the disaster and the process of recovery and rebuilding efforts that continue to this day.

At this event, program participants will present their experiences and takeaways from the trip through different themes that impact disaster preparedness and community resilience. Please join us for an opportunity to learn from the group, and for an opportunity to discuss about what we can all learn from Japan.

#20 - Dr. Katsuya Tanaka
"Japan's Disaster Preparedness and Preferences on Green Infrastructure"

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dr. Tanaka and his team conducted a quantitative study on local people’s disaster preparedness and their preferences on green infrastructure development in Japan. The team conducted an online survey to about 2,200 adults in three Prefectures (Osaka, Kyoto, and Shiga). The survey asked respondents about their perceptions of disaster risks and how they prepare. The survey then described a hypothetical green infrastructure development scenario and asked whether to accept the scenario with an annual payment. Collected responses were used to estimate the acceptance decisions by the formula the team developed. Results show significantly large variation of disaster preparedness among respondents. Results also show that respondents are quite responsive to green infrastructure development and it is highly influenced by risk perceptions and preparedness.

Dr. Katsuya Tanaka, Ph.D., is a Professor at Shiga University Research Center for Sustainability and Environment (Japan). His research is on environment and natural resources economics, with specific interests in the following fields:

  • Interactions between land use and water quality;
  • Payment design for ecosystem services;
  • Effects of social capital and its spillover on regional development and ecosystem conservation;
  • Developing biophysical watershed models for watershed management policies;
  • Empirical analysis for animal welfare.

#19 - Dr. Yu Xiao
"How to Include Business in Community Resilience Planning?"

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

How businesses and local economies respond to and recover from natural disasters is arguably the least understood area in disaster management.  Evidence has shown that businesses are vulnerable to the impacts of disasters; however, aggregate economies tend to be quite resilient to these shocks.  By providing goods/services and jobs, businesses play an important role in the community.  How should we integrate businesses in the pre-disaster community resilience planning?  After a disaster, how should we help businesses recover?  This presentation provides insights on these questions by reviewing literature on the business and economic impact of disasters, discussing the criticisms and justifications for providing public assistance to businesses, and providing some suggestions for integrating third-sector businesses in community disaster resilience planning.

Yu Xiao, Ph.D., AICP, is Associate Professor of Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University.  As Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator, she worked on community disaster resilience research projects funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), totaled over $21 million.  She currently serves on the Learning From Earthquake (LFE) executive committee of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and co-chairs EERI LFE Business Resilience Subcommittee. 

#18 - Special Panel Event

Friday, May 10, 2019

In 2015, OPB’s “Oregon Field Guide” special “Unprepared” brought the public’s attention to the seismic risks that surround the Pacific Northwest and highlighted Oregon’s lack of preparedness against major earthquakes feared to rupture at any time and cause major destruction in the region.
Oregon has since made progress with the involvement of all levels of government, private and public sectors, as well as community organizations and education institutions.

But the question remains: are we still unprepared and, if so, what are we doing now to further prepare ourselves?

Join our expert panel members and “Unprepared” producer Ed Jahn to learn about the latest efforts taking place here in Oregon, the lessons learned from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and discuss how Oregon must continue to prepare for current and future generations.

The event will kick off with a viewing of “Unprepared,” a one-hour documentary from OPB’s award-winning original series “Oregon Field Guide.”




#17 - Dr. Rob Olshansky
"After Great Disasters"

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Great natural disasters are rare, but their aftermath can change the fortunes of a city or region forever. In the book, After Great Disasters, Olshansky and his coauthor Laurie Johnson identify lessons from different parts of the world to help communities and government leaders better organize for recovery after future disasters. The authors consider the processes and outcomes of community recovery and reconstruction following major disasters in six countries: China, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. Post-disaster reconstruction offers opportunities to improve construction and design standards, renew infrastructure, create new land use arrangements, reinvent economies, and improve governance. If done well, reconstruction can help break the cycle of disaster-related impacts and losses, and improve the resilience of a city or region.

Robert B. Olshansky, Ph.D., FAICP, is Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and now resides in Albany, California, where he continues his research and practice in planning for natural hazards. For 28 years at the University of Illinois, Olshansky taught land use and environmental planning and served as department head as well as director of the nationally-ranked MUP program. Olshansky has studied recovery planning after numerous major disasters around the world, including ones in the U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Haiti.

**This event is made possible with the support from PSU's Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning**

#16 - "Are Those Who Serve Also Prepared? Findings from the Oregon Nonprofit Disaster Preparedness Survey"


Dr. Grace Chikoto-Schultz, PhD, Assistant Professor, PSU
Jim White, Executive Director, Nonprofit Association of Oregon
Andrew Russo, MPA Candidate, PSU (Speaker Series #13 Presenter)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The nonprofit sector plays a critical role in society. Nonprofits are essential to the well-being and vibrancy of our communities. They are also regarded as a “critical civic infrastructure” that is essential for the delivery of a range of social services that are key to the livelihoods of the young and elderly, the disabled, those suffering from debilitating illnesses, and those living in poverty within our communities. Nonprofits serve the most vulnerable and strive to fill gaps in our social service system. Not only do nonprofits complement government in the provision of social services, they often are contracted by government agencies to provide many critical public social services. So what happens when these organizations are thrust into a disrupted environment with greatly expanded roles during and after a disaster? How prepared are they to recover and respond in these roles and what level of assurance can we give to their response?

Recently PSU, in collaboration with the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO), released the Oregon Nonprofit Disaster Preparedness Report. Developed through a participant survey conducted in collaboration with the City Club of Portland’s Earthquake Report Advocacy Committee (CCERAC) and the NAO, the report results are quite revealing regarding how concerned and informed nonprofit respondents are about potential hazards, what actions they have taken to prepare for disasters, as well as their perceived roles should a major disaster like the “Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) Event” occur.

Join us for an in-depth conversation on the survey results and an exchange of ideas on what steps need to be in place to a) remove barriers to disaster preparedness that nonprofits face, and b) ensure resourcing assistance needed for nonprofits to adequately prepare for major disasters.

#15 - Participants of Japan Field Experience
"Learn from Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis"

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
Photos from the 2018 Trip

In June of 2018, a group of 10 passionate students and practitioners of diverse disciplines and expertise joined the international field experience program “Learn from Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis”.

This 7-day intensive program took the group on a journey to various communities in the Tohoku (Northeast) region as well as Tokyo, to learn about the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

The group met with community members, local government officials, NPO leaders and academic experts who shared their experiences, taking us from the day of the disaster through the recovery process and what the future holds for their communities. 

On October 16th, the participants shared their stories and takeaways from their perspectives and disciplines, and the audience had an opportunity to ask questions to explore what we can all learn from each other.

#14 - Ric Stephens
"Global Sustainability, Resilience and Regeneration"

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Global climate change, global population growth, and global fiscal crises will inevitably result in more frequent and severe disasters threatening environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability. Numerous international organizations have developed innovative programs and projects addressing these concerns from varying perspectives. 

Our guest will share an overview of guiding principles, key global organizations, their programs, and projections for the future.

Ric Stephens is the President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) and member of numerous international organizations devoted to sustainable development, urban resiliency, and regenerative design. He was an event organizer and panelist for the 2016 Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador; a session organizer and panelist for the 2018 World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and will assist in leading the 2018 World Planning Congress in Bodø, Norway. His work with the United Nations is focused on climate action, the New Urban Agenda, smart cities, Sustainable Development Goals, and urban resilience. Ric received his Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where he taught for 15 years. Ric is currently an adjunct faculty member for several universities in Oregon where he teaches environmental management, global studies, international marketing, urban planning, sustainable development, and unmanned aircraft systems.

ICDR would like to thank PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions for their generous funding of the event.

#13 - Andrew Russo, 
“Save Lekali: A Micro-Response to the 2015 Nepal Quake”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

When the 7.8M earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, many small villages in remote region were almost completely destroyed. Lekali Coffee farm was in one of them.
What were the successes and failures of the mission to save it, and how was Lekali saved?

Our guest, Andrew Russo, will share his story from an on-the-ground perspective.

Andrew Russo is an MPA student and Graduate Research Assistant at Portland State University who works with Dr. Grace Chikoto-Schultz to research the disaster resiliency of nonprofit organizations.

Before attending Portland State, Andrew earned a BA in History from the University of Central Florida before joining the Army as an Artillery Officer in 2005. He has spent most of his post-military career in specialty coffee, where he roasted and imported coffee, published two books, attained his Q Grader license, and helped new coffee ventures launch and grow. His recent studies and interests were heavily influenced by his experiences with coffee farmers, his time in Afghanistan, and his travels around the world.

ICDR would like to thank PSU's Public Administration Student Association (PASA) for partnering for this event.

#12 - Guests from the Portland Japanese Garden
“Kasagi Project: The Role of Cultural Artifact in A Resilient Community”

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Two guests from the Portland Japanese Garden will share the story of the “Kasagi Project”, a multi-year effort in returning the Shinto gate to its home in Japan, which was found on the Oregon coast in 2013 after being washed away as a result of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Steve Bloom has been the CEO of the Portland Japanese Garden since 2005. Bloom led the formation of a comprehensive ten-year strategic plan which was completed in December of 2016 which has been transformational in its scope and impact on the Garden.  He oversaw the completion of a $33.5 million expansion of the Garden and it’s facilities which dramatically increased national and international visibility and recognition.

Sadafumi “Sada” Uchiyama is the Garden Curator at the Portland Japanese Garden. The traditional apprenticeship in Japanese gardening combined with the formal training in Western landscape architecture allows him to design and build a unique and wide range of private and public landscape projects. Prior to his appointment as the Garden Curator, he also served as a Vice President on the Board of Directors.

“The Role of the U.S. - Japan Alliance:
The Story of 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami”

A special event brought to you by Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and ICDR

A discussion focusing on the U.S. government response to the disaster that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, with additional insights on the strength of U.S.-Japan relations.

Ambassador James Zumwalt

Ambassador Zumwalt became CEO of the Foundation in February 2017. When the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami struck Japan in 2011, he was serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Tokyo, where he coordinated US support for the Japanese Government’s response to the crisis.

Dr. Satu Limaye

Dr. Limaye is the Director of the East-West Center in Washington. He is also a Senior Advisor at the CNA Corporation, a non-profit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA. He is the creator and director of the Asia Matters for America initiative and the founding Editor of the Asia-Pacific Bulletin series.

Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA is a non-profit located in Washington, DC involved in U.S.-Japan relations, providing conferences and seminars, think tank analysis, people-to-people exchanges and coordination of high-level dialogue between the two countries through their in-house and collaborative programs.

The ICDR team would like to thank the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA for introducing the two wonderful speakers and for generously sponsoring the event.

#11 - City of Portland & Energy Trust of Oregon
“Exploring the Nexus between Resilience and Sustainability”

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

The Japanese disaster of 2011 demonstrated that local renewable energy only works during a blackout if it is designed with resilience in mind. The City of Portland is doing just that with solar-plus-storage projects that provide both reliable power during blackouts and clean power throughout the year. 

Andria Jacob, Senior Program Manager the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), oversees the City's nascent efforts to develop a community-wide resilient power plan.

Jonna Papaefthimiou, Planning and Community Resilience Manager for the City of Portland, coordinates citywide planning for disaster response, continuity of operations, and hazard mitigation for both the built and social environments.

Jeni Hall, Senior Project Manager with the Energy Trust of Oregon, works on initiatives that explore the technical, economic, and social benefits from pairing solar with technologies like battery storage.

The panel will be moderated by Dan Bihn, an engineer-storyteller, an educator, writer, and technical liaison for smart and resilient energy systems in the US and Japan.

ICDR would like to thank PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions for their generous funding of the event.

#10 - Dr. Scott Burns
“Is Portland Ready for the Big One: Portland’s Past and Future Earthquakes”

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Dr. Scott Burns will discuss the hazards of and the preparedness for ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides and tsunamis along the subduction zone. What are the differences of recurrence intervals for large earthquakes on the northern and southern margins? How does the chance of crustal, plate and subduction quakes affect building codes, emergency preparedness, siting of critical facilities, building of bridges, and transportation corridors in the region? What can the region expect after a large quake?

Dr. Burns is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University. He specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology. 

#9 - Guests from Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
"The Role of NPOs & Intermediary Organizations
After the Disaster"

Wednesday, August 31st, 2017

The guests will share their experiences on how their organizations are contributing to the rebuilding efforts in their communities after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters.

Mr. Hideyuki Sasaki, Miyagi University 
“Role and challenges of intermediary support organizations”

Mr. Kazushige Monou, NPO Granny Rideto 
“Actions taken by the Sendai City Support Center for Civil Activities” 

Mr. Hideki Iwai, Cumulus Institute 
“Community-oriented recovery through dialogue” 

Mr. Tadayoshi Iwamoto, Renovation Promotion Council 
“Renovation-driven community development and a new trend in intermediary support”

#8 - Sayaka Fujimura & Ken Sato: 
"The Role of Local Business & NPO in Kesennuma City post-3.11"

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017


Sayaka Fujimura (INDIGO Kesennuma) and Ken Sato (Peace Jam) are both owners/founders of organizations in Kesennuma City, Japan. These organizations were created after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Sayaka and Ken have dedicated their lives to bringing back hope and and community back to the disaster-stricken city. Come listen to the stories of Sayaka Fujimura and Ken Sato as they describe their experiences following the disaster and the creation of their organizations.

Organization Backgrounds:

Sayaka Fujimura is the Owner/Founder of INDIGO Kesennuma, an indigo studio and workshop that produces high quality products that seek to make Aizome-Japanese Traditional Dye approachable for young fashion-conscious consumers in more urban settings like Tokyo or overseas. Entrepreneurial leader established the organization to provide employment for women who are at the stage of raising young children. The employees each bring together their little time to create high profit, and since starting 2 years ago, have built up fame in the diversity employment department in Japan.

Ken Sato is the Owner/Founder for Peace Jam, a cooperative that makes jam and muslin goods for babies. His innovative concept resulted in receipt of international award in 2012. Prime Minister Abe visited the workshop in March, 2017. Entrepreneurial leader provides employment for mothers with young children and provides on-site day care so moms can bring their children to work.

#7 - 2017 Spring Term Japan Trip Cohort

Saturday, July 15th, 2017


For one week, students and practitioners from the Portland area had the opportunity to embark on a journey to local communities in Tohoku, Japan. There, they were able to learn from survivors, businessmen and intellectuals of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Come listen our students talk about their experiences and stories from their trip to the disaster stricken areas of Iwaki, Sendai, Rikuzentakata, and Ishinomaki.

#6 - Stephen Percy, CUPA Dean & Dr. Teri Martin, Law & Policy Associates

Friday, May 26, 2017

Two members of the City Club Earthquake Resilience Research Team - Dr. Teri Martin of Law & Policy Associates and Dean Stephen Percy of the PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs - will share findings of the City Club's recent report, "Big Steps Before the Big One: How the Portland Area Can Bounce Back After a Major Earthquake". This report focuses directly on the greater Portland are and explores how residents, businesses, governments and others can prepare for a resilient response to a major Cascadia earthquake off the Oregon Coast. Findings and recommendations include attention to energy, transportation, the built environment, and advancing social resilience.

Stephen Percy is the Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Portland State University, having arrived at PSU in 2014. While at PSU he has chaired the Strategic Planning Development Team as part of campus strategic planning efforts and the Implementation Advisory Committee for Campus Public Safety.

In all leadership positions he has actively pursued initiatives to promote university-community engagement. His work in community engagement in Milwaukee is outlined in two co-authored books: A Time for Boldness: A Story of Institutional Change and Creating a New Kind of University: Institutionalizing Community-University Engagement. His research interests include public policy and policy implementation, urban politics, disability rights policy, and university-community engagement.

#4 - Dr. Hidehiko Kanegae & Dr. Yusuke Toyoda
Ritsumeikan University, Japan

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dr. Hideaki Kanegae, Professor, and Dr. Yusuke Toyoda, Assistant Professor, are faculty members at the Graduate School of Policy Science as well as Research Members of the Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage (R-DMUCH) at Ritsumeikan University, Japan. 

Community Planning for Disaster Mitigation in the Higher Risk Century

Come learn about how recent natural disasters triggered not only a public planning process focused on economic development and environmental management, but also a shift in planning’s emphasis from “sustainability” [SymbioCity Kyoto] to robustness and “resiliency” [ResilienCity Kyoto], including social and cultural continuity.

This speech introduces examples of community planning for disaster mitigation and preparedness in Kyoto, in Japan and other countries where facing highly frequency of natural disasters in XXI century.

#3 - Dan Bihn

January 20, 2017

Dan Bihn is an engineer-storyteller who translates and communicates complex energy issues to nontechnical audiences through lectures, classes, and interactive eBooks. In 2013, he was an invited speaker at Tohoku University’s symposium for post-Fukushima disaster resilient energy systems. This was followed in early 2014 by a lecture series he gave in Jamaica on “Smart Energy Islands” funded by the Japan Foundation of New York. Dan has spent more than 7 years working and studying as an engineer in Japan. Today, he lives in Portland and frequently travels to Japan in search of important energy stories. He holds a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from UC Davis. 

#2 - Amya Miller

October 13-14, 2016

Amya Miller was born and raised in Japan to American parents. She attended both Japanese and international boarding schools as a child. At age 18 she returned to the US for university and upon graduation worked for a variety of public, and private sector organizations focusing on US-Japan relations. She returned to Japan to volunteer after the disaster that struck the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 and has focused her time in the City of Rikuzentakata where she has served as the director of global public relations, special adviser, and this year principle consultant to the city.  She lives in Tokyo with her husband.

Ms. Miller will discuss the efforts made by the city of Rikuzentakata and the people in the community to "recreate" a new Rikuzentakata. She will share some of the lessons learned from the tragedy in terms of building a resilient community as the city faces new and old challenges.   

#1 - Jay Wilson

September 16, 2016

Jay Wilson is the Resilience Coordinator at Clackamas County Department of Emergency Management, Chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), as well as a Disaster Resilience Fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He has participated as local emergency management practitioner on EERI Government and Societal impacts reconnaissance team for Tohoku, Japan Tsunami disaster. He has provided invited testimony to the U.S. House Science Committee on the development of the 2006 Tsunami Warning and Education Act. He authored an OEM After-Action Report for June 14, 2005 tsunami warning along US West Coast.

Mr. Wilson will share his experience of visiting the Tohoku region Japan where the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami happened in March 2011. This talk will also provide his insight on the importance of establishing a hub for education, research, and international exchange programs that address the important topics of natural disasters.