Confronting the Humanitarian Stressors of the Future

Red Crescent2

With 150 years of experience in relief operations, the Turkish Red Crescent continues to evolve into a humanitarian force on the global stage. With operations that reach beyond its sovereign boundaries, the largest historical extent of the Ottoman Empire, and the greatest expanse of the Turkic World, the TRC is a robust NGO that responds to multiple simultaneous world emergencies. With deep engagement as diverse as responding to food insecurity in the Horn of Africa to supporting the Rohingya in Bangladesh, the TRC also provides critical support to over 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, and a brewing potential calamity just over its border in Syria’s Idlib province.

For a highly capable organization such as the TRC, what does the future hold in terms of increasingly complex humanitarian operations, refugee and migration flows, and accelerating climate change?

According to the World Bank, sea level rise could expose between 6 and 25 million people to coastal flooding in the Middle East and North Africa, including 43 port cities. An additional 80-100 million will be exposed to water stress and scarcity by 2025. And many cities throughout the region will pass a safe habitable limit for exposure to soaring temperatures.

The humanitarian stressors of the future will influence how a highly-capable NGO such as the TRC must adapt in a resilient manner to the response, recovery, mitigation, and preparedness aspects of sound disaster management.

On October 18, 2018, Blue Ocean Analytics, in partnership with the Turkish American National Steering Committee, will present a detailed analysis on this topic titled, Looking to the Future: Turkey’s Regional-to-Global Humanitarian Operations. Climate stressors including soaring temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and even the consequences of a melting Arctic will influence the disasters and migration patterns in the TRC’s current theater of operations.

Please save the date. We kindly extend an invitation for Washington, DC partners to attend.

When: October 18, 2018

Time: 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Where: Turkish House, 1526 18th St. NW, Washington DC.

BOA-EMT Launch and Core Capabilities Update

We are proud to announce that, on June 18, 2018, Blue Ocean Analytics – Emergency Management for Tomorrow (BOA-EMT), completed its incubation phase. We are now initiating a soft launch with select partner agencies.

BOA-EMT is a start-up, women and minority-owned small business with a strong focus on resiliency within the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance field.

We are based in Greater Boston, Massachusetts with a simultaneous presence Washington DC/Southeast US. With two founding partners and a senior advisor, BOA-EMT brings over 45 years of combined professional experience in the development and delivery of federally-funded hazard mitigation services, disaster recovery and resiliency, international development and analysis, as well as climate change-based threat assessment.

Latest Developments

We have developed a core architecture to deliver BOA-EMT content and capacity building-based trainings. Current content development and production includes:

  • Operational trainings on Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) best practices, application development,  Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) field-based techniques, and integrating HMA into complex Recovery and Resiliency environments, including in an operational Joint Field Office setting;
  • Resilient Recovery techniques; and
  • Analysis of emerging threats in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance as well as Climate Disruption.

On October 18 2018, we will deliver a high profile presentation on emerging trends in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance to an audience including the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NGOs/think tanks in Washington DC. This is in partnership with the Turkish American National Steering Committee.

Core Capabilities

BOA-EMT’s three core capabilities are:

  1. Mitigation and Resiliency
  2. Strategic Management Consulting through Capacity Building
  3. Threat Assessment

Mitigation and Resiliency

BOA-EMT brings robust and nationally-recognized (U.S.) capabilities in the field of Hazard Mitigation and Resiliency. We have strong Subject Matter Expertise in FEMA-funded Mitigation funding streams including the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program, and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs. Our team has managed well over $200M in FEMA mitigation funding over the course of our careers and has attained recognition as SMEs and trainers, including serving as State instructors for Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA).

This includes full life cycle grants management–development, pre-approval, implementation and closeout; post-disaster intake operations in a field setting; Joint Field Office HMGP development operations, project scoping, as well as BCA of a large variety of project types including buyouts, elevations, reconstructions, stormwater management projects (culvert upsizes, detention ponds, etc), wind shutter and tornado saferooms, as well as power redundancy and early warning projects.

Strategic Management through Capacity Building

As a women and minority-owned small business, BOA-EMT provides strategic consulting to our clients and partners through an ethic of capacity building. We believe in helping our partners to internalize capabilities to manage multiple resilient recovery funding streams in a fast-changing environment. It is our commitment to help our clients be in a better position to manage a new project within their organization and stakeholders.

BOA-EMT also has tried and tested real-world experience in the integration of resilience into post-disaster recovery programming, where HMGP interfaces with Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and local and state-funding streams. This can be a complex political and pressurized environment to navigate for the public and private sector as well as disaster survivors. BOA-EMT brings authentic best practices and suggestions to our partners and clients, including the use of BCA as an objective common denominator.

Threat Assessment

BOA-EMT’s team also includes international experience operating in analytical roles in classified environments in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. We have worked for think tanks that cover Central Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Asia-Pacific. We have had analysis published by think tanks covering climate and security, and have appeared in Devex, Accuweather, Monday Developments Magazine, the Huffington Post, the Center for Climate and Security, and Foreign Policy Magazine. Our work on disaster analysis has even been referred to in international radio broadcasts. One of our hallmarks is integrating climate disruption intelligence into our analysis and products.

As we continue to develop this capability in our roll-out plan, please visit our multimedia library on our website for examples of our analytical writing, podcasts, and interview appearances.

Please contact us at boa.emt.directors@gmail.com if we can provide project scoping or implementation support, or to discuss potential collaboration.

Analysis: The Greater Gulf of Maine – A Rising Climate Change Superpower

Gulf of Maine_art

In the first half of 2018, frozen sharks washed up on the beaches of Cape Cod, seawalls breached along the Massachusetts coast, and one of the most rapidly-intensifying storms in recorded meteorological history exploded along the New England shoreline.

In geopolitics, a multipolar world is an often dangerous collection of strong regional powers with their own spheres of influence and selfish interests. It’s a recipe for war and instability that can arise from the collapse of dominant systems, such as an empire or bi-polar Cold War scenario.

In climate change, our global systems are similarly transitioning. Northern Hemisphere jet streams are becoming more wavy, erratic, and ineffective at keeping weather systems moving as the Arctic warms and the the globe’s pressure gradient collapses. In the ocean, the Gulf Stream is similarly slowing due to the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet, and creating a series of vortexes, hot blobs, and unmatched sea surface temperature anomalies in the North Atlantic. Storm frequency, severity, and intensity is increasing.

It is the decline of these two climate system superpowers–the Jet Stream and the Gulf Stream–that has allowed for the Greater Gulf of Maine to arise as a new regional climate change powerhouse.

Gulf of Maine_map

A 36,000 square mile ocean region that includes Cape Cod, Boston, Portland Maine, and Nova Scotia to the west, and the diverse marine ecosystem of Georges Bank to the south and east, the Gulf of Maine encompasses coastal New England and Atlantic Canada, and has been rapidly warming due to climate change for the past decade.

Like a rising powerful nation-state, the Greater Gulf of Maine boasts formidable resources and the ability to influence the events around it. This includes a series of swirling offshore currents and vortexes that boast sea surface temperature anomalies greater than 17 degrees Fahrenheit and provide fuel for extreme storm events such as January twin nor’easters including the “bomb cyclone.”

A triad of Gulf of Maine issues on May 28, 2018: 1) surface winds gyrate around George’s Bank, forcing back tropical moisture towards the mid-Atlantic which suffered a 1,000 year storm in Elliot City, Maryland; 2) Jet Stream disorganization on the Eastern Seaboard of North America; 3) Gulf Stream slow-down and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies.

The implications for the Greater Gulf of Maine’s climate influences are many. From a maritime ecosystem perspective, this includes the collapse of cod due to warming and the odd appearance of frozen sharks during strong polar vortex events. From a disaster management perspective, breaching of choke points on Cape Cod such as Ballston Beach that can potentially turn parts of the Cape into temporary islands of stranded residents, and extreme storm surge events in communities such as Marshfield, Quincy, and even Boston itself.

From a broader perspective of climate disruption, the implications are even more far reaching. The second 1,000 year rain bomb flood event that gripped Elliot City Maryland on May 27, 2018 features a curious feedback loop of wind and moisture centered around a Greater Gulf of Maine vortex pattern. A massive warm blob has appeared in the North Atlantic from the Greater Gulf of Maine to Europe and seems deeply tied to Greenland meltwaters. And the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is underway.

*Please contact the BOA-EMT Directors at boa.emt.directors@gmail.com for information regarding our support in navigating potential funding streams for coastal mitigation and resiliency projects in the region. BOA-EMT offers mitigation and resiliency as well as capacity building services. We are former leaders in a state that now manages over $500M in resiliency funding, with a long history of successful mitigation in coastal and estuary environments.

[Cover Image: New England Historical Society, referencing New England’s Deadly October Gale of 1841. Other images: Gulf of Maine detailed map, Earth Nullschool imagery for May 28, 2018; Ballston Beach Breach, Truro MA, Mar 2018.]

BOA-EMT Accelerates its Incubation

Welcome to Blue Ocean Analytics – Emergency Management for Tomorrow (BOA-EMT). If you are viewing this page, you have received an early collaborator sneak preview of our rapidly evolving operations.

We are a women and minority-owned organization focused on a cascading threat environment, primarily driven by climate disruption patterns. Our Directors are subject matter experts in the field of US-based mitigation and resiliency operations, conducting in a post-disaster joint field office during one of the many “rain bomb” events experienced in the United States over the past 3 years. We also have experience operating in a classified environment in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

At BOA-EMT, we are rapidly accelerating our incubation phase. We are deepening our collaborations, working on our content, and ready to begin influencing a Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance field.

As such, our site will continue to evolve in the coming weeks and months. In the mean time, we encourage you to peruse our Twitter News Feed (on the right sidebar) for our latest thoughts of the changing threat environment, and our Intelligence Center for sample white papers as well as a multi-media library of our articles, podcasts, and interview appearances.

We look forward to collaborating with you, and will keep you updated with major site updates.

Kindest Regards,

The BOA-EMT Directors