Disaster Tech

Disaster Tech Appoints Former FEMA Regional Administrator Lee dePalo as Senior Advisor

Feb 23, 2021 9:27:56 AM / by Disaster Tech


dePalo brings 35 years of all-hazard emergency management and disaster response expertise to the Disaster Tech community.  

Washington, D.C. Tuesday, February 23, 2021 – Today, Disaster Tech announced the appointment of Lee dePalo, retired Air Force colonel and former FEMA Region VIII Administrator, as a senior advisor to the company. 

Since 2017, Mr. dePalo oversaw and coordinated FEMA’s all-hazards preparedness and emergency management efforts within the region’s 29 tribal nations, as well as the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. While serving as the Regional Administrator, dePalo was responsible for responding to COVID-19 and executing FEMA’s preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation programs in parallel with partners from all levels of government, volunteer and faith-based groups, as well as with the private sector. 

Lee’s decades of exemplary service to our nation and his leadership in emergency management innovation are strategic assets to our company and its success,” said Sean Griffin, CEO and co-founder of Disaster Tech. “Lee’s focus as Region VIII administrator on mission-aligned innovation for emergency management is exactly what we are accomplishing at Disaster Techaccelerate the development and deployment mission-driven technology to save lives, build resilience, and protect the environment before, during, and after disasters.” 

Prior to this role, Mr. dePalo served a crucial role in leading FEMA’s response and disaster operations as response division director for FEMA Region VIII and federal coordinating officer. Both positions were focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of responding to a catastrophic disaster. In addition to his work with FEMA, dePalo brings 26 years of service with the U.S. Air Force, as well as experience with developing a leadership program for the U.S. Special Operations Command, which he conducted with Jacobs Technology.  

“Disaster Tech is improving an area of emergency management that will transform the way teams respond before, during and after a disaster: situational awareness,” said Lee dePalo, Senior Advisor at Disaster Tech and former FEMA Regional Administrator. “I look forward to working alongside an energized team of people who are motivated to bring innovation to this space.” 

Mr. dePalo received his bachelor of science in management from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He also holds a master of strategic studies degree from the Air War College, as well as a master of arts degree in management from Webster University.  

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Disaster Tech and The Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware Selected as Awardees of the Civic Innovation Challenge

Feb 17, 2021 2:04:17 PM / by Disaster Tech


Washington, D.C. — February 17, 2021 – Today, Disaster Tech and The Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware have been selected as Stage 1 awardees of the Civic Innovation Challenge, a national research and action competition in the smart and connected communities domain. Their project focuses on the development of an operational and next-generation decision support tool called, the Integrated Scenario-based Evacuation (ISE) frameworkThe project collaborators also include several emergency managers from North Carolina and Texas, and researchers from UNC Chapel Hill, Stony Brook University, Cornell University and the University of Oklahoma.  
The ISE framework will dramatically advance emergency managers’ ability to manage hurricane evacuations effectively and efficiently. The team has been awarded $50,000 to support the refinement of their project and has the opportunity to compete for awards of up to $1 million to support project implementation. In addition to advancing emergency managers’ ability to manage hurricane evacuations effectively and efficiently, the ISE framework will also help emergency managers decide when and where to issue official evacuation orders as a hurricane approaches land, in a way that accounts for the dynamic and uncertain nature of the situation. 
“We’re honored to be partnered with The Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware as well as Cornell, Stonybrook, North Carolina, and University of Oklahoma to develop the next-generation decision support platform for hurricane and evacuation decision-making,” said Sean Griffin, CEO and co-founder of Disaster Tech. “There has historically been a lack of science-based innovation in emergency management, and the ISE framework is one example of how Disaster Tech is committed to addressing this issue.” 

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Statement from our CEO on Nitin Natarajan's Appointment as the Deputy Director of CISA

Feb 17, 2021 9:58:38 AM / by Sean Griffin


As a public-benefit organization, Disaster Tech is honored to have built a team of mission-driven individuals who have spent their lives serving their communities and championing their life’s work.  Our team is the driving force behind Disaster Tech’s leadership in decision science technologies for disaster management 
One former team member who has been monumental to our growth as a company is Nitin NatarajanThis week, Nitin was appointed as the Deputy Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), where he will oversee CISA’s efforts to defend civilian networks, manage systemic risk to national critical functions, and work with stakeholders to raise the security baseline of the Nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure. 
We couldn’t be more thrilled to see Nitin’s leadership and expertise at the highest levels of our government to keep our nation safe. We wish Nitin well as he embarks on this new journey, as we continue to push forward in further advancing Disaster Tech’s mission.   
Read more about Nitin’s new role and announcement in The Hill here

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