Seaports Magazine - Summer 2014 - (Page 8)

»PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Ready to Respond to Whatever Comes Our Way By Kurt Nagle President & CEO American Association of Port Authorities R unning a port takes strong leadership and effective planning. Ports are intricate and complicated, with a significant number of moving parts - some literal (vessels, cranes, trucks, rail) and some figurative (variations in vessel transit times, labor issues, fuel costs). Yet, the ports of the Western Hemisphere manage to move daunting amounts of cargo and people, all the while focused on keeping costs down and efficiency to a maximum. They must do their best to please a wide variety of stakeholders - beneficial cargo owners, terminal operators, community groups, regulators, labor unions and others - in order to keep business growing. While an inexperienced professional might be overwhelmed by the work needed to maintain smooth operations, AAPA members handle day-to-day challenges with aplomb. And they do more than that - they keep their eye on the future, planning and executing multimillion dollar capital programs and working with their local and national governments to prepare their facilities for out-year needs. But situations can arise that challenge the best-laid plans of port executives and staff: natural disasters, acts of crime or terrorism, power outages, protests and other events. So in addition to maintaining daily operations and planning for the future, ports must also be ready to respond to a crisis at a moment's notice. This issue of Seaports focus on readiness, resiliency and responsiveness. Ports work diligently to prepare for unlikely, but potentially devastating, scenarios. Contingency plans focused on continuity of operations during times of natural disaster are an important step for port staff, and creating those plans enables staff to 8 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE Ports work diligently to prepare for unlikely, but potentially devastating, scenarios. Contingency plans focused on continuity of operations during times of natural disaster are an important step for port staff, and creating those plans enables staff to think through the ways that natural disasters would impact capital assets and port employees. think through the ways that natural disasters would impact capital assets and port employees. Exercises and emergency drills are key components of readiness and can provide peace of mind to port executives that their staff and their facilities are ready to handle whatever comes their way. Organizing staff into response teams and creating and reinforcing chains of communication are vital to knowing who is responsible for what actions during a time of crisis. A crisis communications plan is essential to making sure timely, relevant information is shared with key stakeholders in a reliable and transparent matter. No matter the crisis at hand, keeping port users and the broader port community apprised of closures, facilities access and other information will demonstrate the port's role as a leader in troubled times and keep confusion and misinformation to a minimum. And events do happen - hardening facilities so the impacts of any disaster are minimal is critical to the success of ports. Resiliency is important in terms of equipment and facilities as they face challenges from weather events, but resiliency is also crucial in terms of the power supply. More and more ports are taking their operations to the grid, relying on electric power instead of diesel, seeking to reduce air emissions, lower costs and/or improve efficiency. While many ports are finding benefits in the switch, they are confronting new challenges with regards to maintaining a steady supply of power at a stable cost. No matter how prepared, no matter how hardened their facilities are, ports must be ready to quickly respond in times of trouble. Responders at ports wear many hats - two of the most important being security and information technology. More and more ports are finding that these two areas intersect frequently, especially in incident response, as port police are required to have sophisticated knowledge of surveillance and monitoring systems, and IT staff are supporting port police in more active roles. There are many success stories in this issue of Seaports, and there are exciting ideas and emerging best management practices that can help prepare our industry for the worst. While AAPA continues to hope for smooth sailing for the port industry, we are always impressed with the way our port members and their partners step up in times of crisis, and we know that whatever the challenge, ports will get back to business as usual quickly and efficiently after any event that interrupts port operations. ●

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2014

Aapa Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
In Case of Emergency
Extreme Weather
Plug-Ins Enabled
Partners in Fighting Crime
Her Path Leads to Ports
U.S. Needs New Transportation Law that Improves Quality of Life, Economy
Crisis at the Port: Planning Ahead Makes the Difference
Superstorms and Rising Sea Level Present a New Challenge for Ports
Aapa Port Employee Relief Fund a Helping Hand for Those in Need
Toronto Emergency Departments Hold Joint Ice and Cold Water Training Exercises
New Sonar Solution to Protect Aruba Ports Authority
Preparedness, Resiliency and Responsiveness in Mexico
Cat Islands Restoration Strengthens the Resiliency of Port of Green Bay, Local Environment
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Summer 2014

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