Thursday, February 7, 2013

Preparing for the Blizzard While Preparing My Humanitarian Logistics Course for Vienna

The news and associated warnings about the blizzard that is supposed to wallop New England, beginning tomorrow morning and lasting through Saturday is being described as "epic" and "historic." We just received a phone message from the Amherst Town Manager, who is also a neighbor of ours, to prepare accordingly  and even our Massachusetts Governor has issued warnings. The weather reports are noting that parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut may receive over 2 feet of snow with the Boston area forecasted to be especially heavily hit. Winds up to 60 miles an hour are also being predicted.

I have been receiving messages of concern from collaborators outside of the Northeast -- thank you!

There are also comparisons (we will see) being made to the blizzard of 1978, with the 35th anniversary falling yesterday.

I have been working on my lectures for an intensive short course that I will be giving at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria  in mid-March. The topic of the course is Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare. I taught a full semester course on the topic in the Spring of 2012 at the Isenberg School of Management. When I was invited to be a Guest Professor in Vienna (I am on sabbatical this year and am  spending a lot of time at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden) I was asked to suggest a few course titles and the above one was the one selected.

The audience will be international, I have been told, but since the setting is Europe, I have been updating my lecture notes and slides. A lot has happened this past year, Superstorm Sandy, to start, and it is always interesting to put a fresh spin on course lectures for different audiences.

Coincidentally, late next week,  the AAAS meeting in Boston is taking place, and at the symposium that I organized entitled, Dynamics of Disasters, the audience will get to hear some fabulous researchers and speakers: Dr. David McLaughlin, Dr. Laura McLay, Dr. Panos Pardalos with Dr. Tina Wakolbinger and Dr. Jose Holquin-Veras as discussants.  More information is on the AAAS website.  Let's hope that there won't be any travel travails!

Stay safe, everyone, and pray that the power stays on and that there is no major damage or flooding! Also, check on your neighbors -- WebMD has some useful tips.

Many universities and colleges have already announced that they will be closed tomorrow -- the same holds for many school systems.