Early Alert | About Us
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Early Alert

Early Alert’s mission is to reduce our client’s risk and mitigate losses from all hazards that may threaten their business or organization. We accomplish our mission by providing real-time operational consulting, backed by the most comprehensive preparedness planning and training available today.

We work with our clients to analyze their vulnerability to various hazards and to design a customized program to address and manage their particular risk exposure. We reinforce this planning with comprehensive training in emergency management, disaster response and recovery, and incident command and control. These deliverables include adherence to key elements of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework (NRF), operational continuity, and regulatory compliance.

Qualified Experienced

Early Alert’s highly qualified team includes experienced professionals from the public, private and military sectors who have been in charge of all aspects of emergency management, planning, prevention, training, response and recovery for private sector and all levels of Government.

Specialist Expertise

Early Alert’s team have delivered specialist expertise during some of the most extreme and damaging sever weather events in US history, from hurricane Andrew which wiped out Miami, the devastating hurricane Katrina to the destructive tornado that wiped out Joplin.

Industry Leaders

Early Alert have gathered together some of the most recognised authorities in Emergency Management, former FEMA Area 4 Director John Copenhaver to Billy Wagner one of the original founders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT).

Early Alert Executive Team

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CEO

Hans Wagner (CPM)

Hans Wagner is a nationally distinguished emergency response, planning consultant and instructor with twenty-five years of professional experience and is a noted authority on Fire Service Command and Control, Strategies and Tactics, and the Incident Command System. During Hurricane Andrew he served as a Strike Team Leader in charge of search and rescue operations at the Florida City command post.

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President

William Wagner (CEM)

Former Fire Chief William Wagner has developed and delivered training around the United States for emergency management, incident command, disaster response and fire rescue. During Hurricane Andrew, he established the command post at Florida City where more than 150 firefighters began search and rescue in the first forty-eight hours following the storm where he managed a Unified Command System including over one hundred law enforcement personnel, several relief agencies and members of the Florida National Guard.

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Chief Meteorologist

Lt. Bryan Blankenship, USN, Retired (BS, CJM)

Bryan Blankenship retired from the U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command in 2010 as a naval officer following a distinguished 30-year military career. During his tenure he served in a variety of positions of increased responsibility and complexity throughout the world both ashore and afloat, included tours on five Flag Staffs, two aircraft carriers, amphibious carrier and the command of three Fleet Weather detachments.

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Principal Advisor & Senior EM Specialist

John B. Copenhaver, CBCP

John was President Clinton’s appointee to the Directorship of FEMA Region IV, its largest regional office, from 1997 to 2001 where he directed some 800 staff members in Federal Government response and recovery efforts in the Southeast U.S. for 58 Presidential disaster declarations; authorized Federal fire-suppression grants for over 30 wildfire response efforts in the Southeastern United States; and directed distribution of over $1 billion from the Congressional Disaster Relief Fund to disaster victims.

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Director EMEA

Graeme A Scott

Graeme is a creative and tech entrepreneur with nearly two decades of experience in technology, design and entertainment industries. Former artist manager of 4 Grammy winning Sam Smith, Graeme specialises in developing projects and taking to market. Past work includes Apple, Girls Aloud, Warner, HP, Sam Smith, Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy Movie, UK Government, BMW, Unilever and British Land among others. Graeme's focus is on technology innovation for Early Alert.

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Director EMEA

Mark Heley (MC)

Awarded the Military Cross by HM Queen Elizabeth II for his gallantry during conflict, Mark is an experienced Operations Manager and Security Risk Consultant with a proven track record of success in the military (Airborne Forces) and commercial market sector. Providing high-level strategic operational planning control to build consistently improved organisational performance. A strong leader, Mark provides invaluable skills to Early Alert Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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Chief Advisor and EM Specialist

William 'Billy' A. Wagner, Jr. BS, CEM

Billy is Early Alert's Chief Advisor and Emergency Management Specialist. Billy has over 30 years of public administration and management with extensive experience in emergency management disaster response and planning, particularly with tropical cyclone and severe weather events. In his current position with Early Alert he is responsible for public affairs and oversight of the emergency management team, which includes disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery.

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Chief Advisor Hazardous Weather

Kermit Keeter, BA & BS

Chief Adviser to the MET Team, Kermit's advanced studies and degrees in both meteorology (B.S., North Carolina State University, 1976) and psychology (B.A., East Carolina University, 1968) provided the foundation for a nearly 30 year NWS career that emphasized winter and severe storms, forecast operations, applied research, professional development, critical decision making, and science outreach.

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Sr. EM Associate | Planner & Client Manager

Kyrie S. Wagner, CMC

Ms. Wagner has been in the emergency management profession for over 10 years in municipal lead and department head positions. Most recently, she served as the Municipal City Clerk for Islamorada, Florida, responsible for project management, public outreach, and records retention. Additionally, Kyrie has participated in emergency management planning (COOP & Mitigation), numerous Emergency Operation Center exercises, and municipal Emergency Operation Center activations during disasters.

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Technology Consultant

Richard Alan Carlisle

In 1978 Richard was hired by the Amdahl Corporation, the second largest mainframe manufacturer in the country, as a systems engineer. He stayed with Amdahl for 17 years, eventually becoming a Principal Systems Engineer, the highest technical position available in the company. In 2011 Richard invented, patented and developed a new technology based upon his lifetime experience that detected severe weather, lightning and tornadoes. The product is called Tornado Alert.

Weather Specialists

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Chief Tropical Cyclone Advisor

Jerry Jarrell, BS & MS

Jerry is Early Alert's Chief Tropical Cyclone Meteorologist and a previous National Hurricane Center Director. Jerry has over 40 years experience in various fields of meteorology, from forecasting to training, management and research. In his current position with Early Alert he coordinates our meteorologists in evaluating developing weather situations and recommending response options to our customers.

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Snr Hurricane & Severe Weather Specialist

Joseph M. Pelissier, Ph.D

Dr. Pelissier was a Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center for sixteen years, 1966-1982. He issued advisories and warnings on more than one hundred tropical storms and hurricanes. He helped develop the nation's first comprehensive hurricane evacuation plan, for Lee County, Florida.

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Senior Hurricane Specialist

Miles Lawrence, BS

Miles' meteorology career started in 1960 with three years in the U.S. Air Force as a weather officer. He then worked in the private sector as a meteorological systems analyst for IBM Corporation for two years. Miles joined the National Weather Service at the National Hurricane Center in 1966 and worked there for 39 years until his retirement in 2005.

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Senior Meteorologist

Rodney F. Gonski, BS

Rod spent 34 years with the NWS as a meteorologist. In addition to his position as Senior Forecaster, he has served as Warnings and Preparedness Meteorologist and Fire Weather Forecaster. He authored several technical articles on severe and tornadic storms forecasting, applications of meteorology to the prediction of forest fire behavior and smoke dispersion and satellite meteorology.

Emergency Management Specialists

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Emergency Management Specialist

Keith C. Cortner, CSM

Mr. Cortner serves as project manager and lead instructor for Early Alert, Inc. After 16 years in retail management, he transitioned to a career in the fire service. Cortner is currently employed by the City of Ft. Myers Fire Department, and is the Logistics Coordinator for the Ft. Myers Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue Team.

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Director of Emergency Management

Lisa Watson, BBA, P-EMT

Lisa has worked in local, state and federal government ranging from local municipalities to the Governor’s Authorized Representative for the State of Florida to impacted counties and FEMA’s Disaster Field Office. Primary functions have included the following: Incident Commander during many disasters (hurricanes), Planning Section Chief and Operations Section Chief for the State of Florida’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

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Senior Emergency Management & Homeland Security Specialist

Daryl Spiewak, TEM, CEM

Daryl organized and managed the EOC headquarters for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE), and incendiary incident response and recovery operations. In addition, Daryl has trained and led military bomb squads supporting various responses: presidential inauguration, criminal and terrorist incidents in the U.S. and overseas and local law enforcement and security agency-specific actions.

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Senior Emergency Management Specialist

Thomas A. Ball, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

As an EOD Detachment Commander and EOD Operations Officer in the United States and overseas, he led EOD teams providing security for two U.S. Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, numerous Foreign Heads of State and selected dignitaries. Mr. Ball led EOD teams that supported law enforcement agencies responding to numerous criminal incidents.

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Senior Emergency Management Specialist

Joseph E. Jones, BS, MS, CEM

Joseph serves as a Field Instructor at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, and has taught Command and General Staff, all position specific classes for the Command and General Staff positions, Wild land Fire Fighting and Hazardous Materials for the institute. He is also part of the Illinois Incident Management Team, assigned as a Safety Officer and Public Information Officer supporting the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.

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Senior Emergency Management Specialist

Landon Densley, BS, MS, CEM

Landon has been involved in Emergency Preparedness training for over 15 years with more than 16 years of Instructional Design and Training experience. Deployed on many nationally declared disasters from hurricanes to floods, for the Red Cross, FEMA and different States.

Training Specialists

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Director of All Hazard Training

Bob Koenig

Billy is Early Alert's Chief Advisor and Emergency Management Specialist. Billy has over 30 years of public administration and management with extensive experience in emergency management disaster response and planning, particularly with tropical cyclone and severe weather events. In his current position with Early Alert he is responsible for public affairs and oversight of the emergency management team, which includes disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery.

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Director of International Training

Sergio J. Garcia

Chief Garcia’s commitment to firefighter safety and through his involvement in the Monroe County Fire Chief’s Association was instrumental in adopting Incident Command, accountability, RIT and May-Day Procedures County wide. He continues this endeavour to eliminate firefighter death through continuous education and training of firefighting personnel.

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Snr IM Specialist & AHT Manager

Victoria Koenig, CPM

Victoria Koenig is the all-hazard training manager for All Hazard Training, a Division of Early Alert, Inc. She is also President of Lone Star Incident Management Consultants, Inc. In both of these positions, Victoria conducts training needs assessments, develops training plans and curriculum and delivers the training.

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EM Specialist | Lead Instructor

Thomas P. Cullen, Jr, J.D

Tom has spent over forty years in the Fire Service as a Volunteer Fire Fighter and Chief Officer. Over thirty of those years were as a Fire Fighter and Officer in the Point Breeze Fire Department (PBFD) in Rockaway, NY. After attending the Nassau County Fire Academy, Tom served in all capacities in the PBFD, including Training Officer and Chief of Department.

Get in touch with Early Alert today