Dark Tide: How World War One, Terrorism, and Incompetence Resulted in a 15-foot High Wave of Molasses Engulfing Boston

Speaker: Scot Phelps, Emergency Management Academy

In 1919, a U.S. Industrial Alcohol molasses storage tank ruptured on the Boston waterfront, suddenly releasing a wave of 2.3 million gallons of molasses, killing 19 and costing hundreds of millions of dollars. This presentation will tell the story of why molasses was critical to the war effort, explain the background of anarchic terrorism present in the U.S. at the time, and discuss the practical and political aftermath of the disaster.

You might not think molasses would be important for the war, but it was critical to the military supply chain. And anarchic terrorism in the 1920s is something that not many people are familiar with, but there are important analogies to terrorism today. The political aftermath should be interesting to corporate BCMs to understand how companies were treated at the time. And you know you want to hear more about a 15-foot high wave of molasses!

To view this presentation, follow this link: Dark Tide: How World War One, Terrorism, and Incompetence Resulted in a 15-foot High Wave of Molasses Engulfing Boston

Scot-PhelpsAbout the Speaker: Scot Phelps is the full-time Professor of Disaster Science at the Emergency Management Academy and an emergency management consultant.  He is on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed Journal of Emergency Management, the trade journal Continuity Insights, and serves as Vice-Chair of the Healthcare/Hospitals Caucus of the International Association of Emergency Managers. He previously served two terms as an IAEM Certification Commissioner and as a DRI Education Commissioner.

Previously, Phelps was the Program Director/Associate Professor for the Graduate Certificate in Emergency & Disaster Management at Southern Connecticut State University and for the Master’s in Public Administration in Emergency & Disaster Management at Metropolitan College in New York City, served as Assistant Commissioner of Emergency Management at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and as an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine. Earlier, he was a paramedic and paramedic instructor in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut for almost two decades.

Phelps holds a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School, a Master’s in Public Health in both Health Policy & Health Administration from Yale Medical School (where he was a Farr Scholar and a Schlesinger Fellow), and a Bachelor’s in Anthropology with honors from Columbia University.  He is a Certified Emergency Manager (IAEM), a Certified Business Continuity Professional (DRII), a Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI), and a FEMA-qualified Master Exercise Practitioner (Healthcare).  He is admitted to the bar in New York, New Jersey, and the federal courts and maintains paramedic certification in New York.

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