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This is my professional bio.

Rocky Lopes PhotoRocky Lopes has more than 32 years professional experience in the fields of Emergency Management and safety in the public sector. He joined the staff of American Red Cross National Headquarters, Disaster Services Department, in 1987 and developed its Community Disaster Education Program, as well as developed response worker training and served on many disaster relief operations nationwide.

During that period, Rocky developed relationships with many federal government and national not-for-profit organizations and built collaborative programs serving the needs of improving disaster safety through developing evidence-based education across the United States.

Rocky served as the Convener of the National Disaster Education Coalition from 1992 - 2004, getting 22 federal and not-for-profit organizations to agree on disaster preparedness messaging on 21 topics, resulting in production of Talking About Disasters: Guide for Standard Messages, the definitive source of vetted and approve disaster safety messaging.

He has spoken at hundreds of conferences worldwide, specializing in the topic of Risk Communication and disaster preparedness. He is a recipient of FEMA's Outstanding Public Service Award, the USGS Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Service, the NOAA Team Member of the Month--October 2014 (for the National Weather Service), among other citations and honors.

After leaving the Red Cross in 2004 to care for his uncle through his death, Rocky served as senior consultant on risk communication and disaster preparedness for the Home Safety Council in Washington, DC.

Between 2006 and 2010, Rocky served as a Manager and Program Director in the Community Services Division at the National Association of Counties in Washington, DC where he provided support to county governments nationwide and offered technical assistance to NACo members. He worked on activities related to homeland security and emergency management, among other duties. This work was a natural extension from his civic involvement. The position ended in June, 2010, because the grant that supported it ran out and was not renewed.

Rocky renewed his passion in August, 2010, to work at the NOAA/National Weather Service headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland where he serves as a Contractor and as Deputy to the Tsunami Program Lead. His work involves all aspects of collaboration with state, tribal, territorial, commonwealth, and municipal emergency managers and scientists through active support of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program as NTHMP Administrator, the NOAA/NWS Tsunami Activites Grants Program, and serves as the National TsunamiReady® Program Coordinator.

Providing service to his professional association, the International Association of Emergency Managers, Rocky served as the Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee for IAEM-USA between 2012 and 2014 and again in 2018. He also served as an award judge since 1991. He served on the Conference Committee from 2015 through 2018.

Rocky has a long-standing record of community service where he has lived his entire life in Montgomery County, Maryland. He contributes to his community as a leader of an umbrella group of civic associations and has served 10 years as President of his Homeowner's Association and is currently the Association's Treasurer. He continues to serve (for more than 25 years) as Treasurer of the public/private partnership Graffiti Abatement Partners, working to eliminate the blight of graffiti in Montgomery County through education, enforcement, and eradication. Rocky also serves as the President of Senior Safety Saturdays, a not-for-profit organization that ensures homes of seniors remain safe.

Rocky once also was a member and officer of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Harley Owners Group (2004 - 2018). He left the chapter when the new owner of the sponsoring Harley-Davidson dealership changed the name of our HOG Chapter to reflect the "District," which is inconsistent and ignorant of the culture of the county where he was born, raised, and has lived his whole life and not where this dealership is located. (More detail here.)

Rocky remains passionate about disaster preparedness, and continues to write, publish, and speak on the topic at various conferences nationwide. See a list of some of his published works here.

Rocky has degrees in Elementary Education and Microbiology from the University of Maryland, College Park, including one year of study at the Universitá degli Studi di Padova, Padua, Italy. While an undergraduate, he helped to found the Alpha-Alpha Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity; was inducted to ΟΔΚ (Omicron Delta Kappa), the national leadership honor society; and was offered membership and joined the ΦΒΚ (Phi Beta Kappa) National Honor Society.

He has a Master's in General Administration from the University of Maryland, University College, as well as additional graduate studies.

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Webmaster: Rocky Lopes -- Updated: February, 2019