Harvey G. Ryland - July 7, 2013 Print E-mail

It is with a sad heart that we announce the passing of Harvey G. Ryland, the second Executive Director of CUSEC.  Mr. Ryland served as Director of CUSEC from 1989 to 1993, and was the first Executive Director following the relocation of CUSEC headquarters from from Marion, IL to Memphis Tennessee.

In 1993, Mr. Ryland left CUSEC to serve with FEMA Director James Lee Witt (former CUSEC Board Chairman) as Senior Policy Advisor, and later as Deputy Director of FEMA.   It was their personal and professional friendship that developed during their years together at CUSEC that strengthened in their years at FEMA and beyond.  Under Harvey’s leadership, CUSEC made great strides in moving earthquake response, preparedness, and risk reduction efforts forward within the central U.S.  

Harvey will be greatly missed as a friend and colleague of the large family known as CUSEC.  Memorials may be made to Life Path Hospice, 12973 N. Telecom Parkway, Suite 100, Temple Terrace, FL 33637, and Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St, Tampa, FL, 33606.

Obituary for Mr. Ryland follows -

RYLAND, Harvey G. "Rocky" , 74, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died peacefully at home in Tampa on July 7, 2013. He is survived by his wife Lisa, his daughters Janet and Katherine, his brother John, stepsons Tony and Colin Stevenson, and three grandchildren: Carmen and Josh Ryland DeKloet and Wilder Stevenson.


He was a nationally recognized leader in public safety and emergency management, who dedicated his professional life to reducing the social and economic losses from disasters and other public safety threats. He retired in 2007 after 12 years as President & CEO, of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), a national not-for-profit, insurance industry-sponsored research corporation. Prior to that he was Deputy Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in President Clinton's administration; Executive Director of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium; and founder and President for 12 years of a corporation specializing in developing innovative solutions for operational and management problems, primarily for federal and local government. He developed the fire protection component of the Panama Canal Treaty, and was Project Engineer in the development of the Incident Command System, a multi-agency operational system that is the international standard for inter-agency operational cooperation, in emergencies such as the Oklahoma City bombing.


Prior to his last illness he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Risk Management & Decision Processes Center, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an invited member of the "Good Judgment Project" a project sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency to identify procedures for making correct decisions concerning future events. He was an active member of Hyde Park United Methodist Church, where he developed a program to recycle used laptop computers for education and training in South Africa.


In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in his honor to Life Path Hospice, 12973 N. Telecom Parkway, Suite 100, Temple Terrace, FL 33637, and Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St, Tampa, FL, 33606. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, July 13th at Hyde Park United Methodist Church.