Enhancing Infrastructure Protection Through Special Events | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/TuiPhotoengineer
Resilience

Enhancing Infrastructure Protection Through Special Events

by Erin Mohres -

In an atmosphere of limited resources, critical infrastructure (CI) protection can be difficult to prioritize with crime-fighting and disaster response. Understanding real-world lessons learned from local agencies is one way to make progress. Leveraging the urgency demanded by special events can be a particularly productive path forward. This article offers suggestions from practitioners to develop CI protection programs through special events management, at varying levels of capability and scale.

 
Healthcare

Active Shooter Incidents: The Rescue Task Force Concept

by Robert Mueck -

The concept of the Rescue Task Force (RTF) came from the Arlington County (Virginia) Fire Department. Looking at active shooter events around the country, these fire department leaders created a model that enables emergency medical services (EMS) to provide emergency medical intervention faster and within the Incident Command System (ICS) construct.

Commentary

So Much More Than Having a Kit & Making a Plan

by Catherine L. Feinman -

For years, emergency preparedness professionals have been preaching the message, “Have a Kit, Make a Plan.” As a result, everyone is now ready for the next disaster … of course not. In its latest survey, DomPrep explored levels of preparedness, reasons why people do not plan, as well as possible solutions to reach those who have not yet bought in to the traditional messaging efforts.

Commentary

Helping School Districts Move Forward After Tragedy

by Guy Grace -

In fall 2013, the Littleton Public Schools District (Colorado), with great support from the community, passed an $80 million bond election for capital improvements within the school district. Immediately following the bond election, the Littleton Public Schools Security Department personnel began planning to implement their portion of the bond funds, which was about $7.5 million. Its security team’s journey toward security technology and infrastructure is a good example for other school systems

Commentary

Rethinking Disaster Evacuation

by Daniel M. Gerstein & Andrew Lauland -

No two disasters are the same. Yet it is not unusual for officials to be confronted with a common critical public safety decision: whether to evacuate the public or advise them to shelter in place. This crucial decision, which is normally time sensitive, can set the tone for the remainder of the response and recovery phases.

Preparedness

Animals in Distress: A Community Preparedness Checklist

by Lacie Davis & Richard Green -

Recent studies have shown that pets have the ability to relieve stress, provide purpose, and give unconditional love and support to those who need them. This profound connection is referred to as the “human-animal bond.” During an emergency or disaster, this bond is exhibited with the great lengths people go to both remain with and save their pets, including putting themselves and others at risk. A new tool addresses this gap.

Commentary

In Memoriam MG Timothy J Lowenberg (Ret.)

by -

On 27 August 2017, DomPrep and the Preparedness Leadership Council  lost a long-time friend and the nation lost a highly revered icon of domestic preparedness and homeland security. Major General (Ret.) Timothy J. Lowenberg (Washington National Guard) was above all a public servant who sought to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. His knowledge and dedication were the tools that made him an effective advocate for homeland security issues.

Commentary

Mass Fatalities – More Than Just a Number

by Ron Vidal & Catherine L. Feinman -

A chemical spill, nuclear attack, biological agent, pandemic, hurricane, and numerous other threats and hazards have the potential to kill enough people to overwhelm any particular jurisdiction. Whether that number is 10 or 10,000 or more, the “unthinkable” can happen anywhere. On 16 June 2017, DomPrep hosted a panel discussion on this topic at the International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The key takeaways from that session are summarized here.

Commentary

Disasters Are About the People

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Hurricane Harvey has caused widespread destruction, and its aftermath continues to pose a significant threat to life and safety. In this and other large-scale incidents, the exact number of people affected is hard to determine because of the complex physical and social networks that exist within and between jurisdictional boundaries. Knowing how to manage the lives lost and the lives affected is a challenge. However, when preparing for a catastrophic event, it is important to remember that even one lost life can have devastating effects on a community.

Healthcare

When Pandemic Management Meets Cybersecurity

by Nitin Natarajan -

When faced with a health crisis such as a pandemic, the primary objective is ensuring the health and well being of the public and finding the fastest and easiest method to limit the spread of disease and take care of those who are sick. Cyberthreats can hinder public health efforts if mitigation steps are not taken and partners are not engaged before a pandemic or other public health crisis occurs.

Resilience

Mortuary Logistic Challenges of Mass Fatality Incidents

by O. Shawn Cupp -

Today in the United States, some in society are hesitant to acknowledge or plan for “failure options” – in other words, admit that the worst of the worst can happen. The military requires planning for just about every situation including when operations do not go as planned. However, those in emergency management and domestic preparedness operations need to consider tragedy and events unimaginable to most people

Updates

Volunteers Play Integral Role in Disaster Relief and Recovery Efforts

Volunteers representing dozens of local, state, and national organizations are working alongside federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local responders to address the immediate needs of survivors affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is advising people who want to help to do so through affiliation with the voluntary organizations that are active in the ongoing disaster operations.

HHS Partners to Develop First Intranasal Treatment for Cyanide Poisoning

The first intranasal (nose spray) treatment for the life-threatening effects of cyanide poisoning will be developed under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Emergent BioSolutions of Gaithersburg, Maryland. Cyanide could be used as a chemical weapon against the United States.

Prepping for Rapid Drug Development

When an outbreak as virulent and fast moving as Ebola strikes, having resources to respond immediately can be the difference between life and death for both warfighters and civilians. To rapidly develop new treatments and medical countermeasures needed, the ability to conduct clinical research in a disease outbreak setting has significant advantages.

HHS Spurs New Antibiotic Development for Biodefense and Common Infections

To combat potentially deadly Clostridium difficile infections that can occur in patients being treated for bacterial infections including anthrax, tularemia and other biothreats, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is partnering with Summit Therapeutics on late-stage development of a new antibiotic.

USDA Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Irma

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by Hurricane Irma that USDA has programs that provide assistance in the wake of disasters. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices stand ready and eager to help.