Commentary

Addressing Threats – From Concept to Field

by Catherine L. Feinman -

To address various national threats and the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) role in military and civilian defense technology, DomPrep hosted a roundtable discussion on 21 July 2016 at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC). That discussion, which was moderated by ECBC’s BioScience Division Chief Peter Emanuel, brought together professionals from various disciplines and is summarized in this article.

A Conversation That Should Have Happened

by William H. Austin -

Appointment to an emergency management position is a proud moment as well as a moment that creates doubt, anxiety, and internal questioning of one's own ability to handle a major catastrophe. Questions arise about the community's hazards awareness, the status of the local emergency operations plan, and the proverbial, "What keeps you up at night?" scenario.

The Things That Keep Experts Up at Night

by Catherine L. Feinman -

DomPrep wanted to know what still keeps experts up at night. To answer this question, DomPrep hosted and Ron Vidal, a partner at Blackrock 3 Partners, moderated a panel discussion on 17 June 2016 at the Annual International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This article summarizes that discussion.

Where Incident Management Unravels

by Charles Bailey -

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is the mandated national framework for emergency incident management. It is a natural derivative of the Incident Command System developed in California after a particularly disastrous wildfire season in 1970. However, there are some notable reasons that it should not be considered the solution for all incidents.

Public Health - Opportunities for Action

by Catherine L. Feinman -

On 7 June 2016, the DomPrep team convened 14 subject matter experts from various disciplines to address issues surrounding community resilience and public health. The purpose of the roundtable was to align the missions and identify action items to create synergy among various community stakeholders. This article summarizes the key takeaways from the roundtable participants.

Bringing Public Health Preparedness Into the 21st Century

by Emily Lord -

The probability of certain public health threats, the costs and funding related to such threats, and the "silo" effect of the public health sector all contribute to the preparedness gap between public health and other sectors. It is time to bridge this gap and update preparedness efforts to better prepare for 21st century threats.

Balancing Risk - Understanding & Preparing for Catastrophes

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Space weather, nuclear, and catastrophic natural disasters are just lying in wait for the right combination of conditions. Although it is not possible to plan specifically for every type of threat - imaginable and unimaginable - it is necessary to weigh the risks associated with various threats and take sufficient actions to mitigate the devastating effects.

Electrical Systems & 21st Century Threats

by Benjamin Dancer -

One leading researcher shares his insights into the existential threats that the electrical infrastructure faces. He proposes that a superhighway with electrical systems protected at multiple points is not only feasible, but it could help reduce carbon emissions, build electromagnetic resilience, and address major space weather events that could threaten the life and health of human populations.

Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East

by Jerome H. Kahan -

Now that the Iran nuclear deal is in effect, it is worth exploring whether this agreement will in fact: (a) constrain Iran's efforts to build nuclear weapons and inhibit nuclear proliferation in the region; or (b) have unintended negative consequences that the United States and its negotiating partners did not or could not foresee.

Border Control Challenges - A Roundtable Discussion

by Robert C. Hutchinson & Catherine L. Feinman -

The topic of borders - ports of entry, security, and public health concerns - has become politicized, and the focus on true border security has been somewhat lost. Educating politicians and instilling practicality in the public are necessary before any effective border security policy changes can be made. A recent roundtable discussion addressed these critical issues.