As National Preparedness Month comes to a close, DomPrep would like to remind its readers that preparedness is a year-round process that involves practitioners at all levels. One good example of this type of outreach comes from Baltimore City's Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, who hosts a live weekly call-in podcast to share information and to address the city's health concerns.
The single extreme solar storm (GMD/geomagnetic disturbance) or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack (manmade weapon) - together often known as natural and manmade EMP, or simply EMP - could cause a blackout lasting months or years. Even for government officials who have the authority to do something about it, legislation may be required to make new demands on a resistant, powerful industry.
Among some professional emergency managers and media outlets, the role of senior elected officials in incident response and recovery efforts is, at best, perceived as unhelpful. However, political engagement is necessary for effective disaster response and recovery, and continuous, meaningful involvement of elected officials is an essential element of the National Preparedness System.
As the Islamic State group increases its threats around the world, the United States is grossly unprepared to track radicalized members and sympathizers, or to even know how many there are in the United States and abroad. At this point, an international coalition effort is the best hope for thwarting this unpredictable, yet ever-growing, "lawless" group.
When fate throws a "sucker punch," one will do whatever it is habit to do, for all are creatures of habit. During the recent civil unrest in Baltimore, good leaders rose to the task to restore order to the city. However, these leaders are not always the ones in the spotlight or on the evening news.
At the April 2015 Ready Chesapeake meeting, members of this nonprofit group discussed ways to build business continuity within Annapolis-area communities and created a survey to reach out to other jurisdictions for suggestions. Practitioners (149 public sector, 80 private sector) from 47 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and Martinique shared their insights from both the public and private sector perspectives.
When hundreds of people fall ill from a mysterious biological agent, public health and law enforcement agencies work seamlessly to implement the established policies and enforce any necessary quarantine procedures that they have planned and trained for well in advance of the current threat. At least, that is what should happen.
A deliberate enemy attack on U.S. infrastructure may be a credible threat but, if the warning is provided at the wrong time, in the wrong place, or to the wrong audience, the message will have no, or possibly even a negative, response. An effective presenter is able to tell a story, be credible, choose wisely, get help, and ask for action.
When planning for its annual forecast issue, DomPrep reached out to subject matter experts in all preparedness disciplines to share which solutions they believe have significant potential to improve preparedness (readiness and resilience) over the next five years. In 200 words or less, more than 50 readers answered the call.
With a few practical steps, state and local governments, as well as other planning and response agencies, can accomplish a lot with little or no changes in their budgets. These agencies can build capability, confidence, and readiness by developing concepts of operations, reviewing equipment needs, training personnel, maintaining instruments, and regularly practicing skills.