For the first time since the demise of the civil defense program of the Cold War, the federal government has made one of the most significant modifications to its emergency preparedness message. A three-day emergency kit is no longer sufficient to prepare for emerging threats, whether coming from Earth or from space.
A 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the Washington and British Columbia coast along the 700-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) followed by a tsunami with 90-foot or more wave surges in some areas is possible based on geological factors and historical accounts. Communities in and around the CSZ, and those with interconnected waterways, need to be prepared for the inevitable.
The Space Weather Conference in Broomfield, Colorado, on 25-29 April 2016 focused on improving space weather models and exploring more diverse and effective research tools. Current U.S. policy has shifted in favor of more research and funding, which can only be accomplished through better cooperation between the public and private sectors.
With the United States as de facto leader, the five members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany - the so called "5+1" club - spent over two years negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or so-called "nuclear deal," which is expected to reduce the danger of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. However, the nuclear deal is not seen by all as a "good deal."
Few preparations made in anticipation of a disaster pay bigger dividends than how the team communicates with the news media and the public during a disaster. Seamless and coordinated communication is as important as seamless and coordinated operations - both during the disaster and in the recovery stage. Communications and operations must work in tandem.
Changes in the relationship between the United States and Cuba have come fast and furious since the December 2014 announcement by the Obama administration that diplomatic relations would resume between the two former foes. Understanding past incidents will help the nation address current and future concerns as movement between these two countries increases.
As the United States embarks on the 2016 presidential campaign, the great debate on immigration and border security will continue to remain a blistering topic. However, controlling the borders is far more than just immigration control, it is about providing national security and protecting the American people from the threats that loom on the horizon.
Crisis communications planning is key to any emergency preparedness effort. One reason that so many organizations struggle with communications when crises strike may be that they focused their planning efforts on the crisis plan document without creating a shared vision of desired outcomes. They failed to define what they actually needed to do to communicate.
In response to 9/11, the United States instituted one of the most massive changes in government with the creation and development of the Department of Homeland Security. Since then, a combination of massive attrition, personnel retirements, and complacency due to lack of new disasters has created a void of experienced government emergency personnel that must be addressed.
The financial costs of natural disasters have been steadily climbing in recent decades. For policy makers to reverse this trend, they must understand the nature of the risks they face, the short-term and localized lenses through which financial decisions are viewed, the pricing signals for risk, and the standardized building measures needed to strengthen development practices.