Responding to the Nuclear Threat – Then & Now | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/Moussa81
Resilience

Responding to the Nuclear Threat – Then & Now

by Keith Grossman -

In the civil defense era of emergency management, the federal, state, and local civil defense authorities were presented with the mission to protect the civilian population from an attack on the U.S. mainland. Shelter programs, coordinated public warning systems, emergency assistance provisions, and other protective measures were developed. Today, these measures need to be revisited and adapted in accord with current threats, timing, and resources.

 
Preparedness

Preparing for a Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack

by Deanne Criswell -

Complex coordinated terrorist attacks (CCTAs) are exactly as the name implies: large-scale attacks that are multifaceted, well-planned, and often involve multiple perpetrators. These individuals are often unknown to law enforcement, making them difficult to identify during pre-operational planning activities. Because of their size and complexity, these types of attacks far too often have a devastating impact across jurisdictions, disciplines, and even state lines.

Preparedness

U Visas – A Hidden Homeland Security Vulnerability

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

Immigration continues to be a relevant yet sensitive topic of discussion. Some of the most concerning immigration issues may be the ones that are more complex and not well understood by lawmakers, law enforcement, or the public. This complexity increases opportunities for abuse of an important immigration process, which then creates a significant vulnerability that is not fully appreciated until it is too late.

Resilience

ARTful Leadership & Disaster Management

by Eric J. McNulty -

Disaster preparedness and response professionals had a front-row seat for the turbulence in 2017. A historic hurricane season left first responders and the communities they serve struggling to keep up. Fires continue to ravage the west. Active shooter and terrorism incidents keep everyone on edge. Infectious disease outbreaks remain a constant worry. Cyberattacks open a new threat vector. Prolonged preparation, response, and recovery put stress on physical, emotional, financial, and infrastructure systems. Leaders must adapt to changing circumstances and needs.

Preparedness

Excess Equipment Sales & Potential National Security Threats

by James M. Rush -

Recent terror attacks have demonstrated that the modus operandi for terrorists to attack innocent people is to use whatever tools can easily be obtained. Some agencies and companies may inadvertently sell or donate the very equipment terrorists use to kill people and endanger national security. This proposal offers a barrier to terrorists wishing to exploit the healthcare, public health, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries in the area of excess equipment.

Commentary

Preparedness & Resilience Without the Hype

by Catherine L. Feinman -

As another calendar year comes to a close, agencies and organizations are reflecting on the events of 2017: hurricanes, mass shootings, wildfires, critical infrastructure failures, disease outbreaks, cyberattacks, and other incidents that have strained local resources. DomPrep’s readers are continually challenged to be prepared for, respond to, and mitigate the consequence of disasters. When a crisis occurs, the gaps in planning and response are forced into the spotlight. However, when disasters are diverted, the success often goes unseen. This edition of the DomPrep Journal recognizes and thanks all those who work behind on the firing line and behind the scenes everyday to make their communities safer and more resilient through their activities, informational resources, and recommendations.

Preparedness

Mass Fatality Research – New York & Beyond

by Katie Joel & Terry Hastings -

Low-probability, high-consequence situations, such as mass fatality events, often stress or overwhelm local response capabilities within a very short timeframe. The ability to handle these situations differs greatly depending on the size of the jurisdiction affected and its readily available resources. New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Research conducted research to address this issue.

Commentary

The Presidency & Control of Nuclear Weapons

by Jerome H. Kahan -

“The whole point of U.S. nuclear weapons control is to make sure that the president – and only the president – can use them if and whenever he decides to do so,” said Alex Wellerstein, a historian of nuclear weapons at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in an article published on 1 December 2016. As presidents and circumstances change, it is important to understand presidential authority and legislation as they relate to nuclear weapons.

Resilience

Maryland’s Approach for Raising the Resilience Index

by Charissa Cooper & Jessica Nusbaum -

Threats, whether natural or manmade, have the ability to negatively impact communities. Although government agencies serve communities before, during, and after disasters, emergency management officials understand the realities of gaps that exist in disaster management systems exclusively managed by government. There is a mounting cognizance of the need for effective communication and coordination from a broad range of stakeholders to reduce the negative effects of a given disaster.

Updates

MERS Antibodies Produced in Cattle Safe, Treatment Well Tolerated in Phase 1 Trial

An experimental treatment developed from cattle plasma for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection shows broad potential, according to a small clinical trial led by National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues. According to the World Health Organization, the MERS coronavirus has spread to 27 countries and sickened more than 2,000 people, of whom about 35 percent have died.

New Simulator Tool Tests Aircraft Explosive Vulnerabilities

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Commercial Aircraft Vulnerability and Mitigation (CAVM) program supports testing and evaluation efforts to assess potential vulnerabilities and evaluate countermeasures that can mitigate the impact of explosives on commercial aircraft. CAVM and partners recently developed a reusable Aircraft Explosive Testing Simulator that facilitates testing for new generation commercial aircraft.

First Responder Network Goes Nationwide as All 50 States, 2 Territories and District of Columbia Join FirstNet

First responders across the nation now have a wireless broadband network to call their own. With all 50 states, two U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., joining FirstNet, public safety has a new choice for its communications that will help save lives and protect communities.

Going to the Source to Prevent Viral Disease Outbreaks

A new DARPA program called Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT) seeks to support military readiness by going after new viral infectious diseases at the source, animal reservoirs – the species in which a pathogen lives, multiplies, and potentially evolves into a strain that can threaten humans.

Center for Domestic Preparedness to Resume Live-Agent Training

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Center for Domestic Preparedness announced that, beginning on 11 January 2018, the Center will resume using nerve agents and biologicals in some of its hazardous materials training courses.