Domestic Preparedness in a Post-COVID-19 World | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/Jennifer_Miranda
Preparedness

Domestic Preparedness in a Post-COVID-19 World

by Nathan DiPillo -

Traditional definitions of domestic preparedness have been influenced by the Cold War and international terrorism. As the 20-year milestone of the 9/11 attack on the United States passed, domestic terrorism also has made its mark on the interpretation of domestic preparedness. It is time for a fresh look, considering pandemics, local human-caused and natural catastrophes, reoccurring threats (like wildfires, earthquakes, and cyberattacks), and crumbling domestic infrastructure. The landscape of emergency response actions and readiness of public and private agencies in a globally interconnected world has left a deep scar on domestic preparedness and how risk is evaluated both nationally and internationally.

 
Resilience

Resilience After 2021: Unfinished Business & Future Agenda

by Robert McCreight -

In 2021, many questions have been raised about resilience. Is more known about resilience and have more leverage tools been retained to establish resilience at will than a decade ago? What ideas and notions were expected 10 years ago in energizing resilience tasks, activities, and operations? Has the leverage needed been acquired to apply proven strategies and operational systems for implementing post-disaster resilience with skill and confidence? Did a collective experience with mega-disasters since 2011 equip communities with new and innovative pathways to achieve resilience? The answers to these questions are far less than clear.

Preparedness

The Dangers of Not Protecting the “3Ps” During Events

by Kole (KC) Campbell -

On 5 November 2021, an apparent crowd crush at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas resulted in ten deaths and untold injuries. While the criminal investigation is in its early stages at the time of this article, the music festival undoubtably represents some failures of safety and security planning and execution. The death count and reported injuries are too high to be the normal cost of holding events. Disturbing videos from the event, in addition to statements from concert goers and first responders, belie assertions that initial observations by subject matter experts are impossible until the completion of the investigation. The events at Astroworld are a reminder of the need to “protect the 3Ps” at concerts and special events, and the fact that these activities must be balanced.

Commentary

Safety: Protecting Communities From Dangers & Risks

by Catherine L. Feinman -

The word safety is commonly used in the workplace and sounds good when it is tacked onto other words or used in phrases – for example, public safety, safety officer, safety lock, safety culture, safety goggles, and various slogans like “safety first,” just to name a few. However, the true meaning of the word should not get lost in such casual terms used in daily routines.

Resilience

Cassandra’s Curse: Disasters Revisited

by Rodney Andreasen -

The study of Greek mythology can provide examples of failure to heed the call of emergency management specialists and experts. The story of Cassandra is an illustration of this warning. To win her favor, the Greek god Apollo gave her power to predict the future. However, once she received the gift, she refused further advances, angering Apollo. In retaliation, he cursed her with an additional power of an inability to convince anyone the predictions were true. For emergency managers and other related agencies, Cassandra has come to represent the challenges faced when trying to convince others that predicted events will happen.

Healthcare

Another Opportunity to Prepare for Quarantines

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

An article published in 2013 discussed the considerable challenges of quarantine order implementation and enforcement during a future pandemic or other serious threats to public health. That discussion was after the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), but before the re-emergence of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The level of preparedness for the rapid execution of federal quarantines has not greatly improved since 2013. The nation’s readiness may have even diminished during the current pandemic due to social, political, and organizational discord.

Updates

FEMA Announces New NAC Membership

FEMA announced 12 new members to the National Advisory Council (NAC) who will serve multi-year terms beginning Dec. 1 and will guide future recommendations centered around equity, climate change, and readiness.

FEMA extends request for information on NFIP

FEMA published a notice in the Federal Register extending the public comment on the National Flood Insurance Program’s minimum floodplain management standards by 45 days from Dec. 13, 2021, to Jan. 27, 2022.

NIOSH Seeks Feedback on Personal Protective Technology Centers of Excellence

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is soliciting public comment on the need to establish centers of excellence to address research and practice needs in the area of personal protective technology (PPT), including personal protective equipment.

DHS Announces New Cybersecurity Requirements for Surface Transportation Owners and Operators

DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced two new Security Directives and additional guidance for voluntary measures to strengthen cybersecurity across the transportation sector in response to the ongoing cybersecurity threat to surface transportation systems and associated infrastructure. These actions are among several steps DHS is taking to increase the cybersecurity of U.S. critical infrastructure.

CISA Updates Services Catalog

CISA recently released the next edition of the CISA Services Catalog. Version 2.0 includes more than 50 of the most critical services CISA offers that can be requested by your organization to help build resiliency across all readiness levels.