Detecting & Preventing Nuclear/Radioactive Materials | Domestic Preparedness Photo: www.fuji.marines.mil
Preparedness

Detecting & Preventing Nuclear/Radioactive Materials

by Ian Pleet -

This case study from a 2015 deployment to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) Camp in Fuji, Japan, demonstrates effective ways to detect and prevent unwanted nuclear and radioactive materials from being brought aboard an overseas USMC installation. The author was deployed as the emergency manager (EM) with the collateral duty of being the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) protection officer (CPO). Upon arrival, the commanding officer also appointed him to serve as the alternate antiterrorism officer, with full support from his contracting company, Camber Corporation.

 
Commentary

White Paper: Orthogonal Detection Can Help Save Firefighters Lives in the Overhaul Stage of Operations

by -

Building materials, furnishings, paints, plastics, and electronics found in today’s buildings have the potential to burn or decompose into acutely and chronically acting toxic gases and vapors. Studies have validated that toxic gases and vapors are not just present during suppression activities but also during the overhaul and investigation stages. The impact can be life threatening.

Resilience

Cascading Consequences: Electrical Grid Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability

by George H. Baker & Stephen Volandt -

If there were a prolonged nationwide, multi-week or multi-month power failure, neither the federal government nor any state, local, tribal, or territorial government – acting alone or in concert – would be able to execute an effective response. This bleak outlook results from understanding that so many critical infrastructures depend on electricity. As such, effective recovery cannot be expected through top-down assistance alone. Without electric power, the goods and services essential to protect life and property would be at risk by day three or perhaps longer depending on preparedness levels. Consequently, it is vital that citizens, households, communities, businesses, and governments be as informed and prepared as possible.

Commentary

Turning Five Crisis Leader Pitfalls Into Opportunities

by Eric J. McNulty -

Crises are among the most daunting challenges for leaders. The very nature of true crises – complex, high-consequence events that threaten physical, emotional, economic, and/or reputational health – test a leader’s ability to discern what is happening and what is to be done. The word “crisis” derives from the Greek “krisis” or decision. The contemporary understanding of the word stems from Middle English usage of the medical Latin variant that means “the turning point in a disease,” when the patient either lives or dies. These are the types of decisions today’s crisis leaders are asked to make in situations ranging from forest fires to active shooter incidents.

Resilience

CBRNE Weapons & Islamic State – A Bad Combination

by Richard Schoeberl -

The recent developments concerning the nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom and their alleged country of origin, Russia, have raised fears in the international community. The ease of the attack raises concerns about terrorists utilizing similar methods. This raises questions about the likelihood of a similar attack against the West.

Updates

Los Alamos and University of Nebraska Team for Biodefense Program

A partnership involving the University of Nebraska and Los Alamos National Laboratory will boost educational opportunities for students seeking careers in the biodefense field. The partnership is specifically looking into the diagnosis and detection of infectious disease agents through the use of biosensors.

What’s in Your State’s Disaster Management Plan? 4 Ways to Incorporate Mental and Behavioral Health Into Disaster Planning

A recent analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 64% of the state emergency response plans that are available online do not adequately plan for behavioral health needs, which is a critical component of disaster response. States are encouraged to use this information as a starting point to help integrate mental and behavioral health needs into preparedness, response, and recovery activities.

Study by Center for Health Security Identifies Characteristics of Microorganisms Most Likely to Cause a Global Pandemic

Infectious disease preparedness work focuses predominantly on an historical list of pathogens derived from biological warfare agents, political considerations, and recent outbreaks. That fails to account for the most serious agents not currently known or without historical precedent, write scholars from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in a new report on the traits of microorganisms with high pandemic potential.

Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems in Urban Environments

There are global efforts focusing on using drone technology to improve and support everyday lives, and the commercial market is offering increasingly small, relatively inexpensive and capable drones. Given their rapid technology advancement and proliferation, the public safety and homeland security communities must address the fact that drones can be used nefariously or maliciously to hurt people, disrupt activities, and damage infrastructure.

Powerful Hurricanes Strengthen Faster Now Than 30 Years Ago

Hurricanes that intensify rapidly – a characteristic of almost all powerful hurricanes – do so more strongly and quickly now than they did 30 years ago, according to a recently published study. The chief driver is a natural phenomenon that affects the temperature of the waters in the Atlantic where hurricanes are powering up.