Just Another Day in the Office for the United States Coast Guard | Domestic Preparedness Photo: United States Coast Guard, 18 June 2019
Preparedness

Just Another Day in the Office for the United States Coast Guard

by Martin D. Masiuk -

Watching the video of crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Munro board and interdict a self-propelled, semi-submersible drug-smuggling vessel on 18 June 2019 is exciting.  Their actions were heroic and highly productive.  Because of that bravery, 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth a combined estimated $569 million was seized. For the average person, the video is thrilling. However, for the U.S. Coast Guard, it was just another day in the office. DomPrep salutes the men and women of the USCG who are "Always Ready" to prevent the next maritime disaster and respond to the call when needed.

 
Resilience

Reducing Weather Anxiety Among Emergency Managers

by Andrew Altizer & Steve Harris -

Imagine this scenario. A tornado watch has been in effect for the past six hours. The severe thunderstorm warning expires as the squall line passes over the area, which escaped significant severe weather. Although the Storm Prediction Center shows the area has been downgraded from enhanced to marginal, the Day 4-8 prediction indicates a 15% chance of severe weather in the area on Wednesday – today is Friday. Here comes another one.

Resilience

EMP Executive Order & Self-Funding Resilient Microgrids

by Charles (Chuck) Manto -

The U.S. government published two landmark emergency management policies in March 2019. The first was the update of the 2015/2016 Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan released from the Office of the President. DomPrep published an article on 15 June 2016 describing how the strategy and action plan affected disaster and emergency operations planning. Then, on 26 March 2019, the Federal Register published the Executive Order of the President 13865 (EO 13865), entitled “Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses,” which outlines the threats to the national (and global), economic, as well as health and safety security.

Commentary

The Enterprise That Guards Against Attack

by Catherine L. Feinman -

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to safeguard the United States against terrorism. The department brought together 22 different federal agencies, each with a role to: prevent terrorism and enhance security, especially from a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) attack; manage borders; administer immigration laws; secure cyberspace; and ensure disaster resilience. That is just the federal part of the equation. The first DHS Secretary, Governor Thomas Ridge, envisioned an enterprise where state, local, tribal, and territorial governments were also an integral part of that mission. What is not clearly stated is the role that nongovernmental organizations play. This would include industry, think tanks, and media.

Updates

Portable Gas Detection Shrinks to New Dimensions

A sensor for detecting toxic gases is now smaller, faster and more reliable. Its performance sets it up for integration in a highly sensitive portable system for detecting chemical weapons. Better miniature sensors can also rapidly detect airborne toxins where they occur, providing key information to help emergency personnel respond safely and effectively to an incident.

ASPR Next Innovation Day

When disaster strikes, providing lifesaving medical care becomes more challenging and complex. To promote the best possible care in disasters, we need next-generation solutions that harness the power of cutting-edge technology to improve health outcomes. ASPR is proud to launch ASPR Next, a new program to spur innovation in the development of new technologies and products that can be used to provide lifesaving care in austere circumstances.

Mitigating Wildfire Vulnerability: One Community's Success Story

The Thomas Fire in December 2017 claimed two lives, burned 281,893 acres, and destroyed more than 1,000 structures before it was contained on 12 January 2018. The Montecito Fire Protection District (MFPD), a small coastal community in California, saw the loss of only seven structures, a remarkably low number given the extreme fire behavior it experienced. The low fire loss was due to the successful mitigation strategies the Montecito community pursued for over two decades beginning in 1994.

S&T NUSTL Supports First Responder Radiological Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) and partners have published guidance and videos for first responders and emergency managers on how to plan for the first minutes of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) detonation response.

A Dose of Inner Strength to Survive and Recover From Potentially Lethal Health Threats

Breakthroughs in the science of programmable gene expression inspired Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to establish the PReemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements (PREPARE) program with the goal of delivering powerful new defenses against public health and national security threats. DARPA has selected teams to develop new tools for programmable modulation of gene expression, to yield enhanced resilience against influenza and ionizing radiation for service members and first responders.