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Preparedness

Space Aliens – Emergency Management Roles & Responsibilities

by Michael Prasad -

Planning for the emergency management needs of space aliens on Earth, in terms of their well-being before, during, and after disasters could be the plot of a science fiction movie script. The movie District 9 has a similar premise: the aliens that arrived on Planet Earth were not warriors, but rather sentient beings totally reliant on help instead. The reality is there are beings like this in every community. They are called “children.”

 
Commentary

Building Resilience Into the Planning Process

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Whether constructing a home, creating community programs, or developing multijurisdictional plans and procedures, it is not enough to just construct, create, or develop. A home that collapses, a program that is not sustainable, and plans and procedures that lack continuity are examples that should motivate emergency preparedness professionals to build resilience into every planning process.

Commentary

It Is Time to Adopt & Implement Resilient Building Codes

by Craig Fugate, Pete Gaynor & Dominic Sims -

As a result of the changing climate, natural hazards like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires are expected to continue to increase in both intensity and frequency. Therefore, it is critical that communities around the globe prioritize increasing their overall resiliency.

Preparedness

The Future of Emergency Management: Managing Scarcity

by Robert J. (Bob) Roller -

The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters coupled with the reemergence of military threats from peer and near-peer adversaries overseas will greatly reduce the ability of emergency managers to meet the needs of disaster survivors. This will necessitate a paradigm shift in the primary role of emergency management from the delivery of resources to managing the scarcity of resources and making better use of them.

Resilience

“Moneyball” for the Wildland Fire System

by Matthew P. Thompson & Erin J. Belval -

The wildfire management community has made great strides incorporating new decision support tools into how it plans for and responds to wildfire incidents. Despite improvements in risk assessment and management at the incident scale, increasing fire activity and critical resource shortages reveal a system under strain in need of strategies that more efficiently allocate scarce resources across incidents while promoting the well-being of the firefighting workforce upon which the system relies. A scaled-up infusion of data-driven analysis and decision-making could enhance the performance of the entire wildfire management system.

Resilience

Afghanistan – A Haven for Violent Extremism

by Richard Schoeberl, Anthony (Tony) Mottola & Anthony L. Clark -

The rapid collapse of Afghanistan creates uncertainty and fears around how swiftly the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaida can rebuild, mobilize, and plan attacks on the West under a Taliban-led government. As conflict breeds instability, volatility will certainly follow the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. There will likely be a reconstitution of al-Qaida and growth of ISIS as two movements compete for influence in the country. It calls to question whether the recent attacks in New Zealand, inspired by ISIS, were motivated by what most would consider a victory for Jihad as the Taliban’s self-proclaimed victory seeks to inspire more terrorist movements. After 20 years of U.S. occupation, many are questioning whether Afghanistan will once again become a massive draw and haven for Islamic extremists.

Resilience

Influence of Aum Shinrikyo on the U.S. Emergency Response

by Bobby Baker Jr. -

Reflecting on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it is essential to not only remember that fateful day, but to highlight the events that precipitated it, examine lessons learned and policies established, and consider programs and policies needed to sustain prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities in the U.S. and its territories. Although historical analysis and synthesis of past events often lead to relevant details about current incidents, communities often fail to implement or accept the recommended changes. The 9/11 Commission Report cited, “The most important failure was one of imagination.” The 1995 Aum Shinrikyo Tokyo subway sarin gas attack has unique characteristics in the history of acquiring, proliferation, and distributing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the chemical and biological domains, with significant influence in WMD policies and consequence management platforms.

Updates

Protecting GPS Satellites, Signals, and America Webinar

The Domestic Preparedness Journal and the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation are pleased to announce the “Protecting GPS Satellites, Signals, and America” webinar. The discussion will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

WHO and partners call for action to better protect health and care workers from COVID-19

The World Health Organization and partners[i] have issued an urgent call for concrete action to better protect health and care workers worldwide from COVID-19 and other health issues. The organizations are concerned that large numbers of health and care workers have died from COVID-19, but also that an increasing proportion of the workforce are suffering from burnout, stress, anxiety and fatigue.

S&T and New York City Partners Conduct Above/Below Ground Air Sampling Study

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that it will join several New York City agencies for an above- and below-ground air sampling study that will ultimately help urban areas prepare for and recover from incidents involving hazardous materials.

New Fentanyl Detection Standards Will Protect First Responders in the Field

ASTM International, one of the largest standards development organizations in the world, published three new standards for the field detection of fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds. “This project is truly a win-win for first responders and manufacturers of field chemical detection equipment,” said Rich Ozanich, the lead researcher at PNNL who developed the standards and is leading the development of expanded instrument libraries and assessment of instrument performance. He added, “having these expanded libraries will improve responder capability to identify new drugs they encounter and respond in a more effective manner.”

IAEM-USA Children and Disaster Caucus seeks input via survey on 'Addressing Needs of Children During COVID'

The caucus is asking IAEM members to please share their organization and emergency management/work experiences in respect to how the needs of children were addressed during COVID to date. Demographic data will be collected for statistical analysis, but responses will be anonymous.