Strengthening & Streamlining Federal Response Efforts | Domestic Preparedness Photo: Strategic National Stockpile, 2010
Healthcare

Strengthening & Streamlining Federal Response Efforts

by Greg Burel -

In a world of increasingly complex and dangerous threats facing the United States – threats such as emerging infectious diseases, terrorist organizations, state actors, and extreme weather events – the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) stands tall as a robust and reliable federal resource ready to respond. On 1 October 2018, in an effort to better align the stockpile with other federal medical countermeasure response efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shifted oversight and operational control of the SNS from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

 
Commentary

The Seven and a Half Traits of the Ultimate Emergency Manager

by Chas Eby -

Emergency management is an evolving discipline that requires a progressive emergency manager to fulfill new and expanding requirements for success. Successful leaders in this field follow a systematic problem-solving process and excel at coordinating multiple agencies and information sources rather than simply being experts in one subject matter. The seven and a half traits discussed here describe the ultimate emergency manager.

Resilience

Animal Disease Response Tools for Disaster Recovery Efforts

by Gary Flory & Joe Hudyncia -

Florence, the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane early on the morning of 14 September 2018 at Wrightsville Beach in the vicinity of Wilmington, North Carolina, with wind gusts of up to 105 mph. As the forecasted path of Florence indicated direct impacts to North Carolina – and a declaration of emergency was issued 7 days before landfall – the animal agriculture industry and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) began implementing emergency plans before the rain began. The NCDA&CS hurricane response structure was based on lessons learned during response to foreign animal disease outbreaks in the United States over the past several years, and was fine-tuned from experiences with Hurricane Matthew just two years prior.

Commentary

Community Resilience – Combining Nature & Nurture

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In each disaster, examples of community resilience emerge: neighbors helping neighbors; volunteers filling response gaps; businesses providing unexpected resources; and first responders going above and beyond their call of duty. Many people have an innate urge to respond to disasters by donating their time and money, giving blood, providing transportation, feeding and clothing survivors, and so on. Imagine a disaster response of the future where that natural instinct to help is harnessed and nurtured by emergency preparedness professionals.

Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness: A Societal View

by Jeffrey Odoms -

As communities become more impacted by all types of disasters, society is constantly coming to new realizations. Solely relying on governmental agencies to perform emergency response and recovery tasks is insufficient. The frequency, scale, and impact of disasters make it more challenging to stage resources in the right place. Perhaps a more prepared citizenry would help the overall disaster response and recovery. Research of three leading institutions into how concerned the public is about preparedness and its effectiveness has begun to paint an informative picture for creating public outreach efforts.

Updates

Emerging Infectious Diseases Videos for Prehospital Providers

This free video training series, created by the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Department of Emergency Health Services, with assistance from the Maryland Department of Health, and funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is designed to meet the needs of first responders who are expected to deal with the health needs of people who find themselves in health emergencies they cannot manage on their own.

President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Fortifies DHS Operations, Supports Frontline Personnel, Secures Our Borders & Confronts Emerging Threats

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the details of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget request to Congress for DHS and its component agencies and offices. The DHS request includes $51.7 billion in discretionary funding and an additional $19.4 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund. The Budget request provides critical resources to help frontline personnel do their jobs to secure the homeland against all threats and hazards, and it ensures DHS is able to defend Americans against emerging dangers.

Preparing for a Potential Domestic Ebola Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working with its partners to prepare healthcare systems and enhance response capabilities so we are ready to protect American communities. To prepare the nation to face rapidly evolving and complex health threats, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is enhancing regional preparedness, developing response plans, conducting exercises to ensure those plans can be implemented effectively, and training medical responders from the National Disaster Medical System.

Combating and Containing the Ebola Outbreak

As a critical part of the global response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is developing and deploying medical countermeasures, which may help save lives by protecting individuals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from infection and may reduce the severity of disease. Within HHS, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response plays a critical role in medical countermeasure development and use.

S&T Testing Smart Sensor to Enhance Emergency Communications

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in conjunction with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is researching approaches to bring the possibilities of Internet of Things to emergency communications for first responders. S&T is testing the Wearable Alert and Monitoring System, a multicomponent communications system.