In Search of Infrastructure-Proof Emergency Alerts | Domestic Preparedness Photo: Project Loon, 2013
Resilience

In Search of Infrastructure-Proof Emergency Alerts

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The increased reliance on emergency text alerts to receive warnings of natural or manmade disasters is a capability that most people have come to expect. Listening to broadcast radio warnings of severe weather happening miles away has transformed into more precise, geo-located alerts that target specific locations. The benefits of this technology are profound and should lead to people taking action when an alert comes in because they know that the threat is timely and accurate to their locations. New technologies could save many lives during future disasters.

 
Preparedness

Improving Local Health Department Cybersecurity

by Justin Snair -

Cyberattacks against local governments are becoming a new normal, yet the nation is not doing enough to prepare local health departments (LHDs) from such attacks. More than just a technological issue addressed by information technology (IT) professionals, cyberattacks can threaten lives and result in losses of integrity, availability, confidentiality, and physical destruction of assets. Cyberattacks can erode the trust and confidence communities have in LHDs and can introduce legal and liability issues when breaches of protected patient health information occur. LHDs should consider cyberattacks, and the myriad of nontechnical issues that may result, as part of their all-hazards preparedness efforts.

Resilience

Five Steps Toward Enhancing Climate Resilience

by Emily Wasley -

People, communities, businesses, and governments around the world are already experiencing the devastating human, economic, and environmental consequences of a changing climate. Many have been impacted by “acute climate shocks” such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, and severe winter storms – resulting in the loss of lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure. These five steps can help emergency managers build a path to enhance their climate resilience.

Commentary

Emerging Threats to Rail Infrastructure: Part II, Passenger

by Catherine L. Feinman -

With millions of passengers travelling each day by rail and subway in the United States alone, the passenger rail industry and the communities they serve are faced with difficult safety and security challenges – from equipment failures to terrorist attacks. A whole community approach is needed to address these challenges, to understand the threats and consequences, and to promote a culture of resilience.

Commentary

Roles in Disaster – Completing the Chain

by Catherine L. Feinman -

A passenger train derails in an urban community. Whether caused by intentional or unintentional factors, this incident would have consequences that go well beyond the rail company and the passengers traveling in these fated rail cars. Surrounding companies and communities would be affected, hazardous materials may be a threat, critical infrastructure beyond transportation could be impacted, cyber and physical security could be at risk, and so on. Mitigating these risks, threats, and vulnerabilities requires education, tools, and a desire to play a key role in disaster preparedness and response.

Preparedness

The Key to Saving Lives in CBRNE Events

by Bobby Baker -

In January 2018, in New York City, a group of professionals – representing entities including the Department of Homeland Security, private contractors, hazardous materials/weapons of mass destruction (hazmat/WMD), law enforcement officers, and intelligence experts – gathered to discuss the emerging threats to U.S. passenger rail service. Not only are these threats pertinent to passenger rail service, but they also may potentially affect all mass gatherings and large venues across the country on any given day. Emergency planners and responders must determine the best way to mitigate such threats.

Commentary

Podcast: MPAs & Disasters

by Andrew Roszak -

With so many graduate degrees available, it can sometimes be confusing to know which to pursue when entering the world of emergency and disaster preparedness and response. DomPrep Advisor Andrew Roszak addressed one broad-based degree that covers many areas critical for managing disasters. In this podcast, Dr. Randolf Burnside of Southern Illinois University’s Political Science Department and Dr. Anirudh Ruhil of Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs share their insight about the Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree and how it can help prepare professionals for jobs in both the public and private sectors.

Updates

North Huntingdon EMS and Dictum Health Bring Clinical Telehealth to Pennsylvania Residents

Dictum Health announced that North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue (NHEMS/R) has added the Dictum Health telehealth solution to their Community Paramedicine/Mobile Integrated Health program. Through the expansion of this program, NHEMS/R expects to collect more complete, timely data on frequent users of emergency medical services using Dictum Health's VER-MEDIC telehealth system and to reduce avoidable hospital visits.

HHS Sponsors Its Largest Exercise for Moving Patients With Highly Infectious Diseases

The largest patient movement exercise in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ history began to test the nationwide ability to move patients with highly infectious diseases safely and securely to regional treatment centers. The exercise focuses on moving seven people acting as patients with Ebola symptoms in different regions of the country.

FEMA Invites Whole Community to Participate in Historic National Level Exercise

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it is conducting the 2018 National Level Exercise for the whole community, inviting government agencies, private sector and nonprofit organizations, and individuals to participate in the biennial exercise. The exercise will take place 30 April–11 May 2018. The National Level Exercise will test lessons learned from the unprecedented 2017 hurricane season across all levels of government and the private sector.

CARB-X Partners With Specific Diagnostics to Support the Development of a Rapid Accurate Test to Diagnose Life-Threatening Drug-Resistant Infections in the Blood

CARB-X is awarding Specific Diagnostics of Mountain View, California, funding to support the development of the company’s antibiotic susceptibility testing system, which promises accurate drug susceptibility and identification of superbugs within four hours of a positive blood sample, reducing the chance of life-threatening sepsis and other urgent complications of blood infections.

Germs With Unusual Antibiotic Resistance Widespread in U.S.

Health departments working with the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Antibiotic Resistance Lab Network found more than 220 instances of germs with “unusual” antibiotic resistance genes in the United States last year. Germs with unusual resistance include those that cannot be killed by all or most antibiotics, are uncommon in a geographic area or the United States, or have specific genes that allow them to spread their resistance to other germs.