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.

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.

Domestic Preparedness – Prepared for What?

by Rob Schnepp -

Publisher note: Rob Schnepp was one of DomPrep’s first writers and has provided council and guidance to me over the past two decades. I asked him to provide his personal account of the 9/11 attacks as well as the subsequent anthrax attacks. They serve as a reminder of how many felt following those attacks: uncertainty about when and where another threat would emerge, an urgent need to prepare for another terrorist attack, and unity of effort. Today, there is still uncertainty about what potential threats are looming. However, it is time to bring back the urgency to prepare and the unity required to move preparedness efforts forward.

Never Forget: Focusing Events & Opportunity for Change

by Nim Kidd -

Devastating events can open windows of opportunity. In emergency management, focusing events like 9/11 create opportunities for change. Tragedies like 9/11 or devastating hurricanes create a flurry of activity in the short period that follows. This activity typically involves conversations about how to make things better or make change. However, windows for these conversations always close.

Lest We Forget

by Martin Masiuk -

Lest We Forget! A reflection and observation on the anniversary of 9/11 from the publisher.

Different Sides of Disaster Support

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Disaster support often conjures the image of boots-on-the-ground responders providing aid to survivors on scene. However, disaster support involves so much more that is accomplished at each phase of the disaster management cycle. These efforts include creating codes and standards, building a workforce, providing financial aid, and offering psychological support.

Bringing Back the Preparedness Mindset

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Since 1998, DomPrep authors and readers have touted the need to prepare for disasters. There is a consensus among preparedness, response, and resilience professionals that forethought is the key to community resilience following a disaster. The desire to prepare is demonstrated through action: innumerable studies and best practices have been written, trainings and exercises have been conducted, and equipment purchases have been made. However, planning documents, practice scenarios, and more resources are not enough. Preparedness needs to be a mindset that stakeholders embrace daily.

Connecting: Benefits & Risks

by Catherine L. Feinman -

To take a multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional approach to disaster preparedness and response, agencies and organizations must connect both in person and virtually. Mutual aid agreements enable agencies to share resources and develop a collaborative strategy for addressing emerging threats. Although predicted by experts, the threats that presented over the past year – namely, a global pandemic and large-scale cyberattacks on critical infrastructure – still caught many communities by surprise.

What Are Preparedness Professionals Doing?

by Catherine L. Feinman -

With all the thought, planning, and training that go into disaster preparedness efforts, communities theoretically should be ready for any threat and hazard that they face regularly – severe storms, wildfires, hurricanes, power outages, earthquakes, droughts, mudslides, etc. However, that is not always true. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has already recorded 37 declared disasters in various states so far in 2021. Governors often request federal assistance when their states’ resources are insufficient to adequately respond to disasters.

Information – Keep It Flowing

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Information flow is the process of efficiently moving information within and between jurisdictions and systems for the purpose of communicating, making decisions, and establishing policies and procedures. Whether preparing for, responding to, or recovering from a disaster, information flow is a determining factor in the success of any of these efforts.