Commentary

PPE: Defining the Terms, Resolving the Ambiguities

by Dennis Jones -

Is it something a first-responder wears for personal protection? Is it some special equipment he or she is using? A combination of both? Can it be used to save the lives of victims as well? Yes, sometimes, sometimes, and yes but not always.

Thomas J. Lockwood, Senior Advisor, DHS Office of Screening Coordination

by John Morton -

How does the department manage, and reconcile, the complex and politically difficult task of identification security with privacy needs, site-access requirements, and the National Incident Management System process?

Moulage Casts Reality With Mock Injuries

by Shannon Arledge -

An ancient & honorable Renaissance word is put to good use at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness, where moulage artists replicate broken arms, cuts, bruises, & other injuries to make first-responder training more realistic and more effective.

Election-Year Realities, and the Promise of Change

by James D. Hessman -

The 2008 presidential election year could be the most important in U.S. history. All of the major candidates are promising "change" - but are usually short on specifics. An important point to remember is that not all change is for the better.

Spores: The Threat of a Catastrophic Attack on America

by Neil C. Livingstone -

The first anthrax terrorist attack on the United States was relatively minor. Now a second attack, exponentially more lethal, is almost certain. When, not if, it happens, the decision makers in Congress & the White House will have only themselves to blame

The Mid-Atlantic All-Hazards Forum - Hugely Successful

by James D. Hessman -

Those who attended the regional conference in Baltimore earlier this month found it eminently worthwhile and developed a long list of solutions to current problems - and an even longer list of new dangers and difficulties lurking just over the horizon.

Damage and Debris - The Difficult Decisions Involved

by Kirby McCrary -

When an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane causes horrendous property damage, the "cleanup crew" (a veritable army of debris-removal workers) faces a number of major challenges, not the least of which is documenting the amount of work done.

The 2006 All-Hazards Report: Yesterday's Warnings to Meet Today's Disasters

by John Morton -

The states of the Mid-Atlantic region provide a helpful all-hazards primer that their sister states throughout the rest of the country should read and heed. Eight new "pillars of wisdom" are discussed in meaningful detail, and numerous lessons learned.

Friends and Neighbors, Duties and Responsibilities

by MaryAnn Warren -

A timely first-person report from Susquehanna County (Pa.) on the unforeseen (and to some extent unforeseeable) difficulties in coping, personally as well as professionally, with torrential rain, widespread floods, and other disasters.

Protecting Our Protectors: Defending America's First Responders

by Senator Barbara A. Mikulski -

It is unconscionable that the "American heroes" who protect "our homes, our businesses, and our communities" have not been given the tools they need to carry out their dangerous jobs. Now they will be, thanks to the initiatives pushed by this legislator.