The DoD Defense Coordinating Element and How It Is Certified

While the main mission of the defense coordinating element (DCE) is defending the homeland, Department of Defense (DoD) capabilities can be important in supporting citizens in case of major disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and the like. This article describes the mission and composition of the DCE and how Army

A National Plan to Link Response and Recovery

Federal government-wide disaster planning dates to the Cold War-era Federal Response Plan (FRP) and similar documents that described how the United States would respond to nuclear war and severe disasters. This singular plan was maintained and updated after the Cold War ended. However, following the attacks of September 11, 2001,

Building Business Post-Disaster – A Florida Case Study

There is a familiar saying among emergency planners: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Though it seems counterintuitive to those outside the industry, planners and decision-makers understand opportunities can be found in the wake of great devastation. Even as they recognize this potential, it can be challenging to know

PACEing a Communications Resilience Plan

On the night of January 10, 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system, which communicates real-time hazards to pilots and airports, failed for an unknown reason. The backup communications provided critical updates to pilots but were insufficient to sustain operations. By morning, operations had to cease

Benefits of Industrial Liaisons – A Harris County Example

Planners in the Harris County, Texas, area are successful specifically because of the relationships they have built over many years. For example, the county’s Industrial Liaisons Program provides many positive takeaways and best practices practitioners can implement throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Building Design for Safety and Resilience – First Steps

There is a need for more resilience as it applies to emergency preparedness in the design, construction, and renovation of the built environment. Conventional design of buildings by architects and engineers meets code and aligns with the owner’s or developer’s programmatic requirements. However, unless the program specifically calls for safety,

Beachie Creek Fire – A Practitioner’s Firsthand Account

When disaster strikes, sometimes those trained to respond find themselves and their families fleeing from the fire. Once their families are safe, they jump back in to assist wherever needed. This scenario happened to one emergency manager when the Beachie Creek wildfire engulfed surrounding Oregon communities with little warning.

Publisher’s Note: Auld Lang Syne (A Chance to Recollect and Restore)

As we come to the end of a challenging year and a tumultuous period, please know that your efforts are appreciated, and the sacrifices of you and your families have a significant and positive impact on all of our communities. On behalf of the Domestic Preparedness Journal, its staff, and its advisory board,

The Importance of Strong Leadership for a Unique Discipline

A transformational leadership style can help bridge relationship and communication gaps between leaders and other community stakeholders. Learn how one young deputy fire chief learned from his past leadership missteps and honed his meta-leadership skills, which were essential in reconnecting communities when he became a state emergency manager.

Avoiding the Complacency Trap After This Hurricane Season

Despite punishing hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Florida, the 2022 season has been relatively quiet for much of the Gulf coast and Atlantic seaboard. This article describes the resources that help communities mitigate risk now before the next hurricane season.

Training the Next Generation of Cyber Guardians

Despite small local governments being overrun with malware, ransomware, and myriad other threats, it is difficult to find experienced cybersecurity professionals. Meanwhile, students search for nonexistent entry-level jobs. One Washington State-based nonprofit is seeking to close this cybersecurity gap.

Community Resilience & Functional Needs

On 7 November 2013, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled that: (a) New York City’s emergency planning inadequately accommodates people with disabilities; and (b) the city is in violation of local and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. In his ruling, Furman said that the city’s current plans


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