Anthrax Prevention – Risks vs. Benefits

Thanks at least partially to the “do no harm” precept mandated in the Hippocratic Oath, the practice of medicine has for centuries been built on a firm foundation of acceptable ethics. Which is why some highly respected medical experts are now raising questions about current U.S. policies governing the proper

Beyond an Active-Shooter Scenario: Countering a Multimodal Martyrdom Operation

Throughout history, the most difficult enemy to stop has been the lone-wolf assassin willing to sacrifice his/her own life for what he/she considers a noble cause. When that person is part of a larger team of would-be martyrs, the task becomes immensely more difficult and broader in scope. Advance training helps – but

Emergency Preparedness: The ABGs of Radiation

Although radiation hazards are not a new concern, the impact of such hazards on first responders and emergency managers has been brought to the forefront with events such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the earthquake/tsunami nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima, Japan, earlier this year. These

Resurrection & Remembrance: The World Trade Center

During the fall of the twin towers, many responder groups, and individual responders, were forced to scatter. In addition, responder vehicles and equipment were lost, unit cohesion collapsed, and the air thickened into an almost opaque fluid. As the world’s visible edge moved closer and closer to the viewer on

The Next Pandemic: Understanding the Public Health Role

In coping with pandemics, public health authorities play one of the most important roles in the overall process of planning, preparedness, response, and recovery. Although the term “pandemic” refers to a wide range of infectious diseases – e.g., human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), plague, smallpox, and tuberculosis – the current focus

The Growing Complexities of Port Rescue Operations

Disaster-response operations are always risky, and almost always complicated. The risks and complications are demonstrably much greater, though, when the incident occurs in a major port, which is already a dangerous place to work and, in addition, has in recent years become a particularly attractive target for terrorists.

Answering the ‘What Ifs’ with Real-Life Training

The still young 21st century has already seen more acts of major terrorism, and more natural disasters, than ever before in recorded history. Most nations are for that reason improving their preparedness and response capabilities. But that is not enough – those capabilities must be thoroughly tested through a probably unending series of

Studying Hazardous Material Protective Gear in Action

With training programs offered in a “true toxic environment,” the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) offers the perfect environment to test and develop new requirements, guidelines, and procedures for personal protective equipment (PPE). Building user confidence in PPE is yet another opportunity offered to emergency responders at the CDP.

Training for Multi-Agency Response Efforts

Even successful responses can highlight areas in which improvement is needed in the training of responders, which is one reason – a big one – why the sharing of lessons learned is so important. Enhanced training that includes lessons from real-world situations and events can help responders familiarize themselves with

The New CDC ‘Zombies’ of Emergency Preparedness

The immense increase in the use of social media offers many new opportunities to educate the American people on emergency preparedness in general and to move agency messages to a broader target audience. Another result of the much expanded range of information outlets – primarily the Internet – is that

All-Hazards Response Training Updated & Expanded

The massive increase in workload at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness has led to not only a parallel increase in the center’s own specialized capabilities but also a Noble upgrading of facilities, equipment, and the training curriculum. The other good news, for state and local budget managers, is that all expenses are federally

Using Grant Data to Improve Communications Interoperability

One of the nation’s highest priorities in emergency preparedness has been, and will continue to be, the creation of vastly improved communications capabilities. Considerable progress has been made to date. But much more is needed, probably accompanied by additional funding at all levels of government: federal, state, and local.


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