HAZMAT ARCHIVES

Pandemics Are In The Air

Lightning strikes are sudden and spectacular, highly visible, and extremely violent. Not to mention lethal. Bacteria and viruses are just the opposite – totally invisible, in fact. But they kill many more people, in every country in the world, year after year than lightning does. It may be helpful to

H1N1: A Lesson for Healthcare Preparedness

The numerous mistakes, misunderstandings, and miscalculations made in preparing for the potential loss of perhaps millions of lives during the 2009-10 global pandemic that never happened do not represent a total loss. Just the opposite, in fact – if (a very big if) political decision makers, emergency managers, and healthcare

The Security Checkpoints of Tomorrow

The sometimes intrusive high-tech systems used by most airlines to screen passengers, and their baggage, are extremely sophisticated – but terrorist organizations also are moving forward by devising new types of explosive devices, and new methods of concealment. The end result, in the not-too-distant future, is likely to be a

‘By Far the Greatest Threat to U.S. Civil Aviation’

Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab was walking, almost literally, in the footsteps of Richard Reid when he tried to detonate an “underwear” bomb aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009. Additional jihadist attacks are inevitable – unless and until the United States changes its supposedly egalitarian screening process in favor

The Need for Situational Awareness in a CBRNE Attack

The handling of mass-casualty incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and/or explosive materials requires special training and purpose-built systems and equipment, but the greatest need on-site is continuing awareness by emergency responders of the horrendous threat they, and the innocent victims they are helping, are facing.

The Short- & Long-Term Changes Needed at DHS, TSA

Contrary to Secretary Napolitano’s rather politicized assertion that “the [U.S. aviation security] system worked,” it definitely did NOT work. But it could be made immensely more effective – less costly as well – if certain common-sense, albeit politically difficult, changes were made. Beginning immediately, and starting at the top.

Responding to CBRNE Attacks: A Quick Primer

The dangers posed by IEDs, chemical and biological weapons & devices, and other WMDs has grown exponentially in recent years – to the point that many analysts now use the term “when, not if” in answering questions about the possibility of additional terrorist attacks against the United States. The time

The PPE & Other Basic Needs of Tactical Officers

An alarming report issued by the WMD Commission – combined with the growing need to “protect the protectors” and an increase in other responsibilities – suggests that law-enforcement agencies, specifically including SWAT teams, may soon have to become hazmat experts as well.

Keeping It Simple – And the Need for Pre-Planning

Question: How does an all-electric racing car work? Answer: By pushing the “start” button. One of the biggest problems in the field of domestic preparedness, it says here, is the misguided instructional emphasis on theory and complex technology rather than maintaining a laser-beamed focus on practical training, the explanation of

ICD – Shorthand for a Potentially Ubiquitous Threat

Chemicals are a part of the everyday American’s diet. They are used – in carefully measured doses, it is hoped – in manufacturing; in the processing of food, beverages, medicines, and numerous other consumables; and in many other ways in almost every country in the world. Because of their relatively

Lessons Learned for Critical Infrastructure

Most discussions about protection of the U.S. “critical infrastructure” focus on power plants, government buildings, nuclear facilities, and other high-value “things.” It says here that people, U.S. citizens, both government workers and the general public – human assets, in other words – also need protection and, in fact, should be

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