Although it may not have been readily apparent in early 2020, the federal government did have a comprehensive national strategy and implementation plan for a pandemic threat. Despite having these resources and knowledge, the United States was still unprepared to effectively respond to COVID-19. This article points out the preparedness gaps and the urgency to close them before the next major public health threat.
Emergency management professionals are regularly tasked with high-stress responsibilities, including political pressure, life safety concerns, vulnerable infrastructure, and community vulnerabilities. Three ways to reduce the risk of burnout and increase retention efforts are described in this article: lead with care, invest in psychological support, and look at the schedule.
Mass shootings have spurred agencies to shift from reactive to proactive measures to mitigate threats and their consequences. Tactical medicine plays a significant role in reducing deaths associated with active assailant incidents. This article explains how trained first responders with the correct equipment and the courage to use it can be on the scene, saving lives even before the attacker is subdued.
Emergency preparedness often involves preparing for a particular type of disaster. However, each disaster can affect people differently depending on their individual physical and mental abilities. This article helps emergency preparedness and response professionals address the needs of individuals with disabilities and access and functional needs and know how to respond respectfully and provide the best possible care.
by Ruth Baugher Palmer, Mary McNaughton-Cassill & Mary Schoenfeldt -
Disasters are often described in terms of the physical damages they incur. However, the significant impact on mental health, which can have even longer-term consequences, sometimes is not addressed until after the response phase of the disaster is complete. This article explains the importance of immediately and simultaneously addressing both the physical and psychological effects of an event.
Public health preparedness has emerged and matured as a distinct discipline since the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Ameri-thrax attacks. Although, in the past, public health agencies were pushed to the forefront of various emergencies, the planning and infrastructure for public health emergency response were not funded and not in place until after 2001. This article describes the gaps that need to be addressed as the discipline continues to face public health emergencies worldwide.
When an emergency or disaster occurs, healthcare facilities require reliable communications for ensuring the safety and well-being of those in their care. The New York City Emergency Management Department has revamped its City’s emergency radio communications program to ensure that critical information can be exchanged before the next incident. Their best practice serves as an example for other jurisdictions to upgrade their equipment and build in communication redundancies.
Active shooter and other violent incidents occur all over the country – in urban and rural areas, in big cities and small towns, in large and small facilities. Many examples demonstrate the need to understand and plan for them and the significant consequences that could follow. This article empowers the reader to better understand how these incidents may occur and ways to better mitigate and respond when a healthcare and other facilities are threatened.
It seems that every day over the past two years there are plenty of news stories covering the strain hospitals are facing in staffing shortages and the impacts from a global pandemic. Emergency medical services (EMS) are also dealing with their own similar issues across the nation. Many of these critical facilities and services are located in the proximity of nuclear power plants in which previous agreements were established to provide treatment, patient transportation, radiation monitoring, and decontamination in the event of a patient-generating event within a nuclear power plant’s emergency planning zones.
Since the spring of 2020, variables such as mistrust of government leaders, anti-maskers, and economic concerns complicated COVID-19 community response. The Cynefin framework is a sensemaking theory in the social sciences to create a framework for emergency managers in large-scale events.