Crisis Standards of Care – A Mental Health Perspective

by James L. Greenstone -

During a disaster, responders face many challenges and must make difficult decisions. For health care professionals, accepting a sufficient standard of care during a crisis may be the most difficult. This mental health perspective provides some key points to consider before the next crisis occurs.

The Pony Express Rides Again

by Monty Dozier -

When supply chains were diminished during the coronavirus pandemic, leaders had to find innovative ways to protect their communities. In Texas, they used the Pony Express model to ensure the delivery of personal protective equipment, critical supplies, and vaccines to those in need.

Power Outages, Communication Failures & Healthcare

by Daniel Rector -

After-action reviews highlight the successes and expose the failures of disaster preparedness and response efforts. Four significant events demonstrate how communities managed when power outages, communication failures, and healthcare concerns emerged in their aftermath. Unfortunately, these same issues will resurface in future disasters unless lessons are learned.

Monkeypox: A Public Health Update

by Mabel De Leo & Deborah Sateler -

The current monkeypox outbreak is different from historical outbreaks that remained endemic and rarely became international events. Now the situation is changing daily. This article explains what precautions are needed to prevent the spread and how new approaches should be implemented to tackle it.

Military Combat Skills for Civilian Disaster Response

by Lisa Nenno & Timothy Miller -

During their service, military personnel acquire a broad range of lifesaving skills that are critical when on the frontline during wartime. Effective medical triage is one of the skills needed during combat and any major disaster or catastrophic event. Partnering with tribal and other civilian stakeholders, military veterans provided a unique perspective and training experience during a national-level exercise.

There Was a Pandemic Strategy and Plan

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

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.

Reduce Burnout & Increase Retention in Emergency Management

by Kesley Richardson -

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.

The Expanding Role of Tactical Medicine

by Ian Pleet -

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.

Responding Respectfully to People With Disabilities

by James Martin -

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.

Wanted: Mental Health Support for Disaster Trauma

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.