december 2021

Resilience

Transportation Security in a Holistic Homeland Security Enterprise

by Daniel Rector -

Transportation security is the act of ensuring the protection and continued functioning of mobility systems for both people and commerce. It includes air, maritime, and all forms of surface transport. Transportation security is an enormous undertaking involving all government levels, the private sector, volunteer organizations, and the public. These organizations must work together to identify, prepare for, and respond to any threats or hazards that could affect the transportation infrastructure or the people and goods that travel within it.

Commentary

Resilience in 2022 – Planning, Resources, & Connections

by Catherine L. Feinman -

A quick search through articles on DomesticPreparedness.com for the word “resilience” reveals a possible shift in focus for preparedness professionals over the years. In 2005, the Domestic Preparedness Journal published many resilience articles that focused on creating standards and plans in order to more rapidly return to normalcy. By 2010, there seemed to be a greater focus on funding, grants, and other resources needed to be able to sustain operations when disasters occur. By 2015, education, communication, and collaboration were key buzz words in articles on resilience. Then 2020 arrived along with much reflection on what could have been done better to be resilient in the face of an unprecedented event and how to endure the consequences of past decisions.

Reports

FEMA Releases New Strategic Plan

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell released the agency’s “2022-2026 FEMA Strategic Plan” today, outlining a bold vision and three ambitious goals designed to address key challenges the agency faces during a pivotal moment in the field of emergency management.

The goals are to instill equity as a foundation of emergency management, lead the whole of community in climate resilience and promote and sustain a ready FEMA and prepared nation. These goals position FEMA to address the increasing range and complexity of disasters, support the diversity of communities we serve and complement the nation’s growing expectations of the emergency management community.

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Updates

2021 Reader Survey: Domestic Preparedness Journal

The Domestic Preparedness Journal invites you to respond to the 2021 Reader Survey.

Commentary

Running Into Danger – Firsthand Accounts of 9/11

by Catherine L. Feinman -

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Many events were held to commemorate the lives that were lost and to honor those who survived yet still ran into the danger zones to save lives in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. However, one special event hosted in Washington, DC on 30 September 2021 was particularly impactful as it recounted that fateful day through firsthand accounts. Some presenters have told their stories many times over the years while others shared their heroic actions publicly for the first time in two decades. The District of Columbia’s 2021 Interoperability Summit “20 Year Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 Attack on America: Never Forget,” was organized by the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency’s (HSEMA) Office of the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), in conjunction with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Emergency Communications Division (ECD).

Updates

DHS S&T Awards Funding for Aviation Self-Screening Concept and Prototype

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Screening at Speed Program announced the award of $2,527,907.76 to Vanderlande Industries Inc. of Marietta, Georgia, to develop a passenger self-screening concept design and prototype that streamlines TSA PreCheck® operations.

Updates

DHS Announces “Hack DHS” Bug Bounty Program to Identify Potential Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the launch of “Hack DHS,” a bug bounty program to identify potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities within certain DHS systems and increase the Department’s cybersecurity resilience.

Updates

PREPARING FOR AND MITIGATING POTENTIAL CYBER THREATS

CISA urges critical infrastructure owners and operators to take immediate steps to strengthen their computer network defenses against potential malicious cyber attacks.

Updates

Protecting America’s First Responders Act of 2021 Signed Into Law

On Nov. 18, President Biden signed into law the Protecting America’s First Responders Act of 2021 (PAFRA). PAFRA ensures that first responders and law enforcement who are disabled in the line of duty have prompt access to benefits. It also protects the death and disability benefits for their families.

Updates

Ensuring Coast Guard Can ‘Strike’ Fast During HAZMAT Incidents

During a HAZMAT response, the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Strike Force (NSF), comprised of five specialized units of first responders, are ready to rapidly deploy to the scene properly equipped to protect the public and environment. These units are unique, highly-trained teams deployable to anywhere in the country and around the world.

Reports

2021 FEMA Resources for Climate Resilience

As climate change increases disaster risks across the country, emergency managers and government officials are beginning to implement strategies to build community resilience. FEMA Resources for Climate Resilience provides a roadmap of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs and initiatives that advance community climate resilience. FEMA Resources for Climate Resilience assists FEMA’s state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) partners in navigating the FEMA resources that are available to support communities in mitigating impacts of climate change.

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Updates

FEMA now accepting volunteers for the BRIC National Review Panel

FEMA is accepting applications for volunteers to assist with the virtual National Review Panel for the fiscal year 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, also known as BRIC. BRIC is a competitive FEMA grant program to support states, local communities, tribes and territories. The panel reviews submitted subapplications for hazard mitigation projects that aim to reduce the risk from disasters and natural hazards.

Reports

2021 Air Cargo Security Roadmap

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published its 5-year strategic vision for modernizing, streamlining, and further securing air cargo transportation operations. Titled the Air Cargo Security Roadmap, the publication is designed to help TSA and air cargo industry stakeholders identify and address emerging threats and ensure the efficient flow of commerce.

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Reports

FDA Issues Improvement Plan Focused on Modernizing Foodborne Illness Outbreak Responses

The FDA’s Foodborne Outbreak Response Improvement Plan (FORIP) is an important step that the FDA is taking to enhance the speed, effectiveness, coordination, and communication of outbreak investigations. 

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Preparedness

Domestic Preparedness in a Post-COVID-19 World

by Nathan DiPillo -

Traditional definitions of domestic preparedness have been influenced by the Cold War and international terrorism. As the 20-year milestone of the 9/11 attack on the United States passed, domestic terrorism also has made its mark on the interpretation of domestic preparedness. It is time for a fresh look, considering pandemics, local human-caused and natural catastrophes, reoccurring threats (like wildfires, earthquakes, and cyberattacks), and crumbling domestic infrastructure. The landscape of emergency response actions and readiness of public and private agencies in a globally interconnected world has left a deep scar on domestic preparedness and how risk is evaluated both nationally and internationally.

Updates

FEMA Announces New NAC Membership

FEMA announced 12 new members to the National Advisory Council (NAC) who will serve multi-year terms beginning Dec. 1 and will guide future recommendations centered around equity, climate change, and readiness.

Updates

FEMA extends request for information on NFIP

FEMA published a notice in the Federal Register extending the public comment on the National Flood Insurance Program’s minimum floodplain management standards by 45 days from Dec. 13, 2021, to Jan. 27, 2022.

Reports

2021 NATIONAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES EDUCATION STANDARDS

The standards outline the critical topics to be covered in the initial education of EMS clinicians based on the latest version of the National EMS Scope of Practice Model, as well as recent research and best practices. The high-level document defines the competencies, clinical behaviors and judgments required of EMS personnel to perform their roles.

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Updates

NIOSH Seeks Feedback on Personal Protective Technology Centers of Excellence

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is soliciting public comment on the need to establish centers of excellence to address research and practice needs in the area of personal protective technology (PPT), including personal protective equipment.

Updates

DHS Announces New Cybersecurity Requirements for Surface Transportation Owners and Operators

DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced two new Security Directives and additional guidance for voluntary measures to strengthen cybersecurity across the transportation sector in response to the ongoing cybersecurity threat to surface transportation systems and associated infrastructure. These actions are among several steps DHS is taking to increase the cybersecurity of U.S. critical infrastructure.

Resilience

Resilience After 2021: Unfinished Business & Future Agenda

by Robert McCreight -

In 2021, many questions have been raised about resilience. Is more known about resilience and have more leverage tools been retained to establish resilience at will than a decade ago? What ideas and notions were expected 10 years ago in energizing resilience tasks, activities, and operations? Has the leverage needed been acquired to apply proven strategies and operational systems for implementing post-disaster resilience with skill and confidence? Did a collective experience with mega-disasters since 2011 equip communities with new and innovative pathways to achieve resilience? The answers to these questions are far less than clear.