Emerging threats of yesteryear seemed unrealistic, so allocating funds and resources to such threats was not a priority for many agencies and organizations. Today, some of those “unrealistic” scenarios have become almost commonplace. As a result, having a three-day kit, knowing how to stop the bleed, and training for an active shooter event no longer seem unusual. However, communities are still generally greatly unprepared for what is yet to come tomorrow.
Although a long-term, widespread power outage may not be a top priority in community preparedness plans, many communities have considered the devastating effects of such a scenario. A long-term power outage, for the purpose of this article, is defined as one that lasts from the time regular and emergency resources are depleted to a year – or even longer. The cause of the power outage could be any of the following: an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from any source, a cascading event after a smaller area is affected by some type of power system intrusion or attack, or any other threat or hazard that could cause a power outage.
The Event 201 pandemic exercise, conducted on October 18, 2019, demonstrated a number of important gaps in pandemic preparedness as well as some of the elements of the solutions between the public and private sectors that will be needed to fill them. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have proposed seven recommendations.
Many families depend on child care providers to care for their children so parents can work and go to school. The National Survey of Early Care and Education estimates that 118,000 listed providers care for more than 750,000 children between birth and 5 years of age in home-based settings. Home-based child care, also referred to as family child care, is care provided in a home setting for a smaller group of children (usually under 12 children). Parents often choose family child care because of the appeal of a home-like environment, smaller group sizes, and greater opportunity for flexible hours. Listed child care means they appear on state or national lists of early care and education services, such as licensed, regulated, license-exempt, or registered home-based providers.
The elderly are particularly vulnerable to disasters given the increased likelihood of having physical or mental health conditions or being socially isolated due to a lack of a support network. It is important for counties to assess the needs of and have plans in place to assist their elderly populations in the event of a disaster.
Many studies have shown that firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) responders have a high likelihood of experiencing an assault since they respond to calls in varied locations, often paired with only one or two colleagues. Researchers on the Stress and Violence to Fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER) study found many improvements organizations can make to mitigate the risk and impact of assaults on their responders.
The updated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training is now available. It features a revised Disaster Medical Operations section, updated Terrorism and CERT section, and new hazard-specific annexes. Find the new curriculum materials online and order free copies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency publications warehouse.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) Program Management Office has updated IPAWS to implement enhancements that will strengthen Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The WEA enhancements improve upon current WEA capabilities already in use by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management, and public safety officials nationwide.
Dear DomPrep Readers,
On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, I published a six month review along with a publisher message. I received a thought provoking reply from Mr. James Rush that I need to share with you. Jim is very well known and respected in the Emergency Management arena and is a frequent contributor to DomPrep.
I agree with his five points and ask if you agree as well. Please find a link to a flash poll that I encourage you to take. Please feel free to forward this email to your colleagues to also get their input. Let me know if you find this useful.
Martin D. (Marty) Masiuk, Founder & Publisher
On 21 October 2019, the French anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office announced that the investigation into the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France, had concluded. It took French authorities four years to complete the investigation. The attacks targeted outdoor cafes, a stadium, and a concert hall – resulting in 130 deaths and another 352 injured. The investigation revealed that a larger jihadist cell was behind the complex coordinated terrorist attacks (CCTA), reaching across Europe but particularly Belgium, which was later also targeted by the cell. The result of the French investigation has led to the indictments of at least 20 suspects and the discovery of many lessons learned.
Rapid advances in pathogen genomics have ushered in a new era of “precision public health.” Next-generation sequencing is already enabling more effective investigations of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, better-targeted tuberculosis control, and more timely and granular influenza surveillance to inform the selection of vaccine strains.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the first Project BioShield contract to fund the advanced development needed to support the expanded use of an existing antibiotic to treat exposure to inhalational anthrax. If the additional development work is successful, the antibiotic could become the first antibiotic developed and procured through Project BioShield to treat potentially drug-resistant bioterrorism agents.
When disaster strikes, critical infrastructure failures – from loss of power and water to failures of information technology infrastructure and systems – can follow. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection has tools, resources, and partnerships to help respond more effectively in an emergency.
As numerous past disasters and government exercises have indicated, many people will take advantage of overwhelmed police to loot and maraud. “Preppers” are well aware of this threat, but it may be politically incorrect for government officials to honestly address lawlessness and risk offending voters, so they lack preparation for the problem of gangs and armed marauders looting and killing in the wake of a big disaster that overwhelms first responders.
A new intentional adulteration (IA) online training course has been made available. The “IA Food Defense Plan Preparation and Reanalysis” online course was developed through a partnership between the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) Intentional Adulteration Subcommittee and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The National Qualification System (NQS) establishes and promotes baseline qualifications for a national incident workforce consisting of incident management, incident support, and emergency management personnel. This National Incident Management System (NIMS) Supplemental Guide for Coaches and Evaluators is a supplemental NQS guide that defines the roles coaches and evaluators play in developing a qualified incident workforce based on consistent performance standards. The guide explains the standards that coaches and evaluators uphold and identifies the skills necessary to succeed in their work with trainees.
Members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Advisory Council presented a report to Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor outlining actions the agency can take to address key issues facing the field of emergency management. The council passed 31 recommendations, which included input from a broad range of stakeholders including community partners, experts in insurance and risk, mitigation, and finance.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Ervebo, the first FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of Ebola virus disease (EVD), caused by Zaire ebola virus in individuals 18 years of age and older. Risk of EVD in the U.S. remains low, but the U.S. government remains committed to fighting Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
In just the last decade, the nation has faced three serious influenza-related incidents. Containing an influenza-related pandemic will require layered end-to-end solutions: better diagnostics, closer to the patient; improved therapeutics, especially for hospitalized patients; and, perhaps most importantly, better vaccines that are produced in the United States using more modern, fast, and flexible technologies.