December 31, 2019
Dear DomPrep Readers,
On behalf of the staff and many writers of DomPrep, I wish you a safe, healthy, and secure 2020. We are about to finish our 21st year of publishing information for first responders, medical receivers, emergency managers, local-state-federal authorities, nongovernment organizations, and the private sector. Our goal still is, as it has been since 1998, to publish edited, peer-to-peer content relevant to those who serve and protect the nation. Thank you to the many who help me satisfy that mission.
I would be negligent, though, if I did not point out a few concerns about the national security status. The Department of Homeland Security, as the lead federal component of the homeland enterprise, is not what it was envisioned to be, when and why it was established. There still is an inability to formulate and execute policy and programs in cyber, infrastructure, weapons of mass destruction, biodefense, and other high threat/risk areas. Congress too is not without blame. Their inability to streamline legislative responsibility through oversight, procurement, and mission requirements has created a broken body without commonality of effort. And finally, a downright awful 2019 OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Agency Management Report leaves me perplexed and in wonderment.
These disappointments are only a few of the ones I have. Centralized decision making, for example, has created single points of failure, with leadership that is either acting or vacant. That means that local and state authorities must carry the burden for preparedness and resilience and step up to the vacuum created in Washington, D.C. DomPrep readers know all too well that too many tasks in their day-to-day operations make long days even longer. This leaves little or no time to plan for the unthinkable. Additionally, retention, resignations, and retirement make lessons learned, lessons forgotten.
I hope that the faults and failures I see within the homeland enterprise are not tested in 2020. Regardless, we will press on and continue to share critical information even before it becomes mainstream news. For example, the public recently became concerned about the genetic test kits that have become popular gifts only after the Department of Defense issued warnings for its military personnel. Why is this news now when in 2016, experts warned in DomPrep about the security of genetic databanks, emerging genetically engineered threats, and other dual-use concerns related to such “gifts”? In 2020, DomPrep will continue to give voice to the knowledgeable practitioners who may not always say what the politicians want the public to hear, but what emergency preparedness professionals need to know to protect their communities, with or without national homeland security support.
As always, I look forward to your feedback and remain ready to serve as a conduit for sharing critical information with all those who must prepare for the worst, but still hope for the best.
Warmest holiday regards,
Martin (Marty) Masiuk
Martin D. Masiuk
Martin (Marty) Masiuk is president and founder of International Media Representatives Inc. (IMR Group Inc.), which was established in 1986 as an American-based media representation firm for overseas, aerospace, and defense publications. In 1998, under the IMR Group, he established DomesticPreparedness.com, which has evolved into a highly trusted, and important information service for the multi-disclipline, multi-jurisdiction preparedness community. In 2014, he transitioned the DomPrep40 into the Preparedness Leadership Council to lessen the burden on and increase the effectiveness of operational preparedness professionals and help policy professionals make better-informed decisions. Prior to IMR Group, he served as an account representative for McGraw Hill’s Business Week and Aviation Week & Space Technology publications.