Life is beginning to return to normal following the past two years of the pandemic, but the world is still as unpredictable as ever. When it seems as though one catastrophic situation is coming to an end, another tends to emerge as the newest public safety issue. This article addresses the wildfire threat and the need for a common operating picture.
Public safety agencies require funding to support their operations. Government grants provide opportunities to build preparedness and response programs and strengthen community resilience. However, the grant process has changed over the years. This article helps agencies navigate the current competitive grant process and improve their chances of receiving much-needed funding.
When an injury causes a life-threatening bleed, minutes matter. There may not be enough time for first responders to arrive on the scene, so immediate responders are needed. Knowing how to respond to this type of injury and being able to stop the bleeding are skills that everyone should learn. This article explains why and how to do that.
Each disaster a community faces must be effectively managed. By viewing each crisis as a project and each emergency manager as a project manager, communities will be better prepared to mitigate future threats, manage special events, and respond to emergencies and disasters. This article describes how traditional models converge to create a comprehensive project management approach.
Experience required. Many jobs require wide-ranging qualifications and expertise to be able to apply and interview. However, people often ask, “How can I get the experience if I cannot get a job?” A great way to get “a foot in the door” is through internships, which can be vital in the emergency management field. Multifaceted and sometimes fast-paced, this is the type of profession where one must have the drive and passion for helping others and serving the community. Despite some public misconceptions that emergency management is only active during an event (which is often the only time an agency receives media attention), it is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year profession. Therefore, exposure to what happens in the field on “blue sky days” and during an emergency or disaster is paramount for someone new to the profession to experience.
Several national critical functions and all 16 critical infrastructure sectors rely either directly or indirectly on functional and consistent position, navigation, and timing (PNT) signals. As such, fragility of weak and easily imitated global positioning system (GPS) signals could lead to catastrophic impacts on dependent and interdependent critical infrastructure systems. Designating PNT-signal-emanating assets as a standalone national critical function would bring resources, awareness, research, additional risk mitigation measures, and new solutions to help keep consistent and resilient PNT signals operational if threatened by natural and human-caused threats.
Shootings, acts of violence, crimes, abuse, suicides, overdoses, and other incidents and tragedies are increasing nationwide. Cities across the nation saw a surge of homicides in 2020 and many cities were at or near record levels for homicides in 2021. Cities also saw spikes in 2020 and 2021 with crimes, abuse, suicides, overdoses, and other incidents. Organizations, schools, and communities have continued to add more security solutions as well as more hotlines, safety/threat assessment teams, policies, trainings, and laws. However, violence and crime statistics do not reflect better safety.
Responding to outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases is just one of the many challenges emergency planners and responders in rural localities face. Unfortunately, the infrequent nature of these events makes it easy to put off the planning, training, and research needed to fully prepare for animal disease outbreaks.
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.
On 5 November 2021, an apparent crowd crush at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas resulted in ten deaths and untold injuries. While the criminal investigation is in its early stages at the time of this article, the music festival undoubtably represents some failures of safety and security planning and execution. The death count and reported injuries are too high to be the normal cost of holding events. Disturbing videos from the event, in addition to statements from concert goers and first responders, belie assertions that initial observations by subject matter experts are impossible until the completion of the investigation. The events at Astroworld are a reminder of the need to “protect the 3Ps” at concerts and special events, and the fact that these activities must be balanced.