PUBLIC HEALTH ARCHIVES

Animals in Distress: A Community Preparedness Checklist

Recent studies have shown that pets have the ability to relieve stress, provide purpose, and give unconditional love and support to those who need them. This profound connection is referred to as the “human-animal bond.” During an emergency or disaster, this bond is exhibited with the great lengths people go

Mass Fatalities – More Than Just a Number

A chemical spill, nuclear attack, biological agent, pandemic, hurricane, and numerous other threats and hazards have the potential to kill enough people to overwhelm any particular jurisdiction. Whether that number is 10 or 10,000 or more, the “unthinkable” can happen anywhere. On 16 June 2017, DomPrep hosted a panel discussion

Disasters Are About the People

Hurricane Harvey has caused widespread destruction, and its aftermath continues to pose a significant threat to life and safety. In this and other large-scale incidents, the exact number of people affected is hard to determine because of the complex physical and social networks that exist within and between jurisdictional boundaries.

When Pandemic Management Meets Cybersecurity

When faced with a health crisis such as a pandemic, the primary objective is ensuring the health and well being of the public and finding the fastest and easiest method to limit the spread of disease and take care of those who are sick. Cyberthreats can hinder public health efforts

Mortuary Logistic Challenges of Mass Fatality Incidents

Today in the United States, some in society are hesitant to acknowledge or plan for “failure options” – in other words, admit that the worst of the worst can happen. The military requires planning for just about every situation including when operations do not go as planned. However, those in

Plugging the Experience Drain in Hazmat Response

As a metaphor for picturing the maintenance of preparedness, imagine a number of 5-gallon buckets, where each one represents some aspect of readiness – detection, personal protective equipment (PPE), communications, training, etc. Each bucket is filled with water andeally each would stay filled representing a steady state of preparedness.

Responding to Unique Operating Environments

Effective trainings are ones where the participants remember and later implement what they learned into their daily operations. Not everyone knows how they would respond in a true emergency. However, some trainings provide a more realistic glimpse into disaster scenarios than others. This first-hand account describes what it was like for one participant

Mass Fatality Incidents & Challenges for First Responders

Mass fatality incidents present many challenges. To effectively plan for such events, certain key factors must be taken into consideration: common causes and challenges, as well as resources available. By communicating with the local medical examiner/coroner, being familiar with mass fatality plans, and learning about any pertinent capabilities and limitations,

Plan Big, Even to Respond Small

In emergency planning efforts, there is much debate about whether to plan for the worst and scale down, or plan for current threats and scale up. Of course, in complex systems, small changes in initial conditions can have profound effects. By considering larger, low-frequency events, communities can overcome this challenge

Wearable Sensors for Chemical & Biological Detection

One of the strengths of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is the ability to conduct comprehensive technology foraging and objective assessments of various technology areas. This article highlights leading research by others in the area of chemical and biological (chem/bio) detection that could be further developed into robust, highly

Preparing for High-Impact, Low-Probability (HILP) Events

The interconnected global environment can increase the number of vulnerabilities as well as the destabilizing effects of both natural and human-caused disasters. As such, when a high-impact, low-probability event occurs, the consequences can be devastating. To prepare for such events, planners must observe trends, predict futures, and create scenarios for

FEMA Corps: Bringing in the Next Generation

When Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast in 2012, its effects were devastating. The storm left a trail of destruction that affected 24 states, killing 159 people, costing $70.2 billion in damage, and leaving millions without power. Yet, in the wake of this terrible disaster, there was a new source

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