Protecting Water as a Lifeline in Disaster | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/caristo
Preparedness

Protecting Water as a Lifeline in Disaster

by Mary Lasky & William Harris -

Water is vital to life. Water and wastewater are taken for granted, with people believing that the faucet will turn on and the toilet will flush. That is until a disaster. To ensure access to critical resources such as water when needed the most requires understanding the scale and scope of the problem, identifying ways to preserve such lifeline services, and strategizing to best allocate these resources during both disaster and non-disaster times.

 
Resilience

Resilient Communities – More Than Just “Grit”

by Nicolette Louissaint -

The upcoming hurricane season and recent reports of disease outbreaks – domestically and abroad – serve as reminders that there are several threats that communities face at the same time. Creating resilient communities requires an understanding that communities contend with competing priorities, and must find ways to harness their existing strengths to improve their preparedness and response capabilities.

Resilience

Putting Transportation Under the Resilience Umbrella

by Laurel Radow -

As interdependencies between and among critical infrastructure sectors and the potential for cascading effects increase, communities must be able to recover and adapt to new normals. One organization incorporates research to help enhance communication between sectors by identifying and addressing research gaps. As threats evolve, communities with a solid framework for resilience are better prepared to update plans and adapt to new normals.

Preparedness

A Failure to Over-Communicate

by Terry Hastings -

Emergency managers (and others) often fail to truly engage and educate their various stakeholders. With numerous competing priorities and a vast array of information outlets to contend with, getting a message to resonate requires more effort than ever before. As such, emergency managers must be willing to over-communicate and explore new ways to educate people. Much like disaster preparedness, communication is an ongoing process that requires a sustained commitment.

Resilience

Native Community Resilience Leaps Forward

by Lynda Zambrano -

As in any community, a solid network of partnerships is needed to address the specific needs of its community members. Native American and Alaska Native populations span the nation, but face similar preparedness challenges. To address resilience gaps, a public-private sector collaborative approach was used to create a tool as a foundational document for community outreach by tribal stakeholders, as well as tribal emergency managers and others to train new staff.

Commentary

“Emergency Management” – A Misnomer

by Chas Eby -

“Emergency management” is a term broadly defining a field that includes federal, state, and local government agencies, voluntary organizations active in disasters, and private-sector stakeholders that conduct a variety of activities to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from incidents. However, “emergency management” does not accurately describe the discipline or represent the most valuable skillset of emergency managers and their agencies: complex problem solving.

Commentary

Leadership Lessons From a Navy SEAL

by Kevin Lacz -

Valuable leadership principles learned in military operations can be effectively applied to leaders in the civilian world. However, complacency and comfort zones are often the barriers to such success. Being moved to join the military after watching the towers fall on 9/11 was a turning point that broke these barriers for this Navy SEAL.

Resilience

Biometrics & Continuous Evaluation: A New Approach

by Ernest Baumann & Delilah Barton -

Increased focus on insider threats has resulted in greater attention to background screening and automated methods to assist the vetting process for initial and continued access to secure facilities and classified information. Recent technology applications can provide investigators with an ever-increasing variety of data for screening and continued vetting. Applying this model to homeland security and emergency management, however, presents broader cultural issues, including information privacy and interoperability.

Updates

Cherokee Nation Emergency Management Now a Type 3 FEMA Response Team

Cherokee Nation’s Emergency Management team is now equipped with the expertise and vehicles to respond to a Type 3-level Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster. As defined by FEMA, a Type 3 team can respond within hours to a natural disaster, a public health emergency, a large-scale crash, or another crisis within tribal boundaries.

Emergent BioSolutions Unveils Its Expanded Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing in Baltimore

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. celebrates the opening of the company’s newly expanded Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) in Baltimore. The facility is one of three centers designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide advanced development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures to support the U.S. government’s national security and public health emergency needs.

Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security Emergence Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security's newest offering, the Emergence Program. This program is for homeland/public safety officials in the early stages of their careers. The deadline for applications is July 28.

A Faster, Less Costly Test Detects Foodborne Toxin

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed a new test that's faster, more sensitive and less expensive than current tests in detecting a major foodborne toxin. The bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, which makes a variety of toxins, is one of the most common causes of food poisoning.

Fentanyl Can Sicken First Responders. Here’s a Possible Solution.

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology are working to address the first responder hazard of handling unknown powders. They report that two technologies, Ion Mobility Spectrometry and Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry, can detect trace amounts of fentanyl even when mixed with heroin and other substances. This research suggests new ways to protect law enforcement officers, evidence examiners, and drug-sniffing dogs.