Commentary

How the Nation Is Failing in Public Health Preparedness

by Patrick Rose -

As public health funding and staffing continue to decline, communities are left more vulnerable to the next catastrophic public health emergency. The United States is failing in its public health preparedness efforts. The nation's resilience depends on the government and public health making critical changes to reverse this downward trend.

Technology vs. Good Planning & Training

by Steven P. Bucci -

There is no single solution to cybersecurity concerns. Technology is advancing, but nothing can replace solid planning and training. All three pillars are necessary to balance cyberthreats. If too much emphasis is placed on one pillar, the vulnerability gap will expand. Ensuring the constant growth and evolution of this trilogy is currently the best way to thwart threats that are ever evolving.

In Honor of National Preparedness Month

As National Preparedness Month comes to a close, DomPrep would like to remind its readers that preparedness is a year-round process that involves practitioners at all levels. One good example of this type of outreach comes from Baltimore City's Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, who hosts a live weekly call-in podcast to share information and to address the city's health concerns.

Political Realities of Legislation for Extreme Events

by Andrea Boland -

The single extreme solar storm (GMD/geomagnetic disturbance) or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack (manmade weapon) - together often known as natural and manmade EMP, or simply EMP - could cause a blackout lasting months or years. Even for government officials who have the authority to do something about it, legislation may be required to make new demands on a resistant, powerful industry.

A Case for Political Leadership in Disaster Response & Recovery

by Jason McNamara -

Among some professional emergency managers and media outlets, the role of senior elected officials in incident response and recovery efforts is, at best, perceived as unhelpful. However, political engagement is necessary for effective disaster response and recovery, and continuous, meaningful involvement of elected officials is an essential element of the National Preparedness System.

No Defensive Strategy to Address a Growing Terrorist Threat

by Richard Schoeberl -

As the Islamic State group increases its threats around the world, the United States is grossly unprepared to track radicalized members and sympathizers, or to even know how many there are in the United States and abroad. At this point, an international coalition effort is the best hope for thwarting this unpredictable, yet ever-growing, "lawless" group.

Leadership: Building Better Response Efforts in the Future

by Marc A. DeSimone Sr. -

When fate throws a "sucker punch," one will do whatever it is habit to do, for all are creatures of habit. During the recent civil unrest in Baltimore, good leaders rose to the task to restore order to the city. However, these leaders are not always the ones in the spotlight or on the evening news.

Bridging the Public-Private Sector Divide

by Catherine Feinman -

At the April 2015 Ready Chesapeake meeting, members of this nonprofit group discussed ways to build business continuity within Annapolis-area communities and created a survey to reach out to other jurisdictions for suggestions. Practitioners (149 public sector, 80 private sector) from 47 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and Martinique shared their insights from both the public and private sector perspectives.

Relying on Good Fortune - Not an Acceptable Preparedness Strategy

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

When hundreds of people fall ill from a mysterious biological agent, public health and law enforcement agencies work seamlessly to implement the established policies and enforce any necessary quarantine procedures that they have planned and trained for well in advance of the current threat. At least, that is what should happen.

Talking to People Who Do Not Believe Bad Things Can Happen

by William Kaewert -

A deliberate enemy attack on U.S. infrastructure may be a credible threat but, if the warning is provided at the wrong time, in the wrong place, or to the wrong audience, the message will have no, or possibly even a negative, response. An effective presenter is able to tell a story, be credible, choose wisely, get help, and ask for action.