When planning for its annual forecast issue, DomPrep reached out to subject matter experts in all preparedness disciplines to share which solutions they believe have significant potential to improve preparedness (readiness and resilience) over the next five years. In 200 words or less, more than 50 readers answered the call.
With a few practical steps, state and local governments, as well as other planning and response agencies, can accomplish a lot with little or no changes in their budgets. These agencies can build capability, confidence, and readiness by developing concepts of operations, reviewing equipment needs, training personnel, maintaining instruments, and regularly practicing skills.
The functioning of cellphones, the Global Positioning System, and other electronic "lifelines" are dependent on a strong and resilient power grid. Since power disruptions of any length of time could lead to civil disobedience under certain circumstances, communities must have the right tools and knowledge to identify and close any gaps before the next power-grid failure.
When President John F. Kennedy announced that Soviet ships were transporting nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to Cuba, U.S. citizens prepared to "duck and cover" as they had been taught in grade school. Individuals and families were more self-reliant in the 1960s than today. With greater reliance on electricity, all Americans are now even more vulnerable, especially to the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a high-altitude nuclear burst.
An intense pulse of electromagnetic energy generated by manmade or natural events has the potential to significantly damage or destroy electronic components across the electric grid. Without these components, many life-supporting services may cease to function, but it is important to understand the realistic effects of such incidents and remove any misconceptions.
Part 5 of 5: By implementing a national command structure, creating ongoing relationships, sharing resources, and participating in joint exercises and trainings, Baltimore City is able to better coordinate preparedness efforts with multiple disciplines and jurisdictions to protect communities and critical infrastructure. A small staff can accomplish a lot when everyone works together.
Natural disasters can have devastating consequences, as seen following Superstorm Sandy. DomPrep interviewed three distinguished guests to learn more about this topic from the local, regional, and federal perspectives and to provide insights on current mitigation efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from future threats.
Since 1998, the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama, has been offering interdisciplinary training to emergency responders. In April 2014, the Baltimore regional incident management team (IMT) traveled to Anniston for a pilot program developed for IMTs. Listen to Captain Michael Pfaltzgraff of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department describe his experience at CDP.
Part 4 of 5: Baltimore City takes the whole-community approach to a regional level. By integrating the business community into the city's operations and planning process and working with regional partners to plan for and respond to incidents and special events, the city is able to use these many relationships as force multipliers.
Part 3 of 5: In any large city, there are many agencies and organizations that must learn to work together for the benefit of the city as a whole. In Baltimore, these groups come together through local emergency planning committee meetings, trainings, exercises, special events, and other interagency preparedness efforts. As plans change, the key to success is adaptability.