Ham Radio in Emergency Operations | Domestic Preparedness Photo: Steve Aberle, 2011
Preparedness

Ham Radio in Emergency Operations

by Steve Aberle -

Many people grew up hearing about disasters in far-off lands and how amateur (ham) radio operators were initially the only means of contact with the outside world. Disasters, both near and far, still occur today, and ham radio operators continue to volunteer their skills and personal radio equipment to serve the public. From a planning and operations perspective, emergency management professionals must effectively include these volunteer resources into comprehensive emergency management plans (CEMPs).

 
Commentary

Cuts to U.S. Bioterror Funds Risk Peril in Event of Attack

by Daniel M. Gerstein -

President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget would eliminate a Department of Homeland Security laboratory dedicated to countering bioterrorism and providing the science behind response and recovery efforts should an attack occur. The proposal to eliminate this lab without creating replacement capabilities elsewhere could place the U.S. at risk at a time when biotechnology proliferation is increasing access to the knowledge and capabilities for developing bioterror weapons.

Resilience

Why NIMS Continuing Education Is Needed

by Randall Hanifen -

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework are very important and overall well-constructed documents despite some past failures related to their implementation. However, one common denominator in disaster failures or successes is the people involved and the education and training of those personnel. Although federal mandates provide requirements for an initial certification, to date, no required refresher training exists. This article analyzes reasons that the NIMS Incident Command System (ICS) annual recertification should be required to maintain NIMS compliance.

Resilience

Using Core Capabilities to Build County Resilience

by Allen King -

The lack of core capability guidance diminishes counties’ levels of preparedness and resilience and is a barrier to increasing these efforts for the nation as a whole. By using community associations as force multipliers, counties can leverage this valuable resource to increase resilience-building efforts beginning at the local level. This bottom-up approach builds not only physical but social resilience at all levels.

Preparedness

Anatomy of a National Special Security Event

by Christopher T. Geldart -

There have been 56 National Special Security Events (NSSEs) since Presidential Directive 62 designated the category in 1998, 32 of which have been hosted in Washington, D.C. The most recent NSSEs have been the 2017 Inauguration, the 2017 President’s Address to the Joint Session of Congress, and the 2015 World Meeting of Families, which involved a visit to the District by Pope Francis. Local jurisdictions hosting such events must evaluate and plan for both the opportunities and challenges they may face.

Commentary

More Threats, More Interdependence, More Collaboration

by Catherine Feinman -

All disasters may begin locally, but their effects and resource needs can span jurisdictions and can even have national implications. This edition of the DomPrep Journal examines ways to protect critical infrastructure and communities from widespread catastrophe.

Preparedness

Ham Radio Support for Tribal Emergency Preparedness

by Steve Aberle -

In collaboration with many local, state, and federal partners, the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council hosted the 14th Annual Regional Joint Tribal Emergency Preparedness Conference on 1-3 May 2017, at the Suquamish Indian Tribe’s center overlooking dxʷsəq̕ʷəb (“place of the clear salt water” in the Southern Lushootseed language) at Agate Pass in Puget Sound, Washington. Amateur radio operators from Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona all contributed to the success of this conference.

Commentary

A Revised Definition of Homeland Security

by Judson M. Freed -

A top-down approach provides guidance and support from federal agencies to local jurisdictions. A bottom-up approach ensures that local needs are being heard at the top. However, when local agencies are tasked with national security efforts, more guidance and support may be needed from above. It is time to prioritize resources, measure preparedness and response capabilities, and build and support national capabilities locally by redefining homeland security in today’s environment.

Updates

NIST Awards $38.5 Million to Accelerate Public Safety Communications Technologies

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded $38.5 million to 33 research and development (R&D) projects aimed at advancing broadband communications technologies for first responders.

Fully Covered

U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) has partnered with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Battelle Memorial Institute, and Priority Designs, to develop an improved neck-up personal protective equipment (PPE) concept. The new concept will improve the interface where a warfighter’s protective mask and hood meet, in order to provide greater protection from exposure to chemical and biological warfare agents.

New RightAnswer.com Service Makes Chemical, Health, and Safety Information Free to U.S. First Responders

RightAnswer.com has launched a new service that makes subscription to its extensive collection of environmental, health, safety, hazard, and regulatory compliance information completely free to first responders throughout the United States.

Farpointe Provides First Cybersecurity Vulnerability Checklist for Contactless Cards & Readers

Farpointe Data has posted the first radio frequency identification(RFID) Cybersecurity Vulnerability Checklist for access control manufacturers, distributors, integrators and end users to use to protect their access control systems from becoming hacker gateways to their facilities and IT systems.

New York Medical College Announces Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters

New York Medical College (NYMC) announces a new Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters. The center is the first of its kind in the Mid-Hudson Region and is a major advance in the fight against chemical and biological terrorism.