The Opioid Crisis & Its Impact on Public Safety | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/teddyandmia
Commentary

The Opioid Crisis & Its Impact on Public Safety

by Catherine L. Feinman -

The United States is in the midst of an epidemic of addiction to opioids and fentanyl. On 18 September 2018, DomPrep hosted a roundtable discussion at MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Network in Washington, DC, to discuss this threat. The three-hour conversation led by Craig DeAtley, PA-C, emergency manager for MedStar System, examined the extent of the problem, including the harmful risks to operational responders – people who are in physical contact with people as part of their daily work – from fentanyl/opioid exposure. Key discussion points summarized in this article included: impacts on public safety, data collection, best practices, personnel protection, and whole community collaboration.

 
Resilience

The Value of Knowledge & Training in Response Operations

by Anthony S. Mangeri -

In today’s emergency service professions, it is essential to master the core knowledge necessary to understand the research and emerging technology that guide incident response. To become truly prepared to respond, each emergency professional must take the time to develop the knowledge to manage the threat and initiate response operations. Training and education are critical in helping a responder master the competencies needed for response efforts.

Healthcare

Active Threat Response in Nashua, New Hampshire

by Mark A. Hastings -

Prior to 2013, the active threat plans in Nashua, New Hampshire (NH), consisted of separate responses by law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS). There was no coordinated plan. Involvement with area hospitals was not considered other than receiving patients. The Nashua Police SWAT Team and the Nashua Office of Emergency Management recognized this gap. This case study shares this city’s solution for creating and testing an integrated active threat “one plan” (the integration of several previously existing plans).

Preparedness

Special Edition: School Security

by -

In 2017, the Secure Schools Alliance (the Alliance) began a unique relationship with the DomPrep Journal. The goal was to raise awareness of the need to improve K-12 school security within the emergency preparedness community. This special reprint edition is a compilation of this effort, beginning with the macro argument of why school security needs to be improved and concluding with a call to recognize that schools are a critical part of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, which has been ignored for way too long.

Resilience

FEMA Challenges & Responses, 2017-2018

by Kay C. Goss -

The overall goal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), emergency management programs, and the profession of emergency management is to have the disaster system be federally supported, state managed, and locally executed. FEMA maintains a delicate and fragile balance between leading and nurturing this enormous system and this exciting profession. At the same time, disasters are becoming more frequent, more intense, and more expensive. Nevertheless, as the U.S. Department of Defense has said it can fight three wars at once, FEMA and its partners could handle three disasters at once. Currently, though, FEMA is clearly faced with handling much more than three major disasters at once.

Commentary

September – A Busy Month of Preparedness

by Martin Masiuk -

September always seems to be a very busy month, not just because it is preparedness month but also considering the large number of meetings, conferences, contract/budget/procurement cycles, and so on. This is true for Team DomPrep too. Two important events happened last week that need to be shared with the readership.

Updates

Protecting our Future: Emergency Preparedness and Children’s Mental Health

Among the many lessons learned during the 2017 Hurricane season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized that addressing children’s mental and behavioral health needs is a major concern in hurricane-affected areas. CDC’s At Risk Task Force was established in 2017 to ensure identification and prioritization of the mental and physical health needs of at-risk populations, including children.

Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 Transforms Field of Emergency Management

President Donald J. Trump signed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. With the economic disruption and the cost of disasters on the rise nationwide, the Federal Emergency Management Agency worked closely with Congress over the past year as they considered, and ultimately passed, important reforms to federal disaster programs.

Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense Calls for Action to Support SLTT Response to Biological Events

A new report from the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense recommends eight key steps that will increase the capability of the state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) public and private sectors to share with the federal government the burden of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from large-scale biological events.

DHS Announces Strategy to Protect the Homeland from Electromagnetic Incidents

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the release of the Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland Against Threats from Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbance. The Strategy lays out a clear vision and an approach for DHS to take to protect critical infrastructure and prepare to respond and recover from potentially catastrophic electromagnetic incidents.

HHS Seeks to Repurpose Burn Dressings for Radiation Emergencies

To prepare for radiological and nuclear emergencies, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will work with Argentum Medical, LLC of Geneva, Illinois, to repurpose its commercial product Silverlon for use for low-grade and severe skin radiation injuries after a radiation emergency.