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.
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.
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.
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.
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.