DomesticPreparedness condemns the lawlessness that descended on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. The inciteful rhetoric and behavior resulting in the criminal breech of the U.S. Capitol and personal assaults, which lead to the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick and others, are inexcusable. These acts are an affront to our democratic process that is grounded in the U.S. Constitution, our commitment to the rule of law, and the belief in American exceptionalism.
Is it time to rethink low-probability/high-impact incidents? With tensions abnormally high from the pandemic, a tumultuous election period, the past summer’s civil unrest, and more once-in-a-century weather incidents, there is a critical obligation to plan and train for frequent extreme scenarios by public safety, emergency management, and public health/medicine professionals. Robust interagency intelligence collection, analysis, and data sharing must provide decision makers with dependable situational predictability that allows for prudent adaptation in dynamic environments. Communication interoperability, strong mutual assistance coordination, and decisive unified command structures are essential to prepare for, prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from high-impact situations. There needs to be constant recognition that situations can and are likely to change rapidly. This awareness needs to be understood and drilled by personnel at all levels of the enterprise. One foolish gesture by an inadequately trained officer could have profound negative consequences.
Because of the tragic loss of lives and the erosion of trust in our democratic process, institutions and government, DomPrep calls for the lessons recently learned to be quickly incorporated by preparedness professionals for other unforeseen events. The courageous men and women of law enforcement, fire, EMS, public health/medicine, and emergency management, as well as the American people, deserve the very best in preparedness particularly during these highly dynamic times.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11. DomPrep plans to review many programs that were established to prepare for those threats widely known, they now seem forgotten due to complacency. This past week’s horrible incident in Washington, DC should make us all wonder: What else is broken?