Preparedness

Disaster Case Management: An Important Disaster Response Tool

by Senay Ozbay -

Effective disaster response and recovery involves identifying and establishing an organization that serves the needs of vulnerable populations utilizing pre-disaster risk assessments and crisis management communication, with planned and tested tools and robust resources. Disaster Case Management is one such tool.

A New Way of Looking at Earthquake Plans

by Frances Dunniway -

With the inevitability of earthquakes in California, disaster preparedness and evacuation focused on the safety of lives is of utmost importance. The health, welfare, and safety of children are of paramount importance, as children are left in the protection of school district officials. In 2005, California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 103 requiring that each school district have a safety disaster plan in place and charged the U.S. Department of Education to coordinate with Office of Emergency Preparedness to keep these materials current and updated (AB 103, Section 1).

Active Shooter Preparedness: Beyond Run/Hide/Fight

by Chad Hyland -

Run/Hide/Fight or Avoid/Deny/Defend – no matter which mantra is taught/trained, there is one unfortunate constant between both methodologies: the shooting has begun, and there is an imminent loss of life occurring at the workplace, school, church, grocery store, or wherever the active shooters have selected their targets. Thorough understanding of these methodologies is certainly important during an active shooter event. Often, bystanders freeze in disbelief that the incident is happening to them. This is not the common fight versus flight response. There is initial shock to the system. Repetition through training and exercises will create that imbedded response in the cerebellum to create the muscle memory needed for all bystanders to react and Run/Hide/Fight or Avoid/Deny/Defend. Not to dissuade from bolstering preparedness through this training, the fact remains that lives are being threatened when the response is initiated. A true active shooter preparedness plan needs to go beyond the Run/Hide/Fight or Avoid/Deny/Defend reaction.

National Pandemic Planning – The Forgotten Scenarios

by Rick C. Mathews -

“Are we prepared?” is a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. There are generally two times this question arises: (1) when funding is being requested, and (2) after an incident occurs where the preparedness comes under review. Both timings are appropriate, but arguably not the best time to raise the question. The best time to ask this question is that “sweet spot” between a request for funding and an actual need arises. However, this ideal time is frequently missed or avoided. Some would say it is human nature to avoid tough questions unless forced to face them; other times, it is because of the preparedness issue conflicting with other priorities that comprise the agendas of most agencies, governments, and private sector managers.

Avoiding the Three As: Apathy, Atrophy & Attrition

by Christopher Tantlinger -

Emergency management is everything to everybody, but it often lacks the glue that is so desperately needed to manage catastrophic events. This is likely the result of two common pitfalls that the profession has long suffered from, pitfalls that can begin as soon as one walks out of the meeting or training room door: apathy and atrophy. Apathy can be defined as a lack of interest, passion, excitement, or concern. When not effectively addressed, apathy can then lead to atrophy, a long gradual decline in effectiveness. Such weakening is caused by underuse of key knowledge, skills, and abilities.

From Hysteria to Complacency, Then Back Again

by James M. Rush Sr. -

With recent urgent stories about the coronavirus, it seemed to be just a matter of time for the nation to revert to hysteria. Instead of a calm, resolute culture of preparedness, there has been a “PowerGlide” of public sentiment. In the 1960s, many Chevrolet automobiles had a PowerGlide transmission with just two gears: low gear and high gear. Similarly, in the past eight years, society has had two collective mental gears: complacency and hysteria.

The Future of Emergency Preparedness

by William H. Austin -

The National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. has an inscription on the Northeast corner that reads, “What is past is Prologue.” This simple but profound advice may easily be the emergency manager’s most calming guidance. The journey starts right now.

Small Steps Toward Long-Term Power Outage Preparedness

by Deborah Link -

Although a long-term, widespread power outage may not be a top priority in community preparedness plans, many communities have considered the devastating effects of such a scenario. A long-term power outage, for the purpose of this article, is defined as one that lasts from the time regular and emergency resources are depleted to a year – or even longer. The cause of the power outage could be any of the following: an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from any source, a cascading event after a smaller area is affected by some type of power system intrusion or attack, or any other threat or hazard that could cause a power outage.

Family Child Care Emergency Preparedness

by Jillian Ritter -

Many families depend on child care providers to care for their children so parents can work and go to school. The National Survey of Early Care and Education estimates that 118,000 listed providers care for more than 750,000 children between birth and 5 years of age in home-based settings. Home-based child care, also referred to as family child care, is care provided in a home setting for a smaller group of children (usually under 12 children). Parents often choose family child care because of the appeal of a home-like environment, smaller group sizes, and greater opportunity for flexible hours. Listed child care means they appear on state or national lists of early care and education services, such as licensed, regulated, license-exempt, or registered home-based providers.

Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks: Paris Attacks of 2015

by Robert Mueck -

On 21 October 2019, the French anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office announced that the investigation into the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France, had concluded. It took French authorities four years to complete the investigation. The attacks targeted outdoor cafes, a stadium, and a concert hall – resulting in 130 deaths and another 352 injured. The investigation revealed that a larger jihadist cell was behind the complex coordinated terrorist attacks (CCTA), reaching across Europe but particularly Belgium, which was later also targeted by the cell. The result of the French investigation has led to the indictments of at least 20 suspects and the discovery of many lessons learned.