Across the United States, incidents of police officers being targeted in ambush-style attacks have raised great concern. The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police addressed this rising concern by creating reality-based training scenarios that build situational awareness and test officers on incidents they are likely to encounter during routine traffic stops.
Public health and healthcare funding is a priority during a disease outbreak such as Ebola. However, when ongoing funding is unavailable, government agencies must scramble to find ways to support public health response efforts. Three funding opportunities may help address these current gaps and avoid disease-specific funding for response efforts after the threat is realized.
According to a January 2014 Pew Research Center report, 58 percent of adults surveyed in the United States use smartphones. With a growing dependence on these devices, it is important to educate the public on how they can prepare for times when cellular service is not available. During a disaster, smartphones can still be "smart" with the right applications installed.
Although emergency managers plan for all types of disasters that could potentially occur within or around their jurisdictions, cyberattacks present unique challenges when identifying the nature of, and understanding how to respond to, such threats. A true all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness necessarily includes protecting communities against cyberthreats.
In Harris County, Texas, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is leveraging its youth volunteers and establishing Junior MRC teams in its local high schools. By integrating a younger generation and recognizing the benefits that youth members can provide, MRCs can strengthen community preparedness and response for many years to come.
When the electric power infrastructure fails, it affects much more than just the electronic equipment that is powered by it. A lesson from Superstorm Sandy demonstrates how managing ground support, supplies, and facilities may differ when electrical power is gone. It may even require hundreds (or thousands) of orange traffic cones to maintain operations.
The Federal Communications Commission is considering changing the provider of the local number portability administrator. Emergency responders should be aware that this decision could affect responders' ability to identify 911 callers, to track suspects, and to transition, test, and validate telephone databases following a disaster.
There are immediate and long-term steps - planning, triaging, and shielding - that any organization can take to mitigate disasters related to electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Understanding how EMP works, benefits and types of protective actions, as well as standards and ratings will help simplify the process of protecting civilian critical infrastructure.
The Global Positioning System is an integral part of the U.S. critical infrastructure. However, its importance may not be realized until the system fails. It is important to examine the good and the bad of satellite navigation and timing when discussing: current systems, vulnerabilities, satellite signals, cost, implementation, and government efforts.
Government officials in Maine are taking steps to protect the electric grid from severe geomagnetic disturbances and manmade electromagnetic pulse weapons. However, ensuring that state agencies and electric utilities work together toward a common goal can be a challenge. The final task force report on emergency legislation passed on 11 June 2013 is expected later this month.