Civil unrest, regardless of cause, creates unexpected risks to lives and property. Predicting the timing and scale of these events would allow for better tactical management and a more effective training process. However, theoretical work by complex systems scientists and real-world experiences of first responders make a strong case that such forecasting may be impossible. Still, recent advances in understanding complex systems can provide profound contributions to the preparedness community.
On a Saturday night in 2013, a fire broke out in a nightclub in Sao Paulo, Brazil. More than 240 people, mostly college students, were killed. Two years later, two people were killed and more than 70 injured in a stampede to exit a club in Malta, due to a possible gas leak. Although the immediate causes of the two incidents were different, a common factor that led to so many dead and injured was poor management of large groups.
On 17 January 2017, the InterAgency Board released its “Proposed Model for Bioterrorism Response: Initial Operations and Characterization” position paper (BT Position Paper). This 28-page document puts forward a method to make use of the many federally developed standards and strategies produced over the past 16 years – at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars – that have yet to produce a national capability.
by Project Team at Emergency Management Executive Academy -
Since 9/11, billions of dollars and an enormous amount of effort have been directed at enhancing national preparedness efforts as they relate to human-caused and natural disasters, yet many jurisdictions and organizations still struggle to determine how prepared they are and how prepared they need to be.
Since 2003, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) has required local officials to report NIMS compliance actions to their respective emergency management agencies, which in turn reported these results to the state. The National Incident Management System is entering its 14th year with varied degrees of accomplishment.
The year 2017 should be a great year for mobility and infrastructure in the United States. All signs are pointing to a robust economy, and policymakers are looking favorably on transportation projects – road, rail, air, public, private, and in between. In particular, the upcoming year will see a number of passenger rail projects moving forward.
Stretching from Belgium to France, the United States to Iraq, the world has been blemished with terror attacks ranging from active shooter scenarios at entertainment venues, to plowing vehicles into crowded streets. Over the past decade, the United States has joined the global community of those exposed to the consequences and carnage associated with acts of terrorism.
The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) provides a solid set of guiding principles for homeland security actors to “build, sustain, and deliver core capabilities.” Perhaps most important to this process, exercise evaluators assess performance with regard to stated objectives and then identify and document areas of improvement for the tested capabilities.
In September 2016, more than 30 people gathered at the Harvard Faculty club to discuss topics related to leadership and the decision-making process. Most in the room had been faced with making critical life-and-death decisions at some point in their careers, and some on a regular basis. These participants were asked to share their knowledge about what it takes to make high-consequence decisions.