Telecommunication Overload – The 2021 Edition | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/onlyyouqj
Resilience

Telecommunication Overload – The 2021 Edition

by Erik Westgard -

“Telecommunication overload” is a commonly used term that is a regular feature of various emergency scenarios. However, one fact needs to be remembered. Although some copper carrier network pieces are still in place in the United States, nearly all new investment is going into fiber backbones and updated wireless services. Fiber networks are designed to handle extra capacity easily and wireless technology is advancing rapidly.

 
Preparedness

Start or Restart VOADs/COADs During the Preparedness Phase

by Michael Prasad -

Volunteer and community organizations active in disaster (VOADs/COADs) operate best by using their four C’s: cooperation, coordination, collaboration, and communication. Emergency managers can build or strengthen this whole community capability in their own jurisdictions through public-private partnerships (PPPs), by performing the four E’s – empower, endow, educate, and entrust.

Healthcare

Situational Awareness for Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration

by Akshay Birla -

In an emergency response, multiple groups of stakeholders such as city, county, state, and federal agencies are brought together to solve a crisis or execute a mission. While groups of individuals from within an agency may have a shared understanding of their mission, organization, hierarchy, and norms of engagement, proper coordination between distinct groups takes time, trust, and practice. By the nature of these missions, these are scarce and often intangible resources. Situational awareness through software and expert practitioners substantially increases the odds of mission success.

Commentary

Connecting: Benefits & Risks

by Catherine L. Feinman -

To take a multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional approach to disaster preparedness and response, agencies and organizations must connect both in person and virtually. Mutual aid agreements enable agencies to share resources and develop a collaborative strategy for addressing emerging threats. Although predicted by experts, the threats that presented over the past year – namely, a global pandemic and large-scale cyberattacks on critical infrastructure – still caught many communities by surprise.

Preparedness

The Other Life of Command Trucks

by Erik Westgard -

For many years, large outdoor sporting events have requested government and nongovernment organization mobile command and communications trucks to support races. Although traditionally used by incident commanders, volunteer amateur radio groups have found various ways to collaborate during special events and use these resources in Minneapolis, Minnesota to support medical operations.

Updates

DHS Announces Funding Allocations for FY 2021 Preparedness Grants

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the final allocations for $475 million for seven Fiscal Year 2021 competitive preparedness grant programs. These allocations, together with the almost $1.5 billion in non-competitive grant funding announced earlier this year, total nearly $2 billion in FY 2021 to help prepare the nation against man-made threats and natural disasters.

United States Government Launches First One-Stop Ransomware Resource at StopRansomware.gov

As part of the ongoing response, agencies across the U.S. government announced new resources and initiatives to protect American businesses and communities from ransomware attacks. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), together with federal partners, have launched a new website to combat the threat of ransomware. StopRansomware.gov establishes a one-stop hub for ransomware resources for individuals, businesses, and other organizations.

CRC SimPLER: A Practice Workshop

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced the release of CRC SimPLER, a free, publicly available, online tool to help state and local emergency and public health planners prepare for setting up community reception centers (CRCs) to monitor people following a large-scale radiation emergency. To introduce CRC SimPLER, ASTHO and the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness are hosting a workshop on Monday, Aug. 23 from 1-2 p.m. ET via Zoom.

Fireshed Registry Helps Address the Growing Wildfire Threat

In May 2021, the USFS published a report describing the development and application of the Fireshed Registry in wildfire risk management. The Fireshed Registry is a geospatial dashboard and decision tool built in ArcGIS online, serving as the data warehouse for the Forest Service Scenario Planning Platform. Although the Fireshed Registry is not a public-facing application, its capabilities and plans for its continued development are described in detail in the report.

DHS Announces Results of 2020 Privacy Technology Demonstration

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has published the results of the 2020 Privacy Technology Demonstration (2020 Demo). S&T hosted a first-of-its-kind event to understand the product landscape of technologies that can assist in protecting the privacy of individuals appearing in photos and videos.