National Preparedness Failure: Hindsight Is 2020 | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/yuriz
Preparedness

National Preparedness Failure: Hindsight Is 2020

by Michael A. Brown -

In February 2021, the Congressional Research Service released an evaluative nonpartisan report on the National Preparedness System (NPS). This report noted problems and difficulties experienced in 2020 during the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. For example, lack of personal protective equipment, disorganized logistical distribution, and other issues that demand attention. In essence, the report can be interpreted as revealing the NPS’s failure. The report’s summary states, “Congress may also consider mechanisms to strengthen the development of preparedness to ensure the National Preparedness Goal can be met.”

 
Commentary

Information – Keep It Flowing

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Information flow is the process of efficiently moving information within and between jurisdictions and systems for the purpose of communicating, making decisions, and establishing policies and procedures. Whether preparing for, responding to, or recovering from a disaster, information flow is a determining factor in the success of any of these efforts.

Preparedness

Formalizing the Role of Intelligence & Investigation

by Michael Prasad -

Emergency managers need actionable intelligence before, during, and after disasters. More than just situational awareness, the collection, analysis, and sharing of intelligence can provide an incident’s response and recovery command and general staff with much needed decision-making information.

Preparedness

Coastlines Are Now a Moving Target – Literally

by John Englander -

In March 2021, a Cape Cod weather station in Chatham, Massachusetts was abandoned due to coastal erosion. With much media coverage, some of the articles mentioned that the situation is likely to worsen. The fact that they associated the erosion with climate change and that it was a weather station yielding research data about the changing climate added some irony.

Updates

FLIR Wins DARPA Contract Worth Up to $20.5M to Develop Revolutionary New Protective Fabrics for Chem-Bio Defense

by -

FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has won a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to rapidly develop novel fabrics with embedded catalysts and chemistries that can fight and reduce chemical and biological threats upon contact. The revolutionary fabrics will be incorporated into protective suits and other equipment such as boots, gloves, and eye protection that can be worn by troops on the battlefield, medical experts, healthcare workers, and more.

Resilience

Public Order Policing & Volunteers

by Erik Westgard -

Two days into the May 2020 George Floyd riots in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, hundreds (on the way to ~1,500) of properties were burning, with smoke visible on the horizon. Top leaders appeared on television stating that law and order were breaking down and urging calm within the community. Based on media reports, there were a few places volunteers could help. One was in watching pandemic-vacated buildings, schools, churches, and grocery stores that were being systematically firebombed and looted. This was beneficial as volunteers deployed and were able to save some buildings such as a popular local Mexican restaurant complex near St. Paul (El Burrito Mercado) and a grocery store in Minneapolis. Another way in which volunteers could help was in intelligence gathering.

Updates

WHO, Germany Launch New Global Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Republic of Germany will establish a new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence, data, surveillance, and analytics innovation. The Hub, based in Berlin and working with partners around the world, will lead innovations in data analytics across the largest network of global data to predict, prevent, detect, prepare for, and respond to pandemic and epidemic risks worldwide.

FLIR Wins Additional $15.4M Contract for Black Hornet Nano-UAV Systems for U.S. Army Soldier Borne Sensor Program

FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has won an additional $15.4 million contract to deliver its FLIR Black Hornet® 3 Personal Reconnaissance Systems to the U.S. Army. The advanced nano-unmanned aerial vehicles are being used to augment squad and small unit-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities as part of the Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor program.

DARPA Selects Teams to Defend Against Chemical, Biological Threats From Inside and Out

State-of-the-art personal protective equipment (PPE) can be bulky, heavy, and cumbersome, often severely limiting user mobility and performance. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Personalized Protective Biosystem (PPB) program aims to develop technology that reduces the need for burdensome protective equipment while increasing individual protection against chemical and biological threats.

CWMD Delivers Updated Technology to Detect Radiological Threats

To improve the nation’s defense against radiological threats, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) completed a technical refresh of 60 mobile Radiation Portal Monitors currently deployed and used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CWMD supplies CBP with this capability to scan cargo for potential radiological threats.

Secretary Mayorkas Announces Domestic Violent Extremism Review at DHS

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an internal review to address the threat of domestic violent extremism within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Secretary Mayorkas has made identifying, addressing, and preventing domestic violent extremism across the country a top priority.