Uncharted Waters: Volunteers & Active Shooters | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/aruba200

Uncharted Waters: Volunteers & Active Shooters

by Andrew Altizer & Barrett Cappetto -

Universities often use volunteers to provide assistance in helping keep campuses safe and prepared. Most facilities on campus rely on volunteer crisis managers, crisis coordinators, fire wardens, or similarly named individuals to help with various emergency preparedness and response efforts – especially with evacuations. Some larger, or specialized facilities, have full-time building managers or engineers, who have emergency preparedness and limited response responsibilities. Additional volunteers can also fill such gaps with expanding roles and responsibilities.


Core Principles of Threat Management Units

by Michael Breslin -

Homeland security is a complex and ever-evolving challenge whose mitigation necessitates the actions and collaboration of personnel across all branches of government and the private sector. This enhanced complexity presents law enforcement, homeland safety, and security professionals with a myriad of challenges due to an environment overflowing with existential and hybrid threats, technological innovation, interconnectivity, and limited resources.


Preparing for & Responding to Disaster – A 2018 Review

by Christopher Reynolds & Allison G. S. Knox -

Fire, wind, and water – a lot of water. The year 2018 delivered all in a series of natural disasters that seemed almost continual. Throughout the year, there was a significant risk to lives and property caused by wildfires in the West, hurricanes in the Southeast, and flooding in numerous locales nationwide.


Best Practices – From Cookies to Countermeasures

by Terry Sapp -

The anthrax attacks in October 2001 were a wakeup call nationwide of America’s weakness to respond to a widespread biological terrorist incident. Since that time, local, state, and federal agencies have worked together to improve public health readiness to mass dispense medical countermeasures (MCM) at points-of-dispensing (PODs). Providing bulk dispensing to non-public (or “closed”) PODs is one methodology employed to expedite the distribution of MCM to the private sector. However, exercising bulk dispensing in a realistic environment can present numerous challenges. Finding non-traditional partners, such as the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, provides a cost-effective and simple solution to reducing the artificialities of a functional exercise.


Vertical Collaboration for Widespread Health Threats

by Catherine L. Feinman -

From infectious diseases to terrorist attacks, state and federal agencies must collaborate to provide the most effective responses for large-scale public health events. New types of threats continually emerge, terrorist tactics evolve, and environmental conditions change. Each of these factors contributes to the complexities that emergency preparedness professionals must consider when preparing for, mitigating, or responding to any threat.


Biosecurity, Biological Weapons Nonproliferation, and Their Future

Part of the general mandate of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, is to stem – and, if possible, to roll back – the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), delivery systems, and advanced conventional weapons. Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, discusses the challenges of biosecurity.

Using Nanotechnology to Minimize Fire Damage

The U.S. Fire Administration reported over 1.3 million structure fires in 2017 causing an estimated 3,400 deaths, 14,670 injuries and $23 billion dollars in damages. The high cost of today's fire problem in lives and property is leading some researchers to look for innovative fire protection solutions. One such solution is nanotechnology. It is used to make building and product materials stronger, lighter and at the same time, more fire resistant.

A Rapid Deployment Team for Victims

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Victim Services Response Team (VSRT) is a specially trained cadre of FBI personnel whose primary function is to address the needs of victims in mass casualty events. The FBI’s VSRT, which includes victim specialists, agents, and analysts from around the country, was established in 2005 to provide support for victims in large-scale events.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Children’s National Health System to Launch JLABS @ Washington, DC at the New Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus in 2020

Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and Children’s National Health System announced a collaboration to launch JLABS @ Washington, DC, a 32,000-square foot facility to be located at the new Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus in Washington, D.C. As part of the JLABS @ Washington, DC launch, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will collaborate with Johnson & Johnson Innovation–JLABS to develop and maintain a specialized innovation zone dedicated to the advancement of medical countermeasures aimed at securing the nation from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, as well as from pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases.

FDA and CBP Bolster Collaboration to Protect Public Health and Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) leaders signed an agreement to maximize inspection and detection capabilities in order to prevent illegal and harmful products that pose threats to public health from entering the United States through the nation’s international mail facilities and ports of entry.