Just Another Day in the Office for the United States Coast Guard | Domestic Preparedness Photo: United States Coast Guard, 18 June 2019
Preparedness

Just Another Day in the Office for the United States Coast Guard

by Martin D. Masiuk -

Watching the video of crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Munro board and interdict a self-propelled, semi-submersible drug-smuggling vessel on 18 June 2019 is exciting.  Their actions were heroic and highly productive.  Because of that bravery, 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth a combined estimated $569 million was seized. For the average person, the video is thrilling. However, for the U.S. Coast Guard, it was just another day in the office. DomPrep salutes the men and women of the USCG who are "Always Ready" to prevent the next maritime disaster and respond to the call when needed.

 
Resilience

Reducing Weather Anxiety Among Emergency Managers

by Andrew Altizer & Steve Harris -

Imagine this scenario. A tornado watch has been in effect for the past six hours. The severe thunderstorm warning expires as the squall line passes over the area, which escaped significant severe weather. Although the Storm Prediction Center shows the area has been downgraded from enhanced to marginal, the Day 4-8 prediction indicates a 15% chance of severe weather in the area on Wednesday – today is Friday. Here comes another one.

Resilience

EMP Executive Order & Self-Funding Resilient Microgrids

by Charles (Chuck) Manto -

The U.S. government published two landmark emergency management policies in March 2019. The first was the update of the 2015/2016 Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan released from the Office of the President. DomPrep published an article on 15 June 2016 describing how the strategy and action plan affected disaster and emergency operations planning. Then, on 26 March 2019, the Federal Register published the Executive Order of the President 13865 (EO 13865), entitled “Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses,” which outlines the threats to the national (and global), economic, as well as health and safety security.

Commentary

The Enterprise That Guards Against Attack

by Catherine L. Feinman -

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to safeguard the United States against terrorism. The department brought together 22 different federal agencies, each with a role to: prevent terrorism and enhance security, especially from a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) attack; manage borders; administer immigration laws; secure cyberspace; and ensure disaster resilience. That is just the federal part of the equation. The first DHS Secretary, Governor Thomas Ridge, envisioned an enterprise where state, local, tribal, and territorial governments were also an integral part of that mission. What is not clearly stated is the role that nongovernmental organizations play. This would include industry, think tanks, and media.

Commentary

Preparedness Leadership Council (PLC) Report: Biodefense Roundtable – Implementation and Operationalization of the National Biodefense Strategy

by Martin D. Masiuk -

The National Biodefense Strategy highlights President Donald Trump's commitment to protect the American people, “and establishes objectives to effectively counter threats from naturally occurring, accidental, and deliberate biological events.” This strategy is intended to guide innovation and collaboration beyond the federal government. The president is targeting this strategy for action by state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) entities, practitioners, scientists, educators, and industry.  This report is a meeting readout. It relays the sentiments of the many experts who participated but is not an exhaustive analysis of the recommendations and how they should be implemented. It is meant to lay the groundwork for the next steps, which key leaders and policymakers should consider. The information relayed herein is generally reflective of the opinions voiced at the meeting as well as the survey respondents, though any given statement should not necessarily be viewed as consensus.

Updates

S&T NUSTL Supports First Responder Radiological Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) and partners have published guidance and videos for first responders and emergency managers on how to plan for the first minutes of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) detonation response.

A Dose of Inner Strength to Survive and Recover From Potentially Lethal Health Threats

Breakthroughs in the science of programmable gene expression inspired Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to establish the PReemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements (PREPARE) program with the goal of delivering powerful new defenses against public health and national security threats. DARPA has selected teams to develop new tools for programmable modulation of gene expression, to yield enhanced resilience against influenza and ionizing radiation for service members and first responders.

Breathe Easy, Part 1: How to Pick the Right Respirator for Your Emergency Kit

There are many things to consider in the process of preparing your health and safety for a public health emergency. Memories of emergencies, like the summer 2018 wildfires and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, are reminders of the threat they can pose to respiratory health. Of equal importance is an item that often gets left out of talks about emergency supplies – the respirator.

Breathe Easy, Part 2: How to Properly Use a Respirator in an Emergency

In the course of preparing for an emergency, a pack of respirators from the local hardware store may be purchased with the thought that they are ready to use out of the box. However, before relying on one of these devices for protection, there are some important selection and use criteria to consider. Choosing and using a respirator is a process that, if done the right way, can help prepare for and protect against health threats in an emergency.

FLIR Unveils Key Additions to Griffin G510 Portable Chemical Detection System

FLIR Systems Inc. has announced the availability of multiple enhancements to its Griffin™ G510 portable GC-MS chemical detector to help responders analyze and identify drugs, chemical agents, and other toxic substances faster and more effectively during field operations. Major new features on the G510 give users access to an expanded onboard drug library, as well as a new quick-search capability for chemicals and hazardous substances.