On 7 June 2016, the DomPrep team convened 14 subject matter experts from various disciplines to address issues surrounding community resilience and public health. The purpose of the roundtable was to align the missions and identify action items to create synergy among various community stakeholders. This article summarizes the key takeaways from the roundtable participants.
The probability of certain public health threats, the costs and funding related to such threats, and the "silo" effect of the public health sector all contribute to the preparedness gap between public health and other sectors. It is time to bridge this gap and update preparedness efforts to better prepare for 21st century threats.
Space weather, nuclear, and catastrophic natural disasters are just lying in wait for the right combination of conditions. Although it is not possible to plan specifically for every type of threat - imaginable and unimaginable - it is necessary to weigh the risks associated with various threats and take sufficient actions to mitigate the devastating effects.
One leading researcher shares his insights into the existential threats that the electrical infrastructure faces. He proposes that a superhighway with electrical systems protected at multiple points is not only feasible, but it could help reduce carbon emissions, build electromagnetic resilience, and address major space weather events that could threaten the life and health of human populations.
Now that the Iran nuclear deal is in effect, it is worth exploring whether this agreement will in fact: (a) constrain Iran's efforts to build nuclear weapons and inhibit nuclear proliferation in the region; or (b) have unintended negative consequences that the United States and its negotiating partners did not or could not foresee.
The topic of borders - ports of entry, security, and public health concerns - has become politicized, and the focus on true border security has been somewhat lost. Educating politicians and instilling practicality in the public are necessary before any effective border security policy changes can be made. A recent roundtable discussion addressed these critical issues.
Four key threats the nation faces will follow the next president of the United States into office. These threats are not new, but will increase if not effectively addressed. Whoever is elected for this leadership position must be equipped with the right information in order to prioritize and make tough decisions regarding these threats.
Significant budgetary and political constraints should not keep people from fully exercising their authority and cause them to suffer the consequences should an attack take place. Working under budgetary-constrained environments is always difficult, but it takes on more urgency when there are clearly identified enemies that intend to harm the homeland. Difficult times call for innovative measures.
This article derives from an extended interview with Dr. Rajko Anic. As a physician during the 1992-1995 Yugoslav war and an accomplished mixed martial arts fighter, Anic explained that - when in a fight and the opponent seems to be countering every move - "If Plan A doesn't work out for you, then try B, C, or even D."
The DomPrep Journal features original content written by practitioners in various emergency preparedness and resilience fields. Addressing the needs of professionals dedicated to preparing and protecting their communities, the first four issues of the 2016 volume have been downloaded a total of more than 200,000 times! To view these or other past issues, visit the DomPrep Journal page.