july 2022

Updates

DHS Establishes New Office of Health Security 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the Office of Health Security, a new office that will serve as the principal medical, workforce health and safety, and public health authority for DHS. 

Preparedness

Creating a Common Operating Picture for Wildfire Season

by Akshay Birla -

Life is beginning to return to normal following the past two years of the pandemic, but the world is still as unpredictable as ever. When it seems as though one catastrophic situation is coming to an end, another tends to emerge as the newest public safety issue. This article addresses the wildfire threat and the need for a common operating picture.

Commentary

Discovering Another New Normal

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Because of the interconnectedness of so many aspects of society, the authors in this July edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal help readers better understand what is needed in the new normal: a common operating picture, predictable lifelines, new or repurposed technological tools, and more. The new normal after COVID will be quite different from the years after 9/11. However, with critical thinking, research, and innovation, communities will discover their new normal – again.

Commentary

Societal Violence & Its Impact on Critical Infrastructure

by Timothy Scarrott & Nathan DiPillo -

An examination of past violence shows how terminology can affect the incident-reporting process and subsequent statistics for various incident rates. However, statistics clearly show that the COVID-19 pandemic did increase societal violence, which can significantly impact critical infrastructure. This article connects these dots and provides suggestions for reducing future impacts of societal violence.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Creating a Common Operating Picture for Wildfire Season

by AKSHAY BIRLA, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

Life is beginning to return to normal following the past two years of the pandemic, but the world is still as unpredictable as ever. When it seems as though one catastrophic situation is coming to an end, another tends to emerge as the newest public safety issue. This article addresses the wildfire threat and the need for a common operating picture.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Societal Violence & Its Impact on Critical Infrastructure

by TIMOTHY SCARROTT & NATHAN DIPILLO, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

An examination of past violence shows how terminology can affect the incident-reporting process and subsequent statistics for various incident rates. However, statistics clearly show that the COVID-19 pandemic did increase societal violence, which can significantly impact critical infrastructure. This article connects these dots and provides suggestions for reducing future impacts of societal violence.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

 

Updates

HHS Strengthens Country’s Preparedness for Health Emergencies, Announces Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Secretary Xavier Becerra has elevated the existing Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) from a staff division to an operating division, taking on the new name of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). This change will allow ASPR to mobilize a coordinated national response more effectively and efficiently during future disasters and emergencies in close collaboration with its sister agencies.

Resilience

Teleforensic Tools – From Telemedicine to Law Enforcement

by Michael Melton -

Telemedicine capabilities have become valuable medical tools to provide life-saving treatment to patients where and when needed. Similarly, off-site skills and knowledge can be transferred to on-site law enforcement personnel through teleforensics to identify and thwart threats, while increasing crime clearances. This article describes how expanding capabilities, identifying needs, delivering instructions, and facilitating remote applications are examples of technology serving as a force multiplier across disciplines.

Resilience

Four Takeaways From the Nashville Christmas Bombing

by Robert F. Kelly & Dean C. Alexander -

The Nashville Christmas bombing provides valuable lessons about targeted violence incidents. This research on pre-attack indicators shares four key takeaways for law enforcement and other preparedness professionals to understand regarding lone wolf and leaderless resistance attacks. Knowing other pre-attack indicators may help thwart a future attack even when the motive is unknown.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Four Takeaways From the Nashville Christmas Bombing

by ROBERT F. KELLY & DEAN C. ALEXANDER, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

The Nashville Christmas bombing provides valuable lessons about targeted violence incidents. This research on pre-attack indicators shares four key takeaways for law enforcement and other preparedness professionals to understand regarding lone wolf and leaderless resistance attacks. Knowing other pre-attack indicators may help thwart a future attack even when the motive is unknown.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Teleforensic Tools – From Telemedicine to Law Enforcement

by MICHAEL MELTON, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

Telemedicine capabilities have become valuable medical tools to provide life-saving treatment to patients where and when needed. Similarly, off-site skills and knowledge can be transferred to on-site law enforcement personnel through teleforensics to identify and thwart threats, while increasing crime clearances. This article describes how expanding capabilities, identifying needs, delivering instructions, and facilitating remote applications are examples of technology serving as a force multiplier across disciplines.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Technology Behind the Next Heat Emergency

By TASHAWN BROWN, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, August 15, 2018.

In 2017, the National Weather Service reported 107 fatalities across the United States related to heat – more than the deaths related to tornados, hurricanes, and cold weather combined. In 2021, that number was 190. Revisit this 2018 article to learn how New York has been helping local emergency management agencies work closely with the National Weather Service and other agencies and organizations to monitor extreme heat and related threats that can affect local communities.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Preparing for Extreme Weather Events

By KAY C. GOSS, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, March 19, 2014. 

This 2014 article stated, described the wide variety of natural disasters that various parts of the world had recently experienced. The author's prediction that the frequency and cost of such events would continue to increase is demonstrated in the $1-billion events since 1980 rising from 151 in 2014 to 323 in 2022. Review these lessons learned and take advantage of ongoing learning opportunities to better prepare for the next extreme weather event.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

Reports

Review of the December 2021 Log4j Event

The scale and efficiency of our global technology infrastructure are made possible through the standardization of key building blocks. These reusable building blocks, while useful for creating software at scale, also create dependencies and risks that are often not understood until they manifest as a security issue. For example, a vulnerability in a software building block that is integrated into numerous other software packages means that every organization that uses those packages is at risk. It also means that system owners may not know where vulnerable software lives within their environments. When such a vulnerability is also easy for a threat actor to exploit to obtain broad control over a compromised system, it can create a once-in-a-generation security event. This is what happened with the Log4j vulnerability that came to public attention in December 2021. 

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Reports

Guide to Expanding Mitigation: Making the Connection to Older Adults

This Guide to Expanding Mitigation for Older Adults was created in partnership between FEMA and AARP, the nation’s largest advocacy organization representing the needs of Americans age 50 and older. It highlights the value of creating accessible communities for all ages. It also recommends ways for community officials to include older adults in efforts to reduce risk through hazard mitigation. That includes the planning and project development, implementation and evaluation processes. This guide serves as a starting point for community officials to discuss how these partnerships in mitigation can create more livable, accessible, and resilient communities for all. 

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Updates

FEMA, AARP Release New Resources to Help Local Communities Protect Older Adults Before, During and After Natural Disasters

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) have released new resources to help local officials and emergency managers protect older adults in their communities before, during and after natural disasters and support communities in mitigating the effects of extreme weather events.

Resilience

Making Communications a Predictable Lifeline Solution

by Charles J. Guddemi -

Community lifelines ensure that businesses and the government can continue functioning and society can thrive. However, a breakdown in daily operations is inevitable when one or more lifeline is lost. In communications, this means a disruption in technology that has become interwoven into societal norms – talking, texting, data transfer, social media, etc. This article shares possible solutions to the predictable loss of the communications lifeline.

Healthcare

Public Health Preparedness– Finding Its Path Forward

by Raphael M. Barishansky -

Public health preparedness has emerged and matured as a distinct discipline since the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Ameri-thrax attacks. Although, in the past, public health agencies were pushed to the forefront of various emergencies, the planning and infrastructure for public health emergency response were not funded and not in place until after 2001. This article describes the gaps that need to be addressed as the discipline continues to face public health emergencies worldwide.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Making Communications a Predictable Lifeline Solution

by CHARLES GUDDEMI, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

Community lifelines ensure that businesses and the government can continue functioning and society can thrive. However, a breakdown in daily operations is inevitable when one or more lifeline is lost. In communications, this means a disruption in technology that has become interwoven into societal norms – talking, texting, data transfer, social media, etc. This article shares possible solutions to the predictable loss of the communications lifeline.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Public Health Preparedness– Finding Its Path Forward

by RAPHAEL M. BARISHANSKY, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal

Public health preparedness has emerged and matured as a distinct discipline since the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Ameri-thrax attacks. Although, in the past, public health agencies were pushed to the forefront of various emergencies, the planning and infrastructure for public health emergency response were not funded and not in place until after 2001. This article describes the gaps that need to be addressed as the discipline continues to face public health emergencies worldwide.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson. 

 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Lone Wolves – Finding the Red Flags

By RICHARD SCHOEBERL & DANIEL SCHERR, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, October 18, 2017.

“Lone wolf” attacks like the Highland Park shooting at a July 4th parade continue to represent significant threats to communities as well as national security. Whether ideologically or non-ideologically inspired, mass shootings resulting in 10 or more fatalities have occurred more than 15 times over the past 10 years. Written soon after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, this 2017 article shares the challenges communities face in identifying potential lone wolf attacks.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Preparedness Perspective – Active Shooters & Lone Wolves

By THOMAS J. LOCKWOOD & PETER LAPORTE, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal,  October 26, 2016. 

Various drills and exercises highlight efforts to protect communities against various types of attacks involving transportation, buildings, historic sites, sporting events, and so on. Attacks and hostage-taking incidents around the world expose vulnerabilities that need to be assessed in all communities to determine: what they need to drill, who they need to train, and how they will collaborate across jurisdictions. The lessons learned in this 2016 article are as important today as they were more than five years ago.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

Updates

DHS, Army Partner to Provide New Chemical Security Laboratory Capability

The Department of Homeland Security Science (DHS) and Technology Directorate announced that its Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) opened a new experimental Chemical Security Laboratory in partnership with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. This new space will help CSAC’s team of DHS and Army experts validate scientific data and produce findings that are essential to national readiness.

Updates

DHS Prize Winners Announced in $195K Challenge to Counter Extreme Temperatures

In September 2021, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, announced a new series of prize competitions focused on strengthening nationwide resilience to climate change. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the winners of the Cooling Solutions Challenge prize competition.

Commentary

“Boot Camp” for Emergency Managers

by David Covington -

In most fields, basic training is part of the learning process. Fire, law enforcement, the military, and other disciplines have training academies for building competencies and testing new recruits. An exception to these types of requirements is the field of emergency management. This new training academy will ensure that all emergency managers are trained to the same standards regardless how much boots-on-the-ground experience they bring with them.

Commentary

What Preparedness & Response Leaders Need in the New Normal

by Catherine L. Feinman -

To address the challenges that emergency preparedness professionals face in an ever-changing threat environment, the Domestic Preparedness Journal hosted a panel discussion at the Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on June 2, 2022. The multidiscipline panel was moderated by James (Jim) Featherstone, a principal consultant at a crisis management consultant agency, Themata Strategic LLC. Participants included the Texas Division of Emergency Management (Deputy Chiefs Suzannah Jones and Country Weidler), Texas Department of Public Safety (Major Rhonda Lawson), Dallas Fire-Rescue (Chief Dominique Artis), Amarillo Public Health (Casie Stoughton), and Texas Army National Guard, Director Operations, Plans and Training (Colonel Robert Eason). This article summarizes the panelists’ responses to questions that leaders should be asking themselves.

Podcast

"Boot Camp" for Emergency Managers

In most fields, basic training is part of the learning process. Fire, law enforcement, the military, and other disciplines have training academies for building competencies and testing new recruits. An exception to these types of requirements is the field of emergency management. This new training academy will ensure that all emergency managers are trained to the same standards regardless how much boots-on-the-ground experience they bring with them.

 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Local Heroes Helping Their Fellow Citizens With Disabilities

By STEPHEN M. THAL & WILLIAM H. AUSTIN, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal,  May 22, 2013.

July marks the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This 2013 article describes the challenges that people with disabilities faced after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm left many people without basic resources, but less publicized was the fact that a number of citizens suffering from various disabilities were transported without their wheelchairs and/or other equipment and devices required to meet their needs. Trainers with real-world experiences began helping first responders lessen the impact on these citizens in future disasters.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - People With Disabilities - Laws, Plans & Partnerships

By KENDALL A. LESER, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, April 01, 2015.

The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing case was memorable for many people - especially for the 16 people who lost limbs on that tragic day. This 2015 article reminds local and state agencies that, by law, every jurisdiction must have plans and partnerships in place to ensure that those with existing or newly acquired disabilities are properly cared for in any emergency. 

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson.