The Federal School Safety Clearinghouse recently launched the State Information Search Tool, a new functionality within SchoolSafety.gov geared toward sharing state-specific school safety information and resources. These state programs and contacts are a resource to build a school safety plan. The contacts are state emergency planners that can provide school safety expertise specific to each state.
The Mass Care/Emergency Assistance Pandemic Planning Considerations guide provides information on sheltering, feeding, evacuation and the federal resource request process. This guidance was developed using health and safety planning information and requirements outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The concept of a whole community approach has been recommended for years. However, it has perhaps not been more important than it is today. Compounding events, or disasters within disasters, are why emergency planners stress the importance of planning for the worst but hoping for the best. Well, the time to implement these plans is now. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to be ending anytime soon. However, life must go on. “Normal” seasonal disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods will not wait for communities to replenish supplies, reallocate resources, and hire more staff. Human-caused threats may escalate as bad actors take advantage of physical and technological vulnerabilities that the pandemic exposes. The common primary, secondary, and tertiary effects of smaller threats worsen when compounded with the pandemic response.
These are challenging times. The immediate impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are impossible to ignore when viewed in terms of the sickness and death it has brought upon the world community. It continues to impact the global economy and social norms. The long-term impacts of this virus and subsequent mitigation efforts may not be completely understood for quite some time. What is known is the pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of daily life, from social distancing rules, interrupted supply chains, longer waits at the supermarket, school closures, cancelled milestones, record unemployment, remote learning, and telework to the closure of places of worship. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a transformative event.
The nature and scope of the emergency management field can be defined in a variety of ways. An all-hazards definition of emergency management encompasses some essential homeland security concerns. A conceptual framework then helps bring together an understanding of the challenges facing those in the emergency management and homeland security fields when an all-hazards definition of emergency management is used.
FEMA’s National Integration Center released an updated National Incident Management System (NIMS) Training Program, which sets forth a structure for national training and establishes the roles and responsibilities of FEMA and members of the NIMS stakeholder community. The training program identifies specific activities for developing, maintaining and sustaining a training program that prepares incident personnel to understand their responsibilities and work together during incidents. The revised NIMS Training Program introduces training focus areas based on incident personnel’s position and responsibility.
This report describes myriad factors that influence nursing workforce development and training for pandemic response as well as the safety and support needed during pandemics at the government, system, organization, and individual levels. Also identified are some of the relevant stakeholders who can influence decision making at these levels. The report identifies gaps and proposes short- and long-term recommendations for ways to improve the readiness, safety, and support of the national nursing workforce for COVID-19 and future pandemics.
FLIR Systems Inc. announced that the United States Army and Navy have ordered in total more than 160 of the company’s Centaur™ unmanned ground vehicles, plus related spares and accessories. Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams will use the FLIR Centaur to assist in disarming improvised explosive devices, unexploded ordnance, and similar hazardous tasks. Operators can quickly attach different sensors and payloads to the robot to support other functions, including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) missions.
In an emergency response, timing is everything. To address critical needs that arise and help save lives, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) emPOWER Program leveraged the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile device applications to create emPOWER AI, a free, voice-activated tool available on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant mobile device applications. emPOWER AI instantly puts HHS emPOWER Map data into the hands of every emergency responder in every community.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, organizations across the nation are grappling with when and how to resume normal operations while protecting the well-being and safety of their employees and communities. To assist non-federal government organizations and the private sector in the process of a measured return to normal operations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created the Planning Considerations for Organizations in Reconstituting Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Fact Sheet. This document provides a range of considerations, questions, and web links that provide valuable insights and resources as organizations navigate through this critical process.
Run/Hide/Fight or Avoid/Deny/Defend – no matter which mantra is taught/trained, there is one unfortunate constant between both methodologies: the shooting has begun, and there is an imminent loss of life occurring at the workplace, school, church, grocery store, or wherever the active shooters have selected their targets. Thorough understanding of these methodologies is certainly important during an active shooter event. Often, bystanders freeze in disbelief that the incident is happening to them. This is not the common fight versus flight response. There is initial shock to the system. Repetition through training and exercises will create that imbedded response in the cerebellum to create the muscle memory needed for all bystanders to react and Run/Hide/Fight or Avoid/Deny/Defend. Not to dissuade from bolstering preparedness through this training, the fact remains that lives are being threatened when the response is initiated. A true active shooter preparedness plan needs to go beyond the Run/Hide/Fight or Avoid/Deny/Defend reaction.
Analysts from the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center adapted an approach to developing future scenarios and, in this report, present example components of Coast Guard global planning scenarios related to future service readiness. These posture the Coast Guard to better integrate slow-burning issues and problems that might emerge only down the road into nearer-term decisions that can help prepare the service for upcoming challenges.
Housing recovery is the cornerstone of a community’s recovery and ultimate resilience. By helping survivors achieve sustainable housing after a disaster, state and local leaders move their communities toward stability and resiliency for future incidents. Planning Considerations: Disaster Housing provides guidance on national housing priorities, types of housing, key considerations and housing-specific planning recommendations that jurisdictions can apply when developing or improving housing plans.
FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has installed its EST™ screening system at the Pentagon Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. The company’s integrated EST screening solution features the FLIR A700 thermal imaging camera. The system is being used to screen visitors for elevated or higher than expected skin temperatures, which can help guard against the spread of COVID-19.
The Coast Guard reminds the public and mariners to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. A hurricane survival kit with items like batteries, flashlights, radios, and water is highly recommended and should be prepared ahead of time.
For decades, DomPrep has been a primary source for valuable and essential information for both policy makers and practitioners for the topic of pandemics and the myriad of related subjects in emergency preparedness, public health, medical services, homeland security, and many other inter-related fields. The potential threat and consequences of a severe pandemic were not new for DomPrep readers as demonstrated in the hundreds of online articles.
Unfortunately, much of the nation was not as focused on this possible threat due to limited resources, competing priorities, wishful thinking, or willful blindness. That is a harsh statement, but so are the consequences that we are living through today – from a lack of robust and sustained pandemic planning, preparedness, and understanding on many levels.
“Are we prepared?” is a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. There are generally two times this question arises: (1) when funding is being requested, and (2) after an incident occurs where the preparedness comes under review. Both timings are appropriate, but arguably not the best time to raise the question. The best time to ask this question is that “sweet spot” between a request for funding and an actual need arises. However, this ideal time is frequently missed or avoided. Some would say it is human nature to avoid tough questions unless forced to face them; other times, it is because of the preparedness issue conflicting with other priorities that comprise the agendas of most agencies, governments, and private sector managers.
In preparing for the 2020 hurricane season, this document provides actionable guidance to state, local, tribal, and territorial officials to prepare for response and recovery operations and encourages personal preparedness measures amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While this document focuses on hurricane season preparedness, most planning considerations can also be applied to any disaster operation in the COVID-19 environment, including no-notice incidents, spring flooding and wildfire seasons, and typhoon response.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released its framework to thwart insider threats in the transportation sector. The TSA Insider Threat Roadmap will streamline processes, identify requirements and capabilities, and leverage partnerships to proactively detect, deter, and mitigate risks associated with insider threats.