In 2013 and 2014, various parts of the world have experienced a wide variety of natural disasters. Some experts say that the frequency and cost of such events will continue to increase. Reviewing lessons learned from past events and taking advantage of ongoing learning opportunities will better prepare emergency managers for the next "extreme."
City officials rely on accurate weather forecasts to make decisions, but weather has proven to be difficult to predict. When a city is caught off-guard, officials must make many difficult decisions while the nation watches. It is imperative to know how to address severe weather incidents before the next snow, ice, or wintery mix event.
The 50-year anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunamis serves as a reminder that the United States is still vulnerable to such threats. Advancements in earthquake and tsunami science, coupled with preparedness efforts to create awareness and exercise plans, are helping agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to mitigate the potential consequences.
The Emergency Management Institute is offering this four-day course on state individual assistance operations. This course is intended to enable participants to coordinate state response and recovery operations for individuals and families.
No amount of exercising is constructive without a structured evaluation that enables the jurisdiction or organization to identify strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and disconnects. This course, offered by the Emergency Management Institute, focuses on a systematic exercise and improvement planning program for federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and other organizations.
Large-scale disasters require response efforts from multiple organizations that must plan and exercise well in advance. For a successful joint exercise, there must be points of agreement, including: scope of exercise, degree of participation by each organization, coordination of exercise activities, and evaluation process for lessons learned from the exercise.
The Emergency Management Institute is offering a course that provides in-depth instruction and hands-on exercises for certified floodplain managers and other emergency planners. Participants will develop the skills needed to effectively use the Hazus tools for modeling the impacts of riverine and coastal flooding on communities. This course uses highly advanced modeling based on the E0172 Hazus-MH for Flood.
The Center for Domestic Preparedness is offering a three-day training course for hospital responses to mass casualty incidents. This course provides medical operation guidance to hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), healthcare facility personnel, and others who may be involved in a mass casualty incident.
There are plots to use food as a delivery mechanism for weapons of mass destruction and plots to intentionally alter food products for economic gain. As such, food defense is everybody's business. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently asking for comments that would help mitigate the intentional adulteration of the food supply.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a staff of people dedicated to protecting the nation's food supply. These Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff members are actively participating in conferences, meetings, and exercises throughout the year and providing valuable tools to national and international stakeholders. A summary of the 2013 activities provides a glimpse of these collaborative efforts.