States seeking federal preparedness assistance funds must first submit highly specific preparedness reports - which is easier said than done. A "gap analysis" is needed, several important questions must be answered, and periodic tests must be scheduled.
Many Americans think the threat of a pandemic flu is over, so have let down their guard. But it isn't, and they should not have. It could strike suddenly, move fast, over a wide area, and wreak death and destruction throughout the entire world.
In the field of training, the Counter Narcotics and Terrorism Medical Support program, transferred in 2004 from DOD to DHS, has no peer in preparing its graduates to operate in dangerous and unstable environments.
Protection of the U.S. maritime domain against terrorist threats "from the sea" requires not only cooperation but also a closely coordinated plan of action conscientiously carried out by numerous state, federal, and local agencies working together.
Innovative DOT-sponsored program enlists the general public in a camera-phone pilot project that could help significantly not only in coping with major disasters but also in dealing with highway closures and other everyday incidents and inconveniences.
Numerous first responders, each with a different comm system. And no unit can talk to any of the others. A versatile new multiagency JPS/Raytheon system may be the key to unraveling the Babel of silence at future disaster scenes.
The U.S. Army's warfighting record speaks for itself - numerous victories and too many heroes to count. The service's peacetime contributions are just as glorious and have contributed significantly to the common good.
NIMS has spoken, and must be obeyed: A new "common identification standard" for federal employees and contractors is now required. State and local agencies would be well advised to adopt the same standard.
The National Incident Management System training guidelines provide an unprecedented opportunity to improve and expand first-responder and emergency-responder capabilities - but some confusion continues about exactly what is required.