Gene Drives – An Emerging Terrorist Threat

by Richard Schoeberl -

Conventional acts of terrorism will likely never fade away, and advancements in technology will continually raise concerns for governments and global security practitioners. The increasing threat and possibility of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) use is evolving. Terrorist groups are actively seeking materials and the expertise to manufacture and utilize those materials in future operations. One of the frontiers in terrorism today involves a developing technology known as “gene drives.”

Planning for Animals in an Emergency Management Strategy

by Heather Kitchen -

Throughout history, animals and pets have held varying degrees of importance to the people who care for them. They have been worshipped, raised for food, served as co-workers on farms, or just loved as companions. Regardless of their “worth,” when something disrupts the ability to care for those animals, outside help is needed. The outside help currently needed is limited when it comes to rescuing, caring for, and sheltering pets because it has not been fully integrated into emergency management’s planning activities.

Special Edition: School Security

In 2017, the Secure Schools Alliance (the Alliance) began a unique relationship with the DomPrep Journal. The goal was to raise awareness of the need to improve K-12 school security within the emergency preparedness community. This special reprint edition is a compilation of this effort, beginning with the macro argument of why school security needs to be improved and concluding with a call to recognize that schools are a critical part of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, which has been ignored for way too long.

Control System Cybersecurity Concerns

by Joseph Weiss -

The U.S. electric grid, which was designed more than 100 years ago, consists of control systems and field equipment. The grid was originally designed with large central station generation – for example, coal, oil, nuclear, natural gas, hydro – with transmission and distribution substations to deliver electricity to the end customer. As central station power plants are being supplanted by renewable generation from sources such as solar and wind, control systems are becoming more complex and increasingly vulnerable to cyberthreats, especially as the control system networks are connected to the internet.

Technology Behind the Next Heat Emergency

by Tashawn Brown -

According to the National Weather Service, there were 107 fatalities across the United States related to heat in 2017 – more than the deaths related to tornados, hurricanes, and cold weather combined. Local emergency management agencies must work closely with the National Weather Service – as well as other agencies and organizations – to monitor extreme heat and related threats that can affect local communities.

Three Ways AI Helps Prepare for Future Attacks

by Michael Ellenbogen -

Terrorist attacks and mass shootings have changed the threat landscape. In the old-world paradigm, planes were the target and metallic objects were the key concern. In the new-world paradigm, anything can be a target. Thus, the security response needs to shift from reactive to proactive. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the key to moving from a reactive to proactive security response. Three specific applications of AI in the physical security field enable organizations to prevent attacks, not just react to them.

Bringing Emergency Preparedness to City Schools

by Katelyn James -

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a near-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season: the formation of 10-16 named storms, with 5-9 becoming hurricanes (1-4 of these potentially becoming major hurricanes). For the past 10 years, the New York City (NYC) Emergency Management Department has been educating children in NYC schools through the Ready New York Kids Program. Each presentation focuses on three key messages: make a plan, get supplies, and prepare a Go Bag.

A Race Against Time: Canine/Handler Teams Prep for Disaster

by Omar Bourne -

New York City has various disaster preparedness teams that are specially equipped to manage many types of threats. One such team involves canines trained to perform search and rescue tasks. Canines have helped save lives at critical times following disasters such as 9/11, when finding survivors among rubble and debris is especially challenging. A Dutch Shepherd named Diesel is one responder who currently works with New York City Police Department to prepare for the next disaster.

Detecting & Preventing Nuclear/Radioactive Materials

by Ian Pleet -

This case study from a 2015 deployment to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) Camp in Fuji, Japan, demonstrates effective ways to detect and prevent unwanted nuclear and radioactive materials from being brought aboard an overseas USMC installation. The author was deployed as the emergency manager (EM) with the collateral duty of being the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) protection officer (CPO). Upon arrival, the commanding officer also appointed him to serve as the alternate antiterrorism officer, with full support from his contracting company, Camber Corporation.

Improving Local Health Department Cybersecurity

by Justin Snair -

Cyberattacks against local governments are becoming a new normal, yet the nation is not doing enough to prepare local health departments (LHDs) from such attacks. More than just a technological issue addressed by information technology (IT) professionals, cyberattacks can threaten lives and result in losses of integrity, availability, confidentiality, and physical destruction of assets. Cyberattacks can erode the trust and confidence communities have in LHDs and can introduce legal and liability issues when breaches of protected patient health information occur. LHDs should consider cyberattacks, and the myriad of nontechnical issues that may result, as part of their all-hazards preparedness efforts.