“Telecommunication overload” is a commonly used term that is a regular feature of various emergency scenarios. However, one fact needs to be remembered. Although some copper carrier network pieces are still in place in the United States, nearly all new investment is going into fiber backbones and updated wireless services. Fiber networks are designed to handle extra capacity easily and wireless technology is advancing rapidly.
The nation has experienced unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic given the requisite need for social distancing and isolation experienced from stay-at-home orders. Daily lives were transformed. For homebound children, this was disruptive and changed daily routines. While at home, children engaged in a variety of safe and supervised activities, such as home schooling, play activities, crafts, games, etc. A side effect of social distancing is temporary physical isolation from many important influences in their lives, such as school and teachers, sports, community organizations, extended relatives, classmates, and friends.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought child predators into people’s homes. In the critical areas of human trafficking and child exploitation, the risks to children increased due to criminals shifting their methods and techniques to online streaming services. Increased virtual learning and stay-home mandates forced children to transition from a classroom environment to home learning via virtual platforms. This transition done in the perceived safety of a child’s home under the supervision of his/her parent was and remains fraught with inherent danger.
The role airports play in the world is critical. Even a minor disruption to their operations has immediate cascading impacts, which can be familiar to anyone who has experienced a delayed departure and the dreaded “Will I make my connection?” stress that follows. However, airport disruptions create far greater economic and business operations impacts than the occasional need to catch a later flight. Cargo aviation operations provide a critical part of global trade, accounting for the movement of nearly US$7 trillion worth of goods annually. Additionally, the air transport industry supports 29 million jobs globally and billions of dollars in local economies. Meanwhile, amid the global pandemic, aviation supports critical healthcare operations, carrying doctors and specialists rapidly to areas where they are needed; epidemiological investigators to locations of emerging diseases; and medications valued at more than US$1 trillion to locations around the world. These examples emphasize the need to ensure that aviation, and its component parts – including airports – remain resilient and functional at all times.
Two days into the May 2020 George Floyd riots in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, hundreds (on the way to ~1,500) of properties were burning, with smoke visible on the horizon. Top leaders appeared on television stating that law and order were breaking down and urging calm within the community. Based on media reports, there were a few places volunteers could help. One was in watching pandemic-vacated buildings, schools, churches, and grocery stores that were being systematically firebombed and looted. This was beneficial as volunteers deployed and were able to save some buildings such as a popular local Mexican restaurant complex near St. Paul (El Burrito Mercado) and a grocery store in Minneapolis. Another way in which volunteers could help was in intelligence gathering.
Three experts present their insights and experiences on managing a supply chain during a pandemic. Areas to be discussed:
TECHNOLOGY: How does technology enhance or complicate resilience and the supply chain?
RELATIONSHIPS: How have relationships with customers and suppliers changed during the the pandemic?
COLLABORATION: How does federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial interfaces impact preparedness vis-á-vis the supply chain?
March 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan (Tohoku) Earthquake. On the afternoon of 11 March 2011, a magnitude 9.1 megathrust earthquake struck where the Pacific Plate subducts underneath the Honshu region of Japan. This was a massive event. The earthquake rupture lasted 150-160 seconds, with shaking in many communities felt for five or more minutes. The energy released by the earthquake could power the city of Los Angeles for more than a year. Japan was shifted 8 feet to the east and the earth’s axis shifted about 6.5 inches. The subsequent tsunami reached more than 10 meters in many places, devastating large portions of Japan’s eastern coast. The resulting destruction is estimated to have caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, destroyed tens of thousands of buildings, and caused the deaths of nearly 20,000 people.
In the United States, a diverse group of agencies and organizations work together to accomplish the homeland security mission. Many of these organizations fall within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Organizations that are not directly a part of DHS act as partners and provide support in various ways. One of the most vital and most capable partners in the homeland security mission is the Department of Defense (DOD). The current organizational makeup of DHS is disorganized and confusing. As is, it prevents efficient support from its partners. The government should create a new, robust homeland security enterprise to solve these issues. By creating an updated homeland security enterprise and leaning on the DOD’s support, the nation will increase its security and protect its citizens.
The events that unfolded over the course of 2020 and 2021 challenged emergency managers in ways only previously imagined. In the midst of a global pandemic, emergency managers worked through the complexities of a global response while delivering core administrative functions and coordinating the response to countless other threats and hazards. This response tested emergency management capabilities and challenged long-held assumptions about mutual aid systems.
There is a point in a novel or play where the hero has a true anagnorisis because the moral fault is never himself, only in outside conspirators. Some would call it fate, others call it arrogance in a man.