Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are available in many modern venues, but are still underutilized. By building awareness and training for AED use as well as understanding the plans and procedures in place for managing such emergencies, school staff can increase the survival rates of young athletes who suffer from cardiac arrest.
Defining "resilience" is one challenge; putting it into action is another one, more difficult and more complex. The Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory is addressing both challenges, and recently asked a broad spectrum of thought leaders to help strengthen the nation's ability "to adapt, withstand, and recover."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been gathering information from leaders across the nation to help update its National Infrastructure Protection Plan. One organization that has been playing an active role in the update process is The Infrastructure Security Partnership, which has facilitated working groups and discussions to help further resilience and protect the nation's critical infrastructure.
Emergency managers assess risks that are likely to exist within their communities. Planned special events, however, may introduce additional risks that can easily be overlooked during those assessments. The National Capital Region and the state of Maryland are addressing this concern to help prevent the overwhelming of existing resources.
The old cliché "I told you so" may apply when examining the effects of ongoing flood events. Statistics are available and warnings have been made, but not enough preventive measures are yet in place to save lives and protect property values in many U.S. communities.
The Charlottesville Fire Department has been able to turn a difficult and labor-intensive task into a relatively simple daily routine. Having the right tools to communicate with other organizations, and to receive timely and accurate information, makes incident command operations easier to manage.
When the defense for acts of insider espionage is personal conscience, at least some people show sympathy for the accused. The publicity given to such lone-actor miscreants - coupled with the growing development of and dependence on cyber capabilities - is reason enough for considerable concern in both the public and private sectors of government.
Following exposure to radiological or other hazardous materials, decontamination efforts often focus on the people directly involved, but other concerns also must be considered - the use of weapons and/or possible harm to animals, for example. Pennsylvania's Lehigh County has developed a best practices approach to ensuring that response teams are prepared to cope with non-routine decontamination situations.
Similarities can be drawn between two nuclear disasters that occurred 27 years apart, in different countries. Dealing with a nuclear disaster in the United States or elsewhere still requires having accurate information - which must be delivered in time to help emergency responders deal with potentially major consequences. As long as nuclear plants exist, so does the potential threat of a meltdown.
In a passenger aircraft, there is nowhere to run when something suddenly goes wrong. Which is the primary reason that U.S. air marshals are now flying, strategically seated, on many domestic and international flights to thwart a possible terrorist threat against the aircraft and its passengers. The air marshals are armed - but their principal weapons are excellent training and continued situational awareness.