As if the first two decades of the 21st century were not dynamic enough, the first year of the third decade has impacted every person on multiple levels. While the viral pandemic continues to affect every profession, health care professionals around the world are dramatically reassessing their service delivery models. The pandemic indiscriminately sweeps across geopolitical borders, similarly the strong call for social justice reforms is traversing the globe demanding action and change. For example, within hours of the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, demonstrations insisting on social justice reform emerged in cities worldwide. The energy behind these demonstrations and even violent protests continue to fuel police reform measures beyond the U.S. In a series of four articles, the DomPrep Journal will examine the foremost initiatives of modern police reform in America.
Effective disaster response and recovery involves the whole community. In the United States, there is a wide variation as to how families acquire durable medical equipment (DME) for their children with disabilities post disaster. DME is essential for those children to maintain their usual level of independence as well as their health and well-being. The absence of established process that enables children with disabilities to access DME is a significant gap in preparedness plans.
Law enforcement is having a perfect storm with challenges in hiring, challenges in retention, and challenges with early retirement. This podcast is a follow up to a discussion that began in January 2017 with Joseph Trindal. Joe leads a team of retired federal, state, and local criminal justice officials providing consulting and training services to public and private sector organizations enhancing leadership, risk management, preparedness, and police services.
Drones are having a dramatic impact on public safety and emergency management operations. While some form of public safety drone has been in place for a while, drones did not begin to see wider adoption until 2016 when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented 14 CFR Part 107 (Part 107) commercial flight authorization and later with Certificate of Authorizations (COA). These FAA regulatory changes made it easier for public safety and emergency management agencies to meet regulatory requirements.
The United States is currently facing historic challenges. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, the United States is experiencing an historic rise in gun violence and civil unrest. Social issues, such as a dramatic increase in unemployment, a rise in domestic violence, an increase in substance abuse, social isolation, mental health issues, and uncertainty surrounding when the pandemic will end are leading to increased anxiety and frustration. In an era of coronavirus, do not forget that reopening plans need to focus on security, as well as health and safety.
British statistician, George Box, famously stated that “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” The nation’s experience with COVID-19 has highlighted this fact as policy makers have struggled to calibrate their actions based on imperfect data and modeling. Yet, modeling is useful and will continue to be an important aspect of emergency management.
At the beginning of a 28 May 2020 court hearing, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup made the following opening statement, “If there ever was a corporation that deserved to go to prison, it is PG&E for the number of people it has killed in California.” Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) survival for the last decade has been described in some detail in Parts 1 and 2 of this three-part article. The vox populi of the courts, regulators, fellow utilities, businesses, and customers has most of the time fallen on deaf ears with the leadership of PG&E. The facts that create this type of environment are extremely complicated.
“A lifeline enables the continuous operation of critical government and business functions and is essential to human health and safety or economic security.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed the Community Lifelines construct after the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons. The framework of Community Lifelines allows the whole community to assess the status of and impact to each of the seven lifelines so that the optimal and correct essential action can be executed to support those lifelines not operating at full capacity during a disaster or emergency event.
These are challenging times. The immediate impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are impossible to ignore when viewed in terms of the sickness and death it has brought upon the world community. It continues to impact the global economy and social norms. The long-term impacts of this virus and subsequent mitigation efforts may not be completely understood for quite some time. What is known is the pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of daily life, from social distancing rules, interrupted supply chains, longer waits at the supermarket, school closures, cancelled milestones, record unemployment, remote learning, and telework to the closure of places of worship. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a transformative event.
The nature and scope of the emergency management field can be defined in a variety of ways. An all-hazards definition of emergency management encompasses some essential homeland security concerns. A conceptual framework then helps bring together an understanding of the challenges facing those in the emergency management and homeland security fields when an all-hazards definition of emergency management is used.