Providing information to the public in times of crisis is so critical to disaster operations that it is included as one of the five major components of the National Incident Management System. Mass media is one of many tools available to help public information officers disseminate essential information and convey risks to the public before, during, and after a disaster.
The emergency services sector faces many daily challenges that are exacerbated when data breaches and cyber attacks occur. Addressing public concern for incidents with life and safety consequences is one of the greatest challenges that public information officers must be prepared to manage as the number and frequency of cyberthreats continue to rise.
In Missouri, researchers are helping adults learn how children and youths perceive disaster media coverage in order to better cope with the abundance of information and images that surround them following a significant incident. Coping strategies and resources addressing media coverage must be tailored to the individual needs and developmental level of each child or youth.
By 30 September 2016, all states will be required to create child care disaster plans under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, which include procedures for facilities to: evacuate; relocate; shelter-in-place; lock-down; communicate; reunify families; continue operations; and accommodate infants, toddlers, and children with additional physical, mental, or medical needs.
Military methods used for bleeding control on the battlefield can be just as effective on the scene of an active shooter, terrorist attack, or other mass casualty incident. It is time to teach these methods to anyone who may someday find himself or herself in a position to save a life by stopping the bleed.
There is a positive relationship between first responder training and national preparedness. A comprehensive examination of three different models shows that training is an invaluable component of homeland security. These key findings summarize detailed analysis conducted on the links between training, response capabilities, and funding.
Clandestine laboratories are just one evolving threat that first responders face at unexpected times. As this and other types of threats evolve, so must the technology to monitor, detect, and analyze these seen and unseen dangers. High-pressure mass spectrometry is one such technology that is helping first responders perform these tasks in real time while in the field.
Although there is no shortage of information, the quality and validity of information varies considerably. Learning how to identify effective information tools and use them to their full potential takes time. However, in rural Idaho, information-gathering skills are being taught to help emergency planners and public health professionals to better navigate the vast World Wide Web of information.
A decade after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, the effects of underprepared healthcare systems are still apparent. Nearly a year after the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on U.S. soil, the West African nations most affected by the disease remain burdened by insufficient infrastructure to properly isolate and treat patients on a large scale.
Science-based research is useful in analyzing and reducing risks through the development of new technologies for detecting, sampling, and studying various contaminants and unknown substances. Teams of scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory play a large role in ensuring that first responders have the necessary tools to perform their critical tasks.