Author Archive

The Next Pandemic: Understanding the Public Health Role

In coping with pandemics, public health authorities play one of the most important roles in the overall process of planning, preparedness, response, and recovery. Although the term “pandemic” refers to a wide range of infectious diseases – e.g., human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), plague, smallpox, and tuberculosis – the current focus

The Public Health Role During Mass-Fatality Incidents

Many major disasters start without warning, continue for periods ranging from mere seconds to weeks or months, and leave behind a chaotic mass of useless rubble and ruined lives. The work of public health agencies necessarily starts well before the first tremor, continues through the entire response/recovery/resilience process, and

Public Health: Assessing the Hazards & Vulnerabilities

The first priority of would-be “problem solvers” should be to find out, in as much detail as possible, exactly what the problem is. That is particularly true, it says here, in dealing with major and extremely complicated problems involving, and quite possibly jeopardizing, the continued good health of thousands of

Tailoring an Emergency Operations Plan

The old tailor’s maxim – “Measure twice; cut once” – is also a suitable approach to the writing of an all-hazards Emergency Operations Plan for a health department. Here is a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide to the planning, writing, reviewing, and approval processes necessary to the drafting, development, and dissemination

Health/Medical Factors Critical in Pre-Planned Events

FEMA, the FBI, and the Secret Service have primary jurisdiction, appropriately, for the safety of National Special Security Events. But the literally life-or-death responsibilities of local medical and healthcare facilities and personnel mandates that they also are fully included in the long-range planning sessions preceding such events.

The Reality of On-Scene Medical Control Physicians

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in the United States functions primarily under the philosophy that EMS should – as efficiently as possible – assess, treat, and then quickly transport a patient to the appropriate hospital for definitive treatment by physicians. If needed, Medical Control (MC) is supplied off-line in

COOP Planning Becomes Major Concern for Healthcare Facilities

The best-laid plans of mice and men – not to mention emergency managers and healthcare officials – can oft go awry. That is particularly true, almost guaranteed in fact, when the plans are only on paper, the emergency assets needed have not been secured, and the numerous other actions needed

Using NHSS ‘To Minimize the Risks’

There are 10 principal objectives in what has been described as “the first comprehensive policy document” focusing specifically on protecting the health of the American people in times of national emergency – e.g., a major mass-casualty incident such as an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or terrorist attack. Here is a quick

Expanding the Definition of Public Health

The field of medicine has come a long, long way from the early 20th-century tradition of family doctors, homespun remedies, and much lower life expectancies. People are healthier today, and usually live longer lives, but the technology of terror also has grown exponentially, creating a need for a new public-health

Understanding Public Health Mutual Aid

Friends helping friends, neighbors helping neighbors – it’s Biblical, it’s common sense, and it’s the right thing to do. But it’s also much more complicated in today’s world, when mass-casualty incidents can cause so much damage that very few communities can recover without outside help.

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Article Out Loud – Energy Sector Perspectives

By Eric Easton, An Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, January 10, 2024. From the alarm clock that wakes people in the morning, to the natural gas used to cook breakfast, to the refined petroleum products powering vehicles for daily commutes, the Energy Sector plays an integral role in daily

Article Out Loud – Five Steps Toward Enhancing Climate Resilience

Many communities have been impacted by “acute climate shocks” such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, and severe winter storms – resulting in the loss of lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure. The five steps shared in this 2018 article can help enhance climate resilience.

Article Out Loud – The Race to Interoperability

The Boston Marathon Bombing demonstrated the dedication, commitment, and strength of those who responded that day. The lessons learned from that event continue to strengthen community resilience as participants gather to focus on building interoperability within and between jurisdictions.

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