Commentary

Editor's Message: 6-Month Review - June 2022

by Catherine L. Feinman -

The first half of 2022 certainly has been busy! As businesses fully reopen and people around the world begin to explore life in the new normal, the Domestic Preparedness Journal has been exploring its new normal as well. The journal was launched in 1998 to bridge the communication and collaboration gaps between disciplines and across jurisdictions. While the journal has now been entrusted to a new steward, the mission of bridging gaps across disciplines and jurisdictions remains the same. 

Building Capability: Zero Tolerance vs. Acceptability

by Christopher Tantlinger -

A tool designed with zero tolerance would not be able to function efficiently or effectively. Likewise, taking a zero-tolerance approach to emergency preparedness and response has led to some problematic policies and procedures. This article explains why building in some level of acceptability would make policies and procedures more effective and communities more resilient.

Working Together: Partnership, Training, Funding & Tolerance

by Catherine L. Feinman -

When community stakeholders work together to prepare for emergencies and disasters, they will be better prepared and have more resources to face whatever threats, risks, and hazards are in their future. Four key aspects to consider when building community resilience are addressed in this June edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal: public-private partnerships, training, funding, and tolerance.

Protecting Life and Safety – A Job for Everyone

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Firefighters, emergency medical services, law enforcement officers, and emergency managers can create force multipliers through the education and training of other community stakeholders. This May edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal provides valuable information for emergency response organizations to consider when fortifying their efforts and engaging other community stakeholders.

Overcoming Challenges – Do Not Skip Steps

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In some ways, communities are well prepared for emergencies. However, it is critical to continuously assess systems, structures, models, and procedures to identify even small weaknesses and gaps that can become significant impediments to effectively responding to threats, hazards, and risks. The authors in this March edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal identify gaps and share possible solutions for various critical infrastructure, public health, and physical safety vulnerabilities and threats.

Securing & Protecting the Nation’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure

by Chandler Lofland & Raymond Walker -

A cyberattack on a water treatment plant in Florida significantly elevated sodium hydroxide levels for a brief period of time. A ransomware attack in May 2021 temporarily shut down the Colonial Pipeline. The Texas power grid is currently facing cybersecurity threats from Russia. These are just a few recent examples of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities that emphasize the need to secure and protect the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. This article explains how.

Closing Preparedness Gaps – Timing Is Everything

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In some ways, communities are well prepared for emergencies. However, it is critical to continuously assess systems, structures, models, and procedures to identify even small weaknesses and gaps that can become significant impediments to effectively responding to threats, hazards, and risks. The authors in this March edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal identify gaps and share possible solutions for various critical infrastructure, public health, and physical safety vulnerabilities and threats.

Bipartisan Commission Says Nation Unprepared for Biological Events

by Asha M. George & John T. O’Brien -

On 17 February 2022, Dr. Asha M. George, executive director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at a hearing on addressing the gaps in the nation’s biodefense and level of preparedness to respond to biological threats. In 2015, the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense released its first report, A National Blueprint for Biodefense, to warn that the biological threat was rising and to inform the government that the nation was insufficiently prepared to handle a large-scale biological event. When COVID-19 emerged in early 2020, many of those findings proved to be true.

Four Key Elements of Crisis Prevention

by Catherine L. Feinman -

A crisis can occur when a situation becomes unstable, circumstances suddenly change, or tension and stress heighten. However, not all events need to reach the level of a crisis or disaster if proper preventative measures are taken. Preparing for and possibly preventing a crisis mean thinking outside the box, creating good habits, developing a plan, and then implementing that plan.

Top 10 Habits for Better Crisis Preparedness

by Andrew (Andy) Altizer -

Imagine an important grant application deadline approaching next month, delaying the submission for a couple weeks, but then a critical incident happens (perhaps, something like a pandemic) that diverts attention for weeks, months, or much longer. The routine tasks that require action are not performed in a timely manner, and the deadline for that grant application is now gone. Developing some small habits like prioritizing would have significant effect on productivity and effectiveness of response and recovery efforts for a future crisis.