Commentary

Societal Violence & Its Impact on Critical Infrastructure

by Timothy Scarrott & Nathan DiPillo -

An examination of past violence shows how terminology can affect the incident-reporting process and subsequent statistics for various incident rates. However, statistics clearly show that the COVID-19 pandemic did increase societal violence, which can significantly impact critical infrastructure. This article connects these dots and provides suggestions for reducing future impacts of societal violence.

“Boot Camp” for Emergency Managers

by David Covington -

In most fields, basic training is part of the learning process. Fire, law enforcement, the military, and other disciplines have training academies for building competencies and testing new recruits. An exception to these types of requirements is the field of emergency management. This new training academy will ensure that all emergency managers are trained to the same standards regardless how much boots-on-the-ground experience they bring with them.

What Preparedness & Response Leaders Need in the New Normal

by Catherine L. Feinman -

To address the challenges that emergency preparedness professionals face in an ever-changing threat environment, the Domestic Preparedness Journal hosted a panel discussion at the Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on June 2, 2022. The multidiscipline panel was moderated by James (Jim) Featherstone, a principal consultant at a crisis management consultant agency, Themata Strategic LLC. Participants included the Texas Division of Emergency Management (Deputy Chiefs Suzannah Jones and Country Weidler), Texas Department of Public Safety (Major Rhonda Lawson), Dallas Fire-Rescue (Chief Dominique Artis), Amarillo Public Health (Casie Stoughton), and Texas Army National Guard, Director Operations, Plans and Training (Colonel Robert Eason). This article summarizes the panelists’ responses to questions that leaders should be asking themselves.

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. 

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.

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.

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.