Operationalizing the Nation's Critical Infrastructure Resilience

Defining “resilience” is one challenge; putting it into action is another one, more difficult and more complex. The Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory is addressing both challenges, and recently asked a broad spectrum of thought leaders to help strengthen the nation’s ability “to adapt, withstand, and recover.”

Defense Department Plays a Key Role in Disaster Resilience

Although traditionally serving the military community, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is now playing an increasingly important role in support of the U.S. civilian community – both domestically and abroad. As recent natural disasters have demonstrated, the Department has both the ability and the willingness to provide services that promote whole-of-community resilience.

Updating the National Infrastructure Protection Plan

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been gathering information from leaders across the nation to help update its National Infrastructure Protection Plan. One organization that has been playing an active role in the update process is The Infrastructure Security Partnership, which has facilitated working groups and discussions to help further resilience and protect the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Risk Assessment & Management: The Overlooked Component

Emergency managers assess risks that are likely to exist within their communities. Planned special events, however, may introduce additional risks that can easily be overlooked during those assessments. The National Capital Region and the state of Maryland are addressing this concern to help prevent the overwhelming of existing resources.
Collapsed road and traffic cones on left with water on right

Building Resilience Early & Geographically

Earthquakes have changed the course of rivers, tornadoes have uprooted and moved trees and homes, and other types of disasters have caused terrain and geographical changes that made it difficult for residents to recognize their own neighborhoods. Geographic information systems offer emergency managers and responders a valuable tool to help build more resilient communities.

A Network of Interoperability

The Charlottesville Fire Department has been able to turn a difficult and labor-intensive task into a relatively simple daily routine. Having the right tools to communicate with other organizations, and to receive timely and accurate information, makes incident command operations easier to manage.

Saving Lives & Protecting Property: A Flood of Helpful Information

The old cliché “I told you so” may apply when examining the effects of ongoing flood events. Statistics are available and warnings have been made, but not enough preventive measures are yet in place to save lives and protect property values in many U.S. communities.

9/11 Never Forget

September is designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as National Preparedness Month – a time when U.S. agencies and organizations, at all levels, recognize the need for and take steps to improve their own preparedness efforts.

Mitigating Risk: Protecting & Defending Critical Infrastructure

Many facilities and services that are particularly critical for communities to function at full capacity are also vulnerable to both physical and intellectual harm. One solution to this problem is a unified management approach to protect the capital assets and business relationships needed to continue providing all essential services and tangible products.

Worst-Case Scenarios: Sudden & Total Isolation

The setting of national standards for the personal protective equipment worn and training received by first responders working in a hazardous-materials environment is a positive step forward.
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