Author Archive

Special Events Challenges – A Sesquicentennial Example

Much has changed in 150 years, but there are some constants – weather, geography, population – that are almost always changing. By understanding local climate conditions, the topography and transportation challenges involved, and the sometimes malicious intent of certain attendees, special event planners can prevent or at least mitigate the

CBRNE & NIMS: Complementary, Not Contradictory

Some critics of the U.S. National Incident Management System (NIMS) have cited a wide variety of examples to justify their claims that the NIMS policy guidelines will not fully and/or effectively serve the nation’s needs in managing future emergency-response situations.

NIMS – Not an American Exclusive

“Management” is in many ways an abstract and somewhat generic term, but most citizens have a general understanding of what the word means. Whether the relatively new U.S. National Incident Management System (NIMS) is of American origin or not is perhaps debatable, but the concept itself is nonetheless useful in

NIMS/ICS and Drug-Enforcement Operations – Yes and No

Drug trafficking throughout the United States has become such an omnipresent danger that it can be diminished and eventually defeated only by the combined efforts of law-enforcement and intelligence agencies at all levels of government – local, state, and federal. Here, with the names of specific sources necessarily withheld, is

Training, Exercises, and the ICS: A Natural Fit

The NFL’s energetic but belated start on pre-season training is a timely reminder that even the best-conditioned and most highly skilled players cannot rest on last year’s laurels. The same is true, but much more so, of emergency responders, whose goal is not to win the Super Bowl but to

Man-Caused Incidents – New Challenges & Systems

“Man-caused incidents” – the politically correct term used to describe terrorist attacks – have increased in frequency and severity in recent years and are likely to continue to do so far into the future. Which is one of many good reasons why U.S. emergency managers are focusing more attention on

CBRNE Preparedness – The Necessary Prerequisites

It is taking longer than originally anticipated, but U.S. policies and plans to cope with future CBRNE incidents, accidental or manmade, are not only being published and implemented at the federal level (then revised and updated – if, as, and when needed) but also being replicated, in operational specifics, at

NIMS-ICS & the Private Sector – Good Fit, or a Stretch?

Nine years later, and nothing has changed! Well, that is not exactly true. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is alive and, although not always moving forward at flank speed, has made considerable progress in several ways. Many relatively new programs should be expanded and upgraded, though, particularly those involving

NIMS/ICS Case Study: Evacuation & State-Managed Shelters

If a hotel has been overbooked most people go to another hotel just a block or two away. That solution does not work when a mass-casualty incident requires the evacuation of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of citizens. Immediately. Which is why local evacuation plans must anticipate the need for additional sheltering
Fire on hillside behind power lines

Critical Infrastructure Protection: Another Role for NIMS Plus ICS

The numerous presidential directives and policy documents issued since the 9/11 terrorist attacks have focused on various specialized areas of homeland-security and counterterrorism operations and activities. Many of those “specialized areas” are closely interrelated in their separate but complementary goals and objectives, though, and when used in combination can achieve

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Article Out Loud – National Security: A Range of Threats

  Full article by Anthony Mottola and Richard Schoeberl, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, May 1, 2024. In this feature article, two law enforcement and counterterrorism experts discuss the growing threats from organized foreign terrorist groups to homegrown terrorists inspired by them. Members of the intelligence community have

Article Out Loud – Sustaining Those Working in Disasters

  Full article by Jolie Wills, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, April 24, 2024. In this featured article, a cognitive scientist and psychosocial disaster recovery specialist emphasizes the importance of supporting those working in emergency response roles before, during, and after emergencies and disasters. Leaders and their teams

Article Out Loud – Mental Awareness to Enhance Preparedness

  Full article by Andrew (Andy) Altizer, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, April 17, 2024. In this featured article, an emergency manager with military experience points out that emergency managers, public health officials, and first responders often stress the importance of physical fitness, but sometimes neglect mental fitness.

Article Out Loud – Primary Care Investments to Increase Community Resilience

  Full article by Angie Im, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, April 17, 2024. In this featured article, a healthcare research and policy expert describes the importance of community health centers and their impact on community resilience. These medical lifelines for millions of Americans are facing financial and

Article Out Loud – The Missing Plague Vials

  Full article by Robert C. Hutchinson, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, April 17, 2024. In this featured article, an experienced federal agent shares a true story of missing bubonic plague vials, an airport bomb threat, and other suspicious activities that demonstrate continued national and homeland security vulnerabilities

Article Out Loud – The “R” Word

  Full article by George Schwartz, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, April 10, 2024. In this featured article, an associate professor at Immaculata University addresses the challenge of defining resilience and the need to go beyond hazard mitigation. With 2024 being the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Year of Resilience,”

Article Out Loud – Dungeons and Disasters: Gamification of Public Health Responses

  Full article by Michael Etzel and Michael Prasad, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, April 10, 2024. In this featured article, two emergency managers describe how advanced technologies are offering new ways to train personnel, exercise public health responses like COVID-19, and prepare response agencies for many other

Article Out Loud – Interoperability During Mass Casualty Incidents

  Full article by Charles Guddemi and Catherine Feinman, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, April 3, 2024. In this featured article, the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency’s statewide interoperability coordinator and the editor of Domestic Preparedness highlight the key takeaways from a 2024 interoperability

Article Out Loud – Emergency Management Goes to the Hill

  Full article by Kay C. Goss and Catherine L. Feinman, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, March 27, 2024. In this featured article, two attendees of a Senate briefing on “The State of Emergency Management” discuss the assistance needs of emergency managers working behind the scenes to ensure

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