Impact of Critical Biosecurity Reports – Uncertainty Remains

Domestic Preparedness published an article in 2016 discussing the uncertain impact of several biosecurity reports on national planning and preparedness for biosecurity and pandemic threats. The article focused on the consistent and repeated warnings of the consequences for failing to plan and prepare for a multitude of biosecurity threats. The identified inferior planning and preparedness concerns were as apparent and repetitive as the demonstrated lack of reaction to them in the past. The nation was vulnerable.

What Are Preparedness Professionals Doing?

With all the thought, planning, and training that go into disaster preparedness efforts, communities theoretically should be ready for any threat and hazard that they face regularly – severe storms, wildfires, hurricanes, power outages, earthquakes, droughts, mudslides, etc. However, that is not always true. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has already recorded 37 declared disasters in various states so far in 2021. Governors often request federal assistance when their states’ resources are insufficient to adequately respond to disasters.

Revisiting Face Masks Near the End of a Long Journey

On 11 March 2021, the world reached a dubious milestone – one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) first declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Soon after that declaration, a large portion of the world shut down. In the 12 months that followed, community stakeholders have become relatively well-versed in the scientific theories surrounding social distancing, viral load, herd immunity, and transmission of respiratory droplets. However, no topic has likely been more discussed (or more heatedly debated) than the need for and use of face masks.

Post-Hazard Event Airport Recovery

The role airports play in the world is critical. Even a minor disruption to their operations has immediate cascading impacts, which can be familiar to anyone who has experienced a delayed departure and the dreaded “Will I make my connection?” stress that follows. However, airport disruptions create far greater economic and business operations impacts than the occasional need to catch a later flight. Cargo aviation operations provide a critical part of global trade, accounting for the movement of nearly US$7 trillion worth of goods annually. Additionally, the air transport industry supports 29 million jobs globally and billions of dollars in local economies. Meanwhile, amid the global pandemic, aviation supports critical healthcare operations, carrying doctors and specialists rapidly to areas where they are needed; epidemiological investigators to locations of emerging diseases; and medications valued at more than US$1 trillion to locations around the world. These examples emphasize the need to ensure that aviation, and its component parts – including airports – remain resilient and functional at all times.

National Preparedness Failure: Hindsight Is 2020

In February 2021, the Congressional Research Service released an evaluative nonpartisan report on the National Preparedness System (NPS). This report noted problems and difficulties experienced in 2020 during the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. For example, lack of personal protective equipment, disorganized logistical distribution, and other issues that demand attention. In essence, the report can be interpreted as revealing the NPS’s failure. The report’s summary states, “Congress may also consider mechanisms to strengthen the development of preparedness to ensure the National Preparedness Goal can be met.”

Improving Public Messaging for Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place

This report and companion documents identify relevant concepts, considerations, and principles that can inform jurisdictions in planning for evacuation and/or shelter-in-place protective actions. The research report presents recommendations for informing
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