Because natural and manmade disasters can occur at any time, individuals, communities, and governments must be prepared. RAND has developed guidelines for individual preparedness in response to terrorist attacks; evaluated, modeled, and enhanced preparedness policy options for government officials at all levels; and recommended actions that communities should take to prepare for bioterrorist attacks, pandemic flu outbreaks, and other large-scale emergencies.
The recovery from Sandy shows once again that how well communities bounce back from disasters depends not just on how they react after a crisis, but on how resilient they have made themselves beforehand. Building community resilience should be part and parcel of disaster preparedness.
Prior responses to other recent disasters offer important lessons. Improved preparedness and efficient coordination mechanisms can help ensure that, when time is of the essence, the United States provides the most effective response.
Shootings at airports are nothing new, writes Brian Michael Jenkins. In fact, they have regularly occurred worldwide in recent years. The motives have included terrorism, crime, and mental illness.
When scientists predict extreme weather that never materializes, lay people tend to wonder what went wrong. This is a natural tendency that is not tied to a failure of the science, but rather to differences in the way scientists and lay people view predictions about extreme events.
There are times when no amount of care, however cutting-edge it is, will save a patient. In these instances, further critical care is said to be “futile.” This type of treatment is not uncommon in intensive care units, and that raises some uncomfortable questions.
Although we believe that a scooper-centric firefighting aircraft portfolio for initial attack would still be preferred, Air Force-provided 1,850-gallon C-27Js could be a cost-effective component of the retardant-bearing portion of the Forest Service's airborne firefighting arsenal, write Edward G. Keating and Daniel M. Norton.
The philosophy and motivation surrounding community resilience has strongly resonated with community leaders but there remains a divide between how experts articulate resilience policy and how that policy translates to on-the-ground implementation. Building Community Resilience: An Online Training addresses that tension.
It is likely that communities with low rates of non-urgent ED use not only have better access to primary care, but patients who are educated about appropriate care seeking and convenient alternatives for acute care, writes Lori Uscher-Pines.
Three mass-casualty events occurring in three very different settings show that disaster preparedness should not be limited to large cities or “target” areas in the United States. One trait that is common to all such events is the need for coordinated, responsive trauma care for victims.
An aircraft's capacity and speed largely determine the rate at which water or retardant can be applied to a fire. Very large air tankers (VLATs) certainly have the capacity to apply large amounts of fluids to a fire, but because of the distances travelled they may not be able to get a second load very quickly.
Boston's health care providers reacted the way they did because they knew what they were supposed to do. Those who did not were smart enough to follow the lead of those who did. That's how a “ritualized” disaster plan works.
Basing public safety decisions on risk analysis allows authorities to devote public resources to those counterterrorism measures that have the potential to do the most good, writes Henry Willis.
In recent years, especially following the economic downturn, states, counties, and cities have looked for ways to reduce costs and maintain basic policing services, leading many to question what the investment in counterterrorism and homeland security has achieved for their jurisdiction.
Although official after-action reports are still being compiled, it looks like Boston's first responders and hospitals delivered under difficult circumstances, writes Arthur Kellermann.
The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.
In this fiscally uncertain climate, we should continue to leverage the dual-use benefit of bioterrorism investments by building and maintaining those routine (but essential) public health capabilities that can also be used in response to a variety of public health emergencies.
Art Kellermann reviews what is known from broad outlines of the Newtown attack and past research on gun violence to offer some preliminary thoughts to the Obama Administration's task force and the public.
Given the broad range of threats facing the United States, including those related to extreme weather, it is imperative that monies invested in enhancing health security be well spent, writes Shoshana Shelton.
Recent global disasters vividly illustrate that recovery entails more than simply restoring physical infrastructure such as roads and buildings; it is also a long process of restoring the social infrastructure—the daily routines and networks that support the physical and mental health and well-being of the population, write Anita Chandra and Joie Acosta.
The problem is that on any given day, disaster preparedness takes a back seat to ongoing operations. The tyranny of the urgent prevents hospital administrators from making investments in preparedness, writes Art Kellermann.