Superstorm Sandy: Lessons for Optimizing Limited Training Resources for Local Impact

Professional training development, whether for a classroom, work environment, or other setting, typically follows a validated instructional design model that includes an assessment of learner needs before the development of a training. This foundational principle is integrated into federal guidance documents for emergency preparedness training. That said, local preparedness resources are sometimes in misalignment with …

Disaster Prepared: How Federal Funding in the United States Supports Health System and Public Health Readiness

Federal funding for health and medical preparedness in the United States has created an important foundation for preparing the health and medical systems to respond to a wide range of hazards. A declining trend in funding for these preparedness activities threatens to undo the progress that has been made over the last decade, and reduce …

Part I: A Critical Examination of “The Myth of Nuclear Deterrence”

Several years ago, Ward Wilson presented in this journal a wide-ranging challenge to what every generation of national security scholars and practitioners since the end of World War II has been taught about nuclear weapons. He asserted that nuclear deterrence amounts to far less than its proponents have claimed and provocatively suggested that nuclear deterrence …

The American Preparedness Project: Executive Summary: Where the US Public Stands in 2011 on Terrorism, Security, and Disaster Preparedness

Ten years after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, America is, in some aspects, a different country. Significant portions of the federal budget over the past decade have been spent on enhancing preparedness and security on the home front, and prosecuting terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of its American Preparedness Project, which …

The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review: the Nexus of Biological Weapons Threats and U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

The U.S. government released its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) Report in 2010. The NPR Report is declaratory policy that warns adversaries and assures allies about how the U.S. would use nuclear weapons to defend the people, territories, and vital interests of the United States. The NPR Report reflects the current administration‘s beliefs that nuclear weapons …

Domestic preparedness cuts in the current federal budget threaten infrastructure gains and public health preparedness

Recent cuts in the federal budget have serious implications for the country’s preparedness and response standing. In mid-May, federal agencies released their final FY11 budgets. Much of the country’s funding for homeland security and public health preparedness resides in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budgets. Preparedness …

Lessons from Katrina – What Went Wrong, What Was Learned, Who’s Most Vulnerable

If humans did not occupy the planet, disasters would never occur. Massive climatic events, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis would be regular occurrences, of course, and the earth would look like a dynamic cauldron of natural activity, changing the look and the balance of nature and natural events continuously and randomly. What morphs these natural …

Disaster Care for Persons With Psychiatric Disabilities: Recommendations for Policy Change

There is growing concern that the management of persons with psychiatric disabilities after disaster has been inadequate. Unfortunately, the literature is extremely limited, and empirical evidence on the best practices for addressing the needs of persons with psychiatric disabilities after disasters is sparse. A literature search of articles published in 3 widely used databases revealed …

National Preparedness Planning: The Historical Context and Current State of the U.S. Public's Readiness, 1940-2005

In the United States, national public preparedness efforts meant to ready individuals and families for disasters have been driven primarily by international threats, actual or anticipated. These include terrorism, war and the potential for global instability such as the millennium Y2K computer error. The national dialogue on public preparedness following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in …

Homeland Preparedness for Major Terrorism in 2006: Not Yet Ready for Prime Time

This year will represent a turning point for preparedness and homeland security in the United States. With Michael Chertoff firmly in place and making his own mark as the new Secretary of Homeland Security, the anticipated reauthorization of the federal bioterrorism bill and many other new perspectives and strategies on the table, changes are likely …

Responding to an Emerging Humanitarian Crisis in Louisiana and Mississippi: Urgent Need for Health Care "Marshall Plan"

It is now clear that massive challenges are facing the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the flooding of New Orleans. Evacuees from the hardest hit communities who are currently in extended shelter status, particularly those with limited economic means, may already formally fall under …

Psychosocial Implications of Disaster or Terrorism on Children: A Guide for the Pediatrician

During and after disasters, pediatricians can assist parents and community leaders not only by accommodating the unique needs of children but also by being cognizant of the psychological responses of children to reduce the possibility of long-term psychological morbidity. The effects of disaster on children are mediated by many factors including personal experience, parental reaction, …

Snapshot 2005: Where the American Public Stands on Terrorism and Preparedness Four Years after September 11

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) 2005 survey of the American public’s attitudes and views on terrorism, preparedness, and associated issues is the latest in a series of national surveys administered annually beginning in the months after September 11, 2001. The survey was completed in July 2005, just after the London Underground bombings and …