Preparedness, Response, & Resilience Commentary Series Archive

Supply and Demand: The Case for Community Medical Resiliency (PDF)

September 17, 2010

Events such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and pandemic flu have led emergency response professionals to recognize the urgent need to plan for catastrophic medical events. How could the medical system deal with a large number of casualties—due to a nuclear detonation, massive earthquake, biological disease (intentional or novel), etc.—when the majority of hospitals operate at peak capacity normally and overcrowding is common during the normal flu season?

Critical Lessons from the Federal Response to the Gulf Oil Crisis (PDF)

August 10, 2010

One of the primary challenges federal officials faced during the Gulf disaster was not operational but political. To address the challenges that local, state, and federal officials faced, the Oil Pollution Act (and associated plans) should be amended to conform to the predominant disaster response policy, the Robert T. Stafford Act.

The Gulf Oil Disaster: Three Steps to Federal Leadership (PDF)

July 07, 2010

Hurricane Alex should serve as a wake-up call for the President that the Gulf oil response requires broad support from throughout his Administration. The efforts of Thad Allen and his unified command organization are commendable given the seemingly indomitable challenges they face on ground, but the President cannot reasonably expect any one individual or organization to alone succeed given the present situation.

Flooded With Help - But Still Flailing (PDF)

June 24, 2010

Prior to Katrina, the U.S. had never accepted aid from foreign countries. As a result of the lessons learned from Katrina, the Federal government revised its response plan and developed an interagency process to coordinate offers of foreign assistance for a domestic response. But today it is unclear if any of these mechanisms are being utilized.

All Hands—and Eyes—Needed on Deck (PDF)

May 28, 2010

Proactive measures, building upon existing international partnerships, are needed to regularize the sharing of visa revocation, watch list, and no fly data between and among countries to enhance our capacity to prevent terrorism. A good base to leverage would be the so-called “five eyes”—the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—which already share a close and productive working relationship which has yielded valuable benefits over time.

Stopping Terror In and On Its Tracks (PDF)

March 31, 2010

Defensive measures undertaken by public authorities can only take us so far, however. As a result, community engagement and citizen awareness remain important elements of the equation. Vigilance is a team sport. Solid intelligence underpins safety and security, and helps make sure that our last line of defense does not become our first.

Disaster Diplomacy (PDF)

February 26, 2010

Like the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia or the 2003 earthquake in Iran, there are times when the scale of devastation wrought by Mother Nature is simply so great as to dwarf whatever traditional interstate rivalries, animosities, or mistrust that may exist. While these times may be few and far between, they are arguably proof positive that nations and people can, and will, rise to the occasion when urgency demands, and reflect their better angels.

Next Generation National Security (PDF)

September 11, 2009

On the eighth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, it is worth taking stock of just how far we have come. Over and above changes in policies, procedures, and so on, our mindset and conceptual parameters have evolved and adapted.

The Metrorail Crash: An Effective Regional Response (PDF)

June 23, 2009

Yesterday’s Metro accident demonstrated that the post-9/11 increased focus on local and regional preparedness has not only better prepared the Washington area for acts terrorism, but also for the full range of incidents the area faces.