The United States had many plans at hand to deal with a national emergency on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the country failed to implement them properly. Part of the reason was institutional, but much was from a lack of coordination. And, the United States still is unprepared for the next disaster, whether natural or human-made.
U.S. national security emergency plans are well documented with a disciplined approach, but their lack of coordination across agencies puts the United States in peril, say a group of government and industry experts. The country must begin to view national emergencies in a countrywide context instead of a narrow local or topical view, or else it will fall prey to whatever major crisis strikes next. The best way to do that is to build a comprehensive national security emergency preparedness (NSEP) capability that draws from lessons out of the Cold War and expertise from public/private partnerships. This also would be accompanied by a grading system that holds agencies accountable to Congress.
It’s easy to forget that in the midst of a catastrophe, physical safety isn’t the only thing that’s important. As technology’s role in disaster response and relief becomes more and more prevalent, cybersecurity becomes an essential part of the process. Here’s why.
Few people are more vulnerable than those impacted by a crisis. Whether a man-made attack or a natural disaster, the widespread destruction created by a large-scale emergency can leave countless individuals both destitute and in need of medical attention. Protecting these men, women and children requires more than a coordinated emergency response.
You may have heard the recommendation that each person should list one emergency contact in his or her phone under the acronym ICE (in case of emergency). But two apps take that advice to the next level: the ICE app for Android from Appventive and the ICE app for iPhone from Minute Apps LLC. The ICE apps allow you to store all your important emergency contact information in one location that first responders can easily access. Record vital information, such as blood type, date of birth, allergies, doctor's information and any medications you're taking. You can also program in multiple emergency contact numbers.
Quickly respond to common emergency situations with the free S.O.S. app for Android from the American Red Cross and Dr. Oz. Developed by Sharecare Incorporated, the app features step-by-step video instructions with voice commands from Dr. Oz to help you handle problems as they arise. Simply follow the demonstrations and commands to confidently respond and save lives. The instructions cover more than 30 of the most common emergency situations, which were developed and reviewed by medical and education panels from the American Red Cross and the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Today was an exciting day at West 2010--and I'm not talking about the dynamic speakers and exhibitors. This morning my hotel had a small fire somewhere near the lobby, so I woke up before my alarm because of the loud, persistent sirens coming in through my window. Fortunately the situation was handled quickly and easily--thanks to San Diego's finest first responders. Unfortunately, I saw those first responders this afternoon after a medical emergency occurred on the exhibit floor.