A resource directory for emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and accessible communications
Welcome to Emergency Preparedness Online
What is Emergency Preparedness Online?
Emergency Preparedness Online is a website and printer-friendly resource directory established to provide information regarding organizations involved in emergency preparedness and communications, particularly as they relate to the Emergency Alert System and individuals with disabilities. The directory includes information about and reports from government agencies and commissions, private and not-for-profit organizations, and foreign and international groups pertaining to their work involving response, recovery, and communications during times of emergency, with an additional focus on the accessibility of such communications for people with disabilities.
Prepared by John Cavanagh, Matt Kaplowitz, Anne Malia, Jessica Malia, and Ken Takeuchi
Last updated 05/11/09
World Health Organization issues a pandemic warning for Swine Flu strain H1N1
The World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting 4,694 confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) and 53 deaths across 30 countries. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting 2532 cases and 3 deaths in 44 US states.
In his weekly address, President Obama said, "this is a new strain of the flu virus, and because we haven't developed an immunity to it, it has more potential to cause us harm." The president recapped his administration's efforts, which include asking schools with confirmed cases of the flu virus to close for up to 14 days; urging employers to let infected workers take all the sick days they need; and reminding Americans to wash their hands often, cover their coughs and stay home if ill. Obama has requested that Congress provide $1.5 billion to buy more medicine and equipment if needed.
The government posts a website regarding H1N1, pandemics, and informative resources at www.pamdemicflu.gov.
Preventing the Spread of Swine Flu: Advice for EVERYBODY EVERYBODY Emergency Preparedness Online has prepared a fact sheet containing swine flu prevention tips and resources. It is available both in PDF and Word formats and may be used free of charge without further permission and attribution to Emergency Preparedness Online and Bridge Multimedia.
5th Annual National Preparedness Month to take place in September
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that over 1,200 national, regional, state and local businesses and organizations have joined the 2008 National Preparedness Month Coalition to raise awareness and promote action by Americans, businesses, and communities on emergency preparedness. "As we approach our fifth National Preparedness Month, I want to thank the hundreds of coalition members who are making a difference in their communities by helping raise the basic level of preparedness in our country," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
Citizen Corps are specifically encouraging individuals across the nation to take important preparedness steps. These steps include: getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about the different emergencies that may affect them, as well as taking the necessary steps to get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts. National Preparedness Month Coalition members have agreed to distribute emergency preparedness information and sponsor activities across the country that will promote emergency preparedness.
Sponsored by the department's Ready Campaign, National Preparedness Month helps to raise awareness and promote action by Americans, businesses, and communities on emergency preparedness. "As we approach our fifth National Preparedness Month, I want to thank the hundreds of coalition members who are making a difference in their communities by helping raise the basic level of preparedness in our country," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. " Experience shows that if Americans take steps ahead of time, they stand a much better chance of coming through an emergency unharmed and recovering more quickly." The Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps (www.citizencorps.gov) are specifically encouraging individuals across the nation to take important preparedness steps. National Preparedness Month Coalition members have agreed to distribute emergency preparedness information and sponsor activities across the country that will promote emergency preparedness. Membership is open to all public and private sector organizations. Groups and individuals can register to become members by visiting www.ready.gov, and clicking on the National Preparedness Month banner. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman and Ranking Member Susan M. Collins, along with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson and Ranking Member Peter T. King, will serve as honorary Congressional Co-Chairs of National Preparedness Month 2008.
National Summit on Disaster Recovery
State and national leaders in emergency management, information technology, and archives and records management met to consider the problem of protecting essential records during disasters. The Summit, held in Atlanta, was funded by FEMA and sponsored by CoSA, the Council of State Archivists. Vicki Walsh, executive director of the Council said, When disasters strike, emergency responders need records to locate utilities and establish chain of command, state and local governments need records to continue operations, and individuals need records to prove their identity and re-establish their lives."
Following hurricane Katrina, CoSA developed the Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records project and successfully applied for a FEMA grant to fund it. The Summit in Atlanta was designed bring together the directors (or deputies) of every state emergency management office, information technology agency, and archival or records management agency. The next step of the project will be to produce nationwide training sessions in order to reach state and local government officials in every state and territory and train them how to identify and protect essential records from disasters.
For more information, visit: http://www.statearchivists.org/prepare/iper/index.htm
FEMA Changes Organizational Stuctures to Strengthen Preparedness Levels
The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the transfer of specific preparedness administrative and operational authority roles from FEMA Headquarters to FEMA Regional Administrators. This transfer of responsibilities was put into effect to enhance FEMA's capability to develop a National preparedness system.
This transfer of authority includes personnel associated with the:
- Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program
- Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program
- Community Preparedness
- Assistance to Firefighters Grant program
- Continuity of Operations
- Regional Investment Officers
The National Preparedness Divisions, run by regional-level Federal Preparedness Coordinators, will lead FEMA's efforts to coordinate the broad scope of preparedness missions for all-hazards. Also, the plan includes the formation of a new Grant Programs Division to be established within each Region. This will serve as the central location for business management of regional grants, and program management for certain national preparedness homeland security grant programs. For more information, visit FEMA at http://home.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?published=1&id=42934
The Institute of Medicines Research Priorities in Emergency Preparedness and Response
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend a set of near-term research priorities for emergency preparedness and response in public health systems for use at schools of public health and related fields. These priorities will be used to help develop a research agenda and inform research funding opportunity announcements during the 2008 fiscal year. The IOM report recommends that priority be given to the following four areas of research:
- Enhancing the usefulness of training
- Improving communications in preparedness and response
- Creation and maintenance of sustainable preparedness and response systems
- Generation of criteria and metrics to measure effectiveness and efficiency.
The full report can be downloaded at http://www.iaem.com/publications/news/documents/EmergPreparednessResearchPriorities.pdf