Protecting against terrorist attacks requires making decisions in a world in which attack probabilities are largely unknown. The potential for very large losses encourages a conservative perspective, in particular toward decisions that are robust. But robustness, in the sense of assurance against extreme outcomes, ordinarily is not the only desideratum in uncertain environments. We adopt Yakov Ben-Haim’s (2001b) model of information gap decision making to investigate the problem of inspecting a number of similar targets when one of the targets may be attacked, but with unknown probability. We apply this to a problem of inspecting a sample of incoming shipping containers for a terrorist weapon. While it is always possible to lower the risk of a successful attack by inspecting more vessels, we show that robustness against the failure to guarantee a minimum level of expected utility might not be monotonic. Robustness modeling based on expected utility and incorporating inspection costs yields decision protocols that are a useful alternative to traditional risk analysis.
For many years experimental observations have raised questions about the rationality of economic agents--for example, the Allais Paradox or the Equity Premium Puzzle. The problem is a narrow notion of rationality that disregards fear. This article extends the notion of rationality with new axioms of choice under uncertainty and the decision criteria they imply (Chichilnisky, G., 1996a. An axiomatic approach to sustainable development. Social Choice andWelfare 13, 257-321; Chichilnisky, G., 2000. An axiomatic approach to choice under uncertainty with Catastrophic risks. Resource and Energy Economics; Chichilnisky, G., 2002. Catastrophical Risk. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics, vol. 1. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chicester). In the absence of catastrophes, the old and the new approach coincide, and both lead to standard expected utility. A sharp difference emerges when facing rare events with important consequences, or catastrophes. Theorem 1 establishes that a classic axiom of choice under uncertainty - Arrow's Monotone Continuity axiom, or its relatives introduced by DeGroot, Villegas, Hernstein and Milnor - postulate rational behavior that is [`]insensitive' to rare events as defined in (Chichilnisky, G., 1996a. An axiomatic approach to sustainable development. Social Choice andWelfare 13, 257-321; Chichilnisky, G., 2000. An axiomatic approach to choice under uncertainty with Catastrophic risks. Resource and Energy Economics; Chichilnisky, G., 2002. Catastrophical Risk. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics, vol. 1. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chicester). Theorem 2 replaces this axiom with another that allows extreme responses to extreme events, and characterizes the implied decision criteria as a combination of expected utility with extremal responses. Theorems 1 and 2 offer a new understanding of rationality consistent with previously unexplained observations about decisions involving rare and catastrophic events, decisions involving fear, the Equity Premium Puzzle, [`]jump di
We simulate the effects of a hypothetical H1N1 epidemic in the U.S. using a quarterly CGE model. Quarterly periodicity allows us to capture the short-run nature of an epidemic. We find potentially severe economic effects in the peak quarter. Averaged over the epidemic year the effects are considerably damped. Our results indicate that the macroeconomic consequences of an epidemic are more sensitive to demand-side effects such as reductions in international tourism and leisure activities than to supply-side effects such as reductions in productivity. This suggests that demand stimulus policies might be an appropriate economic response to a serious epidemic.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, U.S. policymakers and their international counterparts quickly devised new programs for protecting seaports and the maritime supply chain. This paper focuses on one such program, the U.S. Container Security Initiative, which screens and inspects U.S.-bound ocean shipping containers at foreign ports. Calculations based on trade data and CSI program information makesit clear that the program has expanded rapidly and now covers about two-thirds of all U.S. containerized imports. However, the United States continues to receive containers from many foreign ports that are not participating in the CSI program and likely will never participate. In addition, CSI coverage of imports from countries that could reasonably be considered potential sources of terrorist activity is lower than overall CSI coverage. U.S. security planners can strengthen the effectiveness of the program by focusing on regions from which dangerous containers might arrive, and on shipping routes that terrorists might use.
Ghost Wars provides an historical review of and perspective on the the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the resulting resistance The author discusses how a favorable environment was created conducive to the rise of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban and how the U.S. handled the rising threat of terrorism.
The Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) is a non profit organization developed to accredit government emergency management programs in the 56 U.S. states and territories. This accreditation model is based on the NFPA 1600 Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. In 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency funded EMAP to conduct baseline assessments of each U.S. state and territory to assess their emergency management capabilities. Between January 2003 and December 2004, EMAP conducted baseline assessments of 35 U.S. state and territory emergency management programs. This study was designed to analyze the results of those assessments, and suggests most state-level emergency management programs focus more resources on the response phase of emergency management and fewer resources on the recovery and mitigation phases.
Advocates of federal bioterrorism preparedness programs have argued that the resulting infusion of resources into the public health system will result in improvement in the overall capacity of the public health system. This study tests that theory by modeling the impact of federal preparedness funds on local public health activities, controlling for local leadership, jurisdiction, and other resources. The study utilizes data from 850 local health departments responding to the 2005 National Association of City and County Health Officers (NACCHO) Survey of Local Health Departments. Results indicate that preparedness funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have an indirect positive impact on preparedness activities, a positive direct impact on local epidemiology programs, and no significant relationship to other measures of public health activity, casting doubt on the existence of broad improvements to the public health system. Findings indicate that local factors play a varied but minor role in determining local health department activities.
In the Second Lebanon War (July 2006), the Hezbollah attacked the civilian population of Israel. The war lasted 34 days and more than 4,000 rockets were fired on the north of the country. The Home Front Command called on the population residing in the north to spend lengthy periods in protected shelters. Throughout the war, the government did not debate the necessity for the evacuation of residents from the area under fire, with a population of about one million. In practice, about 300,000 people evacuated the area, most of them independently or with the assistance of voluntary organizations (NGOs). This paper describes the evacuation behavior during the war, the government's policy in regard to this issue, and proposes generic criteria according to which the necessity for evacuation may be assessed under similar circumstances in the future.
There is little academic documentation of regional hospital planning in preparation for mass gathering events and national political conventions. As the lead planning group for the local medical branch during the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC), the Denver Health Paramedic Division brought together twenty six hospitals within the region to develop an operational plan to ensure an effective response in the event that hospital resources were strained or overwhelmed during the 2008 DNC. The effectiveness and long-term impact of hospital planning for the DNC was assessed by analyzing bed availability data gathered during the event and from a post-event survey of participating hospitals. Survey results indicate that overall hospital emergency preparedness improved significantly because of planning for the DNC and bed availability analysis indicates that there was a significantly greater amount of surge capacity available during the DNC than previously documented. Planning for future national political conventions will benefit from the early development of relationships between hospitals and the establishment of baseline bed availability data to aid in surge capacity planning.
The academic course requirements for 111 certificate and degree programs in emergency management and homeland security were reviewed to assess the degree to which the subject of public health has been incorporated into the overall curriculum of this broad and emerging field. Courses that were dedicated primarily to the field of public health comprised about 4% of the total number of courses taught in the curriculum, about the same percentage as taught in the fields of intelligence and planning. More courses were taught in the subjects of emergency management, terrorism, and legal issues associated with homeland security. Specific subject matter covered in public health courses included healthcare for mass casualties, pandemics, bioterrorism, preparedness and planning, diseases associated with disasters, and health care systems for emergency use. The author proposes a framework for further discussion on identifying critical education in public health within the context of homeland security.
The importance of the user interface increases particularly in safety-critical or mission-critical systems where the user has time limitations within which to make correct, accurate, and timely decisions. User interfaces for these type of systems should be well-designed, easy to understand and easy to use in order to be accepted by expert users and to support the users' decision making under pressure. Otherwise emergencies such as mishaps or accidents may occur and consequences of accidents may include loss of human life, large financial losses, and environmental damage. In this research, we study user interface complexity and the impacts of this complexity on users' acceptance of that system as well as other impacts on user performance in safety-critical environments. We use the measurements and experiments with the Navigation and Piloting Expert System (NPES) and its operators to quantify our research and report details of metrics, measurements, experiment, findings, and conclusions.
This article utilizes the State of Colorado as a case study in how individual states are adapting and applying federal capabilities-based planning models to their homeland security programs. The article reviews the corrective change in direction taken by Colorado in implementation of homeland security organizational strategies, structures, policies and procedures. The authors' findings lead to conclusions about Colorado's beginning phase of transforming deficient homeland security strategy, incoherent organization, and fragmented planning processes into sound strategy, focused structure, and organized methods. In November 2008, the Center for Homeland Security (CHS) at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs began a research and mutual support effort with the Colorado Governor's Office of Homeland Security for the purpose of immersing in the state's revitalized homeland security planning cycle. The intent was to gain insight into the state's creation of a new homeland security organization, the application of a new homeland security strategy, and the efficacy of implementing federal capabilities-based planning processes from a strategic and operational perspective, rather than a federal grant application focus. Colorado's shift to a capabilities-based planning process was largely in response to criticism from both the Department of Homeland Security and Colorado state auditors on the use of federal homeland security funds. Audits described the state's strategy as disorganized and its homeland security structure as fractured with poor accountability and little meaningful oversight. This article examines the initial findings of the CHS immersion experience.
In the United States, preparation for a potential influenza pandemic is receiving heightened media coverage and scrutiny. Scientific attention is focused on the potential for the current Southeastern Asian avian flu virus, influenza A (H5N1), to become a pandemic threat through genetic mutation and viral reassortment. It is imperative that we act now, as we face an evolving and advancing disease state with insufficient national preparation. Existing preparedness plans address laboratory and disease surveillance, community containment and border protection, and mass dispensing and vaccination strategies. However, little attention has been directed to identifying and managing psychological and social factors likely to influence human behavior during a pandemic. All of our health and medical strategies require people to behave in prescribed ways to avoid exposure, prevent infection, or halt disease transmission. This article provides timely expert panel recommendations for pandemic influenza response and recovery by addressing human behavior and adaptation.
Intelligence gathering and analysis for countering terrorism is a vital and costly venture; therefore approaches need to be explored that can help determine the scope of collection and improve the efficacy of analysis efforts. The Adaptive Two-Player Hierarchical Holographic Modeling (HHM) Game introduced in this paper is a repeatable, adaptive, and systemic process for tracking terrorism scenarios. It builds on fundamental principles of systems engineering, systems modeling, and risk analysis. The game creates two opposing views of terrorism: one developed by a Blue Team defending against acts of terrorism, and the other by a Red Team planning to carry out a terrorist act. The HHM process identifies the vulnerabilities of potential targets that could be exploited in attack plans. These vulnerabilities can be used by the Blue Team to identify corresponding surveillance capabilities that can help to provide warning of a possible attack. Vulnerability-based scenario structuring, comprehensive risk identification and the identification of surveillance capabilities that can support preemption are all achieved through the deployment of HHM. State variables, which represent the essence of the system, play a pivotal role in the Adaptive Two-Player HHM Game, providing an enabling roadmap to intelligence analysts. Indeed, vulnerabilities are defined in terms of the system's state variables: Vulnerability is the manifestation of the inherent states of a system (e.g., physical, technical, organizational, cultural) that can be exploited by an adversary to cause harm or damage. Threat is a potential adversarial intent to cause harm or damage by adversely changing the states of the system. Threat to a vulnerable system may lead to risk, which is a measure of the probability and severity of adverse effects. Each player in the Adaptive Two-Player HHM Game deploys the same modeling tools. This ensures that the results from different models can be compared and integrated. If the membership of different teams is drawn from groups with different value systems, skills, and experience, it can be expected that modeling results will differ. This should help to identify the appropriate mix of skills for a modeling team to develop a robust model. In addition, Bayesian analysis is central to the adaptive characteristics of the proposed methodology. Not only do new samples of evidence serve as likelihood functions to generate additional probabilities for given scenarios, but the probabilities associated with one scenario can be used as likelihood functions for other scenarios. This cross-updating process is further exploited by the construction of multiple decompositions, each representing a different perspective, e.g., geographical, functional, temporal. A food-poisoning scenario with Red and Blue Teams was developed to demonstrate the approach.
This article examines homeland security administration and finance in Texas county governments in the United States. A survey was conducted in the spring of 2006 to determine the extent of funding sources for homeland security and the perception by county officials on the effectiveness of financing homeland security. First, the results of this study indicate that as the size of the county government increases this impacts various aspects of homeland security finances. Second, county officials have indicated that increased funding for homeland security will come from existing revenue sources; raising property taxes is not a feasible option. Finally, there is a belief by county officials that there has not been a radical change in the existing county budget as a result of homeland security initiatives. Counties feel that they are well prepared in their financial management systems to deal with a possible terrorist attack.
Winning the war against terrorism will require adoption of new strategies for decision-making, communication, and research and development.This is particularly true with respect to real-time detection and identification (DI) of Biological Weapons (BW). Real-time bio-sensors presently used by the military do not satisfy the requirements for a civilian environment. More sophisticated BW sensors are needed with false positives and false negatives minimized and addressed. Expert first responders and health professionals in a few cities are becoming familiar with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based sensors, but are mostly unaware of other real-time BW DI possibilities in the R&D pipeline. The aim of this paper is to provide individuals outside of the BW research community with an overview of the current status and future prospects for real-time BW detection and identification. It is expected that the Dept. of Homeland Security will play an essential role in establishing incentive systems so that the most appropriate research is conducted and evaluated with peer review using both scientists and first responders. This type of overall strategy has the potential to finally produce real-time biosensors with required properties and keep our BW preparedness ahead of our terrorist enemies' emerging capabilities.
The Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) lacks specific measures for rational decision making, and mathematical modeling has not been applied to capture the interaction between defender and attacker in terrorist attacks. An efficient emergency response system must determine how and when to alert and advise the critical and appropriate response agents to the danger of terrorist attacks, particularly when available resources are limited in an urban environment. We propose a framework for HSAS that incorporates two game theory models designed to advise response agents when raising the threat advisory level. In the first step, the interactive behaviors between the elements or participants of the multi-emergency event and the district response agent are modeled and analyzed as a noncooperative game, after which the terrorist threat value (TTV) is derived from the mixed strategy Nash equilibrium. In the second step, the TTV is used to compute the Shapley value of all district response agents for five different threat levels; a fair allocation of response agents based on the Shapley value creates a minimum set of resource deployment costs. Simulation results show that the emergency manager can use this framework to quantitatively evaluate the terrorist threat to each response agent and easily discover where response agents are most at risk within the five threat levels.
This paper introduces the Palo Alto Medical Reserve Corps (PAMRC); a program which focuses on disaster mental health education. The reader will be provided with background information on early intervention following a trauma and be introduced to the challenges encountered by the organization during its conception and development and to those faced by mental health professionals as communicated to PAMRC representatives during their response to Houston, TX in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The conclusion of the article will delineate the philosophy and methodology utilized by the PAMRC and describe the efforts of the PAMRC to set in motion a collaborative approach to disaster-related challenges, regardless of specialty.
Over the past few years the American Red Cross has been undergoing a massive organizational transformation, particularly in its Disaster Services operations. To facilitate this transformation the Disaster Services Human Resource System has been redesigned to focus on two strategic principles; services delivered to constituents and implementation of the tenets of competency-based management. This article reports the organizational transformation resulting from the redesign of the Disaster Services Human Resource (DSHR) System and the intended impact of the new DSHR System on American Red Cross Disaster Services. Progress in implementing the new DSHR System throughout the American Red Cross is also discussed.
Homeland security has become a national priority, with programs at the national, state, and local levels being pursued to increase the safety and security of U.S. communities. This article describes issues of volunteerism and mechanisms for involvement, using the case example of the AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program. Based on research carried out by Westat on the behalf of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the study suggested that avenues for harnessing volunteers effectively may exist, and that programs such as the AmeriCorps*NCCC are well positioned to leverage existing community efforts. Further, these programs can make significant contributions to homeland security activities in American communities. Most notably, AmeriCorps*NCCC appears to have the ability to help communities "jump-start" disaster preparedness efforts and begin to make them safer and better prepared for both natural and human-induced disasters. Further research, however, is needed to assess the longer term efficacy of these preparedness efforts.
This book is a compilation of essays arising out of the biannual meetings of the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness (ESDP) at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The ESDP is funded by the Department of Justice and is a joint project of two distinct research centers at Harvard University: the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government. The ESDP has brought together key leaders in domestic preparedness planning, national security, and public health since 1999. The book contains a total of 13 essays, an introduction, author biographies and an index.
Kumar Ramakrishna and See Seng Tan's book, After Bali: The Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia, looks at issues of terrorism in Southeast Asia from a distinctly Southeast Asian perspective. The editors have compiled a series of essays to address their central question of whether this region is a terrorist haven and to examine the causes, course, and impact of terrorism there.
There has been a recent government-wide effort to examine the nation's language needs for both the purposes of security and to increase general cultural awareness. Recent surveys of government agencies have shown that more than 80 agencies require some sort of foreign language capability to complete their missions. These surveys were, however, completed before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stood up, and while there may be great need for foreign language capabilities in DHS, such as in their border patrol or customs duties, that need has not been fully documented. An assessment of DHS language needs would provide information about current and future needs and would allow the department to properly implement procedures to alleviate any problems. Potential language needs are discussed and several recommendations are made to DHS so that they could work to maintain their language capabilities, rather than fall behind.
The purpose of the Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) (formerly titled Military Assistance to Civil Authorities, or MACA) process is to provide local and State civil authorities with access to federal military assets in response to major terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Local civilian emergency managers (EMs) play an important role in effective DSCA processes. This paper reports the results of an exploratory study of local EMs' views of the education they have received on the DSCA process and their suggestions on how the process can be improved. The survey and interviews indicate that a majority of EMs do not believe that they have received effective DSCA education and that interpersonal methods (course/training involving federal or civil authorities) were most positively related to having received effective DSCA education. It was recommended that future education on DSCA should be provided in a more clear and concise manner and focuses on topics such as the organizations and process involved in DSCA, types of assistance and time required by the military in their response, and how EMs can better articulate their needs in DSCA requests. A number of recommendations on future research directions on DSCA are also provided.
As with other endeavors, the promise of technology is no less bright for anti-terrorism, which is concerned with stopping terrorist acts before they occur. Based on the 20-20 hindsight of the 9-11 Commission, many believe a combination of technologies and data bases can allow law enforcement and intelligence investigators to identify potential terrorist plots, use a multitude of data bases that contain hidden patterns of information about transactions needed to execute plots, and then mount pre-emptive strikes to stop their plans. Six types of systems cited as major tools in terrorism prevention are critically examined here: (1) regional emergency response networks; (2) the FBI DCS1000; (3) Echelon, an electronic interception system; (4) terrorism watch lists, (5) the multi-state anti-terrorism information exchange (MATRIX); and (6) the Terrorist Information Program (TIP). The systems are conceptualized as three types. Scanners constantly look for information generally or for a specific investigation. Watchers seek to know the location of individuals because they are persons of interest. Synthesizers attempt to interpret data from disparate sources to draw inferences about criminal plots before such schemes can be implemented by the conspirators. Findings suggest that the synthesizers hold the highest promise for prediction and prevention but generate the most strident opposition.
Regulations designed to increase homeland security often require balancing large costs against highly uncertain benefits. An important component of these benefits is the reduced risk of fatalities from terrorist attacks. While the risk to an individual appears small, the benefits may be large when aggregated over the population. U.S. regulatory agencies have well-established approaches for valuing mortality risks, but address risks that differ in significant respects from those associated with terrorism. The best available estimates of the value of small risk reductions, expressed as the value per statistical life (VSL), average about $6.5 million. However, terrorism-related risks may be perceived as more dreaded and ambiguous, and less controllable and voluntary, than the workplace risks underlying many VSL estimates. These factors may increase the VSL appropriate for terrorism risks, possibly doubling the value.
A primary goal of terrorism is to instill a sense of fear and vulnerability in a population and to erode its confidence in government and law enforcement agencies to protect citizens against future attacks. In recognition of its importance, the Department of Homeland Security includes public confidence as one of the principal metrics used to assess the consequences of terrorist attacks. Hence, a detailed understanding of the variations in public confidence among individuals, terrorist event types, and as a function of time is critical to developing this metric. In this exploratory study, a questionnaire was designed, tested, and administered to small groups of individuals to measure public confidence in the ability of federal, state, and local governments and their public safety agencies to prevent acts of terrorism. Data was collected from three groups before and after they watched mock television news broadcasts portraying a smallpox attack, a series of suicide bomber attacks, a refinery explosion attack, and cyber intrusions on financial institutions, resulting in identity theft. Our findings are: (a) although the aggregate confidence level is low, there are optimists and pessimists; (b) the subjects are discriminating in interpreting the nature of a terrorist attack, the time horizon, and its impact; (c) confidence recovery after a terrorist event has an incubation period; and (d) the patterns of recovery of confidence of the optimists and the pessimists are different. These findings can affect the strategy and policies to manage public confidence after a terrorist event.
Some researchers have historically seen a potential for applying multi-attribute risk analysis in nuclear emergency management to more effectively address potentially conflicting objectives, stakeholders with different perspectives, and many uncertainties. This approach was expected to ensure that all relevant attributes are considered in decision making; to enhance communication between the stakeholders, including the public; and to provide a method for explicitly including risk analysis in the process. The intent was to develop a decision support tool a priori that provides decision makers with a preplanned, systematic, and transparent approach, ensuring that decisions are made in an effective and timely manner. This research used an expert elicitation methodology for the identification and weighting of model attributes and selects and executes the optimal one for this application. The research results suggest that: (1) there are multi attribute decision making models available for this application, and the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology is the preferred one; (2) attributes to populate the model could be identified and structured in an AHP format; (3) subject matter experts (SMEs) can be identified and are available for the expert elicitation; and (4) the results can be easily understood and implementable a priori.
Klinenberg's book investigates the heat wave of midsummer 1995 and its human and institutional impacts on the city of Chicago. The Heat Index reached 126F on July 13th; on July 14th, Chicago witnessed its hottest day of its recorded history. From July 13 to July 20, more than 700 people died. Most were elderly, living alone, isolated, and often not discovered for days. One of the deadliest heat waves in the US was upon the city.
The devastation of the U.S. Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 sparked widespread reconsideration of U.S. disaster management practices. While most of this inquiry has drawn on U.S. disaster experiences, countries throughout the world are also struck by natural disasters. We hypothesized that the disaster management experiences in other countries could represent a potentially valuable source of insight for the United States. Therefore, we identified and examined exemplary practices in disaster prevention/preparedness, response, and recovery/redevelopment from thirteen natural disasters in eleven countries, focusing in particular on areas that were problematic during the Hurricane Katrina response. Interviews with recognized international disaster management experts validated our preliminary assessments from these experiences and provided additional insights not gleaned from the literature. We discuss seven lessons from our analyses: (1) Different models, but common principles, underlie effective coordination; (2) Community participation is critical at all phases of the disaster management cycle; (3) Both technology and public awareness contribute to effective early warning; (4) Disaster management should be evidence-based when possible; (5) An early orientation to long-term recovery can be important; (6) Countries can and should learn from previous disaster experience; and (7) Disaster management solutions must be appropriate to the local setting. We also offer and discuss three recommendations: (1) Institutionalize the process of learning from international disaster management; (2) Apply relevant practices from international experience; and (3) Systematically define, identify, document and archive exemplary practices. We conclude that it is appropriate for the United States to learn from its past experiences, draw on the world of experience across borders, and prepare for the future. Our study offers concrete steps that can be taken in this direction.
This technical note informs the readership about the start of an interesting series of field experiments in the European Union dealing with the territorial and social impact of surveillance camera networks. A project schedule is provided along with points of contact for further collaboration.
Marc Reisner expands on his previous work, The Cadillac Desert (1987), by exploring California's seismic risk profile, as conditioned by decades of decisions on land use, water use development, built-infrastructure, planning, and emergency management. In A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate (2003), Reisner takes the reader through the historical antecedents to a hypothetical 7.2M seismic release along the Hayward fault line. He discusses the inherent friability of the built-infrastructure and the social institutions created to respond to high consequence seismic events. He questions the logic that has allowed California citizens to overextend themselves stating, "rather than settle its human hordes where its water is and earthquake zone aren't (sic), [California] has done the opposite" (2003:6). The nation's emergency management community understands these themes well. Reisner though is able to instill in the reader a sense of awe regarding the cataclysmic forces of nature awaiting Californians and the effects they will have on the country as a whole.
Observations of traffic inspections at a U.S. land border port of entry in El Paso, TX indicate that the process is highly variable. In a series of 24 half-hour observation periods of ordinary non-commercial traffic, the average inspection duration ranged from 16.6 s to 56.6 s. The proportion of inspections which involved some physical search of the vehicle, as indicated by the inspector leaving the inspection booth, varied from 5% to 56% in different observation periods. In 4 out of 10 cases, the log-mean of inspection duration in simultaneous observations of parallel lanes of traffic differed significantly (p<0.05). This suggests that differences in inspector behavior are responsible for much of the variability of the inspection process. Similar results are found for the SENTRI program. A survey of public perception reveals that a majority of English-language respondents perceive the inspectors to be fair while a majority of Spanish-language respondents (both U.S. and Mexican citizens) perceive the process to be more arbitrary, as they state that fairness "depends on the inspector." Spanish-language respondents are also more likely to report having to submit to additional searches than English-language respondents. A common theme that emerges from the analysis of these two datasets is that efforts to standardize some aspects of inspections, while preserving inspector autonomy, may improve the performance of the process by eliminating variability which organized criminal groups may be able to exploit.
Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a promising technology for determining the condition of significant transportation structures objectively for efficient management and preservation of transportation assets. In addition to identifying, locating, and quantifying damage and deterioration due to effects of operation, aging, and natural hazards, the need for taking terrorism-related hazards into account has become evident after 9/11 terrorist attacks. Key transportation facilities like major bridges were identified by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as possible terrorist targets since their loss or even temporary deficiency could lead to major impacts on economy and mobility. Several governmental, local, and private organizations have been working on identifying possible modes of threats, determining and sorting vulnerable structures, and establishing ways to prevent, detect and respond to such attacks. Authorities are also investigating ways to integrate current and future bridge management systems with security surveillance systems. Highway bridges are key links of the transportation system. This paper reviews security measures for bridges and discuss possible integration of structural health and security monitoring for improving security and safety of bridges and emergency management after a natural or man-made disaster.
This paper describes the previous attempts at improving the competency levels of first responders, problems with these approaches, and a suggested new approach that focuses on establishing a national emergency response competency system. The analysis focuses on how to derive an improved set of competencies that meet the needs of all stakeholders. It discusses the issue of how to create taxonomies for competencies and their aggregation into clusters, tasks, and roles. It explores the vital linkages between position classification, learning, and performance evaluation. It recommends an approach to performance indexing or scorecarding for ongoing management.
Homeland security information bulletins from governmental, commercial, and non-governmental providers are an important source of threat information within local emergency management organizations. This article examines how email-based homeland security information bulletins influenced preparedness in one university's emergency management organization. A one-year field study of the university's emergency management meetings, supplemented by in-depth interviews, survey data, and textual analysis, was used to determine how participants made sense of and communicated about homeland security threats. Assumptions about communication obscure the influence of bureaucratic imperatives in shaping "enactment" of homeland security threats. Process changes may be needed in order to enhance the contributions of homeland security information bulletins to emergency preparedness.
A fundamental strategic objective of all organizations is long-term survival and economic success. An enterprise wide Business Crisis and Continuity Management (BCCM) program can provide the focus and guidance for the decisions and actions necessary for an organization to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, resume, recover, restore and transition from a disruptive (crisis) event in a manner consistent with its strategic objectives. Central to such a program is a clearly defined and accepted framework of the various functions supporting BCCM, their integration and the appropriate level competency, leadership and authority to accomplish that integration. This paper presents a framework and lays out the research methodology to validate the framework and determine the core competencies required of BCCM leadership to meet their responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner.
Precautionary Risk Management: Dealing with Catastrophic Loss Potentials in Business, the Community and Society by Mark Jablonowski takes the reader beyond the façade of pseudo-scientific assessments of hazard risk that cater to special interests and into the philosophical aspects of 'high-stakes' risk management. Jablonowski's approach provides guidance for making decisions based upon tough but honest choices between precaution and fatalism. Mark Jablonowski is a professional risk manager who has nearly 30 years of experience as insurance underwriter and insurance underwriting manager. He is founder and principal of Intuitive Risk (www.intuitiverisk.com). Jablonowski has published over 50 papers about risk assessment, risk management, uncertainty modeling, and the economics of risk. Some portions of this book have been previously published in The John Liner Review: The Quarterly Journal of Advanced Risk Management Strategies, Risk Management, The Journal of the Society of Chartered/Property Casualty Underwriters, and CPCU eJournal.
The aim of this study is to develop and formatively evaluate a method of eliciting health care workers' understanding of pandemics and their forecasted behaviors during an outbreak. Qualitative methods were used for the evaluation. The results demonstrate that it was possible to identify specific points during the subject interviews when the health care worker seemed to turn from provision of frank data on self-efficacy to that of speculation. Considering this observation, the re-designed method allowed collection and analysis of data critical for pandemic planning. The results imply that more reliable predictions of health care workers' behavior during a pandemic are possible, albeit sensitive to elicit. Use of realistic mental exercises can provide important insights into the level of pandemic preparedness, but these methods will require additional research to reliably differentiate between prediction and speculation.
Joakim Ekberg, Toomas Timpka and Elin A. Gursky, Elicitation of Pandemic Coping Strategies among Health Care Workers: Contextual Adaptation of a Mental Models Method, 2009, Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, (6), 1, 78.http://www.bepress.com/jhsem/vol6/iss1/78/Copyright: Berkeley Electronic Presshttp://www.bepress.com/