Index > Response & Containment: Recommendations
The Galveston, Tx. county emergency management center is the first in the nation to combine a National Weather Service office with an emergency management department of local government. The 23,500-square-foot building has been designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane (winds in excess of 155 mph) and will house the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, Galveston County 9-1-1 District and members of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
Many port facilities are under economic stress from several fronts, including antiquated technology, environmental restrictions, just-in-time manufacturing practices, overlapping federal/state/local jurisdictions, and the lack of basic technological infrastructure to orchestrate a global network for intermodal asset security monitoring and tracking. Land competition and environmental regulations likely will further restrict the geographic expansion of current port facilities. Further, the information systems for managing the supply chain still largely depend on manual date entry processes.
Many smaller communities have a limited number public sector vehicles and drivers available during crisis for any purposes other than response, containment or law enforcement. Having a pre-trained and qualified volunteer vehicle squad available to assist first responders by delivering assets, messages and other volunteers could significantly reduce the logistical strain on public sector assets during the first hours of crisis. Using the Virtual Surge Depot with its two-way wireless messaging capability to catalog the drivers and their vehicle capabilities, and managing real-time deployment with the Critical Decision System GIS overlay, local responders could expand their own capability without drawing down against their own response assets or personnel.
There is too much worry over who is going to pay for responses to a disaster. Currently, there are Urban Search & Rescue teams that can respond while the the lines of response and responsibility are clear enough that arguing over the bill obfuscates the problem.
The ability to communicate and bring new ideas to the forefront is essential when thinking about homeland preparedness. Local governments need to communicate better between each other. They need to make sure that their first responders are properly coordinating their plans, training etc. First reponders need to cross train so that they better understand functions other than their primary function area. They need to insist that training etc. be conducted beyond functional and jurisdictional lines. They need to be constant and effective advocates for the safety needs of their community Private Industry need to share their expertise. They need to participate in local planning and exercises. Community/citizens need to be prepared to protect their homes and families during the first few days of an emergency. They need to be more awre of weather threats etc. They need to make sure they have advanced knowledge of resources present in their community, and how to access them.