Site Map - Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management


- A December 2003 report by Trust for America's Health showed that the nation's public health system was insufficiently prepared for bioterrorism. The prognosis isn't much better more than a year later. A follow-up report concludes that "states across the country are still struggling to meet basic preparedness requirements and have inadequate resources to juggle the competing health priorities they face." Ranking states on ten "key indicators to assess the states' public health emergency preparedness capabilities," the report found Florida and North Carolina to be in the best of health, notching nine of the ten indicators. At the other extreme were Massachusetts and Alaska, which achieved the sickly score of three. Twenty states fell in the middle with a score of six, while another 19 garnered scores of 5 or 7. he ranking was based on indicators such as state spending of federal funds, level of state public-health budgets, bioterror capabilities of state labs, and surveillance and tracking capacity. For example, only five state public-health labs report the ability to adequately respond to a chemical terror threat, while two-thirds of states don't electronically track disease outbreak information using national standards, making early warning difficult. SM Online has the full 72-page report, as well as an executive summary.

The Challenge of Making Safer Structures

- Three and a half years after 9-11, building codes are just starting to reflect lessons learned from the World Trade Center collapse

WHO's Health Report

- Only “collective international public health action” will stem the spread of a future infectious disease pandemic, according to the annual World Health Organization health report. It warns that the threat of a “pandemic of influenza from this virus is still a matter of when, not if.”  

Disaster Preparedness

- Social networking Web resources, like Twitter, can help organizations and government expand their communication networks during emergencies, says blogger W. David Stephenson. Major organizations like the American Red Cross are giving it a try.

The Disaster Recovery Handbook.

- Disaster planning need not be merely a necessary administrative burden. It can be a marketing tool. As the authors of The Disaster Recovery Handbook shrewdly observe, disaster preparedness and recovery is really a service for the client. Customers in effect enter into a partnership with their suppliers for their business essentials, so a disruption in supply can be catastrophic to a customer. Thus, disaster planning can be sold to customers as a pledge that the provider will keep their businesses going even in adverse situations.


- A bill (H.R. 285) introduced by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) would establish a national cybersecurity response team that could analyze threat information and provide early warning of attacks on the cybersecurity infrastructure. The team would also be tasked with providing information and assistance to restore the infrastructure after an attack.

Updated Disaster Directory Released.

- Even the most thorough disaster plan can't contemplate every possible contingency. In some cases the victimized company will need to procure unanticipated services or products such as water-purification equipment, microfilm drying, or cots and bedding. The publishers of the Disaster Recovery Yellow Pages have been positioning themselves as a one-stop shop for everything related to business continuity and disaster recovery in the United States. The 2005 version, the directory's 14th edition, is now perfect-bound. More than 3,000 product manufacturers and service providers are listed in the resource, in 355 categories ranging from computer equipment and training materials to cleanup services and file- and data-recovery software. Published by Edwards Information, the hard-copy version of the directory is available through ASIS International

Interim Goal is Published

- The Department of Homeland Security has released its Interim National Preparedness Goal, which “establishes readiness priorities, targets, and metrics.” For more information go to SM Online.


- In Connecticut and New Jersey, DHS conducted a simulated terrorist-attack exercise called TOPOFF.


- As in many sectors of the U.S. critical infrastructure, agriculture has made great strides in security since 9-11. A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) documents some of these achievements, such as ongoing vulnerability analyses conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration to determine which agriculture products are most vulnerable to terrorist attacks. But efforts elsewhere are lagging. For instance, many U.S. veterinarians lack training to identify signs of foreign animal diseases, and the USDA does not use “rapid diagnostic tools” to test animals at the site of a disease outbreak. Also, while imports have increased, agricultural inspections at ports of entry have decreased over the last two years. In addition, states aren’t receiving enough technical federal assistance in developing emergency plans to prepare them to deal with terrorism, the GAO auditors write. The auditors recommend 11 courses of action to improve the U.S. preparedness for agroterrorism. For instance, they call for expediting a USDA draft rule that would require veterinarians to be trained to recognize foreign animal diseases. SM Online has the full report.

A Dash of Danger

- Find out how one of the largest healthcare systems in the country is preparing to face chemical and biological hazards.

Chaos Organization and Disaster Management

- Kirschenbaum will make readers question their own motivations and choices. With that in mind, he leads readers down an avenue of constant exploration, probing the considerations of various stakeholders, the plethora of constraints on effective disaster management, and the bureaucratic inertia that can all too quickly subsume disaster management.

First responders

- A bill (H.R. 1544) that would change the way that first-responder funds are allocated to state and local governments has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee and must now be taken up by the full House of Representatives.

Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.