Influence of Aum Shinrikyo on the U.S. Emergency Response

Reflecting on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it is essential to not only remember that fateful day, but to highlight the events that precipitated it, examine lessons learned and policies established, and consider programs and policies needed to sustain prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities in the U.S. and its territories. Although historical analysis and synthesis of past events often lead to relevant details about current incidents, communities often fail to implement or accept the recommended changes. The 9/11 Commission Report cited, “The most important failure was one of imagination.” The 1995 Aum Shinrikyo Tokyo subway sarin gas attack has unique characteristics in the history of acquiring, proliferation, and distributing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the chemical and biological domains, with significant influence in WMD policies and consequence management platforms.

Never Forget: Focusing Events & Opportunity for Change

Devastating events can open windows of opportunity. In emergency management, focusing events like 9/11 create opportunities for change. Tragedies like 9/11 or devastating hurricanes create a flurry of activity in the short period that follows. This activity typically involves conversations about how to make things better or make change. However, windows for these conversations always close.

Domestic Preparedness – Prepared for What?

Publisher note: Rob Schnepp was one of DomPrep’s first writers and has provided council and guidance to me over the past two decades. I asked him to provide his personal account of the 9/11 attacks as well as the subsequent anthrax attacks. They serve as a reminder of how many felt following those attacks: uncertainty about when and where another threat would emerge, an urgent need to prepare for another terrorist attack, and unity of effort. Today, there is still uncertainty about what potential threats are looming. However, it is time to bring back the urgency to prepare and the unity required to move preparedness efforts forward.

CISA Can Improve Efforts to Ensure Dam Security and Resilience

Nationwide, there are more than 91,000 dams, levees, and other water retention structures protecting homes and businesses, delivering electricity, and providing recreation and transportation. In 2018, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

September 11 – Remembrance & Recovery

It is difficult to imagine that the attacks of 9/11 occurred 20 years ago. Emergency managers build systems to mitigate the potential impacts of disasters on communities. An emergency manager’s job is to plan for the worst and prepare communities for that one moment when it is time to lead. The memory of walking into the New Jersey Emergency Operation Center on September 11, 2001 and seeing the devastation as it unfolded is vivid in my mind. Patriot Day is a day that conjures memories of the lives lost as well as the nation’s subsequent recovery from that devastating event.

Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide

The Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide (PDA Guide) — a standard framework for how emergency management officials conduct preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) following a disaster—will be effective starting 1 October 2021.

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget! The nation continues to confront questions presented by the 9/11 Commission Report. The report’s preface states, “September 11, 2001, was a day of unprecedented shock and suffering in

Security Lessons Learned – Part 2, Las Vegas Shootings

Many of the previous stories and after-action reviews conducted for the 2017 Las Vegas shootings have focused on organizers’ and public safety officials’ responses in the aftermath of the attack. In contrast, this article focuses on the events’ security strengths and weaknesses and then offers recommendations for other event planners and public safety officials to improve their plans for future events.
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