Many staffers at CHHS go above and beyond their daily project work to craft blogs on current topics in the news or best practices learned among emergency management colleagues through hands on experience.

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    The Role of Police During a Natural Disaster

    August 27, 2015 by Vernon Herron

    Traditional police responsibilities have expanded tremendously since Hurricane Katrina touched down in New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Katrina not only highlighted the need for officials in Louisiana and nationwide to enhance preparedness and coordination efforts, but also emphasized the need for local police to broaden their roles during a ...

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    Federal Disaster Response: Legislative Reforms Since Katrina

    August 26, 2015 by Katarzyna Fertala

    In his final news conference as president in January 2009—three and a half years after Hurricane Katrina—President George W. Bush still faced criticism regarding the federal government’s response to the disaster. “Don’t tell me the federal response was slow when there was 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the ...

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    Ten Years Later: The Emergency Management Legacy of Hurricane Katrina

    August 25, 2015 by Michael Greenberger

    The silver lining within the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina was the redoubling of federal, state, and local focus on responding to crises that by their devastating nature overwhelm governmental resources. From the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to the Katrina episode in 2005, most emergency management attention was focused on preventing ...

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    Katrina and Interoperable Communications: How far have we come?

    August 24, 2015 by Ben Yelin

    In its “Lessons Learned” document from Hurricane Katrina, the George W. Bush administration noted that although Federal, State, and local agencies had communications plans and assets at the ready, the plans and assets were, “neither sufficient nor adequately integrated to respond effectively to the disaster.” Furthermore, the report stated that ...

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    A Closer Look at FEMA Reimbursement for Civil Unrest Expenses

    August 11, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Research Assistants Jules Szanton and Elizabeth Millford Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rejected Maryland’s appeal for $19.4 million in expenses that city and state governments incurred during the civil unrest following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.  Maryland’s aid application – and the application’s ...

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    Ebola Resurgent in West Africa as Health Authorities Seek Answers and a Vaccine

    July 20, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Research Assistant Jules Szanton Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are confronting a resurgence of Ebola after several encouraging months when the virus seemed to be nearly extinguished from West Africa.  Public health experts suspect a number of factors are leading to a rise in the infectious disease.  The resurgence ...

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    How Does King vs Burwell Affect Me?

    July 14, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Extern Elizabeth Millford This is the question that many Americans are asking themselves after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the second major landmark case to challenge President Obama’s 2010 healthcare law. On Thursday June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court revealed its decision on the most recent case involving Obamacare. ...

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    MERS Insurance? A Policymaker’s Tool for Calming Disaster-Related Panic

    July 2, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Research Assistant Jules Szanton When a country or region is struck by a natural disaster, act of terror, or disease outbreak, it isn’t long until an economic threat rears its head: declining tourist visits. In an era when news travels quickly and tourists have choices, areas that have suffered from ...

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    Tech Corps: FEMA and Private Tech Companies Working Together for Disaster Relief

    July 1, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Extern Elizabeth Millford Don’t be surprised if you see Google or Microsoft employees working alongside emergency responders the next time a disaster strikes. On June 17 2015, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hosted a special signing ceremony at their Headquarters in DC, where seven private sector technology companies ...

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    CA Votes to Remove Vaccine Exemptions for School Children

    June 30, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Research Assistant Maraya Pratt The most recent measles outbreak that occurred at Disneyland last December affected nearly 150 people and subsequently prompted the California Assembly to vote to substantially limit vaccine exemptions for school children. Vaccination rates in California have substantially decreased in recent years as parents have declined ...

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    The Plague: Rare But Not Forgotten in the Public Health World

    June 29, 2015 by Trudy Henson

    When you hear the word plague, it might call to mind images from centuries ago. However, this week the public health world was reminded the past is never quite behind us when a 16-year-old Colorado boy died from a rare strain of septicemic plague. Thought to have been contracted from ...

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    MERS Outbreak Continues to Underscore Need for Vigilance

    June 26, 2015 by Trudy Henson

    Sunday, June 21st, South Korea’s health ministry reported three new cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The total number of individuals infected is now at 181, and the death toll is at 31. In spite of the three new reported cases, however, there has actually been an overall drop ...

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    Emergency Alerts During Texas Floods – Were They Effective?

    June 17, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Extern Elizabeth Millford Memorial Day weekend brought a lot more than patriotic celebration to Central Texas. More than four weeks of near-constant rain culminated in a flash flood that devastated towns and homes and ultimately claimed the lives of at least 23 individuals, including many children. In the span ...

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    Remote Hacking and the Vulnerabilities of Today’s Medical Devices

    June 15, 2015 by guest

    By CHHS Extern Drew Ricci With the recent emergence of wireless connectivity in medical devices, taking someone’s life could all too easily lay in the hands of predators nowhere near a patient’s bed-side.  The majority of today’s medical devices that possess wireless connectivity have frightening security flaws that leave them susceptible ...

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    Tough Call: Closing Public Schools During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

    June 11, 2015 by Trudy Henson

    If you lived in Maryland this past winter and had school-aged children, you may have had one or two mornings where you thought to yourself: who decides to close schools for inclement weather? (You may have also wondered: what were they thinking?).  As tough a job as it might be ...

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    MERS, XDR-TB Remind U.S. That Public Health Protocols Matter All the Time

    June 10, 2015 by Trudy Henson

    Although the Ebola outbreak in Africa has been largely contained, the global public health community is far from getting a break. Hong Kong just announced a “red alert” against non-essential travel to South Korea due to its concern about Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS; and late yesterday the story ...

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    Bringing Shelter-In-Place Into Practice During an Emergency

    May 5, 2015 by Michael Vesely

    Recent civil unrest in Baltimore has caused numerous organizations, both public and private, to institute an array of emergency protocols in order to better protect staff and resources. The most common steps taken are to evacuate buildings and to cease operations for a limited time. Using the term “evacuation” might ...

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    Civil Unrest in Baltimore: Understanding Government Powers During Declared State of Emergency

    April 28, 2015 by Trudy Henson

    If you live or work near Baltimore City, or even if you follow national news, you know that tensions have been mounting in the two weeks since Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody. Those tensions began with questions into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Gray’s arrest and death, and then ...

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    Fatal Shooting by Police Officer Highlights the Need to Examine Police Tactics and Training

    April 14, 2015 by Vernon Herron

    The recent tragic events in Charleston South Carolina, where the world witnessed South Carolina Police Officer Michael Slager shoot and kill an unarmed and fleeing Walter Scott, magnify the need to evaluate tactics and training of our American Police Departments. There are nearly one million police officers that keep our ...

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    Building Resilient Public Health Infrastructure

    April 10, 2015 by Christine Gentry

    CHHS Extern Lisa Bowen also contributed to this blog    Resilience    noun re·sil·ience \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\ : the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens : the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc. Several recent public health crises – ...