Renewed Terrorist Threat Forcing U.S. to Refocus On Emergency Preparedness
Submitted by Jeff Byma on Wed, 2013-12-04 21:25
Submitted on Mon, 2013-12-09
By Carl Brewer
In a recent bi-partisan interview the Senate Intelligence Committee reported that America is in greater danger of a terrorist attack than it was two years ago.
The realities of increasing terrorist threats continue to face our country. In a recent bi-partisan interview featuring California Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat) and Michigan Representative Mike Rogers (Republican) on CNN, they revealed that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found that America is in greater danger of a terrorist attack than it was two years ago. If there’s one thing both parties in our political system can agree on, it’s that despite the death of Osama Bin Laden, continued drone strikes, and less national media attention, terrorists are gaining ground.
In the interview, Feinstein and Rogers cite a rise in terrorist-related fatalities over recent years and increasingly dangerous, specialized, and sophisticated technologies, especially when it comes to bombs.
"I see more groups; more fundamentalist, more jihadist, more determined to kill to get to where they want to get," – Dianne Feinstein (12/1/13)
Video: Feinstein: 'Terror is up worldwide'
Many factors have contributed to the government losing ground in its ongoing battle with global terrorism. Security leaks in national intelligence gathering policy have changed the way terrorists communicate. Drone strikes aimed at decimating al Qaeda leadership have led to a more decentralized group that is much harder to keep tabs on. Increasingly, fundamentalist groups are gaining power and winning the minds of the disenfranchised in the Middle East and Near Asia. Combined with terrorists shifting their methods, America is now more susceptible to terrorist attacks than it has been in years.
Both Senator Feinstein and Representative Rogers state that we are not prepared for the increased threat of terrorist attacks. That both parties actually found something to agree on, and that what they are agreeing on is the likelihood of a terrorist attack, should be downright frightening.
Combining those threats with budget cuts to emergency preparedness organizations could be a recipe for disaster. Emergency Preparedness funding has dropped to its lowest levels in the past decade, helping to give Americans a false sense of security.
Budget cuts make it harder and harder for organizations to have successful responses to emergencies. The cuts lead to the loosening of practice and testing requirements—the very things that made Boston’s response to the Marathon Bombings so successful—making it more difficult for organizations to respond effectively.
“Preparedness is not a state you get to and just stop. It’s dynamic and the stressors and hazards are constantly changing. These cuts will hurt.” – Rosalyne Schulman, Director of Policy Development, American Hospital Association
It’s time to refocus our efforts when it comes to emergency preparedness solutions. Dwindling resources means that public health and emergency preparedness professionals need to embrace new technologies to get the most out of their funds. New technologies are much easier to use, much cheaper to acquire than they were even a decade ago. Many organizations are now gravitating towards cloud-based technologies that offer the highest possible security, flexibility to access the system from any location and they eliminate the need for the IT support and maintenance previously required.
The most recent advances in emergency preparedness technology work to keep accurate mission data within your grasp when speed, visibility, and interoperability are the most critical. Today’s Lights-out mobile emergency response systems allow for immediate, portable, powerful incident command response centers to be set-up in any location, offering lightning-quick communication and information flow so emergencies can be monitored, tracked and managed in real-time. New technologies are also making it easier to coordinate responses from multiple agencies at the same time so first responders in the field and EOC officers have the most immediate and accurate information as the response unfolds.
Senator Feinstein and Representative Rogers’ findings need to work as a wake up call to ensure we are continually vigilant in our preparedness efforts. With looming threats, it’s more important than ever to stay diligent by researching how new, advanced technologies can help you better prepare for every type of emergency response. Contact our public health emergency response experts to learn more about our award-winning suite of Emergency Preparedness solutions.
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