Mere days into the hurricane season, the Atlantic basin is already experiencing its third named storm. Meanwhile, China, faced with flooding in its south and east, is upping flood defense emergency response to level III. Western Australia, for its part, is less than a month removed from a “once-in-a-decade storm,” so dubbed by the state’s acting commissioner of Fire and Emergency Services.
In the past, emergency management agencies and other organizations might have become accustomed to bleak forecasts of powerful hurricane seasons – like the one they received this year. They’ve never, however, had to prepare for an “above-normal” storm season while simultaneously fighting a “once-in-a-generation pathogen.” How can they beef up critical infrastructure resilience to respond to multiple events at once?
We’ve all seen the stories. The rapid spread of the coronavirus has caused demand spikes for personal protective equipment (PPE), with healthcare workers in areas hardest hit by the spread of the virus reporting alarming shortages of PPE like masks, gowns, and shields.
At this point, the majority of people who get COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms. But one in six become seriously ill, according to the World Health Organization. Throughout the entirety of the crisis, those numbers have carried serious implications for the healthcare COVID-19 response, as the resultant severe disease has caused hospitalization, even admission to an intensive care unit for weekslong stints.
The Incident Command System sprung out of a fire suppression event in the 1970s. But it didn’t take too long for non-fire organizations to begin using the system, as well.
The question is now as emergency response agencies mobilize against the COVID-19 pandemic, can ICS be relevant to their efforts?
Physical EOCs (Emergency Operations Centers) have proliferated in recent years. And it’s easy to see why. Physical EOCs help teams, individual organizations, and multiple agencies working in concert mobilize people and equipment for incident responses lasting the entirety of an emergency.
The risk of the novel coronavirus to global supply chains is significant, experts say. And it’s easy to see why. For one, there is no historical precedent for the potential impact of the coronavirus on increasingly complex, global supply chains.
As of mid-February, over 64,000 cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been reported, with wartime measures increasingly becoming the norm throughout mainland China. The reach of the coronavirus, however, is global. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared a public health emergency of international concern.
Disaster relief agencies might be heartened by the volunteer recruitment spikes they experience during moments of crisis, like the rolling bushfire disasters. But according to the data, those spikes are temporary. In other words, organizations relying on long-term resource gains from reliable volunteers will probably have to look elsewhere. Where to? The answer might surprise you.
IRAP enables Australian government agencies and bodies to store and run highly sensitive data at the Protected security level.