Recap of September CERN Meeting
Resources in a Disaster:
Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov
Maryland Emergency Management Agency: www.mema.state.md.us
United States Department of Homeland Security: www.ready.gov
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration: www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencyresponse/index.html
American Red Cross-ARC: www.redcross.org
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: www.bt.cdc.gov
Howard County Government: www.howardcountymd.gov
Howard County Health Department: www.hchealth.org
Maryland State Government: www.maryland.gov
Based on your comments, last Thursday’s meeting (pictured below) was very interesting. We covered a lot of ground on two potential community risks: an improvised nuclear attack on Washington DC and security measures in place at Howard County General Hospital and the Howard County Public School System.
Rich Krieg reported on the FEMA Regional Innovation Challenge Grant that CERN received. As I mentioned at the meeting, it was one of 30 grants awarded nationally from over 1,900+ applicants. The project has two parts, both dealing with an IND attack in the National Capital. Rich outlined that the threat is real and increasing. He said that Savage, MD is only 25 miles from the White House, making this an issue that we should be concerned about in the county. He thanked Ryan Miller for his active involvement and support of the project and mentioned that project findings will be shared statewide.
- Part one of the grant deals with buildings and how much fallout protection various buildings in Howard County would provide. Meetings have been held with the Department of Zoning and Department of Licenses, Permits and Inspection. In addition, the Advanced Resource Laboratory of the HCPSS will contribute to this project component as part of their capstone work.
- Part two is focused on the School System. It was initially envisioned that there would be a large meeting of people associated with the School System to discuss sheltering in the school. It has now been decided that the meeting will be with the Assistant Principals and that Rich will document best practices based on findings from Ventura County California and the CDC’s work in this area.
An informative panel discussion was then facilitated by Gene Mellin. Ron Miller and Kevin Burnett discussed security at the HCPSS and Walter Simmons discussed how Howard County General Hospital deals with security. Gene pointed out that these two institutions need to provide security for some of the county’s most vulnerable. The School System’s cameras are tied to the Police Department and soon some of the ones at the Hospital will also be networked there. The School System will lock all doors and require a buzzer to let people in, which is an issue if the Police need to enter the facility. The Hospital is open and remains so; however, they have the ability to lockdown the facility in the event of a crisis or threat against the hospital. Both institutions are doing training and drills. As Gene emphasized, the approaches to emergency situations for the Hospital and HCPSS are not static, but changing as new best practices emerge and are added to emergency plans.
Posted by on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 @ 9:58PM
Categories: CERN Meeting