A Family Tradition – Old School Florida Smuggling, Chapter 1 | Domestic Preparedness Photo: Hutchinson, 1994
Commentary

A Family Tradition – Old School Florida Smuggling, Chapter 1

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

The evolution of drug smuggling and related crimes in south Florida can be viewed through one family and their many criminal associates. The Barker Family entered the smuggling business in the 1970s and transitioned from marijuana to cocaine and illegal aliens by the 1990s. Through drug and alien loads, broad conspiracies, and multiple deaths, the smuggling group was active, successful, and notorious. This is an account of old school Florida smuggling through the long thread of one small family. It is a bit of a history lesson and a fascinating journey back in time.

 
Commentary

A Family Tradition – Old School Florida Smuggling, Chapter 2

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

The evolution of drug smuggling and related crimes in south Florida can be viewed through one family and their many criminal associates. The Barker Family entered the smuggling business in the 1970s and transitioned from marijuana to cocaine and illegal aliens by the 1990s. Through drug and alien loads, broad conspiracies, and multiple deaths, the smuggling group was active, successful, and notorious. This is an account of old school Florida smuggling through the long thread of one small family. It is a bit of a history lesson and a fascinating journey back in time.

Commentary

Poll and Comment: What role should federal agencies have in a disaster?

by -

Many federal agencies created to prepare and respond to man-made and natural disasters may have returned to Pre-9/11 status. Too many important positions are filled by acting personnel or are vacant. Discontent is on the rise and retention is low. One reader's logical and reasonable explanations and solutions to these concerns, spurred DomPrep to create a readership flash poll. The results of that poll and the comments and recommendations provided by more than 100 emergency preparedness professionals are shared in this report. Warning: Many of the responses are disturbing.

Commentary

Triggered Collapse, Part 2: Viral Pandemics

by Drew Miller -

The nation currently faces an age of bioengineered viral pandemics and collapse. Advances in biotechnology enable nations, terrorist groups, or even lone wolves to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs) such as a human-to-human transmissible version of avian flu or to modify a lethal virus to facilitate a longer period of contagion and undetected spread before symptoms manifest. Bioengineering enables almost anyone to modify and release a new virus that, in addition to a pandemic, could cause an ensuing collapse in economic activity as well as loss of law and order as people react to the threat. Some experts say that the threat of a natural or bioengineered viral pandemic is already here. As it becomes increasingly easier to modify existing pathogens, the threat will also rise as these pathogens are made to be more lethal and more transmissible.

Commentary

Ever-Evolving Preparedness Challenges

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Emerging threats of yesteryear seemed unrealistic, so allocating funds and resources to such threats was not a priority for many agencies and organizations. Today, some of those “unrealistic” scenarios have become almost commonplace. As a result, having a three-day kit, knowing how to stop the bleed, and training for an active shooter event no longer seem unusual. However, communities are still generally greatly unprepared for what is yet to come tomorrow.

Preparedness

Small Steps Toward Long-Term Power Outage Preparedness

by Deborah Link -

Although a long-term, widespread power outage may not be a top priority in community preparedness plans, many communities have considered the devastating effects of such a scenario. A long-term power outage, for the purpose of this article, is defined as one that lasts from the time regular and emergency resources are depleted to a year – or even longer. The cause of the power outage could be any of the following: an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from any source, a cascading event after a smaller area is affected by some type of power system intrusion or attack, or any other threat or hazard that could cause a power outage.

Preparedness

Family Child Care Emergency Preparedness

by Jillian Ritter -

Many families depend on child care providers to care for their children so parents can work and go to school. The National Survey of Early Care and Education estimates that 118,000 listed providers care for more than 750,000 children between birth and 5 years of age in home-based settings. Home-based child care, also referred to as family child care, is care provided in a home setting for a smaller group of children (usually under 12 children). Parents often choose family child care because of the appeal of a home-like environment, smaller group sizes, and greater opportunity for flexible hours. Listed child care means they appear on state or national lists of early care and education services, such as licensed, regulated, license-exempt, or registered home-based providers.

Updates

HHS Pioneers First Foundry for American Biotechnology

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the nation's first Foundry for American Biotechnology today to produce technological solutions that help the United States protect against and respond to health security threats, enhance daily medical care, and add to the U.S. bioeconomy.

SchoolSafety.gov Launches to Help Educators, Administrators, Parents, and Law Enforcement Prepare for Threats

The Trump Administration launched the Federal School Safety Clearinghouse website: SchoolSafety.gov. This website is a one-stop-shop of resources for Kindergarten through Grade 12 (K-12) administrators, educators, parents and law enforcement to use to prepare for and address various threats related to safety, security, and support in schools.

New Report Recommends Ways to Strengthen the Resilience of Supply Chains After Hurricanes, Based on Lessons Learned From Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends ways to make supply chains – the systems that provide populations with critical goods and services, such as food and water, gasoline, and pharmaceuticals and medical supplies – more resilient in the face of hurricanes and other disasters, drawing upon lessons learned from the 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

FDA Takes Significant Step in Coronavirus Response Efforts, Issues Emergency Use Authorization for the First 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diagnostic

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to enable emergency use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel. To date, this test has been limited to use at CDC laboratories; but this authorization allows the use of the test at any CDC-qualified lab across the country.

Expanded Version of the Information Sharing Assessment Tool Now Available

Public safety and emergency management agencies need fast, reliable data to help them make the best possible decisions. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Information Sharing Assessment Tool (ISAT) is a web-based self-assessment tool that helps public safety agencies understand their current information sharing capabilities and gaps.