Emergency Management

Can a ‘sprint’ to a medical emergency solve states’ EMS shortages?

Minnesota lawmakers have approved a so-called sprint paramedic program to confront the state's worsening rural emergency response.

911 call centers cope with more calls, fewer workers

Staff shortages are forcing emergency call center workers to pick up more overtime, work longer hours, adding extra pressure to an already stressful job, a new survey found.

Emergency alert: States confront EMS shortages

Minnesota declared an “EMS emergency” last month, but it’s far from alone. An outdated approach to funding the service is largely to blame, says experts.

North Carolina tried to rebuild affordable housing after a hurricane. It took half a decade.

Documents show how federal paperwork delayed the state’s recovery from Hurricane Florence and left low-income renters in the lurch.

Most states have yet to permanently fund 988. Call centers want certainty.

Only eight states have enacted legislation to fund the 988 hotline through phone fees, and others are relying on short-term funding. Mental health experts and call center operators say more money is needed to ensure residents receive the care they need.

Connect with state & local government leaders

How to get federal disaster aid: FEMA is running out of money, but these strategies can help survivors of Hurricane Idalia and the Maui fires get aid faster

COMMENTARY | After a natural disaster strikes a community, determining and documenting the extent of damage to homes and property is a crucial step in receiving financial aid to recover.

Life in a rural ‘ambulance desert’ means sometimes help isn’t on the way

Rural health care services like ambulances and hospitals are often spread few and far between, research shows. A shortage of services puts residents' health at risk and even affects local economies, experts say.

How one city streamlined emergency evacuations

Officials in Berkeley, California, can send mass messages as well as targeted, zone-based evacuation alerts, cutting the city’s alert time from hours to minutes.

Climate change is increasing stress on thousands of aging dams across the US

COMMENTARY | The American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that more than 2,300 high hazard potential dams—those that could cause loss of life or serious property damage if they fail—lacked emergency action plans.

Researchers demo geotargeted wildfire alerts sent to vehicles

The Department of Homeland Security is testing how remote sensors and public warning systems can deliver timely, actionable wildfire alerts to the public.

Public safety relies on behind-the-scenes technology

COMMENTARY | Reliable emergency response, citation management and crime analysis technologies give responders the data they need quickly and accurately.

With the reopening of the I-95 bridge, Shapiro has passed his first big test

The Pennsylvania governor’s handling of the disaster has won over some critics. But will it help win over a divided legislature?

When homes flood, who retreats and to where?

COMMENTARY | Two disaster response experts mapped thousands of FEMA buyouts and found distance and race play a role.

The 6 Fundamentals of an Effective Real-Time Crime Center

COMMENTARY | These centers, which can help police investigators develop leads and share crucial information with other officers and agencies, are becoming more common. Here's how to make them more effective.

First responders need presumptive ID technology to better assess and act on hazardous incidents

The ability to accurately identify hazardous materials at the scene provides public safety officials with enhanced personal safety, controls public risk and delivers actionable onsite intelligence.

Camera, sensor, drone data lights up disaster response

ALERTCalifornia’s network will provide actionable natural disaster data for public safety agencies and researchers responding to wildfires, floods, landslides and other climate-driven events.

Spring Wildfires in the Eastern US Got Off to a Roaring Start This Year

It may not be as dramatic as when the West burns, but an unseasonably warm, dry winter could make fire season longer and more intense.

Federal Grant Requirements Make it Hard for Rural Communities to Prepare for Climate Change

A 2023 study from Headwaters Economics shows that qualifications from federal grant programs disproportionately hurt under-resourced rural areas.

States Strive to Reverse Shortage of Paramedics, EMTs

Two-thirds of states considered legislation last year related to emergency medical workers.

Has Remote Learning Buried the Snow Day? Depends On Where You Live

COMMENTARY | When communities are buried in snow, more and more schools are staying in session remotely.