Disaster Response - Infrastructure And Workforce: Who Will Respond?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Room 2325 Rayburn
3:00 to 4:30 PM

In preparing for disasters, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is drawing upon research and internal and external models to develop best practices at the local, state, and federal levels for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. This briefing will explore preliminary data indicating that less than 50 percent of the health and public health workforce may respond to their posts in the event of a disaster involving contamination or contagion. 

DHS will provide a status update on its activities and exercises related to ensuring that a critical infrastructure workforce is available at the time of a disaster, and speakers and panelists will provide an overview of currently available research in this area and discuss a suggested agenda to best determine the impact of this critical variable in emergency preparedness and response across the spectrum of critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) needed during and after an incident.

Preliminary research on the scope of workforce absenteeism was conducted by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP), a program within the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) will offer its own analyses of the disaster response workforce.



Jim Caverly, Director, Partnership Outreach Division, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Department of Homeland Security

Irwin Redlener, MD, Irwin Redlener, M.D., Associate Dean for Public Health Advocacy and Preparedness and Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Jan Mares, Business Liaison Director for the Private Sector Office, Department of Homeland Security


David Abramson, PhD, MPH, Director of Research, National Center for Disaster Preparedness; Robyn R. Gershon, DrPH, MS Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; Tim Stephens is a Regional Disaster Resilience (RDR) Committee Member of The Infrastructure Security Partnership and currently serves as Public Health Advisor to the National Sheriffs Association and Director of Public Health Programs at MacAulay-Brown.

Columbia University