With not quite a month until the beginning of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season on 1 June, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges Americans to ensure that their families, homes, and businesses are prepared for the risks associated with hurricanes and tropical storms.
"FEMA is only one part of the nation's emergency management team - strengthening our resiliency means engaging all members of the team," said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator of the National Preparedness Directorate Tim Manning. "We can only be as prepared and resilient as the public, so FEMA works regularly with state and local officials and the private sector to encourage everyone to take steps to ensure their family is prepared in the event of a disaster."
The global-disaster scenario originally forecast fell far short of the dire predictions. Which is a good reason to celebrate. But not a reason to stop planning and preparing for "what might have been." Hurricane Katrina taught many lessons worth learning, the most important of which is that states, communities, and individual citizens sometimes get a second chance - but not always, and no one knows when.
Advance planning, a can-do spirit of cooperation, a focus on the small details, and excellent communications skills - all were essential ingredients in Georgia's eminently successful campaign to protect the citizens of that great state from the global flu pandemic.
The GAO (Government Accountability Office) has released a report discussing how the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) compares to the 2006 plan, and how the Department of Homeland Security and the sector-specific agencies addressed resiliency as part of the new planning efforts.
The American Military University (AMU), working with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), has introduced a concentration in Maritime Law Enforcement for its Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program. This program is designed for students who wish to develop a better understanding of the policies and operational strategies used to ensure border and coastal security.
The Chemists at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have been studying decontamination techniques for almost a decade. Their job is to plan for the worst. With funding and guidance from the Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate, they're researching ways to help the nation respond to and clean up after potential chemical attacks.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano have announced the formation of a federal partnership with state, regional, local, and tribal leaders to develop a strategy to more effectively address America's wildland fire challenges.
Mountain State University's (MSU) School of Leadership and Professional Development will hold the second annual Leadership Link conference, May 12-15. Keynote speakers for the event include: Dr. Denis Onieal, Superintendent of the National Fire Academy; Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, Deputy Director for the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.; Dr. Charles H. Polk, President of Mountain State University; and Isaac H. Manning, President of Trinity Works.
BioTRAC incorporates several biometric acquisition devices for complete identity enrollment in less than two minutes, including: four high-resolution fingerprint sensors; a multi-function camera with one- and two-dimensional barcode reading; and dual iris capture cameras. Additional capabilities include a smart card reader, GPS, a two-dimensional barcode scanner, a proximity card reader, and wireless communications including 3G, 802.11, and Bluetooth.
"Protecting the international aviation system is a shared challenge that requires the mutual commitment of our international allies and private sector partners," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "We are committed to working closely with our partners around the world to deploy intelligence-based targeting, state-of-the art technologies, and proactive screening measures to deter and disrupt terrorism and other threats to the global aviation system."
ICx Technologies Inc. continues to support efforts to defeat improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with the Fido XT explosives detector, which weighs less than three pounds and is capable of ultra trace vapor detection. The Fido ST units will support U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Healthcare workers, first responders, and emergency managers in Louisiana and Missouri used the H1N1 global pandemic to demonstrate how an imminent disaster - combined with information sharing, the early promulgation of preparedness plans, and a modicum of managerial expertise - can provide valuable lessons learned to cope with future disasters more effectively and at lower cost to the taxpayers.
In times of urgent need, a "probably acceptable" solution is almost always better than one that is demonstrably not very effective and/or has failed in the past. That is the common-sense understanding reflected in the Emergency Use Authorization rule that permits the FDA to approve apparently effective - but not totally tested and validated - medications and medical devices when the nation is facing imminent disasters.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared this guide to help U.S. citizens in all areas of the country learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types of hazards.
by ASTHO Executive Director Dr. Paul E. Jarris; summarized by John F. Morton -
The nation's "Pandemic Preparedness & Response" capabilities - and deficiencies - are examined, debated, and discussed by the DOMPREP40 panel of career emergency-management and domestic-preparedness professionals. As with previous such surveys, readers are asked, and cordially invited, to make their own judgments on a broad spectrum of these literally life-or-death matters.
Idaho Technology Inc. has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) to develop tests for multiple flu strains on the Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS). The JBAIDS instrument, already widely deployed across the globe, and the suite of flu tests that will result from this new effort, will be used to test military personnel and their families for Influenzas A and B as well as subtypes of A.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Administrator Craig Fugate outlines the establishment of priorities, defining of outcomes, development of strategies, and budgeting of activities within FEMA to create appropriate financial plans.
With less than four weeks to go before opening day, the 10th annual Disaster Response & Recovery Expo (DRRE) is once again poised to retain its leadership role in the emergency response industry. DRRE - co-located with the 2010 Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness & Response Training Summit - provides the perfect opportunity for local, state, and federal public health and emergency preparedness practitioners and policy makers to view and discuss the latest equipment, technologies, and services available.
For the seventh year in a row, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced both a National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) & a National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports measure trends in the effectiveness of care, patient safety, the timeliness of care, patient-centeredness, and the efficiency of care. They also present, in chart form, the latest available findings on the quality of and access to health care.
"These state-of-the art technologies will strengthen security and streamline screening operations while making air travel more convenient for passengers," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "Explosives trace detection technology, enhanced inline baggage screening systems, and improved surveillance capabilities are important elements of our layered aviation security strategy to protect the flying public from terrorism."
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano's remarks - at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Annual Remembrance Ceremony - about the Department's efforts to protect against, deter, and disrupt evolving threats of terrorism.
The Government Accountability Office has produced a report that focuses on the U.S. effort to assist Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), assesses the objectives, performance, and monitoring of the program, and lists the areas that still need to be completed and improved.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced - one week prior to the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing - two enhancements to federal facility security. Both initiatives further strengthen the department's ability to protect thousands of government buildings throughout the United States.
The numerous mistakes, misunderstandings, and miscalculations made in preparing for the potential loss of perhaps millions of lives during the 2009-10 global pandemic that never happened do not represent a total loss. Just the opposite, in fact - if (a very big if) political decision makers, emergency managers, and healthcare providers learn from those mistakes, correct the miscalculations, and clarify the misunderstandings.
The best that can be said, usually, about worst-case scenarios, after the fact, is that they never actually happened. But the just-in-case preparations for the 2009-10 H1N1 "Swine Flu" global scare generated some residual training benefits, and even the mistakes made can, and should, be transmogrified into valuable lessons learned.
AOptix & Aware, Inc. have completed integration of AOptix's innovative InSight 2 meter Iris Recognition System with Aware's URC and BioSP software products. This deployment-ready solution combines compatibility of the InSight system and the Department of Defense's (DOD's) Automated Biometric Identity System (ABIS) using the EBTS (Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification) 1.2 standard.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives will highlight progress on the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) network, which expands on the Emergency Alert System (EAS) by adding new technologies to traditional audio-only radio & television alerts - including cell phone, residential phone, Internet, and the capability to broadcast one message over more media to more people before, during, and after a disaster.
Healthcare organizations need products on hand to rapidly increase their surge capacity to meet increased demand for medical care at a moment's notice. MasCache Surge Care Supplies provide an emergency medical cache of disposable medical supplies, ready for quick use by patients and healthcare personnel.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has told the nation's European allies that the new U.S. Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is only one of several concrete steps the United States is taking to reduce the global threats posed by nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear terrorism.
The Delta DSC1100 prevented the bomber's vehicle from crashing past the pedestrian gates and forced the attacker to detonate his truck bomb far from the building, saving many lives and the consulate building itself.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced the formation of the local, state, tribal, and federal Preparedness Task Force - a council of 35 experts charged with assessing the state of the nation's disaster preparedness and making recommendations to DHS about ways to build resiliency in communities across the nation.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has enlisted the talent and resources of some of the nation's leading universities, community colleges, and major research centers to advance the widespread adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (health IT).
There are 10 principal objectives in what has been described as "the first comprehensive policy document" focusing specifically on protecting the health of the American people in times of national emergency - e.g., a major mass-casualty incident such as an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or terrorist attack. Here is a quick look at four of those objectives of particular short-term importance to the domestic-preparedness community.
Lightning strikes are sudden and spectacular, highly visible, and extremely violent. Not to mention lethal. Bacteria and viruses are just the opposite - totally invisible, in fact. But they kill many more people, in every country in the world, year after year than lightning does. It may be helpful to learn a bit more about them - and about how to deal with them.
Although some scientists have used DNA analysis to identify particular strains of the anthrax bacterium, the biochips help scientists and government officials determine the "signatures" of biological agents that can be used for bioterrorism, most notably the bacterium that causes anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, narrowing the pool of potential suspects.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin implementing new enhanced security measures for all air carriers with international flights to the United States to strengthen the safety and security of all passengers. The new measures supersede the emergency measures currently in place.
The American Public University System (APUS) has introduced 10 undergraduate certificate programs in information technology designed to improve the knowledge and skills of professionals engaged in computer networking, system security, project management, and Web and applications development.
The offering by Schlage and RF IDeas provides customers with options to use their contactless credentials for more than just access control. RF IDeas products provide customers with hundreds of applications using their proximity and smart card USB, RS-232, Ethernet desktop, and embedded readers. When paired with Schlage's award-winning line of multi-technology readers, customers now have access to complete contactless solutions.
The Reeves Mobile Vaccination System provides medical and public health personnel with 442 square feet of usable space from which to administer seasonal vaccinations - and/or vaccinations during a pandemic or other widespread outbreak.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the distribution of $55 million in direct assistance grants to 48 career, volunteer, and combination fire departments. This is the Department's first round of awards for the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants program.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has opened a new Intelligence and Operations Coordination Center that will serve as a "one-stop shop" for operations coordination and information sharing across the operational entities within the agency, including Field Operations, Border Patrol, and Air and Marine.
Boston University (BU) offers a Master of Science (MS) in Healthcare Emergency Management. The School of Medicine's MS in Healthcare Emergency Management focuses on educating professionals in the fields of healthcare, public health, and public safety to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters. The program is dedicated to training the next generation of healthcare emergency managers who will serve later in hospital & public health leadership positions.
"The Gerson line of particulate respirators will help First Line meet the demand of our government customers with products proudly made in the USA," says Randy Sakowitz, Vice President of First Line Technology. "This supply of respirators will support the government's stockpiling of all hazards equipment caches to create safe working environments and enable government workers to continue operations during a pandemic."