april 2014

Preparedness

Lessons Learned - Nuclear Devices & Nuclear Threats

by Stuart Cameron -

Ideally, widespread radiological and nuclear prevention efforts will prevent a nuclear detonation from ever occurring within the United States, but the investment in preplanning for the possible aftermath is time well spent should this worst-case scenario ever occur. The Manhattan Project and the Cold War provide valuable lessons that could save thousands of lives in the future.

Commentary

Nuclear Preparedness: Is the United States Ready

by Craig DeAtley -

To address the gaps and concerns revealed in a recent article and the flash poll, subject matter experts who warned of the dangers in 2009 reunited five years later to address the issues that are still as real now as they were five years ago. Although there have been some improvements, much more is still needed.

Commentary

Preparing for the Unthinkable

by Catherine Feinman -

An article, a flash poll, and a podcast each addressed the same topic: Is the United States prepared for a nuclear detonation? Each came to the same conclusion, "No, not as prepared as it needs to be." The threat of a nuclear attack did not disappear with the Cold War, but the lessons learned are fading.

Updates

Attorney General Holder Urges Congress to Approve $15 Million to Train Law Enforcement Officers for 'Active Shooter' Situations

Following the recent tragedies at a Jewish Community Center outside of Kansas City and at Ft. Hood, Attorney General Eric Holder urged Congress to approve $15 million in funding for active shooter training for law enforcement officers to ensure they have the tools they need to effectively respond to threats, protect themselves, and save innocent lives.

Updates

Tacprogear Soft Armor Receives NIJ Certification

Tacprogear is proud to announce the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Standard 0101.06 Certification for Threat Level IIIA soft body armor under the Tacprogear and Tacprogear BLACK brands. NIJ Threat Level IIIA body armor provides the user the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor.

Updates

FDA Proposes New Expedited Access Program for Medical Devices That Address Unmet Medical Needs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a new program to provide earlier access to high-risk medical devices that are intended to treat or diagnose patients with serious conditions whose medical needs are unmet by current technology.

Updates

Pocket-Sized Anthrax Detector Aids Global Agriculture

Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, is commonly found in soils all over the world and can cause serious, and often fatal, illness in both humans and animals. A credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge developed at Sandia National Laboratories and recently licensed to a small business makes testing safer, easier, faster, and cheaper.

Updates

New National Biodefense Science Board Members to Advise HHS

Six experts from outside the federal government will join the National Biodefense Science Board to provide advice and guidance to Health and Human Services (HHS) assistant secretary for preparedness and response, and to the HHS Secretary, on preventing, preparing for, and responding to adverse health effects of public health emergencies.

Updates

Google Glass Prototype for Emergency Response

Software developer ADASHI Systems recently revealed a Google Glass prototype. ADASHI first response and incident command software allows firefighters to instantly view critical data such as site plans, aerial imagery, and electronic huddle diagramming. By integrating with computer-aided dispatch systems, ADASHI software automatically delivers all the relevant data.

Preparedness

Radiological Detection - A Strategy for Changing Public Opinion

by Joseph Trindal -

The use and acceptance of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology for the law enforcement community is changing, with a great potential for broader uses. By integrating radiation sensors with UAVs, law enforcement officers could better intercept suspected threats. However, the public is not yet "sold" on the concept of such UAV applications.

Updates

FEMA Announces Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that $112 million in funding is available through two Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs - Flood Mitigation Assistance and Pre-Disaster Mitigation. These programs assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in strengthening the nation's ability to reduce the potential costs of natural disasters.

Preparedness

Civil Support Teams 101 - Removing Misconceptions

by Gordon Hunter -

A DomPrep report published in March 2014 revealed some misconceptions about a valuable resource provided by the National Guard. Civil support teams provide no-cost assets to local jurisdictions for incidents, trainings, and exercises. As threats and missions evolve, local agencies should be familiar with all the tools in their toolboxes.

Resilience

Illinois - Lessons From a Radiological Incident Exercise

by Curtis Hawk & Shay Simmons -

When a radiological incident occurs, the consequences can be devastating. However, the frequency and probability of such incidents limit many jurisdictions from being fully prepared and trained. Illinois officials understand the threat and conduct annual exercises to ensure that jurisdictions in and around its nuclear facilities are ready for their potential emergency response roles.

Updates

Advanced Laser Imaging Aiming to Revolutionize Police Investigation & Criminal Justice Procedures

Advanced Laser Imaging Ltd., a world leader in the use of laser scanning and photogrammetry techniques, aims to revolutionize police investigation and criminal justice procedures with its virtual 3-D immersive environments and analysis techniques. In addition, the interactivity of the recordings can help gather and test the veracity of witness statements.

Updates

'Protecting Your Personal Data: How Law Enforcement Works With the Private Sector to Prevent Cybercrime'

In written testimony before the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, U.S. Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ari Baranoff addressed the risks and challenges the nation faces from cyber crimes and the importance of collaborating with the private sector.

Reports

First Responder Biodetection Technology Guide, Updated

The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate and the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently released an update to a detailed product guide listing biodetection technologies in this comprehensive compilation of commercially available detection devices and products. The updated guide is now available.

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Updates

CDC Data Show Limited Progress in Reducing Foodborne Infections in 2013

The nation's food safety grades are out and the results are mixed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) annual report card shows that foodborne infections continue to be an important public health problem in the United States.

Reports

Arming University Police Departments: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University, and Sandy Hook Elementary School have changed the way public safety officials patrol and secure their schools and universities. This report outlines the process to follow as schools and universities consider arming their police officers.

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Updates

Introducing the ALTAIR 2X Line of Gas Detectors, Simply Revolutionary Technology From MSA

This first-of-its-kind, one- or two-gas detector introduces breakthroughs that incorporate industry-leading XCell Sensor technology to deliver unparalleled performance while drastically minimizing total cost of ownership, increasing durability, and delivering enhanced worker safety, compliance, and traceability.

Reports

Digital Life in 2025

The world's growing connectivity will change how and where people associate, gather, and share information. This Pew Research Center Report predicts that, by the year 2025, most people will tap into the Internet so easily it will flow through their lives "like electricity." Although experts generally agree on future technology changes, they disagree about their ramifications.

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Updates

FEMA Seeks Public Input on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking public comments on implementing Section 404(c) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5170c(c), regarding administration of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Commentary

The 'Dirty' Details About Explosive Devices

by Courtney Gavitt -

The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings caused confusion, frustration, and anger when race marshals abruptly ended the event. The consequences, though, could have been much greater had the initial reports been true. Knowing what makes a dirty bomb "dirty" is the first step to ensure the health and safety of all those who are near the detonation.

Preparedness

The Emerging Nuclear Threat Environment

by Vayl Oxford -

The changing conditions in the Middle East and North Africa, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and the impact of Iran's nuclear program each have serious national security implications. To mitigate the emerging nuclear threat, agencies at all levels of government should perform five critical actions.

Updates

EPA Awards Over $9 Million to Universities for Research to Help Predict the Implications of Chemicals on Human Health & the Environment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced research grants to Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, to better understand the effects of chemicals and nanomaterials throughout their lifecycle - from design, manufacture, use, and disposal.

Updates

Supervision of Police Personnel Online

Northwestern University Center for Public Safety is offering a two-week online class designed to prepare first-line personnel for a successful transition from officer to supervisor. This course teaches supervisors how to overcome contemporary leadership challenges, understand human behavior, and build day-to-day work relationships with subordinates, superiors, and the public.

Updates

New Intelligence & Information Science Program Named After Governor Tom Ridge

Mercyhurst University has announced that its pioneering intelligence studies program will take the name of the nation's first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and Erie native, Tom Ridge. "Intelligence studies," which educates students for careers in national security, law enforcement, and business, is the university's leader in distance and online learning initiatives.

Updates

NIH Funds Influenza Research & Surveillance Network

Influenza scientists at five sites in the United States will receive funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to collaborate with investigators around the world in a network designed to advance understanding of influenza viruses and how they cause disease.

Updates

New ChemPro100i Upgrade Allows It to Characterize More Chemicals With Greater Sensitivity

The ChemPro100i has the capability to "sniff" for more unknown gases and vapors than any other "sniffing" product. It also can classify and identify many gases and vapors, including chemical warfare agents and common toxic industrial chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine.

Updates

Take Action to Be Ready and Resilient

America's first PrepareAthon! National Day of Action is April 30. America's PrepareAthon is a new campaign to increase every community's ability to withstand disasters through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises.

Updates

Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism

The Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism at the University of Southern California (USC) is a unique course designed to challenge international counterterrorism leaders and enhance their analysis, coordination, and response capabilities to the evolving terrorism threat.

Updates

FEMA: Capstone 2014 National Exercise Begins

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners recently began the Capstone 2014 national exercise to test, assess, and improve the nation's preparedness and resilience efforts following catastrophic incidents.

Reports

Fiscal Year 2014 SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants (SAFECOM Guidance)

The SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants (SAFECOM Guidance) is updated annually to provide the most current information on emergency communications policies, eligible costs, technical standards, and best practices for State, Territorial, Tribal, and Local grantees investing Federal funds in emergency communications projects.

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Updates

Apprio Awarded Five-Year, $20M Training Contract With FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness

"Apprio will work hand-in-hand with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to promote effective training and awareness for emergency response. We've been operating in this field for many years, and the difference between a successful response and a catastrophe often is training," said Darryl F. Britt, Apprio's president and founder.

Commentary

The 'Day After Disaster,' Revisited

by Craig DeAtley -

In the first 72 hours following a nuclear blast, survivors would face many challenges - communication, evacuation, sheltering, response, and incident command. Scenario 1 (Nuclear Detonation - Improvised Nuclear Device) of the National Response Framework was depicted in the History Channel's "Day After Disaster" in 2009. Five years later, is the United States prepared?

Updates

NACo President Testifies Before House Committee on Disaster Mitigation

National Association of Counties (NACo) President Linda Langston's testimony focused on the important role of counties in disaster response and recovery and emphasized the many roles of counties in disaster mitigation. She also highlighted the importance of community engagement and the responsibility of local elected officials on educating citizens about risks.

Updates

Master of Homeland Security, 100 Great Twitters for Staying Informed

Master of Homeland Security.org provides this list of the top 100 twitters. Twitter offers an up to the minute stream of data from the most highly-informed people in homeland security. The accounts in this list are worth watching for anyone hoping to stay in-the-know.

Updates

Quantico Tactical to Provide Special Operational Equipment to The Defense Logistics Agency

Quantico Tactical was recently awarded a five year, $10 billion indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract by the Defense Logistics Agency to provide special operations equipment to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Special Operations Command, and all federal civilian agencies.

Updates

Proposed Health IT Strategy Aims to Promote Innovation, Protect Patients & Avoid Regulatory Duplication

"The diverse and rapidly developing industry of health information technology requires a thoughtful, flexible approach," said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "This proposed strategy is designed to promote innovation and provide technology to consumers and health care providers while maintaining patient safety."

Updates

Internal Locking Removable Bollard From Calpipe Ideal For Heavy Security Applications

"The internal locking removable bollard is Calpipe's most versatile offering due to its high durability and customizable options," said Joe Pederson, VP of Sales & Marketing. "The top-quality steel bollard can be easily integrated in many different environments where maximum security protection is needed, even in atmospheres where corrosion is a moderate concern."

Updates

FEMA, K-State & Other Organizations Partnering to Prepare Students for Future Disasters

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region VII office will partner with Kansas State University (K-State), the American Red Cross, Kansas Division of Emergency Management, and other community agencies and organizations for two upcoming events to raise awareness and inspire emergency preparedness on and off campus.

Healthcare

Death - Breaking the Bad News

by Joseph Cahill -

The American Heart Association reported that, in 2011, the average survival rate to hospital discharge for nontraumatic cardiac arrest patients of all ages after receiving treatment from emergency medical services (EMS) was 10.4 percent. As such, EMS teams play a key role in preparing the families of cardiac arrest patients for any news they may receive.

Preparedness

Nuclear Weapons - A Growing Security Threat

by Richard Schoeberl -

Although there has not been another significant attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, the threat of terrorists acquiring materials to create weapons of mass destruction still exists. Leaders of countries around the world recently met to discuss the current nuclear and radiological threats and to develop preventive measures to secure the "ingredients" for nuclear bombs.

Reports

FICEMS Releases Collaborative Action Plan to Further Support EMS Nationwide

The Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) reached consensus on a strategic plan that maps action steps for federal support of optimal emergency medical services (EMS) systems nationwide. Developed through a collaborative process, the plan provides a framework to synchronize interagency efforts and strengthen EMS practices, principles, and strategies.

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Updates

AACC Launches Cyber Analyst Program

Anne Arundel Community College's (AACC) new curriculum helps participants build the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the duties of a cyber analyst. The "Growing the Analyst" training is broken down into three levels of increasing difficulty to introduce real-world experiences of a cyber analyst and to help participants develop technical skills.