august 2010

Reports

Critical Infrastructure Protection: Key Private & Public Cyber Expectations Need to Be Consistently Addressed

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has completed this report, which addresses: (a) threats to computer-based attacks; and (b) the impact on the critical infrastructures they support. Addressing these threats depends on effective partnerships between the government and private-sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure.

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Updates

TSA & Liberia Civil Aviation Authority Partner to Enhance Aviation Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) have announced successful implementation of the security protocols necessary for sustainable aviation security institutions and practices, and to ensure the safety of passengers traveling between the two countries. Flights between the United States and Liberia could begin as early as the fall of this year.

Updates

BARDA Funds Drug Development for Biothreats, Antibiotic Resistance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded a $27 million contract to Achaogen Inc. of San Francisco to develop an antibiotic that could be used against two possible types of bioterrorism as well as common infections that are becoming resistant to antibiotics.

Updates

Salamander Technologies Plays Key Role In Live Mutual-Aid Demo - a Huge Success

A first-of-its-kind mutual-aid training exercise designed to demonstrate the feasibility of dispatching, mobilizing, and deploying hundreds of emergency vehicles and personnel during a state-wide incident came off "without a hitch" last week during a timed demonstration broadcast live over the Internet.

Updates

SERTC's Tank Car Specialist Class Is Now DHS/FEMA-Certified

The Tank Car Specialist course develops the specific fundamentals and skills associated with emergency responses to railroad tank car incidents involving hazardous materials (HazMat) and/or weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The Tank Car Specialist course is the first to be certified by DHS/FEMA (Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency) at the Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC).

Updates

FEMA Administrator & Local Officials Tour Recovery Projects in Observance of 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate met with state and local officials in Louisiana to discuss the region's ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina. During the last year and a half, FEMA and other agencies of the Obama Administration worked closely with state and local officials to cut through bureaucratic red tape and expedite the financial assistance needed to help implement important projects in the ravaged area.

Updates

North Carolina HazMat RRTs Select RAE Systems' Wireless AreaRAE Rapid Deployment Kits

The North Carolina Hazardous Material Regional Response Teams (RRTs) have added RAE Systems' AreaRAE wireless toxic-gas and radiation-detection monitors to their equipment base, serving six of its seven regionally placed teams.

Updates

Purdue University Biodefense Technology Project Awarded $1.3 Million NIH Seed Grant

Purdue University researchers have developed a technology that has the potential to more quickly identify food-borne pathogens, aiding U.S. homeland security officials in responding to a bioterrorist attack or other emergencies. The research team, which is based at Discovery Park's Bindley Bioscience Center, has received a $1.3 million seed grant from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases to test the technology.

Commentary

Review of Medical Countermeasures and a New Federal Approach

by Martin (Marty) Masiuk -

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces the allocation of $1.9 billion for new U.S. medical countermeasure capabilities - plus five "breakthrough" initiatives to get the ship underway and on a course both straight and true.

Updates

USFA and IAFF Develop Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle and Roadway Operations Safety

The United States Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), announces the release of Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle and Roadway Operations Safety - which highlights the results of an initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to enhance emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety for firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Resilience

'IT Security for Knuckleheads': Ten Basic Steps

by Allan Carey -

The still misunderstood, and sometimes even frightening, term "Cyber Security" has entered the common vocabulary in force in recent years. It is generally agreed that the lack of cyber security is dangerous, and potentially catastrophic. But there are a number of common-sense guidelines to follow to protect an organization's, or company's, cyber security systems and files. Here are ten of them to start with.

Updates

FEMA Administrator Fugate Addresses National Commission on Children and Disasters

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate addressed the National Commission on Children and Disasters' public meeting on how FEMA is coordinating with state and local governments, as well as with the private sector and non-profit organizations, to integrate the needs of children into planning for disaster response and recovery.

Updates

Bruker Mobile Detection Unit E2M Highlighted on NBC Nightly News Broadcast

In a series titled Disaster in the Gulf on NBC, Bruker Detection scientist Bob Kibler is shown using the E2M finding significant levels of BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) and other hydrocarbons deposited in the mud, silt, and sand along the affected areas of the coastline.

Updates

HHS/CDC Provides Additional Funding for All-Hazards State & Local Public Health Preparedness & Response

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funding was awarded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to 62 public health agencies in 50 states to help strengthen their ability to respond to terrorist incidents and/or natural disasters.

Updates

American Red Cross Selects Motorola for Mobile Blood Donor Program

The American Red Cross has selected Motorola's MC55 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA) and wireless LAN (WLAN) access points to help document blood donations for more than 200,000 blood drives each year. The MC55 EDA, which uses an integrated bar code scanner, will provide the ARC with a lightweight, size-optimized device that will securely and wirelessly connect the end user to the application and data server used in each blood drive.

Updates

ManTech Awarded $99.5 Million Contract to Support FBI's Cyber Security Services

ManTech has been awarded a contract by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Security Division to provide cyber security services. Under the contract, ManTech will provide 24/7 cyber security support, including intrusion-detection monitoring, security engineering, incident identification and response, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, cyber-threat analysis, and specialized cyber training services.

Preparedness

Decision-Making in Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) Response

by Christopher Wrenn, Senior Director, Sales & Marketing, Environics USA -

This is the first of a four-part series on Chemical Detection and Decontamination for Multiple Applications. In response to releases of CWA, there may not be one technology or one "answer" that is correct. The responder must take into account all of the clues to determine the presence or absence of CWAs in order to take appropriate action.

Resilience

The Insurance Industry's Role in PS-Prep

by Donald Byrne -

The much-revered U.S. "private citizen" has become increasingly critical of all levels of government in recent years, according to most recent polls and surveys. And justifiably so, according to a virtual army of pundits and commentators - and many politicians themselves. But that same beloved private citizen, if he or she is honest, could quickly find another person to blame simply by looking at the culprit in the mirror each and every morning.

Resilience

Public Safety Agencies Fight to Protect Privacy via Cyber Security

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The numerous technological advances in security systems in recent years have created new opportunities for growth, for improved operational capabilities, and for both legal and moral complications. Question: What is the dividing line between improved security and personal privacy - or is there one?

Updates

FLIR Systems Announces Agreement to Acquire ICx Technologies

The acquisition expands FLIR's capabilities into advanced sensors for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBNRE) detection for defense and homeland security markets. The acquisition also enhances FLIR's existing intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance product suite through the addition of ICx's advanced radars and integrated platforms.

Updates

MSA's ALTAIR 4X Multigas Detector Features New XCell Sensor Technology

The new ALTAIR 4X Multigas Detector, driven by MSA XCell Sensor Technology, is the newest member of the ALTAIR family of portable instruments. The ALTAIR 4X offers many performance advantages: standard three-year warranty, four-year sensor life, faster response time, increased stability, and a less-than-60-second span calibration time.

Updates

RAE Systems Collaborates With Rosenbauer on Trailblazing System for Firefighters & HazMat Teams

Rosenbauer International AG, the world's largest manufacturer of fire trucks and firefighting equipment, will integrate RAE Systems' ATEX approved AreaRAE Steel, wireless gas- and radiation-sensor system, into its line of hazardous-material (HazMat) response trucks in Europe.

Updates

Avon Protection's Groundbreaking ST53 Awarded CE Certification

Avon Protection has achieved CE certification for its innovative ST53 multi-functional respiratory system. Developed with the unknown elements of a threat scenario in mind, this award cements the ST53's position as the most advanced respiratory solution on the market, and Avon as one of the leading CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) respiratory manufacturers in the world.

Updates

Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education is offering a two-day course that is designed to familiarize participants with emergency medical response to toxic exposures. The course will also review the medical and psychological consequences of exposures to a variety of materials.

Updates

Roanoke Area Law Enforcement Network Implements Memex for Sharing RMS & CAD Data

The Roanoke (Virginia) Area Criminal Justice Information Network (RACJIN) has implemented the Memex Intelligence Management System to improve crime-fighting initiatives. The Memex data-sharing platform provides a single-source portal for analyzing RMS (Records Management System), CAD (Computer-Aided Dispatch), Intelligence, Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR), open-source & other data sources - whether via data integration, federated access, or a hybrid approach.

Updates

FEMA Administrator Fugate Addresses American Red Cross on Use of Social Media in Emergency Management

"As social media become more a part of our daily lives, people are turning to them during emergencies as well," said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate. "We need to utilize these tools, to the best of our abilities, to engage and inform the public, because - no matter how much federal, state, and local officials do - we will only be successful if the public is brought in as part of the team."

Updates

DQE Donates to the United Way Gulf Recovery Fund

DQE is donating 10 percent of its 37°C Rehab cooling products sales to the United Way Gulf Recovery Fund from now until the end of September. This fund supports long-term recovery efforts to rebuild lives that have been devastated by the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster.

Updates

WHO Declares End to 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee and the WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, declared an end to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. This does not mean that the H1N1 virus has disappeared. Rather, it means that current influenza outbreaks, including those primarily caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus, show an intensity similar to that seen during seasonal epidemics.

Preparedness

Lessons Learned from EOCs & Their IT Support

by Sophia Paros -

The 2009 inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, the nation's first African-American commander in chief, was the biggest - and, of course, best publicized - national "special event" on the long and growing list of emergency-management best-case/worst-case scenarios. Fortunately, most of the lessons learned two years ago involved relatively minor errors and omissions.

Resilience

Update on Private Sector Preparedness (PS-Prep) Standards

by Diana Hopkins -

The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the WTC Towers & the Pentagon theoretically "galvanized the nation" - but it still took roughly three years before the 9/11 Commission recommended the development and promulgation of "private-sector preparedness standards." Another six years have passed, and three of those standards are ready (almost) for review, certification, and publication in their final form. Why did it take so long?

Reports

Web Users Increasingly Rely on Social Media to Seek Help in a Disaster

A new American Red Cross survey shows 74 percent of web users turn to social media to seek help for themselves or others during emergencies - and they expect first responders to be listening.

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Updates

Health Officials to Attend Disaster Management Demonstration

On August 18, 2010, shelter manufacturer DHS Technologies LLC will be showcasing several of its mobile emergency facilities, including a field hospital, surge facility and incident command post, during a disaster management demonstration in DuPont, Washington.

Updates

ChemProFX Provides Low Maintenance CWA & TIC Detection

The ChemProFX is a permanently mounted gas and vapor detector that provides continuous protection of buildings, subways, and other fixed infrastructures from the threat of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) & selected Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs). It has industry-leading sensitivity and false alarm rejection in a user friendly, low-maintenance package.

Updates

Idaho Technology Issues License to DuPont Qualicon

Idaho Technology has signed a licensing agreement with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, acting through its DuPont Qualicon Business, covering reagents or methods using SYBR Green I technology and post-PCR melting curve analysis.

Updates

TSA Begins Pilot Test of Portable Explosives Detection Technology at New Orleans Transportation Venues

"This pilot will enable us to test explosives detection equipment that has been specially modified to withstand adverse weather and operating conditions such as high heat and humidity," said John Sammon, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Assistant Administrator, Office of Transportation Sector Network Management.

Updates

NOAA National Weather Service Releases Mid-Year Forecast Confirming Active Hurricane Season

The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Weather Service has issued its latest forecast for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, reaffirming its May forecast of an active Atlantic hurricane season. In light of this latest forecast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reminds Americans living in coastal states that the time is now to ensure that their families are prepared for a hurricane and/or other emergency.

Updates

Wellco Selects GORE-TEX Fabric for New Guardian GTX Footwear Series

The Guardian GTX is one of the lightest-weight boots on the market today. This new line of footwear combines comfort with excellent traction and protection against the harsh elements that patrol and tactical officers encounter on the job.

Updates

New Hampshire Selects Upp Technology for Emergency Management

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has selected the IRMS 360|Enterprise solution suite for multi-phase deployment in a hosted environment to manage the state's emergency supply tracking. The software, including IRMS|WM Warehouse Management and IRMS|EM Emergency Management, will provide the DHHS with real-time visibility and accurate tracking of the state's critical emergency resources.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces New Community-Based Law Enforcement Initiatives in Conjunction With National Night Out

"Homeland security begins with hometown security, and our efforts to confront threats in our communities are most effective when they are led by local law enforcement and involve strong collaboration with the communities and citizens they serve," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Updates

U.S. Army Research, Development & Engineering Command Awards Contract to QuickSilver Analytics, Inc.

QuickSilver was selected as a Prime Contractor for the Small Business set-aside category of a $485 million, five year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract in which they will provide CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive) support services to the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC) and other defense agencies.

Reports

Responding to Influenza Pandemics

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense and the National Institute of Health (NIH) Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases served as the conveners of a Task Force of the some of the nation's leading influenza experts to examine how influenza pandemics emerge and future research needs.

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Resilience

Security Standards to Help Keep Federal Facilities Safe

by W. Craig Conklin -

Two major new DHS (Department of Homeland Security) publications are now available to help federal officials throughout the country tighten the physical security of the office buildings, warehouses, and - literally - hundreds of thousands of other taxpayer-funded federal facilities entrusted to their care.

Healthcare

Monitoring the Monitor: Additional Breakthroughs Predicted

by Joseph Cahill -

More and better clot busters, instant timelines, smarter (maybe even genius level) cellular technology, and open-source software. All are part of the still ongoing revolution in medical monitoring devices that started with the EKG and defibrillator and has already saved untold thousands of lives in almost every country in the world.

Updates

FEMA's Ready Campaign & Citizen Corps Encourage Participation in The National Preparedness Month Coalition

This September marks the seventh annual National Preparedness Month (NPM). Led by FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps & The Advertising Council, NPM is a nationwide effort encouraging individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies.

Updates

TSA Announces Key Milestone in Cargo Screening on Passenger Aircraft

"TSA has taken another step forward in strengthening the security of air travel," said TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Administrator John S. Pistole. "Screening all cargo on domestic passenger aircraft adds another layer to our already robust security system and ensures that TSA is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of air travel."

Updates

FDA Approves Vaccines for the 2010-2011 Influenza Season

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it has approved vaccines for the 2010-2011 influenza season in the United States. Seasonal influenza vaccine protects against three strains of influenza, including the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, which caused the 2009 pandemic.

Updates

Rapiscan Systems Receives $18 Million Order for Cargo & People Screening Systems

Rapiscan Systems, a leader in advanced security screening solutions, has announced that it has received an $18 million order to provide Eagle cargo and vehicle inspection systems and its Secure 1000 advanced people screening systems to support a U.S. Government agency.

Updates

TSA Qualifies Six Additional L-3 Air Cargo Screening Systems

"L-3's comprehensive air cargo portfolio now totals 10 X-ray systems and maps to all of the TSA-defined equipment categories - small, medium and large X-ray," said Thomas M. Ripp, president of L-3 Security & Detection Systems. "Our equipment offers shippers a proven track record of low acquisition and operational cost along with maximum detection, high throughput and configurability."

Updates

New NFIRS Web-Based Data Entry Tool Now Available

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) has recently made available a new National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) web-based data entry tool known as the Data Entry Browser Interface (DEBI). The new DEBI enables total web-based data entry into NFIRS, eliminating the need to download and install client software on the NFIRS user's computer.

Updates

State of Delaware Becomes First State to Obtain Cascade Alerting Version 2 Certification Using Collaborative Fusion, Inc. Software

Delaware is the first state in the nation to attain the Center for Disease Control's mandated Public Health Information Network (PHIN) Cascade Alerting Version 2 certification, a communication capability essential in alerting and notifying health officials & medical professionals in the event of an emergency. Using Collaborative Fusion, Inc.'s CORES Health Alert Network (HAN), Delaware successfully interfaced with the new PHIN Exchange and achieved certification of the Delaware Health Alert Network system in less than seven days.