august 2013

Updates

COPsync911 Provides Schools Instant Access to Patrol Officers to Protect Students

"COPsync911 arms educators with technology, not guns," said Ronald A. Woessner, COPsync chief executive officer. "The service uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to instantaneously locate and silently send a distress alert from the school to the nearest patrol vehicles and agencies on the COPsync Network."

Updates

DHS Announces Grant Allocation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Preparedness Grants

As part of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced final allocations for seven FY 2013 DHS preparedness grant programs, including the Homeland Security Grant Program. These allocations, which total more than $1.5 billion, will be used to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector.

Resilience

Insider Threats: A Call for Greater Vigilance

by Joseph Trindal -

When the defense for acts of insider espionage is personal conscience, at least some people show sympathy for the accused. The publicity given to such lone-actor miscreants - coupled with the growing development of and dependence on cyber capabilities - is reason enough for considerable concern in both the public and private sectors of government.

Updates

Raytheon's INTEROP-7000 Suite Links Land Mobile Radios to FirstNet

Developed using open standards, INTEROP-7000 enables police, fire, and rescue professionals to use commercial smartphones and tablets integrated with existing communications equipment, such as land mobile radios. Raytheon's INTEROP-7000 also positions public safety to become part of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

Updates

New Test System Identifies 193 Different Yeasts & Bacteria Known to Cause Illness

"The ability for laboratories to use one device to identify almost 200 different microorganisms is a significant advance in the timely identification of pathogenic microorganisms," said Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health at FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "Rapid identification of harmful microorganisms can improve the care of critically ill patients."

Updates

HGH Infrared Systems Announces Solution to Nuclear Facilities' Security Problems

As a high resolution "optical radar", with automatic and real time detection of simultaneous and unlimited targets within a 360 degree panoramic image, Spynel made by HGH Infrared Systems, could be just the solution these waterside nuclear sites are missing.

Updates

CDC Awards Funding to Help States Face New Infectious Disease Threats

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced an award to states of about $75.8 million through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement. This funding helps states and communities strengthen core epidemiology and laboratory capacity needed to track and respond quickly to a variety of infectious diseases.

Preparedness

The Pursuit of Nukes: No Job for Amateurs

by Richard Schoeberl -

Unsecured and non-declared nuclear and radiological materials make a deadly combination, particularly attractive to terrorists. Forestalling the threat of any attack using weapons of mass destruction requires careful consideration of not only the sources of the materials used and the technological capabilities of those building such weapons but also the security at facilities where the materials may be stored.

Resilience

Special Decontamination Considerations: Bridging the Gap

by Ryan Hay -

Following exposure to radiological or other hazardous materials, decontamination efforts often focus on the people directly involved, but other concerns also must be considered - the use of weapons and/or possible harm to animals, for example. Pennsylvania's Lehigh County has developed a best practices approach to ensuring that response teams are prepared to cope with non-routine decontamination situations.

Preparedness

Radioactive Sources - An Invisible Hazard

by Stephen Jolly -

Medical and industrial facilities, universities and colleges, cargo containers, and floodwaters have something in common with nuclear power plants - all of them can be a source of nuclear radiation. Knowing where radiation might be "hiding" within a community is the first step that emergency managers should take to protect those who are most likely to be in contact with those sources.

Updates

Chinook Medical Gear Introduces Mass Casualty Critical Intervention Kit

Recent studies show that, since 2009, the United States has averaged one mass casualty event per month. The lessons learned from such events highlight the opportunities for improving casualty survival rates by upgrading the current medical response practices of first responders. Chinook Medical Gear has introduced a new Mass Casualty Critical Intervention Kit that provides many of the most important medical supplies needed to save lives in mass casualty and active violence incidents.

Reports

National Prevention Framework, 2013

The National Prevention Framework describes what the whole community - from community members to senior leaders in government - should do upon the discovery of intelligence or information regarding an imminent threat to the homeland. To help thwart an initial or follow-on terrorist attack, the Framework seeks to meet the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient Nation that is optimally prepared to prevent an imminent terrorist attack within the United States.

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Updates

Appointment of New Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity

Phyllis Schneck has been appointed as the new Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). Phyllis will be coming to the Department of Homeland Security with a wealth of experience in cybersecurity and information security from her current position as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Global Public Sector at McAfee Inc.

Updates

FDA Awards Contract to Develop Promising New Technology to Test Radiation Countermeasures

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded a $5.6 million contract to Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to apply its breakthrough organs-on-chips technology to assess the medical countermeasures needed to treat acute radiation syndrome (ARS), also known as radiation sickness.

Updates

Carbon Black Teams Up With iSIGHT Partners to Deliver Comprehensive Threat Intelligence for Endpoint Security

The partnership blends Carbon Black's 360-degree network visibility and historical traceability with iSIGHT Partners' unmatched threat intelligence, thereby equipping information security professionals with the data they need to quickly and conclusively detect emerging threats and conduct incident response.

Reports

The Israeli 'Nuclear Alert' of 1973: Deterrence & Signaling in Crisis

In 2012, CNA received a project award from the Naval Postgraduate School's Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC) to investigate alleged rumors, which have circulated for decades, of an Israeli nuclear alert in the early days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. To answer questions about the status of Israel's nuclear forces, CNA is using newly available and otherwise untapped sources in the first in-depth study of its kind. This study reflects on policy implications to guide future decision-making during crises involving nuclear-armed states. The continuing dangers posed by nuclear weapons and a potential conflict between nuclear-armed states ensure the study's enduring relevance.

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Updates

FEMA Announces Appointments to National Advisory Council

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announces the appointment of ten new members, and the reappointment of five current members, to the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC is an advisory committee established to ensure the effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

Updates

Key U.S. Defense Contract Win for Avon Protection

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $6.7 million sole source contract to Avon Protection for the development of a modified M53 Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Protective Face Mask System and associated components.

Resilience

Nuclear Meltdown - The Need For Timely & Honest Information

by Janette D. Sherman & Joseph J. Mangano -

Similarities can be drawn between two nuclear disasters that occurred 27 years apart, in different countries. Dealing with a nuclear disaster in the United States or elsewhere requires having accurate information - which must be delivered in time to help emergency responders deal with potentially major consequences. As long as nuclear plants exist, so does the potential threat of a meltdown.

Healthcare

Radiological Emergencies - Public Health Responsibilities/Challenges

by Audrey Mazurek & Raphael M. Barishansky -

The U.S. public health community is tasked with more roles and responsibilities than ever before in the nation's history. That community may soon have to take on even more responsibilities during a radiological emergency. Uncovering the gaps and challenges involved may help in moving toward realistic operational planning without continuing to stress current public health programs.

Resilience

Passenger Air Travel - When the Bullets Run Out

by Clay W. Biles -

In a passenger aircraft, there is nowhere to run when something suddenly goes wrong. Which is the primary reason that U.S. air marshals are now flying, strategically seated, on many domestic and international flights to thwart a possible terrorist threat against the aircraft and its passengers. The air marshals are armed - but their principal weapons are excellent training and continued situational awareness.

Updates

BARDA Solicits Research Efforts for Innovative Technologies to Improve Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Disasters and emergencies create and involve a broad range of public health and medical threats. To counter those threats, the nation's responders need access to new and innovative technologies so that they can help keep the American people safe and healthy during disaster response and recovery operations. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) supports such innovations through a series of broad agency announcements focused primarily on developing new technologies that facilitate the administration of medical countermeasures.

Reports

Transportation Security: Action Needed to Strengthen TSA's Security Threat Assessment Process

The U.S. Government Accountability Office was tasked to examine the performance and staffing strategy of the TSA Adjudication Center. This report addresses the extent to which: (a) TSA has measured performance for the Center and what the data show; (b) TSA offices have coordinated to meet the overall security threat assessment workload; and (c) TSA has addressed the potential risks posed by using a mix of government employees and contractors to adjudicate security threat assessments.

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Updates

FLIR Systems' Trace Detection Mass Spectrometer Now Able to Detect Synthetic Drugs With Expanded Library

FLIR Systems Inc. has announced the expansion of its drug target library for the Griffin 824 Trace Detection Mass Spectrometer to include common designer drugs found in bath salts and herbal incense (K2/Spice) products, in addition to previously existing illegal drugs.

Updates

FEMA Mitigation Grants Important for Recovery, Protection

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides important assistance to local, state, and tribal governments following a major disaster declaration, thereby speeding recovery and protecting life and property from future disasters.

Updates

MISD & First Responders Team Use Technology to Increase Campus Safety

The Midlothian Independent School District (MISD) has strengthened its working relationships and joint efforts for campus safety with the Rapid Responder Crisis Management System further protecting campuses, students, and staff. Regular training, carried out by MISD Safety and Security Coordinator Rhonda Welch, teaches new responders how to use Rapid Responder, the key driver of collaborative campus safety.

Reports

National Response Framework, Second Edition, 2013

The National Response Framework is a guide to how the nation responds to all types of disasters and emergencies. It is built on scalable, flexible, and adaptable concepts identified in the National Incident Management System to align key roles and responsibilities across the nation. This framework describes specific authorities and best practices for managing incidents that range from the serious local incidents to large-scale terrorist attacks or catastrophic natural disasters.

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Updates

Executive Order - Improving Chemical Facility Safety & Security

The federal government has developed and implemented numerous programs aimed at reducing the safety and security risks associated with the use and/or presence of hazardous chemicals. However, additional measures can be taken by executive departments and agencies with regulatory authority to further improve chemical facility safety and security in coordination with owners and operators.

Healthcare

Hospital Decontamination - High Costs & Limited Benefits

by Craig DeAtley -

When patients are admitted to a healthcare facility after being exposed to hazardous materials, the decontamination location and process may differ significantly from one facility to another. Each decision made will affect the total cost. And that cost must be weighed against the need for the services rendered.

Preparedness

Staple Foods, Grain Tonnages & Daring Rescues

by Joseph Cahill -

It takes special equipment, and specially trained people, to rescue anyone trapped in a massive silo containing thousands of bushels of grain. Knowing what to do and how to do it - safely and successfully - could prevent fatalities caused by suffocation, toxic inhalation, or even an explosion.

Updates

API Technologies to Provide Power Products for Command & Control Shelters

API Technologies Corporation has announced it will provide its power entry panels for use in U.S Department of Defense (DoD) operations mobile command and control shelters. The power entry panels are part of a DoD Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) initiative, aimed at making equipment smaller and more portable for in-field service.

Updates

Written Testimony of NPPD, 'West Fertilizer, Off the Grid: The Problem of Unidentified Chemical Facilities'

National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Office of Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division Director David Wulf addresses U.S. Department of Homeland Security's regulation of high-risk chemical facilities under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).

Updates

CBP Announces Partnerships for New and Expanded Services

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has announced that it has made preliminary selections for five new public-private partnerships and is continuing progress on an additional existing project. The six projects selected - in California, Florida, and Texas - are designed to support growth in cross-border trade and travel.

Updates

Thermo Scientific TruNarc v1.3 Software Upgrade Enhances Law Enforcement Capability for Presumptive Drug Identification

Law enforcement personnel are now better equipped to address the emerging threat of synthetic drugs with the latest software update for the Thermo Scientific TruNarc, a handheld analyzer used for onsite analysis of narcotics and other drugs that are commonly abused.

Updates

EPA Strengthens Chemical Assessment Process to Protect Public Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a number of changes to its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program to improve the scientific foundation of assessments, increase transparency in the program and the processes involved, and allow the agency to produce more IRIS assessments each year. IRIS is a human health assessment program that evaluates information on health effects that may result from exposure to environmental contaminants.