august 2014

Reports

Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

News of humans infected with Ebola in West Africa, avian influenza in China, polio in the Middle East, and dengue fever in the Caribbean are examples of reports that heighten concerns about the health screenings of people arriving in the United States. Congress plays an important oversight role, particularly when concerns involve contagious diseases or potential pandemics.

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Updates

Federal Railroad Administration Funds Two Grants to Mitigate Risk Among Short Line Railroads Hauling Hazardous Materials

The Federal Railroad Administration recently funded two grants totaling $350,000 to support development of a Short Line Safety Institute. The Institute will help mitigate risk associated with rail shipments of hazardous materials by improving the culture of safety within the short line and regional rail industry as well as the industry's overall safety record.

Commentary

The Broad Topic of Environmental Health & Security

by Justin Snair -

The Ebola outbreak, droughts, and the Elk River chemical spill are just a few of the environmental health concerns that have occurred in 2014. With many societal and cultural changes, such broad topics can be difficult to effectively address, but this podcast brings together subject matter experts to do just that.

Commentary

The Complexities of Environmental Health Security

by Catherine Feinman -

A topic that often bridges various disciplines and jurisdictions - and sometimes is overlooked in the "big picture" - is security related to environmental health. To address questions surrounding this topic, DomPrep asked readers how they define environmental health and where it fits within the national and international security arena.

Preparedness

BioWatch - Challenges & Opportunities for Applied Research

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has continued to use its legacy early warning system for biological threats as it continues to weigh costs against effectiveness in its search for better technological solutions. In the meantime, "big data" and social media analytics offer incremental steps toward better biodetection and response.

Updates

UTMB Named a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Vaccine Research

The world experts on vaccine development at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have received an international designation acknowledging their unique niche in a sphere where research, government regulation and big pharma often collide. UTMBs Sealy Center for Vaccine Development has been named a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Vaccine Research, Evaluation and Training on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Updates

LLNL Wins Three Regional FLC Awards

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have been selected to receive three regional awards for technology transfer by the Federal Laboratory Consortium. LLNL shared in awards for the development of a detector to identify explosives and drugs; for the development of a crystal to detect nuclear materials; and for the creation of a new tool to assist climate researchers.

Updates

FSI North America Announces Debut of DAT3060S-HFR-H Decon Shower System

The FSI® DAT®3060S is a three-line wide, 3 or 4 -station Mass Casualty Decon Shower System which handles two or three parallel lines of casualties at the same time in three or four sequential stations - (1) undress, (2) detergent shower #1 - (3) rinse shower #2 OR handle two personnel in separate showers simultaneously in each lane, (4) redress.

Updates

Soligenix Advances Development of a Heat Stable Rapidly Acting Anthrax Vaccine VeloThrax

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced recently results demonstrating the improved immunogenicity and rapid action of its anthrax vaccine, VeloThrax. Previous studies had demonstrated that VeloThrax also possesses enhanced thermostability, enabling distribution without cold chain requirements.

Updates

Experimental Chikungunya Vaccine Induces Robust Antibody Response

An experimental vaccine to prevent the mosquito-borne viral illness chikungunya elicited neutralizing antibodies in all 25 adult volunteers who participated in a recent early-stage clinical trial conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Resilience

New York: Public Health Implications of the 'Soda Ban' Ruling

by Andrew Geltman -

The New York City Board of Health has a long tradition of creating innovative ways to promote better public health practices, but the recent "soda ban" ruling may hinder that innovation in the future. Although still a strong authority for "traditional" public health threats, the public health implications for "nontraditional" public health threats are yet to be seen.

Resilience

National Strategy for Biosecurity Threats

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

"Unexpected" threats may not be so unexpected, but rather foreseen threats that were not taken seriously. Anthrax, plague, and smallpox were ongoing concerns even before the recent incidents that occurred on U.S. soil. However, local jurisdictions must plan for and be operationally prepared for such no-notice biological incidents.

Preparedness

Incident Response for Nursing & Assisted Living Homes

by Steven Maynard -

The adaptability of the Incident Command System makes it a valuable tool for a variety of agencies and organizations. During fire incidents, for example, fatality rates at healthcare facilities such as nursing and assisted living homes could be reduced if proper procedures are in place for managing the special needs of these vulnerable populations.

Updates

U.S. Government Exercises Contract Options Valued at $18.9M for Emergent BioSolutions' Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous Program

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. recently announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has exercised options for the supply of Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous (VIGIV) into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile. VIGIV is a therapeutic licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of complications due to smallpox vaccination.

Updates

New FEMA Flood Map Service Center

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced a new Flood Map Service Center (MSC). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood-hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.

Updates

Allegion Warns Against Quick-Fix Lockdown Practices: Educates School Administrators About the Value of Proven Campus Security Solutions

Allegion is celebrating this year's Safe School Week by encouraging its security/architect partners and school end users to be aware of new, untested security and lockdown products that could actually put staff and students at greater risk - some are effective, but some should be avoided.

Reports

2014 National Preparedness Report

This report marks the 3rd National Preparedness Report. Required annually by Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness, the National Preparedness Report summarizes progress in building, sustaining, and delivering the 31 core capabilities described in the National Preparedness Goal.

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Updates

More Than 1,500 People Participated in the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day

Recently, more than 250 emergency managers, first responders, technology entrepreneurs, as well as local, state, and federal officials came to the White House to participate in the Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day. The event was streamed live to more than 1,250 people interested in leveraging technology and innovation to improve disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Updates

KD Analytical Opens U.S. Capital Region Office

The KD Analytical National Capital Region office offers a variety of services for facilities and infrastructure protection including CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive) threat and vulnerability assessment, engineering, and sustainment services.

Updates

More Physicians and Hospitals Are Using EHRs Than Before

Significant increases in the use of electronic health records (EHRs) among the nation's physicians and hospitals are detailed in two new studies published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Updates

DSA Detection Threat Training Kits

The task of training security personnel how to identify and detect many different types of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), gun, and edged-weapon threats has always been difficult due to the inability of using real threats for training. DSA Detection's patented process provides visually correct training aids that respond in screening systems just like the real threat.

Updates

WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement in reference to the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee meeting in regards to the 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. This statement provides an update on the developments, including measures taken to implement rapid control strategies, as well as existing gaps and challenges in the outbreak response.

Resilience

Georgia: Technologies & Disasters

by Charley English -

For emergency managers, the planning process never ends. Rather, it continues to evolve over time. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency embraces this concept and recently updated its mobile app to meet the changing needs of its local communities. This newly redesigned app serves as a template for agencies in other jurisdictions.

Healthcare

Mass Fatalities - Processing Human Remains

by Joseph Cahill -

Medical examiners/coroners are an integral part of a mass fatality response, but they are not always included during the pre-planning phase. The process of responding to living versus deceased victims is very different, so it is important to understand before the incident where to stage, decontaminate, store, examine, identify, and release human remains, and who will perform each task.

Healthcare

Public Health Emergencies - Looking Toward the Future

by Audrey Mazurek & Raphael M. Barishansky -

In January 2014, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events released a white paper listing seven recommendations to enhance the sustainability of preparedness efforts in the United States. The IOM paper reflects on relevant past accomplishments, the current state of public health preparedness, and future public health requirements to stay viable, sustainable, and effective.

Reports

FEMA Strategic Plan 2014-2018

From 2014 to 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will focus on five strategic priorities, institutionalizing key improvements while building agency capacity and strengthening national capabilities for disaster preparedness.

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Updates

Luminex Is Supporting USAMRIID in Research Efforts to Control African Ebola Outbreak

Luminex Corporation recently announced that U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Diagnostics Division is working on rapid diagnostics for the Ebola virus using Luminex xMAP® Technology. Luminex's MAGPIX® system was recently deployed to Africa in support of research efforts to control the current outbreak.

Updates

CDC's Surge Response to West African Ebola Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is rapidly increasing its ongoing efforts to curb the expanding West African Ebola outbreak and deploying staff to four African nations currently affected. This sustained, agency-wide response will continue until the outbreak is under control, an effort expected to take three to six months.

Updates

Hydrant Boosters Solve Rural Fire Suppression Problems

Darley is changing the way rural communities approach fire distribution systems with its Self-Testing Hydrant Booster. The Hydrant Booster System provides a cost-effective, retrofit solution to enhance fire distribution systems and provide rural communities with water pressure similar to their urban counterparts.

Reports

Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of the 9/11 Commission Report

This report provides insights on the changes of the past 10 years and the continuing emerging threats that still face the United States. Issues mentioned in this report include: the struggle against terrorism being far from over; cyber readiness lagging behind the threat; and counterterrorism fatigue and a waning sense of urgency among the public.

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Updates

ProPac Named Distributor for CEMG Inflatable Shelters

The new line of Commonwealth Emergency Management Group (CEMG) inflatable structures deploys rapidly with minimal support staff. Other mobile hospital systems typically take days to set up, but a CEMG 20-bed surge unit can be operational in about 30 minutes - units inflate in under 3 minutes and structures can withstand winds up to 60 mph.

Updates

DOT Announces Comprehensive Proposed Rulemaking for the Safe Transportation of Crude Oil, Flammable Materials

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released the details of its comprehensive rulemaking proposal to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail - particularly crude oil and ethanol - in the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and a companion Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Reports

High-Containment Laboratories: Recent Incidents of Biosafety Lapses

Biosecurity incidents - such as the potential exposure of staff in Atlanta laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - highlight the importance of maintaining biosafety and biosecurity protocols at high-containment laboratories. The U.S. Government Accountability Office summarizes the results of past work on the oversight of high-containment laboratories.

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Updates

ADASHI Hazmat Response Delivers CAD Enterprise Solution

ADASHI software offers a comprehensive and intuitive approach to hazmat response. By integrating computer-aided dispatch (CAD), the program offers an enterprise solution for rapid response and coordination using critical response personnel software tools.

Updates

U.S. & Mexico Sign Statement of Intent to Strengthen Produce Safety

The United States and Mexico collaborate on a wide range of partnerships and have established formal arrangements designed to improve information sharing on emerging food safety issues and to work more collaboratively when addressing product safety issues that may influence U.S. and Mexican consumers.

Updates

FAS Shelter System - A New and Innovative Rapidly Deployable Solution

Worldwide Disaster Response Group and Mobile Response Shelters recently announced the launch of the FAS Shelter System - one of the most lightweight, easy-to-use shelter systems in the industry - to their product offerings. This system is suitable for nearly all purposes in support of military, fire, police, emergency services, and private agencies.

Updates

Complimentary Report Detailing the Consequences of a Radiological Dispersion Device Using Cobalt 60

"Dirty bombs have been a topic of concern in the responder community for quite some time," stated Bruce King, chief executive officer of Aristatek. "After the theft of the Cobalt 60 in Mexico, we had a lot of inquiries from our customers about how we could help them with planning for dirty bombs."

Commentary

Call for a Dedicated Environmental Health & Security Strategy

by Justin Snair & Christopher Mills -

The natural and built environments affect personal and population health, but the effects are often only visible over time. Countering the threat of harmful substances and organisms in food, water, air, and soil requires a multidiscipline approach. Determining where environmental health and security fits alongside public health strategy and homeland security will help the nation better prevent, mitigate, and respond to such threats.

Updates

Fact Sheet: Taking Action to Support State, Local & Tribal Leaders as They Prepare Communities for the Impacts of Climate Change

To support communities in need of a more resilient infrastructure that can withstand more extreme weather and increased flooding, President Barack Obama is responding to guidance from governors, mayors, county officials, and tribal officials who are proven leaders in helping their communities prepare for climate impacts.

Commentary

Call for a Dedicated Environmental Health and Security Strategy

by Justin Snair & Christopher Mills -

The natural and built environments affect personal and population health, but the effects are often only visible over time. Countering the threat of harmful substances and organisms in food, water, air, and soil requires a multidiscipline approach. Determining where environmental health and security fits alongside public health strategy and homeland security will help the nation better prevent, mitigate, and respond to such threats.

Updates

DoD, Partners Share Mapping Technology for Disaster Relief

The Department of Defense (DoD) is using geospatial, or mapping, technology in a tool that will soon be available to assist countries and organizations that are dealing with the deadly consequences of hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters and humanitarian crises.

Updates

CoBRA Software Provides Common Operating Picture for 2014 World Cup

Defense Group Inc. CoBRA® Software division has just completed their latest international project, supporting the Brazilian Army and Navy during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. CoBRA® enhanced Brazil's ability to achieve a true common operating picture, and allowed the Emergency Operations Center to view all sensors and resources on a single map and dashboard, across multiple venues simultaneously.

Updates

Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Degree Programs

More organizations are starting to use GIS as a business intelligence tool - and the demand for people with GIS skills is increasing. American Sentinel University is offering online GIS degree programs that will assist students in building a strong foundation in cartography, GIS software, and GIS concepts and techniques.

Updates

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year 2014 Preparedness Grants

The FY 2014 preparedness grant allocations demonstrate the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) ongoing commitment to securing the nation's borders and ports of entry. These grants continue to focus on the highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats.

Updates

New Handheld Radiation Detector Offers Enhanced Threat Detection, Identification

Thermo Scientific RadEye SPRD (Spectroscopic Personal Radiation Detector) provides security professionals with an enhanced radiation detector that detects, locates, and identifies radiological threats in less time. Equipped with a 1,024 channel analyzer, the RadEye SPRD gives non-expert users the ability to perform initial identification of radioactive materials found in the field.