august 2015

Updates

Pfenex Inc. Awarded HHS Contract Valued At Up To $143.5 Million For The Advanced Development Of Next Generation Anthrax Vaccine

Pfenex Inc. announced it has signed a five-year, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract valued at up to $143.5 million with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the advanced development of Px563L, a mutant recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine.

Updates

PNNL to Tackle Future Grid Challenges Through New Facility, Capabilities

With the opening of the Systems Engineering Building at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a new suite of capabilities becomes available to researchers and industry to tackle the nation's top challenges in grid modernization, buildings efficiency, and renewable energy integration.

Updates

New Line of Radiation Area Monitors Eliminates Operational Requirements for On-site Safety and Security Personnel

Thermo Fisher Scientific announces the launch of its RadHalo rapid deployment probe (RDP) and fixed monitor (FM), which offer hands-free technology for security personnel, military teams, and first responders. These high-precision spectroscopy instruments are the first products in a new line of radiation identification area monitors.

Preparedness

Setting & Maintaining Realistic Recovery Expectations

by Stephen Grainer -

There are many challenges as well as numerous nuances associated with disaster recovery operations that must be addressed by all levels of governmental, nongovernmental, and private sector agencies and organizations in order to ensure ongoing attention to all facets of the recovery effort, effectively building a resilient community.

Updates

Governor Cuomo Announces 'NY Responds' - Comprehensive New Approach to Disaster Response and Recovery

Governor Cuomo announced the creation of "NY Responds"  a comprehensive new approach for coordinating and strengthening the State's emergency preparedness. As part of NY Responds, for the first time ever, every county in New York State will have access to universal emergency management software.

Updates

Development of New Anthrax Vaccine Underway With HHS Support

A new anthrax vaccine that could be easier and faster to produce than the existing licensed product will undergo initial clinical studies through an agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Pfenex, Inc. of San Diego.

Reports

2012-2013 National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Integrated Report

This report replaces the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's annual NARMS Executive Summary report and highlights antimicrobial resistance patterns in bacteria isolated from humans, retail meats, and animals at slaughter. Specifically, the report focuses on major foodborne pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics that are considered important to human medicine, and on multidrug resistant pathogens.

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Updates

Next Generation Biocontainment System Unveiled at Dobbins

The next generation in biocontainment systems was unveiled in a recent ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. The Containerized Biocontainment Systems (CBCS) is a self-contained, roll on, roll off solution that can be used on a variety of commercial and military aircraft and easily decontaminated and stored indefinitely without significant maintenance requirements.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Receives $44 Million CDC Contract to Further Advance Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous Program

Emergent BioSolutions Inc announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has exercised options under existing contract for the supply of Vaccinia Immune Globulin (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

Download Emergency App to Help During Weather Emergencies

Mother Nature is causing all kinds of trouble across the country with extreme heat, flash flooding and wildfires affecting millions of people. The American Red Cross urges people to download the Red Cross Emergency app to help them stay safe and connected during severe weather and other threats.

Updates

DHS S&T Licenses Groundbreaking Communications Technology

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that it has licensed the Radio Internet-Protocol Communications Module to two commercial partners. This solution allows response agencies to upgrade and reconfigure legacy communications systems and potentially extend the life of the technology for decades.

Healthcare

Planning for Recovery: The Public Health Perspective

by Marc Barbiere -

Public health agencies at all levels have extensive experience recovering from disasters, mostly without the benefit of a pre-disaster recovery plan. Established guidance from a number of federal agencies coupled with an inclusive planning process can help public health agencies ensure that they and the critical services they provide are resilient after a disaster.

Resilience

Screening Risk Analysis Tools for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure & Regions

by Jerry P. Brashear & Paula Scalingi -

Resilience, a central element in any recovery, is established before potentially disastrous events. Twenty-one federally sponsored risk methods and tools were screened for possible use as the core of a defensible, repeatable risk/resilience management process that would capture the greatest benefits for available budgets. None was fully ready for this role, but several hold promise for further improvement.

Updates

Smart Purchasing for First Responders

In this current economic climate, where state and local government budgets are strained, expectations and demands on emergency response agencies and organizations continue to grow. Amid the threat of budget cuts, the nation's first responders increasingly rely on alternative solutions and grant funding to address its needs.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Announces Plan to Implement Tax-Free Spin-Off of Biosciences Business Into a Separate Publicly-Traded Company

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announces that its Board of Directors has authorized management to pursue a tax-free spin-off of the company's Biosciences business into a separate, stand-alone publicly-traded company. The new Biosciences company, to be named at a later date, will focus on providing novel oncology and hematology therapeutics to meaningfully improve patients' lives.

Reports

Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 included a provision for the U.S. Government Accountability Office to study and report annually on whether the National Nuclear Security Administration's nuclear security budget materials provide for funding that is sufficient to modernize and refurbish the nuclear security enterprise, as well as recapitalize its infrastructure.

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Updates

Increased Likelihood of Below-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's updated 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls for a 90 percent chance of a below-normal hurricane season. A below-normal season is now even more likely than predicted in May, when the likelihood of a below-normal season was 70 percent.

Updates

Harnessing the Internet of Things for First Responders

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the technology landscape. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has launched a pilot, the Incident Management Information Sharing Internet of Things Pilot, to apply IoT to the challenge of vastly improving responders' situational awareness during emergencies.

Updates

USGS Awards $4 Million to Support Earthquake Early Warning System in California and Pacific Northwest

The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded approximately $4 million to support transitioning the "ShakeAlert" earthquake early warning system toward a production stage. A functioning early warning system offers people a precious few seconds to stop what they are doing and take precautions before the severe shaking waves from an earthquake arrive.

Updates

CDC Funding Helps States Address Infectious Disease Threats

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced awards of nearly $110 million to help strengthen state and community capacity to track and respond to infectious diseases. The $13 million increase over fiscal year 2014 funding will go to vaccine-preventable-disease surveillance, foodborne-disease prevention, advanced molecular detection, and other projects.

Preparedness

Correlation Between Land Use Decisions & Recovery Efforts

by Charles Perino -

This research develops a way of answering the question, "Should we continue to build there?" Past catastrophic disasters can help identify the economic, geopolitical, and social factors of each community's recovery following catastrophic disaster. Equipped with a better understanding of these factors, communities can identify and address future recovery challenges before the next catastrophic event.

Preparedness

Having the Right Tools to Shorten Periods of Chaos

by Gordon Hunter -

Disasters often lead to chaos, but how long the chaos lasts depends largely on the actions of the affected communities and whether all local resources are being used effectively. The longer it takes businesses to become fully operational, the longer it takes for the community as a whole to recover.

Updates

National Guard Cyber Capability Grows Nationwide

Just as the National Guard provides warfighting forces for the Army and Air Force and help during state and federal emergencies, Guardsmen now are ramping up their role in the nation's escalating cybersecurity fight, according to the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Updates

More Than $38 Million Awarded to Improve Coordinated Health Information Sharing in Communities Across America

As part of the Administration's efforts to create an interoperable learning health system that achieves better care, smarter spending, and healthier people, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced 20 awardees for three health information technology grant programs totaling about $38 million.

Reports

Hurricane Sandy: An Investment Strategy Could Help the Federal Government Enhance National Resilience for Future Disasters

This report reviews the federal efforts to strengthen disaster resilience during Hurricane Sandy recovery and addresses: (a) how federal recovery funds were used to enhance resilience; (b) the extent to which states and localities were able to maximize federal funding to enhance resilience; and (c) actions that could enhance resilience for future disasters.

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Reports

Science Moving Forward: A Progress Report to the FDA Science Board

This report details how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accelerated efforts to develop new approaches to engaging in synergistic collaborations both intramurally and with other government agencies, academia, industry, patient organizations, professional societies, and other stakeholders.

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Updates

Sandia Veterinarian Helps Make the World Safer Through Livestock Health and Biosecurity

Veterinary medicine is linked to biological threat reduction because about 75 percent of the agents that can be used as biological weapons are animal in origin. Dr. Melissa Finley and her Sandia colleagues establish biorisk management practices at laboratories worldwide and help to reduce the potential for criminal acquisition of biological agents.

Updates

FACT SHEET: The Global Health Security Agenda

Beginning with the release of the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats in 2009, and outlined in his 2011 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, President Barack Obama has called upon all countries to come together to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberately spread.

Reports

Investigation Report: Inadvertent Shipment of Live Anthrax Spores

The Department of Defense released a report outlining the results of its comprehensive laboratory review, which included analyses of the procedures, processes, and protocols associated with inactivating Bacillus anthracis spores.

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Resilience

New York City's Commodities Distribution & Recovery Planning

by Paula M. Carlson & Thomas F. Healy -

When planning and training for major disasters, communities often place more emphasis on the response rather than the recovery effort. However, it is critical that the recovery effort begins concurrent to the response in order for communities to be more resilient. New York City recognized this need and exercised one of its recovery plans.

Updates

World on the Verge of an Effective Ebola Vaccine

Results from an interim analysis of the Guinea Phase III efficacy vaccine trial show that VSV-EBOV is highly effective against Ebola. Although the vaccine up to now shows 100-percent efficacy in individuals, more conclusive evidence is needed on its capacity to protect populations through what is called "herd immunity."

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Expands Biodefense Business Through Launch of a Military-Grade Auto-Injector Device for Chemical Threats

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that it is launching a ruggedized, military-grade auto-injector device, known as Emergard. This device is designed for intramuscular self-injection of antidotes and other emergency response medical treatments for exposure to certain chemical agents and similar emerging threats.

Updates

Portlight Strategies and FEMA Partner to Address Disability Accessibility and Disaster Preparedness

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Portlight Strategies announced an agreement that will increase preparedness awareness for people with disabilities in the event of natural or manmade disasters. The new partnership will bolster working relationships with emergency managers to encourage inclusion of people with disabilities in the planning process.

Updates

Everbridge Integrates Community Outreach and Emergency Management in New Community Engagement Solution

Everbridge, a leading global provider in unified critical communications, today announced its community engagement solution, aimed at helping local governments and law enforcement build strong, transparent relationships with the communities they serve. The new solution increases the reach of emergency management teams and expands community outreach.

Updates

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for FY2015 Preparedness Grants

As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced final allocations for eight Fiscal Year 2015 DHS preparedness grant programs, including the Homeland Security Grant Program. These allocations assist with local and state preparedness efforts.

Reports

Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents

This report provides links to cybersecurity legislation and cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th and 113th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.

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