december 2014

Updates

Raytheon to Implement Modernized Air Traffic Control System Throughout the National Air Space

Raytheon has been awarded a $350 million Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contract modification to continue the upgrade of 135 air traffic control centers to the Standard Terminal Automation System (STARS) through September 2017. Implementation of STARS at these airports will bring all of the largest airports and the majority of all terminal air space controlled by the FAA onto the NextGen terminal automation platform.

Commentary

Brainstorm - 25 Concepts From Subject Matter Experts

by DomPrep Readers -

When planning for its annual forecast issue, DomPrep reached out to subject matter experts in all preparedness disciplines to share which solutions they believe have significant potential to improve preparedness (readiness and resilience) over the next five years. In 200 words or less, more than 50 readers answered the call.

Updates

DHS Releases End of Year Statistics

As part of Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson's effort to enhance the manner in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) collects and reports statistics, DHS recently released its fiscal year 2014 enforcement statistics from the DHS Office of Immigration Statistics, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Reports

Patient Decontamination in a Mass Chemical Exposure Incident: National Planning Guidance for Communities

This report provides non-binding recommendations for first responders dealing with mass chemical exposure incidents. The guidance is intended for senior leaders, planners, incident commanders, emergency management personnel and trainers of local response organizations and health care facilities.

View Full Report
Reports

PPE Selection Matrix for Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) personal protective equipment (PPE) selection matrix is intended to help employers select appropriate PPE for workers who may be exposed to Ebola virus through direct contact with blood or other potentially infectious body fluids from individuals with signs or symptoms of Ebola; objects, materials, and surfaces with Ebola-virus contamination; and exposure to bio-aerosols that may contain Ebola virus particles.

View Full Report
Preparedness

Changing the Future of Human Relations

by Samuel Johnson -

The "us versus them" mentality that has surfaced in recent news reports - in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, and other U.S. communities - arises from the human relations divide between citizens and law enforcement officers. A simple solution exists, but it requires both "us" and "them" to redefine the social construction within communities.

Reports

Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020

The goals of this Plan include increasing the electronic collection and sharing of health information while protecting individual privacy and creating an environment where interoperable information is used by health care providers, public health entities, researchers, and individuals to improve health, health care, and reduce costs. Application deadline is March 6, 2015.

View Full Report
Updates

NIST Tests: Firefighters Portable Radios May Fail at Elevated Temperatures

New test results from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) confirm that portable radios used by firefighters can fail to operate properly within 15 minutes when exposed to temperatures that may be encountered during firefighting activities.

Updates

DoD Mobile Chemical-agent Destruction System Wins U.K. Award

A United Kingdom organization has given an innovation award to the Defense Department team responsible for developing and operating the field-deployable hydrolysis systems used aboard the U.S. ship MV Cape Ray this year to destroy tons of Syrian chemical materials.

Commentary

Future Response Capabilities: Five Points to Consider

by Craig Crume -

With a few practical steps, state and local governments, as well as other planning and response agencies, can accomplish a lot with little or no changes in their budgets. These agencies can build capability, confidence, and readiness by developing concepts of operations, reviewing equipment needs, training personnel, maintaining instruments, and regularly practicing skills.

Preparedness

Body-Worn Cameras: The Path Forward

by James Coldren Jr. & Denise Rodriguez King -

As contradictory witness reports of police actions surface in law enforcement incidents across the United States, the White House proposes equipping all police officers with body-worn cameras. However, before implementing such programs, agencies first must examine related benefits and challenges, and evaluate and review the effectiveness of these cameras as law enforcement tools.

Updates

WMD Training: FBI Worst-Case Exercise Tests Response to Chemical Attack

A fictional worst-case scenario was designed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations's (FBI) Chemical Countermeasures Unit, which is part of their Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate, to shake out any weaknesses in the Houston region's elaborate network of emergency responders. The daylong exercise addressed issues that surface in real catastrophic events.

Updates

Astrophysics Awarded Five-Year, $23.1 Million Contract From the Department of Homeland Security

Astrophysics Inc. recently announced that the company has been awarded a five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agency. The contract allows purchasing of small, medium and large X-ray systems, their associated peripherals, training and warranties in support of CBP's Non-Intrusive Inspection program.

Updates

NOAA Reflects on 10 Years Since Indian Ocean Tsunami

Since the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made great improvements in tsunami detection, forecasting, warning, and preparedness capabilities. As a result, U.S. and international coastal communities are far better prepared to respond to a tsunami.

Preparedness

Emerging Infectious Diseases - A Whole-Community Approach

by Anthony S. Mangeri -

As Ebola traveled across borders to countries not previously affected, the need for comprehensive preparedness plans became obvious. However, such cases are not simply public health threats, but whole-community incidents. As such, emergency managers must assess emerging infectious disease threats and prepare to manage a multiagency response to these slow onset disasters.

Updates

ASTHO Announces Release of 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more than 35 development partners, released the 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI), which measures and advances the nation's readiness to protect people during a health emergency or disaster.

Updates

Secretary Burwell Issues Declaration Under PREP Act to Support Development of Ebola Vaccines

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell recently announced a declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act to facilitate the development and availability of experimental Ebola vaccines. This declaration is intended to assist in the global community's effort to combat the current epidemic in West Africa and help prevent future outbreaks.

Reports

2015 Global Forecast

In this annual volume, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will look ahead at the crises and opportunities that will likely arise in 2015, how best to deal with them, and what lasting effects they might leave for the next U.S. administration and its allies around the world.

View Full Report
Reports

The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy: In Brief

This report briefly analyzes the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy, which is the key strategic document released by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force established by executive order. The report also discusses overarching issues that may arise during oversight of the Hurricane Sandy recovery process and how lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy can be applied to future disasters.

View Full Report
Updates

Early Data Suggests Potentially Severe Flu Season

Early data suggests that the current 2014-2015 flu season could be severe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges immediate vaccination for anyone still unvaccinated this season and recommends prompt treatment with antiviral drugs for people at high risk of complications who develop the flu.

Updates

Battelle and Rhombus Join to Offer Nuclear Security Solutions

Battelle, the world's largest nonprofit research and development organization and Rhombus Power Inc., a Silicon Valley startup located in the NASA Research Park, recently announced they have teamed to offer solutions to the Department of Defense for the Man-Portable Radiation Detection System (MRDS) program.

Updates

New Federal Health IT Strategic Plan Sets Stage for Better Sharing Through Interoperability

With collaboration from more than 35 federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently issued the Federal Health IT (Information Technology) Strategic Plan 2015-2020 - a coordinated and focused effort to appropriately collect, share, and use interoperable health information.

Updates

Chemical Weapons Use: An Unacceptable Repeat of History That Demands Attention

The 19th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention took place 1-5 December 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. This update includes a statement made by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with regard to chemical weapon use.

Preparedness

The Future of Handheld Chemical Detection & Identification

by Chris Petty -

By identifying technology gaps as well as trends in detection needs and capabilities, manufacturers are creating new mass spectrometry tools that are smaller, easier to use, and more accurate for trace-level detection and identification. In 2015, first responders, civil support teams, and military personnel may be able to fill gaps left by their current equipment.

Healthcare

Community Paramedicine - Bringing the Hospital Home

by Joseph Cahill -

As hospitals fill with patients and the cost of medical care rises, the use of community paramedicine also may increase. To fill the gap between routine doctor visits and emergency transport to hospitals, communities have the opportunity to expand the use of highly trained paramedics to better serve their populations' urgent-care needs.

Resilience

Texas - Youth Volunteers in the Medical Reserve Corps

by Lunetta Sims -

In Harris County, Texas, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is leveraging its youth volunteers and establishing Junior MRC teams in its local high schools. By integrating a younger generation and recognizing the benefits that youth members can provide, MRCs can strengthen community preparedness and response for many years to come.

Updates

Albuquerque Selects ePCR, Advanced Reporting Provider

The fastest-growing metropolitan area in New Mexico will soon be upgraded to an advanced emergency medical services (EMS) and fire records system by ImageTrend, the national leader in electronic records for EMS. Advanced reporting will enhance information about public safety regarding the services provided by the city's fire department.

Updates

SureScan Corporation Explosives Detection System Achieves TSA Certification

SureScan Corporation recently announced that its x1000 Computed Tomography Explosives Detection System has achieved U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) certification. Setting a new industry standard, the x1000 is the first TSA-certified multienergy, stationary gantry explosives detection system.

Reports

Department of Homeland Security: FY2015 Appropriations

This report analyzes the FY2015 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Although this report makes note of many budgetary resources provided to DHS, its primary focus is on funding approved by Congress through the appropriations process.

View Full Report
Updates

35 U.S. Hospitals Designated as Ebola Treatment Centers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state health officials have identified and designated 35 hospitals as Ebola treatment centers. These centers are staffed, equipped, and have been assessed to have current capabilities, training and resources to provide the complex treatment necessary to care for a person with Ebola, while minimizing risk to healthcare workers.

Updates

Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 Program

The United States Agency for International Development is launching the Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 program, which will help countries detect viruses with pandemic potential, improve laboratory capacity to support surveillance, respond in an appropriate and timely manner, strengthen response capacities, and educate at-risk populations on how to prevent exposure to pathogens.

Reports

Food Recalls and Other FDA Administrative Enforcement Actions

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures the safety of all food except for meat, poultry, and certain egg products. This report focuses on the FDA's statutory authority and legal issues relating to the following administrative enforcement actions: inspections, warning letters, recalls, suspension of registration, and administrative detention.

View Full Report
Updates

NIAID/GSK Experimental Ebola Vaccine Appears Safe, Prompts Immune Response

An experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease was well tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it in a phase-1 clinical trial conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The candidate vaccine was co-developed by the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Reports

Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General - Semiannual Report to Congress

This report reflects the accomplishments of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General for the period 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2014. The report also includes the status of prior reports and recommendations to DHS.

View Full Report
Resilience

Resilience - Making a List & Checking It Twice

by Stephen Grainer -

When the electric power infrastructure fails, it affects much more than just the electronic equipment that is powered by it. A lesson from Superstorm Sandy demonstrates how managing ground support, supplies, and facilities may differ when electrical power is gone. It may even require hundreds (or thousands) of orange traffic cones to maintain operations.

Resilience

Communications Decision Could Impact Emergency Response

by Christina Crue -

The Federal Communications Commission is considering changing the provider of the local number portability administrator. Emergency responders should be aware that this decision could affect responders' ability to identify 911 callers, to track suspects, and to transition, test, and validate telephone databases following a disaster.

Updates

Testimony of Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg Before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs

Nancy Lindborg, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), recently testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs regarding "Preparedness and Response to Public Health Threats: How Ready Are We?"

Updates

Protecting the Grid From All Hazards

As this year's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Energy Action Month draw to a close, Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, highlights several milestones from the past few months that address continued progress and commitment to strengthen the cybersecurity of the nation's energy infrastructure.

Reports

U.S. NRC Performance & Accountability Report, Fiscal Year 2014

This report details the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) program and financial performance from 1 October 2013 through 30 September 2014. It reflects the agency's achievement of its safety and security strategic goals and objectives, and their related performance indicators.

View Full Report