Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's remarks about the state of the nation's homeland security, as well as the significant changes seen over the past ten-plus years, and some of the considerable progress that has been made in that time.
On 30 January 2013, the All Hazards Consortium in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Infrastructure Protection, held a workshop of the Multi-State Fleet Response Initiative Working Group. The objective of the workshop was to assess lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy and identify opportunities for improving the movement of fleet vehicles in response to emergency events.
With the high cost of creating new technologies and the budget restraints of those who will be using the products, it is critical that developers, policy makers, and end users are all involved in each phase of the development process. A unified approach for developing an adaptable multi-use technology will help to ensure that the purchased technologies do not collect dust on the shelves.
Improving national resilience is a process that requires developing and promulgating new policies, defining missions and capabilities, and implementing change through training and education. As the two-year anniversary of Presidential Policy Directive 8 approaches, policy makers and responders are learning much more about the planning opportunities, and new challenges, they are likely to encounter in the years to come.
Delta Scientific has announced that its 12- and 16-foot MP5000 mobile deployable vehicle crash barriers helped police and military officers protect the president, congressional leaders, judges, journalists, other attendees, and onlookers at the Presidential Inauguration events 21 January 2013 from vehicle bomb attack and errant drivers.
As part of the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) evolving risk-based security screening approach, TSA is exploring the combined use of multiple layers of security to indirectly conduct a real-time threat assessment of passengers at select airports. This concept enables TSA to modify standard security lanes to identify passengers for expedited screening through TSA PreCHECK.
The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office utilized Spillman's computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and mapping software to efficiently respond to a record-breaking number of emergency calls during Superstorm Sandy.
Makers and users of anti-terrorism products and services have more to fear than terrorism itself. After certain technologies have changed hands, the sellers and consumers alike may face future liabilities that would halt further production and/or the continuation of services. To guard against that problem, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers a unique program that can limit the liability companies may face.
Over the past four years, the Obama Administration, working together with Congress, has dedicated historic levels of personnel, technology, and resources on the Southwest border, and undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the nation's immigration enforcement systems into one that focuses on public safety, border security, and the integrity of the immigration system.
Making plans to avoid a perceived hazard can sometimes create a real hazard when a careful risk assessment is not conducted. Local hazmat and law enforcement experts must be brought in to work with public and private agencies before decisions about sheltering and establishing evacuation routes for those in danger are determined.
The Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-21) on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience advances a national unity of effort to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructures that are vital to public confidence and the Nation's safety, prosperity, and well-being.
Quantum Secure has announced the release of its software suite: SAFE for Aviation version 4.5 - an airport physical-identity and access-management solution that streamlines the complete lifecycle of physical identities (from on-boarding to terminations) and automates related processes.
"DHS actively collaborates with public and private sector partners every day to help prevent and respond to attempted disruptions to the Nation's critical cyber and communications networks," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. "These actions taken by the President are a key step towards improved security and resilience as we continue to work with Congress to keep our nation safe and secure for generations to come."
"Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies has been focused on school security and safety for many years and is well-known for its leadership in the education market," emphasizes April Dalton-Noblitt, Ingersoll Rand director, vertical markets. "We continue to bring new innovation and services to help those who try to keep school children safe."
The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits "the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons by States Parties." However, when a nation refuses to sign the agreement and continues to stockpile chemical warfare agents, it raises worldwide concerns. In the case of Syria, its own citizens have good reason to fear being the target of attack.
Doing more with less is a key component of public health preparedness. The solution is to re-energize and refocus efforts, leverage partnerships, and integrate activities across programs and systems. The 2013 Public Health Preparedness Summit offers a national forum to collaborate with members of the public, private, and non-profit sectors, explore various topics, and share best practices and innovative strategies to protect the public.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) information on more than 7,600 chemicals used in the nation's commerce. The CDR database contains comprehensive use and exposure information on the most widely used chemicals in the United States.
Super Storm Sandy caused major power outages and service interruptions throughout many communities in New Jersey and New York. Thanks in part to the assistance provided by previously established partnerships of the All Hazards Consortium, the public and private sectors were better able to coordinate the services and efforts needed to expedite the recovery process.
The Utah Board of Regents has approved the Utah System of Higher Education's first Homeland Security and Emergency Management associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree, awarded by the Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). The new degree will prepare students for entry-level careers in the fields of homeland security and emergency management.
Vigilant Solutions reports that improvements in its public safety data systems are helping to fund many improvements in local communities. Vigilant's public safety data systems, which incorporate license plate recognition (LPR), are used by thousands of agencies every day to improve officer safety, enhance investigation capabilities, locate Amber Alerts, and more.
As if the influenza outbreaks were not bad enough, now a nasty norovirus is also spreading across the country, causing sufferers additional symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The American Red Cross recommends several steps that those in danger can follow to help protect themselves from the virus.
DuPont and LION Apparel have collaborated on a new offering for firefighters and first responders: gear that protects, from the inside-out, with the most advanced blends of DuPont Kevlar filament, DuPont Nomex, and Kevlar staple. Both companies have worked with fire departments around the world to test new fiber technologies and improve thermal protection within firefighter gear.
Transitioning to the new SAM (System for Award Management) registration system for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program can be frustrating, especially when it requires migrating previous DUNS numbers and Central Contractor Registry information. To help with the transition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides resources and key points that all applicants and awardees should keep in mind.
Declaring a public emergency requires that the right message is delivered by the right person at the right time. In Boston, the number of vaccinations increased and the number of reported influenza cases decreased after local decision makers met those three criteria.
The U.S. government's chemical security program helps to identify high-risk targets for terrorist attacks based on the type of chemical being manufactured or delivered and the physical location of the facility where it is stored.
Three clinical trials being used to find more effective treatments for influenza are enrolling volunteers with influenza at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and at several dozen other domestic and international sites.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the launch of the DHS Campus Resilience Pilot Program (CR Pilot) for U.S. colleges and universities. Partnering with the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, DHS will work with state, local, and private-sector partners to enhance preparedness and campus resilience.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has announced the initiation of a Phase 2 study designed to evaluate non-interference of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) when administered in conjunction with antibiotics. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate any impact of the vaccine on ciprofloxacin by administering the antibiotic prior to and following the administration of a 3-dose series of BioThrax.
Salient Federal Solutions Inc. has announced the expansion of its Voyager Query, a law enforcement app, for the Apple iOS and Android mobile platforms. The app is used by law enforcement to gain access into criminal justice databases to answer data queries and to assist law enforcement officers in the field.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate released the agency's statement shortly after President Obama signed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, which includes a provision to amend the Stafford Act to allow tribal governments direct access to federal disaster relief.
From terrorism to drug recalls to natural disasters, new risks seem to arise as fast as the next news cycle. Risk communication is a tool for creating and improving that understanding, thereby closing the gap between laymen and experts.