february 2016

Reports

Challenges and Considerations in Disaster Research

This report addresses the ethical and operational concerns in research design, participant recruitment, data collection, and data interpretation during disaster research. In this report, researchers learn about procedural challenges that can only be overcome by prior planning, including having a research team properly trained in and prepared for the unique aspects of disaster research.

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Updates

Cybersecurity 'Rosetta Stone' Celebrates Two Years of Success

In 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a document designed to help strengthen cybersecurity at organizations that manage critical national infrastructure such as banking and the energy supply. The Cybersecurity Framework is now a tool used by a wide variety of public and private companies and organizations, from retail chains to state governments.

Reports

Children in Disasters: Do Americans Feel Prepared?

The purpose of the study was to learn more about people's opinions and attitudes toward disaster preparedness with a focus on children in disasters. Findings from this national survey have identified important insights into the lack of preparedness among U.S. households as well as a lack of progress in integrating families and children into community disaster planning.

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Updates

Army Scientists Begin First MERS Vaccine Clinical Trial

Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research started vaccinations in the first clinical trial to test the safety and immune response in people of a vaccine candidate to prevent Middle East respiratory syndrome, known as MERS. MERS is a severe respiratory disease similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome, more commonly known as SARS.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions' Emergard Auto-Injector Platform for Nerve Agent Antidote Delivery Selected by U.S. Department of Defense and Battelle for Testing and Development

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that Emergard, the company's ruggedized, military-grade auto-injector platform, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense and Battelle to be tested against and developed to U.S. military specifications as a platform for nerve agent antidote delivery.

Preparedness

The Continuity Gap

by Vincent B. Davis -

Corporate confusion could spell disastrous response in a crisis. To dispel such confusion, companies should have an emergency manager on staff, ensure that employees are well prepared, and recognize that managing daily business operations is not the same as managing response and recovery operation after a disaster.

Preparedness

Railroad Ties Communities Together

by James Metzger -

With Amtraks rail lines spanning communities across the United States (and parts of Canada), it is in a prime position to engage the whole community and to build national resilience. Planning, training, and educational efforts provide a way to bring employees, passengers, and other community stakeholders into the preparedness cycle.

Updates

Achieving Data Quality and Integrity in Maximum Containment Laboratories

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have collaborated to design and implement a training program to cross educate sponsors, scientists, veterinarians, quality assurance personnel, regulators, reviewers, and policy-makers to enable the conduct of regulated studies product approval via the Animal Rule.

Reports

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence for the U.S., offered this Statement of the United States Intelligence Community's 2016 assessment of threats to US national security. Global threats discussed include cyber and technology, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and proliferation, space and counterspace, counterintelligence, transnational organized crime, economics and natural resources, and human security.

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Updates

New Experimental Test Detects Signs of Lyme Disease Near Time of Infection

An experimental method developed by federal and university researchers appears capable of detecting the stealthy culprit Lyme bacteria at the earliest time of infection, when currently available tests are often still negative. The team suggests the approach might also be useful for early detection of other elusive bacterial infections

Updates

Zika Virus: DHS Response Plan

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the U.S. Government's lead for efforts to respond to the Zika virus. The President is also seeking more than $1.8 billion in supplemental funding from Congress to address the virus and our governments response efforts.

Reports

Ongoing Challenges and Future Considerations for DHS Biosurveillance Efforts

This statement describes progress and challenges that the U.S. Government Accountability Office has reported in the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) implementation of the National Biosurveillance Integration Center and BioWatch as well as considerations for the future of biosurveillance efforts at DHS.

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Updates

SAFECOM and NCSWIC Publish New Documents on Funding and Sustainment for Public Safety Communications Systems

The Joint SAFECOM and National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Funding and Sustainment Committee announced the launch of several new documents for public safety to utilize for addressing the challenges of securing and sustaining funding to build, improve, expand, and support the ongoing costs of public safety communications systems.

Preparedness

Incident Command System: Perishable If Not Practiced

by Stephen Grainer -

Although the basic Incident Command System (ICS) is taught across emergency response disciplines, several shortcomings and constraints could lead to its downfall. Training for ICS is not a one-time occurrence, but should be an ongoing process of expanding knowledge, exercising skills, and passing on these abilities for the benefit of future generations.

Healthcare

Public Health Preparedness Realities

by Raphael M. Barishansky & Seth J. Komansky -

The term "situational awareness" typically conjures images of emergency responders on the scene of a complex incident with many emergency vehicles and various levels of activity, both command and operationally oriented. Public health normally does not enter into the equation, but perhaps it is time to change that thinking.

Commentary

Planning & Operations: Two Sides of the Same Coin

by Sharon Russell -

For an emergency, planning personnel provide direction and operations personnel provide action. At first glance, their roles may seem very different but, in reality, they are dependent on one another - like two sides of the same coin. Effective planning requires operational input, and effective operational response requires careful and comprehensive planning.

Updates

Prevent Community Crisis by Developing, Improving & Managing Police Community Partnerships

This workshop focuses on midsized and smaller agencies. Through briefings, case studies, and examination of attendee agencies, attendees gain insight into strategies for implementing procedural justice and reducing the effects of implicit bias. In addition, attendees learn to apply the Police-Community Partnership Checklist for assessment and planning.

Updates

WHO Involvement in Zika Research & Development

The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently mapping existing research and development for Zika in order to prioritize medical products and approaches that should be fast-tracked into development. Most research that could be useful for Zika has been carried out on other flaviviruses, such as dengue and yellow fever.

Reports

Federal Emergency Management Agency: Strengthening Regional Coordination Could Enhance Preparedness Efforts

This U.S. Government Accountability Office reviewed the extent to which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and regional offices have: (a) addressed preparedness grant management coordination challenges; (b) established a system to assess National Incident Management System implementation; and (c) collaborated with Regional Advisory Council stakeholders.

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Updates

DoD Chemical-Biological Program Has a Global Mission

Keeping warfighters safe from infectious diseases and chemical agents is a Defense Department effort that requires a range of capabilities, from global biosurveillance and quick response to medical countermeasures and interagency and international collaboration. At the Pentagon, the Chemical and Biological Defense Program is an early and critical part of the effort.

Updates

USDA Finalizes New Food Safety Measures to Reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the finalization of new federal standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken and turkey products, as well as in raw chicken breasts, legs, and wings. FSIS estimates that implementation of these standards will lead to an average of 50,000 prevented illnesses annually.

Healthcare

Status of Preparedness: Emergency Medical Services

by Seth J. Komansky -

Responders in the pre-hospital emergency medical field must be in a state of readiness at all times. Working on the front lines of an emergency incident requires the ability to leverage external resources, the determination to harden operations, and the skillfulness to manage patient surge.

Resilience

State of Preparedness 2016: Children & Child Care

by Andrew R. Roszak -

By 30 September 2016, all states will be required to create child care disaster plans under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, which include procedures for facilities to: evacuate; relocate; shelter-in-place; lock-down; communicate; reunify families; continue operations; and accommodate infants, toddlers, and children with additional physical, mental, or medical needs.

Updates

Executive Order: Establishing a Federal Earthquake Risk Management Standard

President Barack Obama, according to the authority vested in the president by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, gave an executive order to improve the nation's resilience to earthquakes. This executive order provides for a federal earthquake risk management standard.

Preparedness

Fire Department Preparedness Made Simple

by Michael E. Cox Jr. -

In the fire service, it is time for leaders to think strategically, challenge long-held assumptions, and move beyond the "norm," to ensure that their communities are fully prepared for any emergency or incident they may encounter. This can be achieved through careful planning, effective communication, and extensive training.

Updates

U.S. Forest Service Releases Findings on the Effects of Drought for Forests and Rangelands

The U.S. Forest Service released a new report, "Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis," which provides a national assessment of peer-reviewed scientific research on the drought impacts on U.S. forests and rangelands. This report will help the Forest Service better manage forests and grasslands impacted by climate change.

Updates

Inovio Pharmaceuticals and GeneOne Life Science Initiate Patient Recruitment for MERS Vaccine Trial

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the beginning of recruitment for its collaborative vaccine study for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Inovio and GeneOne Life Science Inc. are co-developing Inovio's MERS vaccine (GLS-5300) in partnership with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Maryland, where the trial is being conducted.

Reports

Public Health Preparedness: 2016 National Snapshot

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) leads the agency's preparedness and response activities by providing strategic direction, support, and coordination for activities. This report highlights how OPHPR strengthens the nation's health security to save lives and protect against public health threats.

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Updates

PNNL Moves Cybersecurity Software and a Novel Disinfecting System Beyond the Lab

Software that helps cybersecurity analysts prevent hacks and a microbial disinfecting system that kills with an activated salt spray are two of the latest innovations Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has successfully commercialized with the help of business partners.

Updates

National Association of County and City Health Officials Launches Newly Designed Website to Enhance Member Services and Deliver Population Health

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) launched its newly designed website to make its rich array of resources and information more accessible to its members, partners, and visitors in enhancing population health. The new site's functionality also allows NACCHO to drive member engagement, maximize retention rates, and increase organizational relevancy.

Updates

Cybercom Chief Details Strategic Priorities for 2016

U.S. Cyber Command's strategic priorities for 2016 include continued defense of Department of Defense networks and systems, applying Cyber Mission Force capabilities more broadly and expanding international partnerships. The Cybercom commander and National Security Agency chief talks about priorities for the year ahead and taking questions from the audience.

Preparedness

Emergency Management: The State of Preparedness

by Kay C. Goss -

The United States has built a solid foundation for emergency preparedness, which is based on the whole community concept of bringing together all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public. By working together and building strong leaders, the nation can withstand the many natural and human-caused incidents that may occur.

Updates

Antibodies May Be 'Silver Bullet' for Ebola Viruses

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston reported this week in the journal Cell that they have isolated human monoclonal antibodies from Ebola survivors that can neutralize multiple species of the virus.

Reports

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations: FY 2016

This report discusses the FY2016 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and provides an overview of the administration's FY2016 request. The report makes note of many budgetary resources provided to DHS, but its primary focus is on funding approved by Congress through the appropriations process.

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