january 2016

Updates

Chicago LTE Pilot Provides High-Speed, Real-Time Access to Video

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate unveiled lessons learned from its Chicago Long-Term Evolution (LTE) pilot that was conducted with first responders. The pilot allowed first responders to see what happens if they are in an urban area with high-speed, real-time access to law enforcement video information over the public safety broadband.

Updates

University of Maryland School of Medicine to Participate in Expanded Medical Countermeasures Research Project

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has selected UM SOM researchers as key contractors for its Radiation Nuclear Animal Model Development program. These researchers will work with BARDA to support the development of radiologic and nuclear countermeasures.

Updates

Defense Department Experts to Support HHS with Zika Virus Research

Defense Department experts who have experience working with the Zika virus have been asked to support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in its efforts related to the mosquito-borne disease. Experts and stakeholders, specifically in the research area, would assist in the development of diagnostic testing and vaccines.

Podcast

10 Perspectives on Whole Community

DomPrep’s Editor-in-Chief Catherine Feinman interviewed the following subject matter experts from various disciplines to find out their suggestions for improving the “Whole Community” effort in jurisdictions across the country.

Read: "Whole Community," January 2016 edition of DomPrep Journal

Updates

Avian Influenza H7N8 Update

On January 15, 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N8 virus in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. Subsequently, APHIS reported detection of low pathogenic avian influenza H7N8 among eight nearby turkey flocks.

Preparedness

What the 'Whole Community' Means to the Whole Community

by Richard Serino & Jennifer Grimes -

Disaster response involves the whole community. To support a united effort, leaders must build a network of trust, establish a history and habit of cooperation, and learn the goals and vulnerabilities of stakeholders. By asking a few key questions, leaders can expand the sphere of their preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.

Commentary

Whole Community - A Five-Year Look Back

by Catherine Feinman -

Over the past five years, the term "Whole Community" has become a common catch phrase. However, the question is, "How well is this concept being implemented?" On 16 November 2015, DomPrep hosted a roundtable discussion with subject matter experts to answer this question and share key takeaways and suggestions for building community resilience.

Preparedness

Development of Metrics for Personal Preparedness

by National Emergency Management Executive Academy Cohort III -

Many emergency management agencies provide valuable information to assist individuals within their communities to prepare for a variety of disasters. However, a method for measuring the success of such programs is needed to determine their effectiveness and to develop new programs to ensure community resilience.

Commentary

PODCAST: 10 Perspectives on Whole Community

by Catherine L. Feinman -

DomPrep's Editor-in-Chief Catherine Feinman interviewed subject matter experts from various disciplines to find out their suggestions for improving the "Whole Community" effort in jurisdictions across the country.

Updates

Under the Weather? A Blood Test Can Tell if Antibiotics Are Needed

Researchers at Duke Health are fine-tuning a test that can determine whether a respiratory illness is caused by infection from a virus or bacteria so that antibiotics can be more precisely prescribed. With these findings, Duke researchers are a significant step closer to developing a rapid blood test that could be used to ultimately guide appropriate treatment.

Reports

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security

This report examines congressional oversight of two strategies undertaken by Congress and the executive branch to strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce: (a) initiatives to define and identify the federal cybersecurity workforce, and (b) hiring and pay flexibilities applicable to cybersecurity positions at DOD and DHS.

View Full Report
Updates

Sandia Labs Playing Key Role in Grid Modernization

Sandia National Laboratories is leading the Security and Resilience area of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium and bringing its strong research capability in grid modernization to help the nation modernize its power grid. The consortium includes scientists and engineers from 14 DOE national labs and dozens of industry, academic, and government partners.

Reports

Emerging Animal Diseases:Actions Needed to Better Position USDA to Address Future Risks

The United States Government Accountability Office was asked to review federal actions to address Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases (SECD) outbreaks. This report examines (a) the initial response to the SECD outbreaks, (b) USDAs subsequent actions to manage SECD, and (c) steps USDA has taken to improve its future response to emerging animal diseases.

View Full Report
Updates

Dengue Vaccine Enters Phase 3 Trial in Brazil

A large-scale clinical trial to evaluate whether a candidate vaccine can prevent the mosquito-borne illness dengue fever has been launched in Brazil. The vaccine, TV003, was developed by scientists in the laboratory of Stephen Whitehead, Ph.D., at NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Updates

Radiation Detectors at U.S. Ports of Entry Now Operate More Effectively, Efficiently

Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection is improving radiation scanning equipment used at many of our nation's ports of entry. Radiation portal monitors now better detect radiological threats while alarming much less frequently on non-threatening materials, resulting in big savings.

Preparedness

Four Steps to Improve Whole Community

by Vincent B. Davis -

The whole community concept has come a long way over the past five years, but it is time for the mission focus and community outreach to change with the changing needs of the target populations. To effectively make these changes, the effort will require establishing measurable benchmarks and creatively collaborating with the private sector.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Receives Favorable IRS Private Letter Ruling in Connection With Its Planned Biosciences Business Spin-Off

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that it has received a favorable private-letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) related to the planned spin-off of its biosciences business. The ruling confirms that certain aspects of the planned transaction will not preclude the spin-off from qualifying as tax-free to Emergent and its stockholders.

Preparedness

Animals as Part of the Whole Community

by Anne McCann & Richard Green -

Animal issues are people issues. As such, all species  household pets, service and assistance animals, agricultural animals/livestock, wildlife, and other animals (including zoo animals, shelter animals, and animals used in medical research) - must be an integral part of a community's disaster plan at the local, state, and federal levels.

Commentary

Building a Usable Whole Community Toolbox

by Robert DeLeon -

Having a toolbox with the right tools and instructions on how to use these tools would better equip new emergency managers who may be faced with high levels of operation in short time periods. Community stakeholders and local emergency managers should work together to stock the emergency management toolbox for the next generation.

Resilience

Bleeding Control - The Next Step in Active Shooter Guidance

by Birch X. Barron -

Military methods used for bleeding control on the battlefield can be just as effective on the scene of an active shooter, terrorist attack, or other mass casualty incident. It is time to teach these methods to anyone who may someday find himself or herself in a position to save a life by stopping the bleed.

Reports

DHS' Ebola Response Needs Better Coordination, Training, and Execution

As part of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) response to prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States, DHS instituted additional screenings at U.S. ports of entry for passengers traveling from Ebola-affected countries. This audit was conducted to determine whether DHS has effectively implemented its enhanced screening measures to respond to an Ebola outbreak.

View Full Report
Updates

New Procedures Implemented to Manage Biological Toxins

Army Maj. Gen. Paul A. Ostrowski, a Pentagon acquisition official appointed to head the investigation of the Army's mistaken anthrax shipments, said there was no single event, no individual, nor group directly responsible for the inadvertent shipment of active anthrax to laboratories around the world.

Updates

POINTER System More Precisely Pinpoints First Responder Locations

When firefighters rush into a burning building, it is imperative that their operations team knows their precise locations at all times. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is developing a new system, known as the Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders (POINTER) to help tackle this challenge.

Reports

Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is currently administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated emergency medical services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs.

View Full Report
Updates

Second After-Action Report Released on Baltimore City

A new report from researchers at The Johns Hopkins University evaluates how Baltimore City prepared for and responded to last April's unrest and outlines a series of recommendations, many of which have already been implemented over the past eight months.

Updates

Preventing Violent Extremism Requires New Police Programs

The U.S. strategy to prevent homegrown violent extremism through community policing holds promise, but faces significant challenges and needs reforms, according to a new report from the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University. The report recommends expanding community policing efforts and making them separate from police counterterrorism intelligence collection and criminal investigations.

Updates

Thermo Fisher Scientific to Acquire Affymetrix

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and Affymetrix Inc. announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved Thermo Fisher's acquisition of Affymetrix. Affymetrix's technologies enable parallel and multiplex analysis of biological systems at the cellular, protein and genetic levels, facilitating the transition of research tools into clinical and applied markets.

Preparedness

Ignoring Spontaneous Volunteers - Not an Option

by Chelsea Firth -

Managing spontaneous volunteers following a disaster can be challenging, but may prove beneficial for a community's response and recovery efforts. A new project is being conducted throughout 2016 to create an outreach and education strategy for harnessing this valuable resource.

Healthcare

Innovations in Healthcare Disaster Management for Veterans

by Jessica Wambach Brown -

Although fewer than 40 percent of U.S. veterans receive care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the agency strives to have broad access to reliable medical care during a disaster. The Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center and its partners are exploring ways to improve healthcare resilience both inside and outside the VA.

Preparedness

The Whole Community Paradigm Shift

by Anthony S. Mangeri -

Over the years, communities developed a dependence on the federal government for assistance following a disaster. However, such actions are not sustainable and require the support of partners throughout each community. In the modern threat environment, the need for a whole community approach is more important than ever.

Updates

Portable NIST Kit Can Recover Traces of Chemical Evidence

A chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a portable version of his method for recovering trace chemicals such as environmental pollutants and forensic evidence including secret graves and arson fire debris.

Updates

Nation's Stockpile of Medical Disaster Supplies Falls Short of Meeting Needs of Children

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the nation remains incompletely equipped to respond to children's unique medical needs in the wake of disasters. Children are particularly vulnerable to illness and injury during pandemics, natural disasters, or acts of terrorism, according to a new policy statement from the AAP.

Updates

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Begins New Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Ebola Vaccine in Healthy and HIV-Infected Study Volunteers

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) announced the initiation of a Phase-2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a prime-boost Ebola vaccine regimen in both healthy and HIV-infected study volunteers. Initially conducted at WRAIR in Silver Spring, Maryland, the study will expand to six sites in Africa in early 2016.

Reports

Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems

This Economic Guide, designed for use in conjunction with the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions aimed to improve the ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover from disruptive events.

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Updates

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces 2015 Wildfires Burned Record Acres, Urges Congress to Pass Wildfire Funding Fix

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that in 2015, wildfires burned a record 10,125,149 acres across the United States, surpassing the previous record set in 2006. The secretary renewed the call for Congress to pass the bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act.

Reports

Medical Countermeasures for Children in Public Health Emergencies, Disasters, or Terrorism

Children represent a particularly vulnerable population during a pandemic, natural disaster, or act of terrorism. Significant and effective collaboration between the pediatric health community and federal partners, over the past five years, has resulted in substantial gains in addressing the needs of children related to disaster preparedness and medical countermeasures.

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Reports

Nuclear Energy: Overview of Congressional Issues

Managing weapons proliferation and the safety risks of nuclear power are issues that have long been debated in Congress. Additional questions for Congress include the implementation of policies to encourage or discourage nuclear power, post-Fukushima safety standards, development of new nuclear power and fuel cycle technologies, and nuclear waste management strategies.

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Preparedness

Children as the Catalyst for Change

by Yuri Graves -

The smallest members of a community have the potential to make the biggest changes. Smokey Bear was created in the 1940s to help prevent forest fires. "Duck and Cover" was created in 1951 to teach personal protection in case of a nuclear explosion. The 2010s need a new campaign to help families prepare for a broad range of potential disasters.

Healthcare

Uncertain Impact of Critical Biosecurity Reports

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

Although many lessons have been learned from Ebola and other infectious diseases, planning needs are quickly diverted when the previous threat is overshadowed by another emerging or re-emerging disease, or other homeland security threat. However, without adequate prioritization, planning, and preparedness, the nation may be set for failure when the next unexpected threat presents.

Updates

February Most Likely Month for Flu Season to Peak

The flu season will likely peak in February, according to a model developed by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Using historical data, a mathematical representation of how flu spreads through a population, and data for the current flu season provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scientists were able to create a probabilistic forecast model of the flu season.

Updates

CDC Year in Review: What's Next?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviews the most pressing public health challenges of 2015 and previews plans for 2016. CDC has made significant strides combating some of the biggest threats to Americans' health, including infectious and chronic diseases, while continuing to lead improvements in all areas of public health.