july 2012

Reports

Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Is Taking Action to Better Manage Its Chemical Security Program, But It Is Too Early to Assess Results

New study carried out by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) focuses on: (1) how the November 2011 memorandum on management of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program was developed and major challenges were identified; (2) the actions being taken in response to the challenges identified; and (3) the extent to which the solutions proposed by the Infrastructure Compliance Security Division (ISCD) require collaboration with the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) and/or Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP).

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Updates

CBP Deploys the First National Network of Information Radio Stations

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is in the process of installing a special information radio station - referred to as a Travelers Information Station/Highway Advisory Radio (TIS/HAR) system - at key land border ports of entry, providing the information needed by approaching motorists to help expedite their passage across the border.

Reports

Preparing for 21st Century Risks

A new report by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security Robert B. Stephan sees the United States as too dependent on foreign suppliers in times of crisis. The report also focuses on the growing frequency of major catastrophic events, man-made and natural, as well as such new threats as cyber attacks.

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Updates

TSA PreCheck Hits Two Million Mark

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that the agency has screened more than two million travelers through the TSA PreCheck prescreening initiative. The latter is a major component of the agency's broader effort to implement risk-based concepts that enhance aviation security by: (a) focusing more on travelers the agency knows the least about; and (b) allowing known travelers the opportunity to expedite their travel through security checkpoints.

Updates

Chris Melvin Joins Environics USA as Eastern Regional Sales Manager

"Chris's strong technical selling skills as well as his knowledge of our customer base and history of success in territory building and management make him an ideal fit for this role, and we look forward to having him help Environics USA continue to achieve profitable growth," commented Timo Jaakkola, President and COO of Environics USA.

Updates

Idaho Technology, Inc. Initiates Clinical Study for FilmArray Blood Culture Identification (BCID) Panel

Idaho Technology has announced that it has started a clinical trial to evaluate the company's FilmArray® Blood Culture Identification (BCID) panel, which is designed both to identify the numerous organisms that can cause sepsis and to detect the presence of selected antibiotic resistance genes. The FilmArray BCID will be the second clinical diagnostic test to run on Idaho Technology's FilmArray pathogen detection system.

Preparedness

Shipboard Emergencies - 1000 Miles From Nowhere

by Corey Ranslem -

In 1990, a cruise ship travelling from Norway to Denmark - the Scandinavian Star - turned into a "floating fireball" within 45 minutes after a small hallway fire erupted, resulting in 158 deaths. Better ship construction and new maritime training standards target such disasters and help prevent future tragedies with adequate training of personnel and equipment and better crew communication both onboard as well as with shore-side responders.

Resilience

Lightweight Networks - Enabling the Homeland Security Enterprise

by Dennis R. Schrader -

One of the geniuses of "the American system" is the frequently complex working relationships between the federal branch of government and the private sector. More than two centuries of experience show that coordination, cooperation, and collaboration continue to be the keys to eventual success - despite some complications from time to time.

Resilience

Colorado Builds a New Generation of Emergency Managers

by Christopher Mailliard -

The next generation of first responders is starting earlier and growing faster, thanks in large part to new educational initiatives. High school now offers not only initial emergency management courses, but also classroom training with hands-on operational experience, college credits, and opportunities for a broad range of professional careers.

Updates

FLIR Systems Debuts FIDO X3 During 2012 Farnborough International Airshow

"The FIDO X3 is the latest advancement in rapid-response next-generation highly mobile trace detector technology offering customizable broad threat capability to military, law enforcement, and security professionals," said FLIR Government Systems Vice President, and General Manager for Detection, Jim Burdick.

Updates

Analogic's Cobra Checkpoint CT System Achieves European Standard

Analogic Corporation has announced that its Cobra(R) checkpoint/carry-on CT system has successfully met the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) standard for screening liquids/aerosols/gels in two different operational modes.

Preparedness

Harris Corporation Conducts First Nationwide Public Safety LTE Demonstration

Harris Corporation has successfully conducted the first live, multi-state demonstration that showcased the powerful capabilities of 700 MHz Band LTE (Long Term Evolution) for first responders. Users at multiple sites across the United States tapped into the LTE network to share streaming video, voice, mapping and presence to support various simulated mission-critical surveillance operations.

Preparedness

NIMS - Not an American Exclusive

by Stephen Grainer -

"Management" is in many ways an abstract and somewhat generic term, but most citizens have a general understanding of what the word means. Whether the relatively new U.S. National Incident Management System (NIMS) is of American origin or not is perhaps debatable, but the concept itself is nonetheless useful in many countries around the world.

Resilience

U.S. Citizens: The First Line of Defense

by Vernon Herron & Michael Vesely -

Today, as in the Colonial era, homeland defense and emergency management begin at home. Homeowners and their neighbors are often the first responders available when disaster strikes. Whether they are ready to meet that challenge is not always certain, but individual citizens are starting to learn the fundamentals of planning, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Preparedness

Canada Emergency Management - The Same, But Different

by John Saunders -

Blizzards, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, icebergs, and volcanic eruptions are just some of the natural hazards found across the unique Canadian terrain. Although knowing who is charge during an incident can be a challenge under the existing political structure, emergency managers continue to communicate, collaborate, and learn from other nations to better improve capabilities within their own borders.

Preparedness

Emergency Responses - With No Geographic Limits

by Christine Thompson -

In sailing-ship days, it took three months or more to send a message from the United States to New Zealand. Today, those countries are only a mouse click away, as the citizens of Chicago and Christchurch gratefully found out when both major cities were hit hard, and almost simultaneously, by weather disasters of colossal magnitude.

Preparedness

Crisis Management: The Netherlands Approach

by Willy Steenbakkers -

It seems somewhat complicated on paper, but The Netherlands' crisis-management system works well in practice. The nation's compact geography, the close working relationships between the various ministries involved, and the experience gained from previous disasters all augur well for eventual success in dealing with future emergencies.

Updates

The Truth About BioWatch: The Importance of Early Detection of a Potential Biological Attack

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works closely with state and local officials, through the BioWatch program, to monitor for traces of dangerous pathogens in public places where large groups of people gather to ensure a quick response when a potential threat is identified.

Reports

CERT Liability Guide

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Liability Guide presents the benefits of risk management for CERT programs, including building confidence and a positive public image for the program, reducing the cost of insurance and avoiding other costs, helping to preserve a local program's investment in its members, and increasing overall participation in CERT.

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Updates

Morphix Technologies Wins DHS IDIQ Contract for the Chameleon Chemical Detector Cassettes

Morphix Technologies has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract by the Department of Homeland Security. The contract stipulates that Morphix Technologies is the sole source to supply the Chameleon® customized chemical detection unit with eight (8) chemical detector cassettes.

Updates

New Emergency Medical Services Resources

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has posted a web page highlighting emergency medical service (EMS) worker safety and health. In addition to providing EMS safety and health resources and references, the new web page offers a data summary describing nonfatal injuries to EMS workers treated in emergency departments.

Reports

Operational Templates & Guidance for EMS Mass Incident Deployment

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), supported by the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) and the National Emergency Medical Services Management Association (NEMSMA), announce the release of this new guide for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. This guide provides important information on preparing for events that can impact EMS preparedness and response in local departments.

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Healthcare

International Medical Missions: Preplanning Essentials

by Joseph Cahill -

An earthquake devastates Haiti, a tsunami smashes into northeast Japan, tornadoes rip through major U.S. cities - all of these disasters attracted responders from around the world who had volunteered to help in the aftermath. Some of the volunteers were well prepared and went through proper channels, but others created additional work for the authorities responsible for ensuring the safety and security of responders and survivors alike.

Commentary

Social Media & Public Safety

by Timothy Beres -

Following the 12 January 2010 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, news of the event and cries for help traveled around the globe faster than rescuers could reach survivors. Since then, social media tools have continued to play a growing role in response to disasters such as the tsunami in Japan, the Joplin tornadoes in Missouri, Hurricane Irene on the U.S. East Coast - and the list goes on.

Updates

Statement from HHS Secretary Sebelius on the Signing of the Food & Drug Administration Safety & Innovation Act

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius comments on the recent legislation, signed by the President, to provide the Food and Drug Administration with the tools needed to continue to bring drugs and devices to market safely and quickly and promote innovation in the biomedical industry, and to help secure the jobs supported by drug and device development.

Updates

BARDA & Emergent BioSolutions Partner to Establish Center for Innovation in Advanced Development & Manufacturing

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) have entered into a public-private partnership to establish a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. The Center will facilitate advanced development of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) medical countermeasures, ensure domestic pandemic influenza vaccine manufacturing surge capacity, share facility construction costs, and provide workforce development training programs to address the U.S. government's preparedness priorities and needs.

Updates

New NOAA Website Offers Tips to Prepare for Coastal Flooding

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced a new website, which is designed to provide vital information to help protect communities, people, and property from the devastation of coastal flooding.

Updates

TISP Co-Founds the National Resilience Coalition

The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP), the Security Analysis and Risk Management Association (SARMA), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have co-founded - along with 17 other associations, professional societies, regional and state partnerships, and non-governmental organizations - the National Resilience Coalition (NRC) in order to establish a common risk-based regional resilience philosophy that will guide coalition partners in advancing emergency and security preparedness.

Updates

HHS Grants Bolster Health Care & Public Health Disaster Preparedness

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $971 million to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a wide range of public health threats within every state, eight U.S. territories, and four of the nation's largest metropolitan areas.

Preparedness

Leveraging the Expanding Social Network

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

Similar to the ways in which communicators and transporters are used in Star Trek, smartphones and social media are being used to "beam" real-time information and images to incident commanders, law-enforcement agencies, and sometimes the entire world. Analysts can now leverage these tools to gather a wealth of information in a very short period of time.

Updates

Morphix Technologies Releases New Chameleon Cassette for Hydrogen Fluoride

Morphix Technologies has developed a hydrogen fluoride sensor cassette for the Chameleon® chemical detection unit. The new hydrogen fluoride (HF) sensor detects gases and vapors in the air where other technologies only detect hazards in liquid or aerosol forms.

Updates

DHS Announces More Than $1.3 Billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Preparedness Grant Awards

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced the final allocations for seven FY 2012 Preparedness Grant programs to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector in strengthening the nation's ability to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies in support of the National Preparedness Goal (NPG).