july 2013

Commentary

Hackers & Federal Agencies: Broken Connections

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

Recent leaks about government surveillance programs that track U.S. and U.K. phone calls and internet communications have raised major concerns over the privacy of personal communications. There may be even greater difficulties, though, if current ties between the federal government and the U.S. "hacker" community are weakened or, perhaps, severed entirely.

Preparedness

Subject Matter Experts & the Theory of Relativity

by Sheri Donahue -

Subject matter experts play a key role in protecting both real and virtual space. Although they may not consider themselves to be "experts," many private sector stakeholders play a critical part in protecting the nation by sharing their specialized knowledge with the law enforcement community.

Updates

Oklahoma Tornadoes Underscore Importance of GIS in Disaster Recovery Efforts

"GIS analysts have the knowledge and expertise to apply GIS tools and techniques to aid in natural disaster response and recovery efforts," says Dr. Stephen McElroy, geographic information systems (GIS) program chair for American Sentinel University. "GIS provides GIS analysts with the capability of evaluating the extent of the damage and identifying where people may require immediate medical attention or rescue."

Updates

FDA Takes Step to Help Ensure the Safety of Imported Food

In order to implement the bipartisan Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed by President Obama, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued two proposed rules aimed at helping to ensure that imported food meets the same safety standards as food produced in the United States.

Updates

CBP and The Federal Maritime Commission Sign Agreement to Share ACE Data

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the recent signing of an Automated Commercial Environment-International Trade Data System (ACE-ITDS) memorandum of understanding with the Federal Maritime Commission to share ACE data in order to strengthen the balance of facilitation and enforcement regarding the regulation of ocean carriers and other entities involved in ocean trade.

Updates

CTU's MS-HSL Grant Opportunity

The purpose of the Homeland Security Grant is to recognize Colorado Technical University (CTU) applicants who have been recognized as a current or future expert in the field of Homeland Security. Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Homeland Security (MS-HSL) will be eligible for a one-time grant in the amount of $5,000.

Resilience

Holistic Security - Various Ways to Reduce Vulnerability

by Armond Caglar -

Even multiple isolated incidents may not be enough to raise a red flag that intellectual property theft is being planned. By ensuring that each incident is reported through the proper channels and analyzed along with other reported incidents, agencies and corporations may be able to thwart potential cyber crimes before vital information is jeopardized.

Preparedness

A Major Step Forward: Private Sector Resilience Coordination

by Joseph Trindal -

Emergency operation centers are no longer the exclusive property of government agencies. Various states are now incorporating centers that specifically focus on the private sector stakeholders  the Business Emergency Management Operations Center in Washington, D.C., is one of the latest additions to a growing trend.

Updates

Salamander Assists With Emergency Situation During Arkansas Fire Boat School Training

The 2013 Arkansas Fire Boat School intended to offer attendees mock scenarios of disaster situations related to fire and water rescue; however, training was suspended when inclement weather, producing intense lightning, thwarted the aquatic role-playing classes. Fortunately, Salamander equipment was being used at the event and, in a matter of 12 minutes, every person and watercraft was accounted for and effectively checked out, thus responsibly ending the training situation and addressing the growing emergency on hand.

Updates

NIH Commits $24 Million Annually for Big Data Centers of Excellence

The National Institutes of Health will fund up to $24 million per year for four years to establish six to eight investigator-initiated Big Data to Knowledge Centers of Excellence. The centers will improve the ability of the research community to use increasingly large and complex datasets as well as provide training for students and researchers.

Resilience

Incident Gridlock - Overwhelming a City

by Glen Rudner -

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration concluded in 2007 that there is a weakness in the infrastructure's ability to handle the movement of people following a natural or manmade disaster. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings serve as a prime example of how transportation facilities and government agencies manage complex incidents that have wide-reaching effects.

Updates

HHS Awards $12 Million to Help Teaching Health Centers Train Primary Care Providers

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $12 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support primary care residency programs in 32 Teaching Health Centers across the nation. That funding will help train more than 300 residents during the 2013-2014 academic year, doubling the number of residents trained in the previous academic year.

Updates

Panasonic Becomes AMAG Technology Certified Partner Under the Symmetry Extended Business Solutions Program

AMAG Technology - an access control, IP video, and intrusion detection solution provider - is proud to announce that Panasonic Corporation of North America is a member of AMAG's new Symmetry Extended Business Solutions Program as a Certified Partner. As a Certified Partner, Panasonic's i-PRO WJ-ND400 Series network video recorder integrates with AMAG's Symmetry Security Management System, a market-leading video storage/digital transmission system with feature-rich access control.

Updates

American Red Cross Launches New App to Recruit Volunteers

"When people see the Red Cross responding to emergencies, they often want to help but do not know how," said James Starr, vice president of volunteer management for the American Red Cross. "The Team Red Cross App puts the power to help right in people's hands, by giving them an easy way to support their neighbors and the Red Cross."

Updates

FieldView Enhances Award-Winning DCIM Solution

FieldView Solutions, a market leader in Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM), has announced FieldView 6.0. The DCIM solution has been enhanced with features that simplify the integration of historical and real-time data collected by FieldView, and helps address the critical gaps between gathering, storing, analyzing, and - just as important - sharing the data with other applications.

Preparedness

When Cyber Space Meets the Real World

by Markus Rauschecker -

Emergency managers should not neglect their basic emergency management principles when faced with a cyber incident. Although information technology (IT) professionals have the technical expertise, emergency managers maintain responsibility for coordinating the response to cyber incidents. Therefore, by working together, emergency managers and IT professionals can provide a more effective response.

Healthcare

Seeing National Preparedness Through the Public Health Lens

by Raphael M. Barishansky -

By examining the successes and challenges of national preparedness efforts each year, the nation is steadily raising the bar for protecting its residents. The unresolved question remains, though, about how to sustain efforts on a decreasing budget - especially when the health of the American people depends on it.

Updates

STC Group Purchases NAUTIS Simulator Classroom for Egyptian River Transport Authorities

The Egyptian River Transport Authorities, receiving party in The Netherlands Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education - a project funded by The Netherlands, and STC Group as delivering party - has purchased a classroom of NAUTIS Desktop Simulators to enhance the curriculum for its inland waterways training at the Regional Institute for River Transport. NAUTIS simulators provide a high-quality innovative solution for training maritime and inland navigation crews in accordance with the latest regulations.

Updates

Oversight of the Defense Production Act: Issues & Opportunities for Reauthorization

Written testimony - "Oversight of the Defense Production Act: Issues and Opportunities for Reauthorization" - of Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator Richard Serino for a Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs supports a five-year reauthorization of the nonpermanent provisions of the Defense Production Act (DPA). The testimony also discusses the importance of the DPA to support national defense, specifically including disaster preparedness and response, the protection and restoration of critical infrastructure operations, and the improvement of homeland security capabilities.

Updates

NIH Scientists Assess History, Pandemic Potential of H7 Influenza Viruses

The emergence in China of a novel H7N9 avian influenza virus in humans has raised questions about its pandemic potential as well as concerns of related influenza viruses. In a commentary recently published online, scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), address these questions by evaluating past outbreaks of H7 subtype influenza viruses among mammals and birds and comparing the H7 viruses with other avian influenza viruses and strains.

Updates

ManTech Awarded $16 Million Contract to Provide Enterprise IT Support for DOJ Civil Division Systems

The Civil Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded ManTech International Corporation a contract to provide IT support, strategic planning, and training services to end users of its wide ranging systems. ManTech will support the Civil Division's systems with a responsive 24/7 service desk, software development, training, and administration to ensure that end users are able to access information where and when they need it the most.

Updates

WHO Launches New Chemical Risk Assessment Network

To improve chemical risk assessment globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the launch of a network of leading risk assessment institutions from around the world. The network - a voluntary, collaborative initiative - will scale up action and facilitate sustainable interaction between institutions on chemical risk assessments.

Updates

Complete Emergency Communications Overhaul for Hawaii Emergency Warning System

Federal Signal Alerting & Notification Systems has announced that it has successfully completed the first phase of a statewide emergency warning system upgrade in Hawaii. The project replaces existing VHF and trunked radio networks with redundant satellite and cellular communications for controlling and monitoring sirens throughout the state, and replaces aging siren equipment.

Updates

Final HHS Health IT Safety Plan Issued

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently issued a plan to guide health information technology (IT) activities across HHS. Such guidance will help to eliminate medical errors, protect patients, and improve the quality and efficiency of the nation's healthcare.

Healthcare

The Island Life - Isolated But Not Alone

by Joseph Cahill -

The smallest town in the nation's smallest state has an extremely big job - providing fire, medical, and rescue services to its year-round residents as well as 15-20 times as many summer vacationers. Fortunately, through a combination of innovative technology and mutual aid agreements, Block Island residents and visitors have additional lifelines they can use if and when needed.

Resilience

A Roadmap for Improving Cyber Preparedness

by Monica Giovachino & Sarah Tidman -

The U.S. information security and technology communities are no longer solely responsible for protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats - emergency managers also play an increasingly important role in that task. Increasing the overall level of cyber preparedness therefore requires closer coordination, information sharing, and effective planning, as well as frequent assessments.

Reports

Fact Sheet: Nuclear Weapons Employment Strategy of the United States

President Obama recently announced new guidance that aligns U.S. nuclear policies to the 21st century security environment. This is the latest in a series of concrete steps the administration has taken to advance the President's Prague agenda and the long-term goal of achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.

View Full Report
Updates

HHS Grants to Bolster Disaster Preparedness for Health Care, Public Health

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $916 million to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a wide range of public health threats within every U.S. state, eight U.S. territories, and four of the nation's largest metropolitan areas.

Updates

Emergency MGMT 2.0: How SocialMedia & New Tech are Transforming Preparedness, Response & Recovery Disasters Part2 Govt/NGOs

Written testimony of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Senior Manager of Digital Engagement Shayne Adamski was presented in a hearing - of a House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications - on the agency's use of social media in disasters and emergencies.

Reports

Lessons Learned: Social Media and Hurricane Sandy

This report provides an overview on how social medias role in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012. It also discusses processes identified by the first responder community as best practices; presents examples, themes in applications, and lessons learned; identifies gaps in technology, process, and/or policy; and offers other points requiring further discussion.

View Full Report
Updates

BioFire Receives FDA Clearance for the FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel

BioFire Diagnostics Inc. has announced Food & Drug Administration (FDA) clearance of the company's FilmArray Blood Culture Identification (BCID) Panel. The 27-target panel is the most comprehensive test to be approved by the FDA to date. The FilmArray BCID Panel provides results from positive blood cultures, and can identify more than 100 blood pathogens known to cause sepsis.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Receives Paul-Ehrlich-Institut Approval to Market BioThrax in Germany

With this approval, BioThrax becomes the only anthrax vaccine approved by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) for the prevention of anthrax disease. The marketing authorization approved by PEI provides for the administration of BioThrax in a three-dose schedule, with boosters at three-year intervals recommended thereafter.

Updates

GammaTech Family of Durabook Tablet PCs Makes Ideal, Lightweight Solutions for Workers in Demanding Mobile Applications

When it comes to providing solutions for demanding mobile-PC applications that call for rugged, durable, lightweight products, GammaTech Computer Corporation's rapidly growing Durabook line of tablets is more than up to the task. Whether used indoors in an office setting or manufacturing facility, or outdoors in the harshest environments, GammaTech tablets are built tough and built to last.

Updates

EPA and Commerce Link U.S. Analysis and Companies in Environmental Solutions Toolkit

The U.S. Environmental Solutions Toolkit was developed as a joint venture between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration to offer environmental stakeholders in other countries a broad perspective on the U.S. approach to specific environmental issues.