july 2014

Updates

MSHS in Emergency Medical Services Leadership

George Washington University is offering an online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Emergency Medical Services Leadership program. The online program provides emergency health professionals a specialized foundation to lead organizational change and the insights to navigate a better integration of regional and mobile health systems to provide superior care.

Commentary

Public Health - How Prepared Is the Nation

by Patrick P. Rose -

Public health encompasses pandemics and bioterrorism incidents as much as injury and illness threats following other types of disasters. This podcast interview brings together subject matter experts to discuss the challenges, roles, and responsibilities of state, local, and federal agencies when dealing with a public health disaster.

Commentary

Biothreat Preparedness - Less Talking, More Doing

by Catherine Feinman -

An article, a flash poll, and a podcast each addressed the same question: Where does the nation stand on preparedness for biological threats? As the world watches to see how West Africa manages the latest Ebola outbreak, public health officials must continue to train, educate, staff, and fund their forces to be ready when they too must face a major biological threat.

Updates

Officials Declare Overseas Polio as Public Health Emergency

A resurgence of polio virus in 10 overseas countries has prompted the World Health Organization to declare the spread of the wild virus as a public health emergency of international concern, the director of the Military Vaccine Agency, Vaccine Healthcare Centers Networks, said yesterday.

Updates

National Disaster Resilience Competition

The National Disaster Resilience Competition will make $1 billion available to communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years. The competition will promote risk assessment and planning and will fund the implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events.

Updates

FEMA & ARRL Announce Disaster Communication Partnership

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) announced a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that increases cooperation between FEMA and ARRL in the area of disaster communication.

Updates

Walden University Programs Prepare Students for Career Paths in Homeland Security

The expanding field of homeland security is dynamic and diverse, offering career opportunities across many disciplines including emergency management, cyber security, criminal justice, public policy and leadership and management. To help prepare professionals to meet the demand in these growing fields, Walden University offers a portfolio of online degree program options to support a variety of homeland security career paths.

Updates

Four Countries to Benefit from Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework

Armenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will be the first countries in the WHO European Region to benefit from the PIP Framework, a unique partnership between industry, civil society and governments to improve pandemic preparedness and access to antiviral medicines and vaccines.

Updates

425 Inc. Introduces the Guardian Angel Personal Safety Device

To provide an enhanced level of on-the-job safety and security for emergency personnel, 425 Inc. recently launched its Guardian Angel product line. Guardian Angel is a wearable light bar, similar to the light bars on official vehicles, designed to provide immediate visibility and recognition for the wearer.

Healthcare

Bioterror - The Threat, The Defense & The Future

by Richard Schoeberl -

Adequate defense for a bioterrorism attack requires fortification of the public health infrastructure as well as the establishment and continuance of a good healthcare system. With the potential to spread rapidly with and between communities, bioagents as weapons pose a significant threat to U.S. communities that require greater attention on a national scale.

Preparedness

Revisiting the Staging Area Manager

by Robert Mueck -

Modern communication methods and social media enable rapid transfer of information. As a result, there is often an influx of responders and onlookers when an incident occurs. To manage those who were not dispatched to the scene, a staging area manager can help establish a check-in post, organize and track resources, and share information with the command post.

Preparedness

Building & Maintaining a Strong Disaster Volunteer Force

by Harlan Dolgin -

To meet the challenges of preparing for potential medical disasters and biothreats, health departments across the nation must work with many dedicated volunteers to provide emergency shelters, vaccinations, and other medical care. When organizations like the Medical Reserve Corps recruit, train, and maintain these volunteers, the benefits in lives saved could be immeasurable.

Updates

Volunteers: The Often Overlooked Backbone of Disaster Recovery

The backbreaking work accomplished by volunteers in Alabama following the 28 April-5 May 2014 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding seems to have occurred out of the "clear blue sky." Every year and in every disaster, volunteers fill an often overlooked role and seemingly arrive and leave the scene at just the right time.

Updates

Homeland Security & Emergency Management Certificate Now Available Online

The Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and Emergency Management at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is now available entirely online for the first time this fall. This 15-credit program includes courses that help students hone the skills they need to prevent, prepare for, and mitigate real-world crises.

Reports

Examination of Legal Language Authorizing Responses to Incidents Involving Contamination with Radioactive Material

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) developed the radiation legal preparedness (RLP) project to examine state and local legal authorities related to the response to and recovery from incidents in which members of the public become contaminated or potentially contaminated with radioactive material.

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Updates

OGSI Unit Included in UN Level-2 Mobile Hospital

Oxygen Generating Systems International's (OGSI) CFP-15M is a mobile oxygen generating system that generates medical grade oxygen and is now included in the United Nations (UN) Level-2 mobile hospitals.

Updates

Soligenix Announces Combination Vaccine for Ricin and Anthrax Achieves Simultaneous Protection

Soligenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced recently that the combination of biodefense vaccines RiVax and VeloThrax induces protective immunity to both ricin toxin and anthrax toxin exposure.

Updates

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Introduction and Nuclear Forensics Focus

These are the remarks made by Simon Limage, the deputy assistant secretary for Nonproliferation Programs, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the opening plenary session of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Forensics in Vienna, Austria.

Healthcare

Importance of the Global Health Security Agenda

by Raphael M. Barishansky & Audrey Mazurek -

Increased intercontinental travel and increased biological, pandemic, and other disease threats mean that countries must effectively cooperate and communicate to prevent the spread of disease within and between interconnected communities. The Global Health Security helps bring together global partners and address key issues related to preventing, detecting, and responding to such public health threats.

Healthcare

International Public Health Concerns - Not So Foreign

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Lassa fever, and other pathogenic infections are just a few of the biothreats that recently have grabbed national attention in the United States. What were once considered foreign diseases are not so foreign in a globalized economy. As such, a national strategy for biosurveillance must effectively reach all levels of the public and private sectors.

Preparedness

Special Facilities - More Than Just Shelters

by Joseph Cahill -

Emergency managers are tasked with creating disaster plans to protect the people within their jurisdictions. With numerous possible scenarios, any disaster may require the establishment of special facilities to provide sheltering, vaccinations, and other emergency services to the public. A comprehensive plan coupled with quick decision-making skills will help ensure that the proper facilities and services are available.

Updates

CDC Director Releases After-Action Report on Recent Anthrax Incident - Highlights Steps to Improve Laboratory Quality & Safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that reviews the early June incident that involved the unintentional exposure of personnel to potentially viable anthrax at the CDC's Roybal Campus. The report identifies factors found to have contributed to the incident and highlights actions taken by the agency to address these factors and prevent future incidents.

Reports

NNSA Should Establish a Clear Vision and Path Forward for Its Security Program

This report examines National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) security reforms. In this report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined: (a) Department of Energy (DOE), NNSA, and contractors' implementation of the 2009-2012 security reforms, including any benefits or drawbacks they identified for NNSA and its sites; and (b) NNSA's actions or plans to improve security performance and oversight after the Y-12 security breach.

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Updates

WMO and WHO Establish Joint Office for Climate and Health

A new World Health Organization (WHO)/World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Climate and Health office has been established under the auspices of the Global Framework for Climate Services to promote the coordinated development and use of climate services to improve public health. It will increase awareness, build capacity, and connect meteorological services with experts in the health sector.

Reports

Climate Change Adaptation: DOD Can Improve Infrastructure Planning & Processes to Better Account for Potential Impacts

The Government Accountability Office was asked to assess the Department of Defense (DOD) actions to adapt its U.S. infrastructure to the challenges of climate change. This report describes potential impacts, evaluates DOD efforts, assesses how DOD is accounting for climate change, and evaluates the extent to which DOD incorporates adaptation.

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Reports

Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction

This report represents the Department of Defense's response to the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It specifies desired end states, prescribes priority objectives, delineates a strategic approach for achieving those objectives, and outlines the countering WMD activities and tasks necessary for success.

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Updates

EPA Provides Tool to Help Communities Become More Flood Resilient

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new tool to help communities prepare for, deal with, and recover from floods. The Flood Resilience Checklist offers strategies that communities can consider, such as: conserving land in flood-prone areas; directing new development to safer areas; and using green infrastructure approaches, such as installing rain gardens, to manage stormwater.

Commentary

Broadening the Public Health Security Agenda

by Patrick P. Rose -

In 2001, almost 3,000 people died after the 9/11 attacks. In 2005, more than 1,800 people died because of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods. Receiving less attention, in the United States alone, more than 3,000 people die of influenza each year. With other public health threats having already crossed the border, it is time to connect the dots and better address national public health security.

Updates

Eastern Kentucky University: Master's Homeland Security Concentration

Eastern Kentucky University is offering an online master's homeland security concentration program. This program examines the techniques and tactics used to keep the country safe.

Preparedness

Division of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Course

The Strategic National Stockpile Preparedness Course is a 3-day course designed to give federal, state, and local officials information on how to best plan and prepare for a public health emergency and how to use and manage the Strategic National Stockpile in response to a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or technological accident.

Updates

Army, University of Maryland Baltimore County Agree to Research Partnership

The U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) recently signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UBMC) to spur scientific research in areas of mutual interest.

Reports

The 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review

This report details that the Department of Homeland Security will continue to adhere to the five basic homeland security missions set forth in the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review report in 2010, but these missions must be refined to reflect the evolving landscape of homeland security threats and hazards.

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Updates

Antibiotic Resistance in Foodborne Germs is an Ongoing Threat

Antibiotic resistance in foodborne germs, an ongoing public health threat, showed both positive and troubling trends, according to data tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. Each year, antibiotic-resistant infections from foodborne germs cause an estimated 430,000 illnesses in the United States.

Updates

UT-ORNL Scientists' Discoveries Could Help Neutralize Chemical Weapons

Jeremy Smith, University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory (UT-ORNL) Governor's Chair, is a member of the team that is trying to engineer enzymes so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons. This brings researchers a step closer to creating a prophylactic drug that would neutralize the deadly effects of the chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere.

Reports

United States Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan

The United States has completed a government-wide Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan. The Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan focuses on three core areas: prevention of attacks, response to acts of maritime crime, and enhancing maritime security and governance.

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Updates

HHS Grants Bolster Health Care and Public Health Disaster Preparedness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $840 million to continue improving emergency preparedness of state and local public health and health care systems. The grant funds are distributed through two federal preparedness programs - the Hospital Preparedness Program and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness programs.

Preparedness

Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) for Mass-Casualty Incidents

Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) for Mass Casualty Incidents is a three-day course designed to provide medical operation guidance to hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), healthcare facility personnel, and others who may become involved in a mass-casualty incident (MCI).

Updates

EPA Selects Six Universities to Help Find New Uses for Toxics Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recently its selection of academic partners for the 2014 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) University Challenge, a project designed to find innovative ways to increase public awareness of industrial releases of toxic chemicals in communities and around the country.

Reports

Observations on the Cancellation of BioWatch Gen-3 and Future Considerations for the Program

This report contains observations on the Department of Homeland Securitys (DHS) BioWatch program, with particular focus on the cancellation of BioWatch Generation 3 (Gen-3) and future considerations for the program.

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Updates

NIST to Establish New Centers of Excellence for Work in Forensics, Disaster Resilience

Officials at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have announced plans to establish two new research Centers of Excellence to work with academia and industry on issues in forensic science and disaster resilience. NIST Centers of Excellence provide multidisciplinary research centers where experts from academia, industry and NIST can work together on specific high-priority research topics.

Reports

FY15 Energy & Water Subcommittee Markup Bill Summary

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development today approved fiscal year 2015 funding legislation that totals $34.2 billion in discretionary budget authority. The bill focuses on 3 priorities: advancing water resources projects, mitigating the effects of drought and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism.

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Updates

Carnegie Mellon Recognized for Excellence in Cybersecurity Education and Research

Carnegie Mellon University has been issued designations as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research for academic years 2014 through 2021. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security jointly sponsor the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) program and award the designations.

Updates

Rave Mobile Safety Announces Availability of Mobile Panic Button Solution That Ties Together 9-1-1, Responders and On-Site School Personnel

Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, recently announced availability of Rave Panic Button, a breakthrough technology that helps schools and 9-1-1 more effectively respond to active shooters and other emergencies.

Reports

Changes in Flood Hazard Determinations

Changes to flood hazard determinations, such as new or modified Base (1% annual-chance) Flood Elevations, base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area boundaries or zone designations, and/or regulatory floodways have been finalized. Flood hazard determinations are used to calculate flood insurance premium rates for new buildings and their contents.

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