U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $349 million in funding for 15 rural electric infrastructure projects to build or improve more than 1,844 miles of transmission and distribution lines for rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 13 states.
This synopsis provides summaries of key international treaties, agreements, instruments, guidelines, multilateral engagement mechanisms, and information resources intended to guide biosafety in laboratories. It summarizes the benefits and limitations in promoting biosafety, and contributions toward minimizing the global risk and consequences of laboratory accidents.
In an ever-changing biological environment, laboratory support is necessary to help responders identify, categorize, and manage incidents involving biological threats. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is one source that provides valuable testing data to help today's first responders collect, screen, identify, and ultimately protect against such threats.
Emergent BioSolutions announced that it has been awarded a contract by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) valued at $19.7 million to develop and manufacture cGMP lots of three Ebola monoclonal antibodies in CHO cell lines at a 2000 Liter scale.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making available a new food related emergency exercise to help public health and other officials understand and coordinate their roles and responsibilities, and prepare for a food-related emergency.
This report is designed to assist Members of Congress and their staff as they address the needs of their states, communities, and constituents after a disaster. It includes a summary of federal programs that provide federal disaster assistance to individual survivors, states, territories, local governments, and nongovernmental entities following a natural or man-made disaster.
Using Sandia National Laboratory's genome sequencing capabilities, Sandia scientists identified several mechanisms that bacteria use to share genes and expand their antibiotic resistance. They found that in some cases, bacteria can receive a new set of genes all at once and in the process become pathogenic.
As the Islamic State group increases its threats around the world, the United States is grossly unprepared to track radicalized members and sympathizers, or to even know how many there are in the United States and abroad. At this point, an international coalition effort is the best hope for thwarting this unpredictable, yet ever-growing, "lawless" group.
Public health departments play, or have the ability to play, a key role in large-scale incidents caused by hazardous materials. By clearly defining their roles and collaborating with local partners, health departments have the ability to help emergency planners and responders prevent, mitigate, plan for, and respond to chemical hazards and incidents.
When a seemingly unrealistic incident occurs, emergency managers must be equipped with the base knowledge necessary to respond to the previously unknown scenario. Acronyms are a good way to remember what to do when stress levels are high and time is short. By getting back to the basics, managers are better equipped to respond and to protect their communities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched the first online collection of federal resources and capabilities available to mitigate the health impacts of emergencies. The HHS Response and Recovery Resources Compendium aids state, tribal, territorial, and local officials in health and emergency management as they respond to and recover from disasters.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced an expanded partnership designed to better protect the nations working lands, predict and prevent natural disasters, and inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and agriculture.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has historically relied on both permanent and temporary disaster-related employees to respond to presidentially declared disasters. The U.S. Government Accountability Office examined: (a) FEMAs actions to address long-standing workforce challenges; and (b) the challenges that have affected FEMAs new disaster workforce components.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that another cybersecurity technology has been licensed for commercialization. The Network Mapping System (NeMS), developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is a software-based tool that helps users know how to better protect their networks.
The National Security Strategy (NSS) is a congressionally mandated document that highlights the broad national security priorities of each administration. This latest report details key points of the 2015 strategy, as well as issues for Congress to consider.
One of the largest Defense Department field medical training exercises, combining 1,600 active-duty and reserve personnel from 17 states and three countries, wrapped up on 26 June 2015. In a simulated combat-medicine scenario, the joint exercise helped prepare active-duty and reserve troops with capabilities for any situation they could be called upon to support in the future.
Although most suicides injure only the suicide victims themselves, others may cause injury to anyone within close proximity. With law enforcement officers typically being the first on the scene of such incidents, they should be aware of the hazards and be able to recognize the signs of potential residual threats.
Although they may not want to be called "heroes," military members and veterans can fill a critical gap in emergency and disaster response. Their unique qualities of training, discipline, leadership, and teamwork make them the perfect emergent responder either as a member of an organized team, or simply by being in the right place at the right time.
In the relatively young subspecialty of public health emergency preparedness, effective public health preparedness managers must identify the essential elements of their roles and the skills or requirements necessary to be effective in their positions. Although there is no set recipe for success, diverse and field-related skills are a must.
Building on the President's Climate Action Plan, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Cities of Service, announced a new Resilience AmeriCorps pilot program.
Health departments across the country will receive more than $840 million in cooperative agreements from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - distributed through the Hospital Preparedness Program and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness programs - to improve and sustain emergency preparedness of state and local public health and healthcare systems.
This fiscal year (FY) 2014 report responds to the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, which requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to detail its annual medical countermeasure activities for protection against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats and response to emerging public health threats.
The Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD), a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence, announced that the Institute has been funded to expand its iCVI mobile application to multiple devices and platforms. IIAD works closely with state animal health officials and practicing veterinarians to refine and optimize the application.
Florida International University's (FIU) International Hurricane Research Center, in partnership with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center (NHC), has launched a new Spanish-language website, which includes information on hurricane science, residential mitigation strategies, preparedness, and descriptions of NHC information products.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has made available to the public an unclassified version of its annual report to Congress detailing the previous year's security inspection program. The report covers the NRC's security inspection program, including force-on-force exercises, for commercial nuclear power reactors and Category I fuel cycle facilities for calendar year 2014.
Highly trained members of the FBI's Operational Medicine (OpMed) Program are focused on their mission to provide care under the most stressful situations. Whether for a fellow agent engaged in a SWAT operation or a violent criminal injured during a high-risk arrest, the "medics," as they are known, provide care to everyone who needs treatment.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of DamWatch, a new web-based application that provides real-time monitoring of rainfall, snowmelt, stream flow, and seismic events that could pose potential threats to dam safety. By monitoring dams, project sponsors can better prevent and protect against hazardous, costly, and potentially catastrophic events.
Hazardous materials personnel are faced with a broad range of chemical, biological, and radiological hazards. However, not all hazards are equal, nor are similar quantities. Responders who encounter radiological materials need to know the relationship of quantity and biological impact of specific materials by first understanding the terminology of measurement units.
Functional exercises are invaluable for helping participants understand their roles in disasters. This is particularly true for participants who normally are not included in interagency exercises, such as behavioral health personnel. Triaging following a disaster should not stop at the physical level, but should consider psychological concerns as well.
To ensure that U.S. health care providers and facilities are prepared to safely identify, isolate, transport, and treat patients with Ebola and other emerging threats, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a National Ebola Training and Education Center, at Emory University, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Bellevue Hospital.
Effective cybersecurity for federal information systems is essential to preventing the loss of resources, the compromise of sensitive information, and the disruption of government operations. This report summarizes: (a) challenges facing federal agencies in securing their systems and information; and (b) government-wide initiatives aimed at improving cybersecurity.
Responders interested in training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) can now view video descriptions of courses, as well as news stories and podcasts on CDP training and events on YouTube. The CDP's primary mission is to train state, local, and tribal emergency response providers, as well as the federal government, foreign governments, and private organizations.
Cultured human lung cells infected with a benign version of anthrax spores have yielded insights into how anthrax grows and spreads in exposed people. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, will help provide data for human health related to anthrax exposure and help officials better understand risks related to a potential anthrax attack.
The United States faces current and emerging chemical and biological threats, and defenses against these threats enable the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to protect the force, preclude strategic gains by adversaries, and reduce risk to U.S. interests. This report reviews and provides recommendations on DOD efforts to manage its defense infrastructure capabilities.
The Committee on Homeland Security passed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA). This important legislation protects Americans from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which threat experts consider one of the most serious risks to national security.
SRI International has been awarded a $12.2 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to continue development of a diagnostic test for absorbed doses of radiation following a radiological incident. A new, simple screening test is needed to rapidly triage large numbers of people.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is leading an effort to design a new warfighter uniform - with added protection against chemical warfare agents encountered in the field - and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) scientists are using both standard and new methods to test fabrics that will be used in the suit.