june 2014

Updates

Hagel: Proposed Defense Budget Tailored to Meet Future Threats

After more than a decade of large, land-based operations driven by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the proposed Defense Department budget for the coming fiscal year focuses on new and emerging threats, including those in cyberspace, with the department proposing significant reductions in the size of the Army and Marines, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel recently.

Reports

Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress

Congress has authorized and appropriated a suite of deployable federal assets to support domestic disaster response operations. This report reviews several key concepts about these federal assets, and highlights possible issues Congress may wish to consider when evaluating their authorization and appropriation.

View Full Report
Updates

OEM, DDC, U.S. Army Corps Debut Nation's First Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype

New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora recently debuted the nation's first Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype. The project aims to augment federal capability to deliver multifamily, multistory housing to urban areas in a post-disaster situation.

Commentary

Protecting Special Events Amid Civil Unrest

by Catherine Feinman -

An article, a flash poll, and a podcast each addressed the same question: Can a country that faces daily civil disturbances adequately secure a major special event? Many factors involved in training public and private security personnel make this question difficult to answer - temporary staff, types of training, and level of training to cite a few.

Commentary

Training for Special Events - Keeping Them Safe & Secure

by Richard Schoeberl -

To address the gaps and concerns revealed in a recent article and flash poll, subject matter experts discussed training efforts necessary to ensure adequate security at large-scale special events. The challenge of securing special events can be compounded by daily responsibilities, especially where civil violence exists.

Reports

Nuclear Nonproliferation:Additional Actions Needed to Increase the Security of U.S. Industrial Radiological Sources

In 2012, GAO identified security weaknesses at U.S. medical facilities that use high-risk radiological sources, such as cesium-137. This report examines the challenges in reducing security risks posed by industrial radiological sources and the steps federal agencies are taking to improve security of the sources.

View Full Report
Updates

'Mass Gathering Security: A Look at the Coordinated Approach to Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey & Other Large Scale Events'

The written testimony of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Special Agent in Charge Andrew McLees. Special Agent McLees shares information about the role of the Department of Homeland Security in supporting the comprehensive efforts to safely secure mass gatherings and large-scale public events in the United States.

Updates

Rutgers Launches New Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security

June marks the official launch of the Rutgers Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security. The institute aims to protect people and property in the event of disasters and emergencies. It will coordinate the universitys research, education and readiness initiatives and serve as a single point of access for government agencies, businesses and other groups.

Reports

Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Background and Policy Issues

The United States maintains about 285 diplomatic facilities worldwide. Attacks on such facilities, and on U.S. diplomatic personnel, are not infrequent. The inability to provide perfect security has focused particular scrutiny on the deployment of diplomatic personnel in high-threat environments. This report provides background information on the organization, practice, and funding of U.S. diplomatic security efforts.

View Full Report
Updates

Millionth Vest Made With DuPont Kevlar XP

DuPont Protection Technologies recently announced that over one million bullet-resistant vests made with DuPont Kevlar® XP has been sold globally since the advanced material was launched at Eurosatory in 2008. The milestone was marked with an award to the Republic of Korea Army, the recipient of the millionth vest.

Updates

FDA OKs Novartis's US Cell-Based Flu Vaccine Facility

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first US facility that can make cell-culture influenza vaccines, a Novartis plant in Holly Springs, N.C., that has been part of federal government efforts to prepare for a pandemic and to sidestep some limits of egg-based flu vaccine technology.

Updates

Deal, GEMA Premiere Upgraded Emergency Mobile App

Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) recently introduced an upgraded version of the states emergency mobile app, Ready Georgia, which was designed to help Georgians stay safe and informed during emergencies. New features include geo-targeted severe weather and emergency alerts, traffic information, and enhanced shelters maps.

Resilience

Identifying Pre-Attack Indicators for Special Events

by Jessica A. Gladfelter & Dallas R. Mosier -

Elliot Rodger left many clues about his deadly intentions before killing six university students, injuring 13 others, and ultimately killing himself. Numerous threatening videos, a 140-page manifesto, and vague verbal threats were all pre-attack indicators. Although only hindsight is 20/20, such indicators should provide clearer vision when searching for potential future threats.

Commentary

A Blossoming Public-Private Partnership

by Catherine Feinman -

For any large-scale special event, it is important to expect the unexpected. The United States Park Police took the time to plan and train with private sector partners for the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to discover gaps and mitigate potential hazards and incidents that may present before, during, or after the event.

Commentary

Public-Private Partnerships - Ensuring the Safety of the Public

by Susan Collins -

Events such as the Boston Marathon bombing highlight the need to prepare for the unexpected. On 3 April 2014, the United States Park Police held a first-of-its-kind tabletop exercise with event organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. This podcast provides insights on the importance of bringing external partners to the table during the special event planning process.

Updates

EPA Identifies Safer Substitutes for Toxic Flame Retardants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing safer alternatives to the flame retardants now used in consumer and commercial products, including building insulation and products with flexible polyurethane foam.

Updates

Tetra Tech Awarded $76 Million FAA Security & Hazardous Materials Support Contract

Tetra Tech Inc. recently announced a $76 million contract with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Office of Security and Hazardous Materials Safety Information Technology Support Services to provide expanded programmatic and operational support services for FAA's information technology and security programs.

Reports

Federal Building and Facility Security: Frequently Asked Questions

The 9/11 terrorist attacks, the September 2013 Washington Navy Yard shootings, and the April 2014 Fort Hood shootings have refocused the federal government's attention on building security activities. With renewed attention on such incidents, this report answers several common questions regarding federal building and facility security.

View Full Report
Updates

908 Devices Announces Completion of Successful Testing for M908

"This evaluation is a milestone for M908 that further validates performance in the challenging circumstances our customers face every day", said Kevin Knopp, cofounder and chief executive officer, 908Devices. "As expected, the M908 demonstrated solid performance through a series of difficult tests providing rapid results and actionable answers."

Updates

Purdue Researchers Shut Down a SARS Cloaking System

A Purdue University-led research team has figured out how to disable a part of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus responsible for hiding it from the immune system. This is a critical step in developing a vaccine against this deadly disease. The findings also have potential applications in the creation of vaccines against other coronaviruses.

Updates

PositiveID Issues First-Ever Revenue Guidance as Government Procurements for Bio-Threat Detection Increase

PositiveID Corporation, developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, announced that it has submitted bids and proposals in conjunction with several large commercial partners as new U.S. government procurements for biothreat detection increase. As a result, PositiveID is issuing its first-ever revenue guidance of $4-10 million over the next 18 months.

Reports

Actions to Improve Chemical Safety and Security

On 1 August 2013, the president issued Executive Order 13650 - Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security - to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities and reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals to facility workers, communities, and responders. This status report summarizes actions to date, findings, lessons learned, challenges, and priority actions.

View Full Report
Updates

Smith to Educate 600 U.S. Customs & Border Protection Leaders

Starting this summer, the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, Office of Executive Programs, will direct the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Leadership Institute. Under the $7.2 million, five-year agreement, Smith will educate up to 120 top-level managers each year for a total enrollment of 600.

Updates

Statement by Attorney General Holder on Reestablishment of Committee on Domestic Terrorism

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement announcing the reestablishment of the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee within the Department of Justice. This committee will coordinate closely with U.S. Attorneys and other key public safety officials across the country to promote information-sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort.

Healthcare

Operational Tasks - Go With the Flow

by Joseph Cahill -

Special events and daily operational tasks require a comprehensive understanding of the workflow process. Specialized products as well as pencil and paper are applicable for mapping workflow, identifying bottlenecks and redundancies, defining roles, and providing the agency staff perspective on how one unit's work affects the operation of the agency "downstream".

Preparedness

Rehearsal of Concept - From Army to Civilian Use

by Philip J. Beck -

The extensive trainings conducted at military installations have inspired similar trainings for many civilian agencies. In 2013, the United States Park Police discovered the U.S. Army's "rehearsal of concept" drill, which they successfully used to plan for the presidential inauguration and will use the same concept for the upcoming 4th of July.

Updates

Whole Genome Sequencing Helps FDA Identify Dangerous Bacteria

Whole genome sequencing is a cutting-edge technology that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put to a novel and health-promoting use: supporting investigations of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. The technology looks at the DNA fingerprint left behind by disease-causing bacteria, allowing FDA to identify the source of an outbreak with more detail and clarity than ever before.

Reports

Maritime Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Needs to Better Address Port Cybersecurity

Information and communication systems, which are susceptible to cyber-related threats, support the annual $1.3-trillion cargo operations of U.S. maritime ports. The U.S. Government Accountability Office identified, and made recommendations based on, actions that federal stakeholders have taken to address cybersecurity concerns in the maritime port environment.

View Full Report
Preparedness

Special Events: Plan, Assess, Train & Exercise

by Kay C. Goss -

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides valuable resources for those responsible for or involved in planning a special event. These resources provide information on planning the event, assessing the hazards and threats, training personnel and volunteers, and exercising based on lessons learned from past events.

Updates

Blast Armor: Shatter Resistant Window Film to Protect Building Occupants & Property

Most people aren't aware of how dangerous glass becomes once it's been shattered. A sheet of glass that has become shattered instantly transforms into thousands of razor-sharp daggers, ready to pierce the skin, causing serious and sometimes fatal injuries said Surface Armor owner and CEO, Rick Pietrykowski.

Updates

ASU Embarks on $9 Million Next Phase of an Effort to Assess Rapidly an Absorbed Radiation Dose

Arizona State Universitys Biodesign Institute announced it is entering a new, $9 million phase of a multimillion, multi-institutional development project. In this phase, the Institute will produce a diagnostic test rapidly measure human absorption levels of ionizing radiation in the event of an unplanned radiological or nuclear event.

Reports

Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks U.S. 2012 Annual Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published its annual report on foodborne disease outbreaks. Outbreaks provide important insights into how germs spread, which food and germ combinations cause illnesses, and how to prevent infections.

View Full Report
Updates

New Method Discovered to Protect Against Chemical Weapons

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered that some compounds called polyoxoniobates can degrade and decontaminate nerve agents such as the deadly sarin gas. This and other characteristics may make such compounds ideal for protective suits, masks, or other personal protective clothing.

Updates

Alion Awarded $2.8M DTRA Contract to Develop Improvements to Nuclear Detection Technology

To counter the continuing threat of nuclear-fueled explosives, such as dirty bombs, sophisticated detection methods are required. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has awarded a $2.8 million contract to Alion Science and Technology to develop enhancements to nuclear detection technology.

Updates

Avon Protection Secures $33 Million M50 Order for the DOD

Avon Protection has announced an order of 135,000 M50 mask systems from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) under the additional requirements option of its sole-source U.S. Joint Services General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) program contract.

Updates

Ten Year Study Shows 'Lethal Factor' Could Be X-Factor for New Anthrax Vaccine

An international research team led by Professor Daniel Altmann, Imperial College London, and funded by U.S. National Institute of Health explored a new form of vaccine against the anthrax bacterium. Research on a cohort of Turkish farmers who had developed a natural immunity to the less dangerous form of cutaneous anthrax triggered the interest in the "lethal factor."

Updates

Leidos Awarded Contract by U.S. Air Force

Leidos, a national security, health and engineering solutions company, was awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Air Force to provide research, development, testing, and evaluation for homeland defense and security technical area tasks to the Department of Defense community of interest.

Updates

Bird Flu Experiments Pose Risk of Accidental Release

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Yale School of Public Health reported in an editorial that experiments involving the creation of dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life because of the potential for accidental release.

Updates

Norovirus is the Leading Cause of Disease Outbreaks From Contaminated Food in the U.S.

Norovirus is highly contagious and can spread anywhere people gather or food is served. Most norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food occur in food service settings. Infected food workers are frequently the source of these outbreaks, often by touching ready-to-eat foods served in restaurants with their bare hands.

Reports

Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis & Overview of Current Program

Before the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, insurers generally did not exclude or separately charge for coverage of terrorism risks. Since then, insurers realized the extent of possible terrorism losses. This report discusses the current program, changes, coverage, and background on terrorism insurance.

View Full Report
Commentary

Security Training - From World Cup to Olympic Games

by Richard Schoeberl -

Mass protests, incomplete venues, and infrastructure concerns are just a few of the issues that Brazilian security personnel will face during the 2014 World Cup soccer tournaments. The question remains whether the training has been sufficient for personnel to protect the tournament venues while continuing to address common security threats such as: petty thefts, disorder, vandalism, public intoxication, and traffic control.

Updates

EKU Online: Homeland Security Degree Programs

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) offers a 100-percent online homeland security degree program with instruction on: border protection; security for airports, waterways, and seaports; preparation for and response to natural and manmade disasters; counterterrorism strategies and law enforcement intelligence support; and the latest security technology.

Updates

Pennsylvania Vigilant Guard Enhances Military-Civilian Response to Multiple Disasters

The Pennsylvania National Guard recently conducted an exercise designed to improve interoperability between agencies in multiple simulated disaster situations.

Updates

New York State DHSES Distributes Belt Trauma Kits to Law Enforcement Statewide

Z-Medica, LLC has announced that their Belt Trauma Kit (BTK+) will be standard issue to law enforcement officers in the State of New York. Distributed by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), this initiative represents the largest standardization of advanced first aid kits ever deployed by a state.

Reports

The 2013 Network Profile of the Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) serves to improve the health, safety, and resilience of the United States. For the first time, the MRC and the National Association of County and City Health Officials have created a network profile to highlight ways in which members can share their expertise to fill gaps where local communities may lack the resources.

View Full Report