march 2014

Updates

Environics USA Will Continue to Support the ChemRAE

The ChemRAE allows users to share its alarm data over the RAE Systems' AreaRAE network. Users of the ChemPro100i will now have the option of adding the two ChemRAE libraries to ChemPro100i, which would enable these two libraries to communicate on an AreaRAE network.

Updates

BioFire Defense Receives Next Generation Diagnostic System (NGDS) Contract Award

The Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded BioFire Defense the NGDS Technology Development contract. The NGDS program will expand BioFire's FilmArray diagnostic menu by developing biothreat test capabilities as well as develop and deliver the new standard of biowarfare detection to the DOD, replacing the current Joint Biologic Agent Identification and Diagnostic System.

Updates

Global Security Depends on Matching Wits With Emerging Disease

The recent symposium on "Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health Security: Examining MERS and Polio," which was organized by Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) and the university's School of Foreign Service, discussed the challenges of researchers to stay ahead of evolving infectious microbes.

Reports

Navy Yard Shooting Report

Shortly after the tragic events that took place on 16 September 2013 at Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters in Washington, D.C., Navy Secretary Raymond "Ray" Mabus Jr. appointed ADM John M. Richardson to lead an official investigation into the shooting incident that killed 12 people and wounded four others. Richardson's declassified Department of Defense final report is now available to the public.

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Updates

AristaTek Releases Written Brief on the Dangerous Drug Acetyl Fentanyl

"One of our hazmat team customers in North Carolina recently approached us asking if we knew anything about this substance," stated Bruce King, CEO of AristaTek. "After searching and finding little reputable data on acetyl fentanyl, we dug deeper and compiled some useful information that should help these folks with planning and responding to these incidents."

Updates

NPS Helps Northern Africa Improve Border Security Through Series of Workshops

The Naval Postgraduate School's (NPS) Department of Defense Analysis is helping North African nations improve the security of their land and sea borders through a series of workshops. The program offers coalition military and law enforcement officers, as well as civilian leaders, a foundational knowledge of the international maritime environment and intricacies of transnational terror.

Updates

IEMA Announces UIUC First Illinois University to Attain Ready to Respond Campus Designation

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently became the first higher education institution in the state to receive the Ready to Respond Campus designation from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). The Ready to Respond Campus program is an initiative aimed at enhancing campus safety, preparedness and response efforts.

Reports

Quadrennial Defense Review Report 2014

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a legislatively mandated review of Department of Defense (DOD) strategy and priorities. The QDR will set a long-term course for DOD as it assesses the threats and challenges that the nation faces and rebalances DOD's strategies, capabilities, and forces to address today's conflicts and tomorrow's threats.

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Resilience

California - A Growing Response to Persistent Drought

by Mark Ghilarducci -

The average person in the United States uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day. California's multiyear drought has broken new records, created unprecedented reductions in water supply, and demands personal conservation techniques. The Governor's Office of Emergency Services has been leading the charge toward mitigating this widespread disaster.

Resilience

Alaska - Building a Firm Foundation on Shaky Ground

by John W. Madden -

The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 did more than advance the study of plate tectonics, it demonstrated to the world that communities can be resilient following a catastrophic incident when everyone works together. In 2014, Alaskans will lead the nation in a full-scale exercise that will bring the earthquake from 50 years ago into modern society.

Updates

NOAA's Spring Outlook

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spring outlook predicts moderate flood potential in Midwest, elevated risk of ice jams; California and Southwest stuck with drought.

Updates

Jordan to Participate in Container Security Initiative to Screen Cargo Destined for U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will participate in the Container Security Initiative.

Commentary

FINAL REPORT: Support to Local Authorities (When They Are Overwhelmed)

by H. Steven Blum -

Local authorities must continue to prepare for disasters, despite cuts in grant funding. To address this topic, LTG H. Steven Blum, (Ret.) USA, led a discussion with subject matter experts at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Falcon Club in Colorado. That discussion and survey results from a nationwide audience of preparedness professionals provided content for this report.

Preparedness

Preparing for Extreme Weather Events

by Kay C. Goss -

In 2013 and 2014, various parts of the world have experienced a wide variety of natural disasters. Some experts say that the frequency and cost of such events will continue to increase. Reviewing lessons learned from past events and taking advantage of ongoing learning opportunities will better prepare emergency managers for the next "extreme."

Updates

HHS Establishes New Network to Perform Clinical Studies

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established a new network of five clinical research organizations that will design and conduct clinical studies needed to develop medical countermeasures. These drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests will help protect the public's health against bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and other public health emergencies.

Resilience

Natural Disasters: Challenges & Opportunities

by Stephen Grainer -

Diverting a tornado, deflecting high winds, and steering a hurricane away from landfall are not within the scope of practice for emergency planners and managers. However, planning and training for a large-scale natural disaster with the right tools will help jurisdictions prepare for both common and uncommon incidents.

Updates

NOAA: $5.5 Billion FY 2015 Budget Request Promotes Environmental Intelligence

The proposed budget will enhance public safety and community resilience to weather and climate disasters. By making smart investments in critical infrastructure and innovative science, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be able to strengthen the agency's oceanic and coastal programs, as well as its internal and extramural programs.

Updates

Laser Tool Speeds Up Detection of Salmonella in Food Products

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a laser sensor that can identify salmonella bacteria grown from food samples about three times faster than conventional detection methods. The machine, known as BARDOT, scans bacteria colonies and generates a distinct black and white "fingerprint" by which they can be identified.

Updates

NICE Successfully Completes Project 25 Interoperability Testing With Cassidian Communications

NICE Systems has announced that its audio recording solution has successfully completed interoperability testing with Cassidian Communications Inc. and its CORP25 radio trunking system. The integration enables public safety agencies and other security organizations to communicate across multiple vendors' systems that are based on P25 industry standards.

Updates

There's More to NFIP Than Just the Policy

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides flood insurance policies that serve millions of Americans as their first line of defense against flooding, but the policies are only one component of the program.

Updates

M908: The World's First Handheld Mass Spectrometer for Hazardous Material Detection & Identification

908 Devices is delighted to introduce M908, the world's first and only handheld tool using high-pressure mass spectrometry for trace-level chemical detection and identification. M908 provides civilians, first responders, and military teams with unique capabilities for material analysis and is set to transform the way chemical and explosive hazards are controlled at the point of need.

Updates

MU Study: Faster Anthrax Detection Could Speed Bioterror Response & Save Millions in Decontamination Costs

Currently, first responders have tests that can provide a screen for dangerous materials in 24 to 48 hours. Researchers at the University of Missouri have worked with a private company to develop a new method for anthrax detection that can identify anthrax in only a few hours.

Reports

Energy Infrastructure Risks & Adaptation Efforts

According to assessments by the National Research Council and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, U.S. energy infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to a range of climate-change impacts. In this report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined this vulnerability and provided steps to help begin adaptation efforts.

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Healthcare

Preparedness & Progress for Emerging Pathogenic Threats

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

Unlike the sudden release of toxic chemical agents, pathogens often are difficult to detect and prevent. Such threats evolve over time and have the ability to silently spread between communities. Identifying the threat early would help slow or prevent the spread of disease before it overwhelms a community's response capabilities.

Resilience

Rising Waters & Tough Decisions

by Margaret Davis -

The benefits of owning a beach property come with a great risk of flooding. As Superstorm Sandy demonstrated in 2012, the National Flood Insurance Program cannot sustain rebuilding efforts at the existing insurance rates. This means making difficult choices: build and incur significant costs; raise properties into the air; or move away from flood zones.

Preparedness

Ten Winter Issues Every City Should Address

by Kim Fuller & Crystal Kline -

City officials rely on accurate weather forecasts to make decisions, but weather has proven to be difficult to predict. When a city is caught off-guard, officials must make many difficult decisions while the nation watches. It is imperative to know how to address severe weather incidents before the next snow, ice, or wintery mix event.

Reports

Emergency Vehicle & Roadway Operations Safety

Each year, approximately 25 percent of on-duty firefighter fatalities occur while responding to or returning from incidents. To help reduce firefighter fatalities and injuries, the U.S. Fire Administration guide contains best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response.

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Updates

Bell Helicopter Announces Support of the Medevac Foundation International's HEMS 101 Project

Bell Helicopter has announced its support for the Medevac Foundation's HEMS 101 Project, which is dedicated to producing a set of guidelines for establishing Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS)/Air Ambulance Programs in nations that currently do not have services in place.

Updates

U.S. & Canada Announce Second Phase of Truck Cargo Pre-Inspection Pilot

The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in partnership with Public Safety Canada and Canada Border Services Agency, officially launched Phase II of the truck cargo pre-inspection pilot program. The purpose of this pilot is to better manage a shared border and improve economic opportunities for both countries.

Updates

Rave Mobile Safety Announces New Whole Community Preparedness Platform

SmartPrepare automates and simplifies the collection and management of information voluntarily contributed by citizens. Emergency managers then use the information provided to assist with planning, response, and recovery efforts during events. The system automatically prompts users to update their safety profiles semiannually to maintain accuracy.

Updates

EPA's FY 2015 Budget Proposal Focuses on Delivering Core Environmental & Health Protections

The President's FY 2015 budget request will allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to transform the way it does business, ensuring the best use of human and financial resources, while continuing to achieve the agency's mission and priorities - including climate change, air quality, safety concerns, and clean water.

Preparedness

Preparing for the U.S. Tsunami Threat

by Christa Rabenold -

The 50-year anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunamis serves as a reminder that the United States is still vulnerable to such threats. Advancements in earthquake and tsunami science, coupled with preparedness efforts to create awareness and exercise plans, are helping agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to mitigate the potential consequences.

Healthcare

Opioids - Overdoses & Antidotes

by Joseph Cahill -

Communities have a new enemy in the battle against drugs. The growing use of fentanyl, which is causing an increasing number of unintentional deaths, is challenging public health agencies to reassess their distribution methods for lifesaving antidotes. Some changes include pre-positioning Narcan in the homes of drug users and their families.

Updates

Allegion Ramps Up K-12 School Security Resources

Allegion has announced its 2014 line-up of resources and services designed to help schools ensure that they are providing students and staff with safer schools. The company also will be offering a variety of training courses, seminars, and webinars to keep administrators aware of technology changes and trends in school security.

Updates

Dallas GIS Police Analyst Uses Geospatial Skills to Fight Crime

Geographic information systems (GIS) have changed the way law enforcement agencies fight crime. Investigators now rely on actionable intelligence for mapping and analyzing crime patterns. As the use of this technology continues to evolve, police agencies will depend on crime GIS analysts to take advantage of the cutting-edge tools and industry innovations that GIS technology offers.

Updates

FCC Acts to Help Emergency Responders Locate Wireless 911 Callers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed updated rules to assist emergency responders in locating wireless callers who dial 911. The proposed updates to the Commission's Enhanced 911 (E911) rules respond to the increasing use of wireless phones to call 911, and take advantage of technological developments that provide more-accurate location information.

Preparedness

E357 State Individual Assistance Operations

The Emergency Management Institute is offering this four-day course on state individual assistance operations. This course is intended to enable participants to coordinate state response and recovery operations for individuals and families.