november 2014

Updates

DARPA's Synthetic Biology Work Targets Diseases, New Materials

Soldiers, military scientists, and Defense Department civilians are on the ground in West Africa to help stop history's largest Ebola outbreak, and now innovators at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are turning their job of changing what is possible to the fight against infectious diseases.

Commentary

Em-Powering Communities to Prepare

by Catherine Feinman -

The functioning of cellphones, the Global Positioning System, and other electronic "lifelines" are dependent on a strong and resilient power grid. Since power disruptions of any length of time could lead to civil disobedience under certain circumstances, communities must have the right tools and knowledge to identify and close any gaps before the next power-grid failure.

Preparedness

Community Preparedness for Power-Grid Failure

by Mary D. Lasky -

Loss of the electric power grid could cause cascading effects following a major disaster. By working and planning together, individuals and communities will be better prepared and more resilient when faced with any disaster. As communities plan for major disasters, they also will be better prepared for not-so-major incidents.

Resilience

Electromagnetic Pulse Triage & Recovery

by Charles (Chuck) L. Manto -

There are immediate and long-term steps - planning, triaging, and shielding - that any organization can take to mitigate disasters related to electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Understanding how EMP works, benefits and types of protective actions, as well as standards and ratings will help simplify the process of protecting civilian critical infrastructure.

Updates

DARPA's EZ BAA Cuts Red Tape to Speed Funding of New Biotech Ideas

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) Biological Technologies Office (BTO) has created a simplified proposal process to attract and fund businesses and researchers wishing to pursue research ideas with government support. Under the EZ broad agency announcement (BAA) process scientists and engineers can now submit a two-page white paper describing their ideas.

Reports

FEMA's Disaster Declaration Process: A Primer

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes the President to issue "major disaster" or "emergency" declarations before or after catastrophes occur. This report discusses the evolution of the Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMAs) disaster declaration process, how it is administered and recent changes enacted into law as well as amending legislation that has been introduced.

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Updates

Cyber Defense a Cooperative Effort, Roger Says

During the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, Navy Admiral Michael S. Rogers, the National Security Agency's director, and also commander of U.S. Cyber Command and chief of the Central Security Service, explained that network defense isn't an either-or proposition that can be neatly divided into public sector, private sector and national security responsibilities.

Updates

Cepheid To Develop Xpert Ebola For Countries Worst Hit By Epidemic

Cepheid recently announced that it has been awarded a grant of up to $3.3 million co-financed by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop Xpert® Ebola, a rapid test that could be run on Cepheid's installed base of more than 3,500 GeneXpert® Systems in developing countries.

Reports

Major Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must continually seek to integrate management operations under an authoritative governing structure capable of effectively overseeing and managing programs that cross component lines. This report identifies major challenges that affect the Department as a whole, as well as individual components.

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Updates

DHS Science & Technology Directorate Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Explosives Detection Lab

DHS Science & Technology Directorate recently held the groundbreaking ceremony for a new explosives detection lab. Located at the William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., the new building will provide approximately 13,500 square feet of extra reinforced laboratory space for conducting tests of explosives detection systems.

Resilience

Maine - A Journey Through State Grid-Protective Legislation & the Threat of Regulatory Capture

by Andrea Boland -

Government officials in Maine are taking steps to protect the electric grid from severe geomagnetic disturbances and manmade electromagnetic pulse weapons. However, ensuring that state agencies and electric utilities work together toward a common goal can be a challenge. The final task force report on emergency legislation passed on 11 June 2013 is expected later this month.

Preparedness

Grid Power Failure - Alternative Energy Systems That Work

by William Kaewert -

As businesses and residents examine alternative energy sources in light of long-term power outage threats, some important features must be considered. Ensuring that a system is able to operate off grid requires that it operate completely independently, have a manual or automatic transfer switch installed, and include either on-site energy storage assets or a fuel-consuming generator.

Commentary

Challenge: Defeat Ballistic Missile Attacks From the South

by Henry (Hank) F. Cooper -

When President John F. Kennedy announced that Soviet ships were transporting nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to Cuba, U.S. citizens prepared to "duck and cover" as they had been taught in grade school. Individuals and families were more self-reliant in the 1960s than today. With greater reliance on electricity, all Americans are now even more vulnerable, especially to the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a high-altitude nuclear burst.

Resilience

Satellite Navigation & Timing: Good News, Bad News

by Dana A. Goward -

The Global Positioning System is an integral part of the U.S. critical infrastructure. However, its importance may not be realized until the system fails. It is important to examine the good and the bad of satellite navigation and timing when discussing: current systems, vulnerabilities, satellite signals, cost, implementation, and government efforts.

Updates

Federal Resources Provides Support for HBO

Federal Resources Supply Company (Federal Resources) was a proud supporter of the United States Park Police and its management of the Veterans Day HBO Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C., on 11 November 2014. Federal Resources provided detection equipment for all entry and access points to the National Mall, as well as shelters and lighting for family reunification areas.

Updates

Australian Army Purchases VSTEP Maritime Simulator Classroom

The maritime wing of the Australian Army purchased and installed a VSTEP simulator classroom at its Townsville base in Queensland. The maritime simulators are used for landing-craft operations and navigation training. The maritime simulator classroom delivered by VSTEP includes 12 NAUTIS Desktop Trainers and 2 NAUTIS Instructor Stations.

Updates

Ansell Introduces TRELLCHEM ACT - Protective Suit for Law Enforcement & CBRN Terrorism Responders

Ansell, a global leader in protection solutions, recently announced the U.S. launch of TRELLCHEM ACT, a new protective solution for law enforcement responders dealing with consequences of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism incidents. The garment is intended for use in all CBRN terrorism environments.

Reports

DHS Is Assessing Fusion Center Capabilities and Results, but Needs to More Accurately Account for Federal Funding Provided to Centers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is helping state and major urban area fusion centers assess baseline capabilities - such as the ability to receive, analyze, and disseminate threat information - and address capability gaps through an annual assessment process, resources it provides to centers to mitigate gaps, and an exercise program to evaluate capabilities in practice.

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Preparedness

To Help Identify Causes of Fatal Fires Nationwide, NASFM Launches Online Training Program

Over a five-year period, the cause of ignition in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) was unknown in almost three out of every five home fire deaths. Recognizing the reporting gap in NFIRS, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has launched a free, online training program for the fire service.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Seeks Expanded BioThrax Label; Submits FDA Application for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. recently announced that it has submitted a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking to expand the label of BioThrax® (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) to include a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) indication. BioThrax, the only FDA-licensed vaccine to prevent anthrax disease, is currently licensed for a pre-exposure prophylaxis indication only.

Reports

FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Monitoring Limitations

The U.S. Government Accountability Office was asked to review federal oversight of pesticide residues in food. This report examines what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data show with respect to pesticide residue violations in the foods that they regulate and with respect to residue levels in fruits and vegetables.

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Updates

Ricin Vaccine Shows Promise in Pilot Study

A recent study at the Tulane National Primate Research Center showed for the first time that an experimental vaccine could completely protect nonhuman primates exposed to deadly ricin toxin, a potential bioterrorism agent. Private pharmaceutical firm Soligenix is developing the vaccine, called RiVax.

Updates

Ebola Response Hospital in Liberia Opens

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) sent a 25-bed hospital to Monrovia, Liberia, as part of the DOD's Ebola response efforts. The hospital, which has officially opened and is completely staffed, was provided as part of the $30 million in program funding approved for such efforts, including DOD's delivery and payment for diagnostic equipment, supplies, and training. 

Resilience

Washington, D.C. - Fail Gracefully, Recover Quickly

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

In the nation's capital, emergency managers identify hazards, consider location-specific elements, and implement lessons learned from past incidents in order to create a robust preparedness plan for critical infrastructures, including power and water. Efforts in neighboring jurisdictions and private sector cooperation also contribute to the regional resilience of the power grid.

Healthcare

'Old-School' Response to Medical Emergencies

by Joseph Cahill -

Staying "connected" has become a common way of life, but sometimes natural or manmade forces can sever these connections. During life-saving operations, inaction is not an option. Emergency medical services agencies need to have a back-up plan when everyday technology fails and personnel must implement "old-school" techniques.

Preparedness

Hazard Assessment & Response Management for CBRNE Incidents (HARM)

The Center for Domestic Preparedness is offering a unique course that challenges individuals assembled from different disciplines and geographic areas to apply their operational knowledge in support of a hazardous materials team responding to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) incident.

Updates

TruDefender Analyzer Combines Wireless Technology With Rapid Identification Capabilities

First responders, military personnel, and hazardous materials teams now can use a handheld instrument that combines the accurate identification technology of the Thermo Scientific TruDefender FTX with the embedded mobile-phone capability of the Thermo Scientific TruDefender FTi.

Updates

CDC Increasing Supply of Ebola-Specific Personal Protective Equipment for U.S. Hospitals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ordered $2.7 million in personal protective equipment to increase Strategic National Stockpile supplies and assist U.S. hospitals caring for Ebola patients. Products are being configured into 50 kits that can be rapidly delivered to hospitals and provide patient care for up to five days.

Updates

HGH Infrared Systems Provides Unprecedented 360 Degree Thermal Surveillance on UGV System

HGH Infrared Systems' Spynel system captures full high-definition, panoramic images in near real-time with automatic intrusion detection and tracking capabilities. Compact as well as easy to deploy, Spynel can provide full situational awareness and surveillance of land, air, and maritime targets for a variety of applications, including on Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) systems.

Preparedness

American Red Cross Announces New Product Offering

The American Red Cross now offers OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 training for the construction and general industries. Register now for a one-hour webinar on Thursday, November 13, to learn how the new offerings can benefit organizations and fit into a multiyear, continuum approach to workplace safety training.

Commentary

Electromagnetic Pulses - Six Common Misconceptions

by George H. Baker -

An intense pulse of electromagnetic energy generated by manmade or natural events has the potential to significantly damage or destroy electronic components across the electric grid. Without these components, many life-supporting services may cease to function, but it is important to understand the realistic effects of such incidents and remove any misconceptions.

Updates

Colorado State University to Make Ebola & Marburg Vaccines to Support Human Trials

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded Colorado State University's Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing and Academic Resource Center (BioMARC) $2 million to assist in the development and manufacture of a vaccine to protect against infection by filoviruses, including Ebola and Marburg.

Updates

HazMasterG3 New Release Delivers Instant HAZMAT Playbook Best Practices

Alluviam's HazMasterG3 Version 18 delivers exclusive HazMAT Quick Start best-practices playbook to responders, is endorsed by HazMatIQ, and has been adopted for use in their HMEIQ (homemade explosives) training program for military and civilian hazardous materials response and explosive ordnance disposal teams.

Updates

Research Institute Targets Ebola & Other Infectious Diseases

Ebola is just one of the lethal pathogens on U.S. lists of high-priority bioterrorism agents that pose a risk to national security. U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases scientists conduct research on many of them, whether the pathogens appear on the battlefield or in nature.

Updates

Company Licenses Purdue Innovation That Could Detect Radiation & Thwart Nuclear Terrorism

A Purdue innovation that could help thwart terrorist attacks from radiological "dirty bombs" and nuclear weapons by tracking potential attacks through smartphones and other devices has been licensed to a Marrero, Louisiana-based startup, FORSUGO Hi-Cell Inc. The technology also can be retrofitted to identify chemicals and biological contaminants.

Reports

Small Business Administration: Additional Steps Needed to Help Ensure More Timely Disaster Assistance

This report examines: (a) the timeliness of Small Business Administration's (SBA) disaster assistance to small businesses; (b) the loan approval rates for small businesses and reasons for decline following Hurricane Sandy and previous disasters; and (c) the extent to which SBA has implemented programs mandated by the Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvements Act of 2008.

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Updates

NGA Supports Ebola Relief Efforts & Provides Data to Public

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) recently made available a public-facing website to assist U.S. and international relief efforts in combating the spread of Ebola virus disease. This website provides unprecedented online access to unclassified geospatial intelligence in support of lead federal agencies and partners.

Reports

USDA Needs to Strengthen Its Approach to Protecting Human Health From Pathogens in Poultry Products

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world, yet estimate that Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination in food cause more than two million human illnesses each year. This report examines the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) approach to reduce these pathogens in poultry products.

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