The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are warning residents in hurricane-impacted areas about the deadly dangers that still remain as Hurricane Sandy tracks north. Consumers need to use great caution during a loss of electrical power, as the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from portable generators, fire from candles, and electrical shock from downed power lines increases.
The United States and Canada announced the launch of the Prince Rupert Pilot to strengthen cargo security at the Canada-U.S. border as part of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The pilot focuses on harmonizing the screening process for maritime cargo between the two countries.
A biological agent is released, samples are collected, and then the diagnostic process begins. Laboratories within a national (and international) network screen for potential threats and determine the level of exposure and treatment required for each response. Such diagnostics provide the guidelines necessary for using and distributing medical countermeasures.
The terrorist use of anthrax against the United States in 2001 pointed out the nation's vulnerability to biological attack and need for rapid and sure response. Since that time, strengths and limitations of the current biodetection system have been discovered. To achieve a better preparedness posture, now is the time to reevaluate biodetection methods and build unity of effort at all levels of government.
Current plans for combatting the effects of an anthrax attack at the local level include the use of antibiotics. Although federal agencies recommend - and the Strategic National Stockpile provides - anthrax vaccine adsorbed as a medical countermeasure against such attacks, the vaccine currently is not included in the preparedness plans of many local health departments.
By using mHealth technologies, local health departments can improve their efficiency and effectiveness not only in communicating with the public but also in dispensing medical countermeasures during large-scale pandemics. Current initiatives can offer a starting point on how to integrate mobile technology into local preparedness planning efforts.
The western half of the continental United States and central and northern Alaska could be in for a warmer-than-average winter, while most of Florida might be colder than normal from December through February, according to the annual Winter Outlook of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announced from the agency's new Center for Weather and Climate Prediction.
Public health professionals throughout the United States are responding to the recent fungal meningitis outbreak. As part of the response, irms|PM® Patient Management is being used to facilitate not only the tracking and management of patients but also the prevalence of the outbreak.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the expansion, to the Los Angeles/Long Beach area, of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office's (DNDO) Securing the Cities (STC) program. The STC program is designed to enhance the nation's ability to detect and prevent a radiological or nuclear attack in cities facing the highest risk.
Titus weighs 135 pounds and measures 27 inches long, 16 inches wide, and just 23 inches high. It retains the proven four-articulator design that has given Andros vehicles the best performance for more than 20 years. The system also features a unique operator control unit that includes a hybrid touch-screen and game system-style physical controls.
Draeger has announced that it will hold a free webinar - "Expect More From Your Thermal Imaging Camera!" - to educate firefighters on how today's new thermal imaging camera technology can help them on the job. The live webinar will be held on 8 November 2012 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Participants will learn how to use this tool to its fullest potential in their departments.
An emerging infectious disease or a bioterrorism attack must be prevented from spreading globally even when the effectiveness of predictive measures and detection programs is in question. In addition to current medical countermeasures, defending against biological threats may require the enforcement of control measures that rely on non-medical public health interventions.
Although storing and distributing medicines and other medical countermeasure assets are largely national initiatives, closer collaboration with state and local authorities is facilitating the process - and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future.
Verint's Audiolog for Public Safety serves as an advanced, digital multimedia recording, retrieval, and quality assurance solution designed to enhance the performance of emergency response, public safety, and control room operations. This structure will help cities and counties to combine administrative and position recordings with access to the shared Motorola radio system.
The U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy (NFA) announces the availability of two new NFA online courses: Data Gathering Instruments to Support Applied Research Projects; and Designing an Applied Research Project Proposal. Both courses are available to the public and will also support Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) students in their completion of Applied Research Projects (ARPs).
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) have partnered to draft educational materials that will provide smartphone application (app) developers an in-depth understanding of current enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) system capabilities and limitations.
DeltaTRAK has recently introduced the new FlashTRAK RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Temperature Monitoring Solution. This wireless solution integrates FlashTRAK RFID loggers with the existing ColdTRAK cloud application, providing new capabilities and improved performance in end-to-end cold chain visibility and traceability.
The American Red Cross (ARC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) have announced the launch of a new Global Disaster Preparedness Center. The center is a globally focused reference resource designed to support learning and knowledge sharing for disaster preparedness practitioners in the ARC and Red Crescent networks as well as the wider humanitarian community.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that Douglas Hofsass has been appointed Assistant Administrator for the Office of Risk Based Security. That office is responsible for developing innovative approaches to transportation security that build upon a risk-based, intelligence-driven model to implement procedures that facilitate effective and efficient security.
There is general agreement that the best way to protect emergency responders against anthrax would be to immunize them prior to an attack. But, despite the fact that millions of "expired" doses of anthrax vaccine are routinely destroyed each year, many civilian responders still are not provided pre-event vaccinations. This raises two questions: (a) Why? and (b) Why not?
MSA's new GALAXY GX2 Automated Test System provides advanced safety management and effortless operation. Efficiently manage your portable gas detection fleet through simple and intelligent testing and calibration.
Economic redevelopment, waste and fatality management, and the prioritization of cleanup operations are just a few of the key policy issues that decision makers must consider and address before the next anthrax attack or other disaster strikes. Having a clear strategy, effective management plans, and solid relationships with partners who are critical to the effort will help reduce unnecessary delays when the time comes to respond and recover.
"Innovative technologies such as the spray drying of blood plasma may afford greater logistical flexibility and lifecycle cost savings for everyday health care as well as disaster response," said Dr. Robin Robinson, Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
"We're closer to becoming a Weather-Ready Nation every day," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. "Efforts to improve our service to the nation through these pilot projects, along with upgrading our technology and integrating social science research in our warning language, are helping us empower people to make life-saving decisions."
The FaceFirst product platform uses Samsung cameras to complement its proprietary facial recognition software system. The facial images captured by the cameras are automatically matched with watch-list photos so that, when "a person of interest" is identified, alerts are instantly sent directly to pre-provisioned computers, cell phones (as e-mail, SMS or MMS messaging), and/or cash registers.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano participated in a meeting with members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Advisory Council's (HSAC) Task Force on CyberSkills, during which the members discussed eleven recommendations related to five objectives aimed at improving the Department's ability to build a world-class cybersecurity team and a strong pipeline into the future.
W. L. Gore & Associates Inc. has announced the availability of a new line of products engineered specifically for today's patrol officer. The first two products available in the GORE® advanced products for law enforcement line - the GORE-TEX® lightweight patrol shell and the WINDSTOPPER® patrol soft shell - allow officers both to put the jacket on and to leave it on for the entire shift.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is changing the dynamics of public-private partnerships as they relate to medical countermeasures for public health threats. By using nontraditional partnerships, CDC is not only providing easier access but also reducing the time needed to dispense large quantities of antiviral drugs, thereby securing the overall health of the nation.
No two emergency scenarios are identical and some may call for "creative" solutions - for example, overriding triage strategies for victims of a weapon of mass destruction or substituting medications for scarce countermeasures. Understanding the rules and how far they can "bend" in a crisis situation may help save not only the lives of victims but also the jobs of responders and decision makers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the formation of an internal task force that will support the development of new antibacterial drugs, a critical public health care goal and a priority for the agency.
Raytheon Company has started to equip the motorcycle fleet of the Los Angeles (LA) County Sheriff's Department with computers that provide a new level of public safety and efficiency capabilities. Approximately 100 motorcycles will carry the new lightweight computers in saddlebags by the Fall.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that the application period is now open for the "Community Resilience Innovation Challenge." This opportunity is designed to continue to move community preparedness forward and assist local areas in building and revitalizing community-based partnerships to advance the nation's resilience to disasters.