october 2017

Updates

Transforming Preparedness and Response Leaders: Being Ready When Everything Is on the Line

For almost 15 years, NPLI faculty have been observing and teaching preparedness and response leaders in federal, state, and local agencies as well as non-profit and private sector organizations. The core of the NPLI curriculum is the meta-leadership framework and practice method. The program meets on the Harvard campus for one week in December and again for a concluding session in June.

Updates

Release of the Refreshed NIMS Doctrine

FEMA released the refreshed National Incident Management System (NIMS) doctrine. NIMS provides a common, nationwide approach to enable the whole community to work together to manage all threats and hazards. NIMS applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity.

Updates

Clear Talk for First Responders

First responders and emergency management officials have been calling for high-speed, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular devices with three public safety “mission-critical voice” capabilities: push-to-talk, one-to-many, and direct mode. A new computer modeling tool from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) uses ns-3, an open-source network simulation software to assess factors that could impact the performance of future LTE cellular devices.

Preparedness

Prioritizing Life Safety While Addressing Classroom Security

by Lori Greene -

As school districts across the country provide an effective level of security within budgetary constraints, dozens of new retrofit security devices are being marketed to enhance the safety and security of students and teachers. Although the price tag for some of these security methods may be attractive, there are also significant life-safety implications to consider.

Commentary

Education – The Ultimate Personal Protective Equipment

by Catherine L. Weinmann -

A firefighter would not run into a burning building without turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus. A paramedic would not treat and transport a patient without proper body substance isolation precautions. A hazardous materials technician would not attempt to contain a highly toxic chemical spill without donning a Level A protective suit. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is standard issue for these professions. Responding to a disaster without sufficient education on the type of incident, the warning signs, the tools available, and even themselves would be like running into one of the above scenarios without the proper level of PPE.

Healthcare

Implications of the Opioid Crisis During Disaster Response

by Dawn Thomas -

During disaster response, individuals suffering from opioid addiction have both similar and unique needs as compared to those suffering from other types of illness. Emergency responders need the resources to manage opioid-addicted victims of a disaster, and response teams must be appropriately staffed to meet the physical and behavioral health needs of addiction. Response personnel must coordinate closely with local public health officials and other addiction stakeholders to facilitate access to local support services

Updates

Entries in Serious Board Game Award Competition Due 15 January 2018

Entries in the 2018 International Serious Play Awards for tabletop board and card games used in education or training are due 15 January 15 2018.

Resilience

Surviving the First Disaster Deployment

by Arthur Samaras -

When runners compete in their first marathon or triathlon, they often set goals such as, “I hope to break four hours,” or “I want to beat my brother’s time.” However, a different mindset should be taken for a first attempt at an endurance event. Rather than placing benchmarks or targets, the goal should be to simply finish the first event. This same advice applies to a first-time disaster deployment.

Reports

Wildfire Suppression Spending: Background, Issues, and Legislation in the 115th Congress

This report provides background information and analysis of federal funding for wildfire suppression operations. The report provides a discussion of the issues facing Congress and concludes by summarizing several legislative proposals under consideration by the 115th Congress. 

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Reports

2017 National Preparedness Report

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released the 2017 National Preparedness Report, which summarizes U.S. progress toward reaching the National Preparedness Goal of having a secure and resilient nation. The 2017 report identified 30 key findings across the Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery mission areas, describing the progress made during 2016 to advance national preparedness. 

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Commentary

Hurricane Harvey & What It Means for Future Disasters

by Dawn Thomas -

As initial search and rescue operations in Houston, Texas, following Hurricane Harvey shifted to recovery efforts, three CNA experts discussed the various challenges metropolitan areas face during, immediately after, and throughout the long-term recovery from a large-scale disaster. Drawing on their 40 years of collective experience, panel moderator Monica Giovachino, Jason McNamara, and Dawn Thomas shared perspectives on a wide range of disaster response and recovery topics.

Resilience

Lone Wolves – Finding the Red Flags

by Richard Schoeberl & Daniel Scherr -

The Department of Homeland Security has acknowledged that the threat of “lone wolf” attacks continues to represent the greatest threat to national security. This acknowledgement is supported by the fact that the United States is experiencing an unprecedented number of active shooter events – whether ideologically or non-ideologically inspired. Two weeks following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, details are no closer to being solidified and law enforcement continues to search for a motive.

Updates

S&T Helps Train Public Safety Practitioners in Flood Preparation

The third annual National Geospatial Preparedness Summit provided capacity-building training for the public safety community. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate First Responders Group provided expertise to support the development of this year’s training program, sessions, workshops, and the functional preparedness exercise based on a real-world flood scenario.

Updates

Experimental Ebola Vaccines Elicit Year-Long Immune Response

Results from a large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in Liberia show that two candidate Ebola vaccines pose no major safety concerns. These vaccines can elicit immune responses by one month after initial vaccination and last for at least one year. The findings are based on a study of 1,500 adults that began during the West Africa Ebola outbreak.

Reports

Federal Efforts to Develop Biological Threat Awareness

This report describes: (1) the types of actions that key federal agencies have taken to develop biological threat awareness, and how that information is used to support investment decisions; (2) the extent to which these agencies have developed shared threat awareness; and (3) the Department of Homeland Security’s National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center’s process for determining which additional threat characterization knowledge to pursue.

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Updates

HHS Pursues Reusable Respirator to Better Protect Medical Providers During Pandemics

An adequate supply of respirators for first responders and healthcare professionals is critical to protecting the health of workers responding to pandemics and other public health emergencies. To meet this need, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and Applied Research Associates Inc. will partner to advance the development of respirators that can be reused up to 100 times.

Reports

2016 National Network of Fusion Centers Final Report

The Department of Homeland Security conducts the annual fusion center assessment to provide a comprehensive picture of the performance of the National Network of Fusion Centers, helps measure the effectiveness of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding, and guides partners to invest in mission areas with the greatest potential benefit to the entire homeland. 

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Updates

HHS Pursues Therapeutic for Radiation Injury Affecting Blood Platelets

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced a partnership with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, to determine whether a product for treating patients suffering from thrombocytopenia could be used to better protect people in the event of a nuclear incident.

Resilience

Unmanned Aerial Systems & Emergency Management

by Kay C. Goss -

Long before the invention of drones, emergency managers determined the overall scope of a crisis using information from emergency personnel on the ground, and from the chain of command created through the Incident Command System. Today, drones have many capabilities that could enhance response activities and change the way disasters are managed. Hurricane Harvey demonstrated how this technology is rapidly changing.

Preparedness

Three Storms Demonstrate Five Forms of Flooding

by John Englander -

Flooding results from three primary forces: rainfall, coastal storm surge, and rising sea level, made even worse with by runoff and extreme tides. Recently, hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria showcased the new environmental conditions the world faces as well as the devastating damage that can occur when any combination of these flood types converges on a built community constructed without adequately addressing the increasing threats.

Updates

Public Health Innovation Impacts Disaster Relief Efforts

Following Hurricane Harvey, colleagues from the United States and Canada deployed to Rockport, Texas, through an unusual disaster relief organization – Field Innovation Team (FIT), a nonprofit organization that creates cutting-edge disaster solutions. They developed a Public Health Digital Brochure (telephone/Short Message Service hotline) and a donation management system that can be adapted to any community after a disaster.

Updates

HHS Sponsors Development of Drug to Treat Infections From Biowarfare Agents, Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will sponsor the next stages of development of an antibiotic that not only holds potential as a treatment for infections from certain types of drug-resistant bacteria but also may be able to combat infections caused by bacteria used in biowarfare.

Updates

Multiple Research Approaches Are Key to Pandemic Preparedness, NIAID Officials Say

Rapid deployment of effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines may stop major disease outbreaks from potentially exploding into a pandemic. A new article by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), examines three approaches to pandemic preparedness: pathogen-specific work, platform-based technologies, and prototype-pathogen efforts.

Resilience

National Safe Schools Week: Securing Learning Environments

by Mark Williams -

Studies show that children’s learning improves when they feel both physically and emotionally safe. As “National Safe Schools Week” (16-20 October 2017) approaches, it is an appropriate time to discuss how to create these environments through safe schools programs in local communities across the United States.

Updates

HHS Leverages Potential Respiratory Drug as Chemical Weapon Antidote

A potential antidote to treat the life-threatening effects of inhaled chlorine gas, a national security threat, will receive drug development support under a contract between the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a component of the Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK).

Updates

DHS Blue Campaign Announces New Training for Aviation Industry

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Transportation have released a new human trafficking training for aviation industry personnel through the Blue Lightning Initiative. Developed by survivor advocates, law enforcement, and aviation experts, the interactive, online module outlines common indicators of human trafficking that aviation personnel may specifically encounter.

Updates

NIST’s Quick Test May Speed Antibiotic Treatment and Combat Drug Resistance

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a potential new tactic for rapidly determining whether an antibiotic combats a given infection, thus hastening effective medical treatment and limiting the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Their method can quickly sense mechanical fluctuations of bacterial cells and any changes induced by an antibiotic.