by Albert V. Romano, Senior Vice President, Homeland Security, Michael Baker Jr. Inc., DP40 Supported by Dennis Schrader, President, DRS International, DP40 -
The DP40 and DomPrep readers assessed their opinions on their understanding or interest of the PS-Prep Program. The results suggest that these communities do not yet have the understanding necessary to successfully implement the PS-Prep Program.
The purpose of the PS-Prep (Private Sector Preparedness) Program is to enhance nationwide resilience in an all-hazards environment by encouraging private sector preparedness. The program will provide a mechanism by which a private sector entity - a company, facility, not-for-profit corporation, hospital, stadium, university, etc. - may be certified by an accredited third party establishing that the private sector entity conforms to one or more preparedness standards adopted by DHS (the U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has announced the first eight contract awards under an initiative to help modernize and improve the nation's infrastructure for producing medical countermeasures that protect against natural and man-made biological threats.
The goal is clear: to protect the U.S. homeland from CBRN attacks today, tomorrow, and far into the future. But the race - against an implacable enemy - is endless, there are numerous gaps and pitfalls blocking the way forward, and the winner may not necessarily be the runner who is the best trained and equipped but the one who is the most determined.
Leveraging proven technologies utilized by hundreds of government agencies and companies worldwide, this enhanced partnership delivers a comprehensive, one-stop solution for uninterrupted communication. The combination of PlantCML's advanced emergency notification capabilities and Onset's Priority Blackberry messaging allows clients to further expand and ensure their communication reach.
The three day forum, hosted by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in Baltimore, brought together leaders from the emergency management and disability communities to discuss strategies to integrate the entire community into planning for emergencies.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced the availability of approximately $98 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for advanced technology (AT) X-ray units and inline baggage screening systems - enhancing the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) ongoing efforts to strengthen airport security.
Idaho Technology Inc. has launched the new RAZOR Simulant Training Kit (SIM 10), which provides functional training for RAZOR EX and RAZOR operators. The SIM 10 allows trainees to practice sample collection and preparation, pouch loading, and operating the RAZOR EX or RAZOR BioDetection instrument including data analysis.
by Christopher Wrenn, Senior Director, Sales & Marketing, Environics USA -
This is the second of a four-part series on Chemical Detection and Decontamination for Multiple Applications. Not all Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) detection products are created equal. Traditionally, CWA detectors could only detect chemicals above the alarm threshold level. Now there is an alternative to the expensive larger models that can not only detect chemicals below the alarm threshold but can also act as a "sniffer" to locate the origin of the agent and provide classifications of the chemicals.
"How clean is clean?" That is the question that DHS officials and their state and local counterparts are asking themselves, and one another, in their efforts to persuade the American people that an office building, a residential complex, or other public site once contaminated by anthrax (or any other toxic agent) can indeed be completely decontaminated and made once again safe for humans and other living creatures.
Nine years later, and nothing has changed! Well, that is not exactly true. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is alive and, although not always moving forward at flank speed, has made considerable progress in several ways. Many relatively new programs should be expanded and upgraded, though, particularly those involving state and local jurisdictions - and the private sector.
The Department of Homeland Security's Customs & Border Protection branch has several immensely important responsibilities. There is no other challenge, though, quite so daunting as its primary duty of keeping nuclear weapons and/or devices from entering any of the more than 300 U.S. ports of entry from overseas. Making that task even more difficult, unfortunately, are a number of major cost, technological, and bureaucratic complications.
Mark Laustra, Vice President of Homeland Security, Smiths Detection, said: "We share the same concerns of teachers, administrators, and parents across the country on how to keep our kids and colleges secure. Communities can feel safer knowing that the same technology the federal government trusts for screening bags at airports is also being used for school security."
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has been selected by the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) to be the sole education provider to its members. The new agreement provides AUSA's more than 100,000 members access to all 130 of UMUCs degree and certificate programs.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the availability of nearly $20 million in new technical support assistance to help critical access and rural hospital facilities convert from paper-based medical records to certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has announced that it has awarded GLOCK Inc. an unrestricted open-market competitive firm-fixed-price Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) multiple-award contract. The ATF has selected the GLOCK 22 Gen4 and 27 .40 caliber semi-automatic pistols as their choice of duty weapons, demonstrating that GLOCK earned the bureau's trust and confidence.
The Public Health Department of California's Santa Barbara County has selected the IRMS 360|Enterprise solution suite for inventory management and emergency management & response from Upp Technology. The software, which includes the IRMS|WM Warehouse Management and IRMS|EM Emergency Management, will collect, manage, track, and report on a broad spectrum of critical county emergency supplies.
Prepare for today's challenging times in homeland security and emergency management with the Homeland Security Management Institute of Long Island University's exceptional online graduate degree and certificate programs - programs designed and delivered by professionals for professionals.
The United States Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), has announced the release of Respiratory Diseases and the Fire Service, a report discussing the findings of a long-term study intended to examine and improve the occupational health of firefighters.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $13 million to 14 accredited schools of public health to establish Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLCs) to enhance public health training and expand the public health workforce.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has launched a national website for the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP). The HHS national ESAR-VHP website provides a single point of entry for potential volunteers, connecting them with each state's ESAR-VHP program, so that health professionals can volunteer quickly without losing time waiting to have their credentials verified.
Purdue University is part of a national effort to create a new line of defense against improvised explosive devices and hidden bombs by developing detectors that use sound and radio waves to penetrate shielding materials.
Among the various threats to the safety and security of a nation, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack should not be overlooked. The potential threat of an EMP attack has been recognized since the early 1960s, but the growing debate surrounding this possibility parallels modern civilizations' growing dependency on electronics and the electrical grid. Thus the possibility of this type of attack has more far-reaching and devastating effects than in past decades. Stratfor Global Intelligence presents this compelling article about EMP attacks as well as possible scenarios and effects.
The QHSR, the BUR, NFPA, and PS-Prep are marching in lockstep in their combined efforts to upgrade the nation's awareness of resilience as a primary goal of preparedness planning, training, and implementation. Here are some helpful guidelines that political decision makers, budget managers, and operating professionals alike might find useful in developing their own resilience and business-continuity plans and policies.
Personal Protective Equipment, particularly and specifically including PPE clothing, provides excellent but not 100 percent guaranteed safety against the CBRNE weapons and devices that are the terrorists' weapons of choice in today's increasingly dangerous world. But using PPE properly and effectively takes both time and training, and can add significantly to the "cost of doing business."
MobileTrace devices screen for threats in two ways. They detect the presence of residual materials on samples taken by swiping test swabs on items such as baggage, tickets, clothing, and skin. The devices also draw in vapor samples to detect airborne threats. MobileTrace is the first simultaneous dual-mode handheld detector available, and expands the range of target explosives that can be identified in a single sample for faster and more comprehensive security screening.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced the deployment of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded advanced imaging technology (AIT) to eight additional airports nationwide - strengthening security at U.S. airports while creating local jobs. She also announced that TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has installed its 200th total AIT unit nationwide.
The Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Nursing has received a $900,000 federal grant to increase the number of students who are minorities or from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who graduate from the baccalaureate nursing (BSN) program.
Cinch's encrypted intrusion detection system (IDS) wins UL 1076 approval of the Cinch Systems Protector IDS System. The Protector IDS acts not only as a security system but also as a point-monitoring system, a metrics-monitoring system, and a networking subsystem.
As part of its ongoing efforts to cultivate public-private partnerships at the state and local level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently launched a new web page for state and local officials and their private-sector partners to provide them with resources and the opportunity to share practices and ideas.
"Regional Administrators are crucial to our ability to respond effectively to emergencies based on the needs of the communities we serve," said Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate. "MaryAnn Tierney is not only an experienced emergency manager, but her background in local government and her knowledge of the region make her uniquely qualified to lead our efforts there."
Avineon Inc. has announced its online Readiness Index Tool, which provides businesses with the opportunity to measure their emergency preparedness - and will be introduced through a series of webinar demonstrations.
Under the contract, ManTech will provide 24/7 incident handling and strategic support to help detect and report malicious cyber activities targeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Agriculture Security Operations Center (SOC) enterprise information infrastructure.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate has kicked off the seventh annual National Preparedness Month by reminding people about the importance of family and community emergency preparedness.
The risks may be theoretically "controlled" but they are still risks - and controls don't always work. Which is the reasoning behind the "two-in/two-out" rule, the need for an EMS specialist on scene, and the ethical imperative guiding the decisions of political leaders and emergency managers.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has developed a next generation of rapidly deployable emergency response teams called Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs). The IMATs are full-time, rapid-response teams with dedicated staff able to deploy within two hours and arrive at an incident within 12 hours to support the local incident commander.
"Each IRMS Go-Kit is an emergency warehouse-in-a-box, containing all of the essential elements to effectively manage emergency resources and patient treatment sites wherever they are needed," said Upp Technology President Carl Brewer. "They are highly scalable with the ability to manage up to 1,000 patients per hour and are easily integrated for Emergency Operations Center (EOC) decision support."
There are still many important lessons to be learned from the massive "Looking Glass" tabletop exercise carried out almost three years ago just a dirty-bomb's throw from downtown New York City. Here is a quick and easy primer on some of the most important of those lessons.