The threat is imminent, and can become a reality at almost any time. But no one knows about it except those who plan to carry out the threat. Chicago's new District Intelligence Bulletin System (DIBS) is helping to even the odds by the extremely rapid dissemination, to law-enforcement agencies throughout the entire city, of almost real-time crime-scene information and other dangerous and potentially lethal threats, whether manmade or acts of nature.
How does one measure preparedness, particularly in the field of homeland defense? Slowly, most of the time - and very carefully - is the correct answer. But there are other relevant questions that first must be answered. What is being measured, for example? And who, or what agency, is in charge of the measuring? And how will the measurements taken being used?
QinetiQ North America, maker of the TALON family of robots, announced that it has formed a development partnership with Ahura Scientific Inc. to integrate Ahura's compact laboratory-grade Raman spectrometer onto TALON CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive)/Hazmat robots for first responders.
ImageTrend's Resource Bridge and Patient Tracking systems, proven emergency preparedness software solutions since 2003, are incorporating the newest technologies to promote cost-effective communications and supply critical information during emergencies.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has worked with airline and law enforcement authorities, as well as federal, state, local, and international partners to put additional security measures in place to ensure aviation security remains strong.
President Barack Obama has selected Howard Schmidt as the Cybersecurity Coordinator. Howard has over 40 years of experience in government, business, and law-enforcement; and brings a unique and deep experience to this important issue.
DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Janet Napolitano has supported the efforts of Governors and Congress to enact PASS ID, which puts states on the path to implementing national standards for identification documents and will enhance security across the country.
Pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and an occasional tsunami - they are all in a day's work (not all in the same day, though) for the highly professional emergency managers now assigned to a higher seat at the decision-makers' table, and whose primary duty is teaching the nation not only how to cope but also how to survive.
The Rapiscan Systems' 600 series of baggage and parcel screening systems include dual-energy transmission X-ray scanning for detection of organic and inorganic materials, as well as sophisticated image analysis tools and an intuitive, easy-to-operate Graphical User Interface.
FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Ready Campaign is reminding Americans to Resolve to be Ready in 2010. Resolve to be Ready is an annual initiative encouraging individuals, families, businesses and communities to make preparedness a part of their New Year resolutions.
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is awarding nine contracts for the advanced research and development of more effective tests and devices to determine the level of radiation a person has absorbed after a nuclear or radiological incident.
The Everbridge SmartGIS delivers a comprehensive, intuitive solution for critical citizen communication. From emergency incidents, such as hurricane evacuations to more routine communications like flash flood warnings and street closures, Everbridge SmartGIS solves the challenge of quickly and efficiently notifying citizens while providing emergency managers with critical information for improved decision-making.
The QRAE is a 4-gas confined space gas detector that can be deployed with one to four plug-in "smart" sensors for combustible gases (LEL), oxygen (O2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon monoxide (CO). The instrument can run up to 20 hours on a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and is housed in a rugged, water- and dust-resistant case.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano highlighted the Department's 2009 accomplishments in an address to employees - emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced a first-of-its-kind federal-state cybersecurity partnership-deploying the federally-developed cybersecurity technology EINSTEIN 1 to Michigan's cyber networks.
As the first wave of H1N1 flu recedes across the United States, hospital emergency-preparedness managers are reviewing their lessons learned in preparation for what many believe will be an even greater assault on their hospitals. Providence Health Systems deployed its GateKeeper alternative-care facilities just outside the hospital's emergency department (ED) to protect the hospital and staff from exposure while still providing appropriate care to the community.
When the moisture level in Iowa climbed several inches, and then several feet, last year, the residents of the Hawkeye state knew they were in for a very wet summer. The still-ongoing recovery process from the 2008 drenching required several new approaches, a courageous decision by the governor, and some very welcome outside help.
A greater focus on NIMS objectives seems likely, as well as some HICS modifications. But the possibility of maintaining recent-year funding levels is already very unlikely, and the final version of the healthcare-reform bill, if enacted, has yet to be determined.
From time immemorial, and in every society on earth, those who enforce the law have themselves been targeted for death or injury by those who break the law. The attacks against U.S. police and other law-enforcement professionals have become both more frequent and more violent in recent years. Fortunately, there are seven USMC-tested principles for personal survival that can be used to turn the tables on the lawbreakers.
"These transit grants play a major role in our efforts to work with our state, local, tribal, territorial, and private-sector partners to build a national culture of readiness and resilience," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "This year's guidance focuses on maximizing efficiency and value while prioritizing risk in awarding grants to strengthen our nation's transportation security."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host a "Know What to Do about the Flu" webcast on Wednesday, December 16, 2009. The webcast will feature the U.S. Surgeon General, experts from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the American Medical Association.
Authorities set up two 442-square-foot Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH) TMSS (Trailer Mounted Support System) Medium soft-walled shelter systems as a medical clinic. Doctors & nurses used the facility, which was equipped with power and air conditioning, to treat people for heat stroke, dehydration, cuts, and sprains, and to administer hundreds of vaccinations.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate addressed presidents, provosts, chancellors, and deans from a number of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) from across the country. The meeting was designed to provide the schools participating with an introduction to emergency management, a basic overview of EMI's (Emergency Management Institutes) higher education programs & an opportunity to hear from leading professionals in the field of emergency management.
The Phoenix Group has established a line of technologically advanced and innovative first-responder products, each of which provides specific solutions to problems first responders might encounter at any time.
With the new WebEOC Mapper Professional Version 2.1, decision makers at emergency operations centers can create a dynamic, geographically based common operating picture without the need for specialized GIS (Geographic Information System) or mapping experience.
STAXI Global Marketing Manager David Gallant said: "Many healthcare facilities and airports internationally are familiar with the concept of what is commonly called 'stackable wheelchairs.' However, STAXI is quite different from other mobility solutions; it is a safe, robust and comfortable transportation 'system' that pays for itself. This is rather new concept for most of Europe."
CYANOKIT is the only emergency antidote indicated for both known and suspected cyanide poisoning. The CYANOKIT will be sold and distributed through Meridian Medical Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of King Pharmaceuticals Inc.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the adoption of design specifications for the development of a gateway interface that will enable wireless carriers to provide customers with timely and accurate emergency alerts and warnings via their cell phones and other mobile devices.
"Our company has doubled in size in the past five years due to our continued focus on unique product and service innovation, and superior customer service," said DQE President, Howard Levitin, M.D., FACEP. "I look forward to the greater manufacturing and distribution capabilities that our new location will accommodate."
Sked's is a shuttle system used for evacuation purposes after major incidents. Sked's allows rescuers to enter the "hot zone," place victims onto an HMD (Haz-Mat Decontaminable) Sked, signals a decontamination station, and personnel at decon station will easily drag the patient to safety.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has officially launched Virtual USA, an innovative information-sharing initiative - developed in collaboration with the emergency-response community and state and local governments throughout the nation - that helps federal, state, local, and tribal first responders communicate during emergencies.
EMTrack is a multi-functional tracking solution that transforms the way healthcare officials collaborate to track people, patients, evacuees and associated property and equipment during hospital evacuations, large scale events, mass casualty incidents and public health emergencies.
The FilmArray integrates sample preparation, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) amplification, detection, and analysis into one easy-to-use system capable of detecting greater than 100 targets in one sample in less than an hour. CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) waivers apply to tests that are simple to perform and interpret and can be used by non-technically trained operators in virtually any laboratory setting.
Allegations, accusations, denials, congressional hearings, alleged cover-ups, and a raft of unanswered questions. That is the residue (so far) of one of the most publicized and, for practical purposes, least substantive "news stories of the year." There are, though, a few "actual facts," so to speak, that might also be mentioned. Just as a start.
For many decades the U.S. Coast Guard was the nation's "forgotten service" - except in time of war. In an era when international terrorism is the greatest threat to the U.S. homeland, though, the multi-mission service has moved front and center to a starring role. But it needs help from the private sector.
Eight years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks U.S. planners say that the nation is now "better" prepared than it was in 2001 - but not yet totally prepared. What they do not say is that total preparedness is a philosophical as well as financial impossibility. Continued improvements are the second best option, therefore, and definitely worth the cost involved.
Emergency planners, political and budget decision makers, and the general public are almost always more focused on preparing for last year's hurricane than they are concerned about this year's sudden earthquake, or tsunami, or - much more likely - long-predicted pandemic. Which is why common sense must sometimes take precedence.
The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Children and Families (ACF) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have signed an interagency agreement to implement an improved coordinated disaster case-management program.
TechRadium Inc., a Texas-based company that leads its sector with cutting-edge advances for electronic notification and response systems, has received another patent for its growing business, this time focused on utilities that use the company's IRIS product - Immediate Response Information System.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the release of fiscal year 2010 grant application guidance kits for 13 DHS grant programs totaling more than $2.7 billion - funds for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments & private sector entities to strengthen the nation's ability to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke about the serious threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the shared responsibility to counter these still evolving dangers. She also stressed the importance of protecting the nation's critical infrastructure from IEDs and other threats.
The eXaminer XLB high-performance explosives detection system (EDS) has been certified by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The eXaminer XLB, designed as a high-speed in-line system, is the first certified system to meet the industry's high-speed EDS classification.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that in fiscal year 2009 the two agencies made 14,841 seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods with a total domestic value of $260.7 million.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides a well documented report on the progress made and challenges faced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in key maritime, aviation, and cybersecurity areas.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced that a new DHS Science & Technology Directorate-led study will examine the probable behavior of airborne contaminants that might be released in public transportation systems.
MRS has worked with military, federal, and state agencies, as well as private firms, to use a total-solution approach to the handling of mass fatalities. The solution: portable cold-storage capability - i.e., the MERCSystem (Mortuary Enhanced Remains Cooling System), which is the first direct-contact cooling system using liquid cooling technology for the storage of human remains.
Peter Hsi, chief technology officer for RAE Systems, said that "We believe this award asserts our leadership in detection innovation, and now we have 20 patents and patents pending. We work closely with our customers to ensure we continually enhance solutions to meet changing needs."
Prevention - of terrorist attacks and/or other mass-casualty incidents - is and must be the first priority in homeland security. But when, not if, prevention fails, as it sometimes will, recovery and resilience move to center stage. The problem is that much has been accomplished in those areas, but much more is still required, and time is running short.
Ambulance drivers, EMTs, and other responders may not yet be able to perform brain surgery or heart transplants at the accident scene - but that time might be not too far off, thanks to rapid and continuing advances in medical technology, ultrasound and data-retrieval systems, and other scientific breakthroughs.
The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has received a one-year $1 million award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop the final component of an integrated monitoring system designed to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries by precisely locating and tracking them, in three dimensions, inside buildings.
Rapiscan Systems' President Ajay Mehra said that "We are pleased NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization] has chosen Rapiscan to meet its requirements for reliable and comprehensive threat detection. This award demonstrates our ability to provide end-to-end layered security screening solutions that address a wide range of threats in the most demanding environments."