may 2016

Updates

DoD Adds Funding to Enhance Zika Surveillance by Military Labs

The Department of Defense (DoD) is providing $1.76 million in extra funding to military laboratories to expand Zika virus surveillance worldwide and assess the virus's impact on deployed service members' health and readiness, Navy Cmdr. Franca Jones said in a recent interview.

Reports

Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions

Earthquakes and related events, such as soil liquefaction, landslides, tsunamis, floods, and fires, pose risks to highway infrastructure. With an interest in protecting public safety, facilitating response and recovery efforts, and minimizing economic loss and social disruption, this report addresses frequently asked questions about earthquake risk and highway system components, especially bridges.

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Updates

CNA to Lead Initiative to Implement Recommendations of President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing

CNA, in partnership with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and in cooperation with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, will lead an initiative to provide training and technical assistance to implement the recommendations and action items of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing Final Report.

Updates

NEMA Testifies Before Congress on Enhancing Preparedness and Response Capabilities to Address Cyber Threats

Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services for the State of California, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). The hearing examined how the Department of Homeland Security is assisting states in preparing for and responding to cyberattacks.

Preparedness

Assessing the Iran Deal

by Jerome H. Kahan -

With the United States as de facto leader, the five members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany - the so called "5+1" club - spent over two years negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or so-called "nuclear deal," which is expected to reduce the danger of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. However, the nuclear deal is not seen by all as a "good deal."

Commentary

Border Control Challenges - A Roundtable Discussion

by Robert C. Hutchinson & Catherine L. Feinman -

The topic of borders - ports of entry, security, and public health concerns - has become politicized, and the focus on true border security has been somewhat lost. Educating politicians and instilling practicality in the public are necessary before any effective border security policy changes can be made. A recent roundtable discussion addressed these critical issues.

Preparedness

Tapping Media for Credible Disaster Communication

by Steven Johnson -

Few preparations made in anticipation of a disaster pay bigger dividends than how the team communicates with the news media and the public during a disaster. Seamless and coordinated communication is as important as seamless and coordinated operations - both during the disaster and in the recovery stage. Communications and operations must work in tandem.

Updates

USDA Announces $10.7 Million Available For Critical Water Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $10.7 million in funding for research that could solve critical water problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. This funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Reports

Nuclear Security: Status of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Effort to Develop a Security Infrastructure Plan

This report examines (a) the status of National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) efforts to develop a statutorily required Security Infrastructure Plan; and (b) the extent to which NNSA's future physical security infrastructure needs are included in the agency's current budget and planning documents.

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Updates

NYPD, FDNY and DHS Stage Active Shooter Scenario at Brooklyn High School to Test New Technologies

The New York Police Department (NYPD), the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate recently took part in an active shooter exercise at a Brooklyn high school to evaluate tactics and technologies for responding to and containing rapidly escalating shooting incidents.

Updates

System Harnesses Thousand of Network Cameras for Public Safety

Purdue researchers have developed a prototype system that could allow law enforcement and public safety agencies to tap into thousands of cameras located in numerous venues including parking garages, college campuses, national parks, and highways. The system can also be used during natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards, to find damage and plan rescues.

Preparedness

Planning in Miami for Changes in Cuba

by Manuel A. Morales -

Changes in the relationship between the United States and Cuba have come fast and furious since the December 2014 announcement by the Obama administration that diplomatic relations would resume between the two former foes. Understanding past incidents will help the nation address current and future concerns as movement between these two countries increases.

Preparedness

Porous Borders & Cultivated Threats

by Richard Schoeberl -

As the United States embarks on the 2016 presidential campaign, the great debate on immigration and border security will continue to remain a blistering topic. However, controlling the borders is far more than just immigration control, it is about providing national security and protecting the American people from the threats that loom on the horizon.

Commentary

National Threats: Advice for the Next President

by Mark-Jon Nichols -

Four key threats the nation faces will follow the next president of the United States into office. These threats are not new, but will increase if not effectively addressed. Whoever is elected for this leadership position must be equipped with the right information in order to prioritize and make tough decisions regarding these threats.

Reports

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress

Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications, by creating the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). This report discusses the process and resulting issues for Congress's consideration.

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Updates

DHS Partners With University of North Dakota to Research Unmanned Aerial Technology

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate and the University of North Dakota announced a three-year cooperative research and development agreement designed to explore the uses of unmanned aerial technology as well as mitigations for possible misuse.

Preparedness

A Checklist for Rethinking Crisis Communications

by Thomas Wahle -

Crisis communications planning is key to any emergency preparedness effort. One reason that so many organizations struggle with communications when crises strike may be that they focused their planning efforts on the crisis plan document without creating a shared vision of desired outcomes. They failed to define what they actually needed to do to communicate.

Preparedness

Inexperience - Filling the Void

by Romeo Lavarias -

In response to 9/11, the United States instituted one of the most massive changes in government with the creation and development of the Department of Homeland Security. Since then, a combination of massive attrition, personnel retirements, and complacency due to lack of new disasters has created a void of experienced government emergency personnel that must be addressed.

Reports

Anthrax Infections and Anthrax Vaccine

The U.S. Department of Defense recently published an updated information paper for service members and military medical personnel regarding the types and symptoms of anthrax infections, as well as vaccine dosing and caution information.

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Updates

HHS Sponsors Point-of-Care Anthrax Diagnostic Test

The first blood test for anthrax that could show results within minutes at a doctor's office or emergency room will take the final steps in development with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Reports

Decontamination Guidance for Chemical Incidents

The Primary Response Incident Scene Management (PRISM) series was written to provide authoritative, evidence-based guidance on mass casualty disrobe and decontamination during a chemical incident. The PRISM documentation comprises three volumes: Strategic Guidance, Tactical Guidance, and Operational Guidance.

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Updates

HHS-Sponsored Study Shows Disrobing Is Vital Decontamination Method

Ninety-nine percent of chemical contamination can be removed by carefully removing clothes and wiping skin with a paper towel or dry wipe, according to new scientific studies of decontamination methods sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Updates

Building Security Into Cyber-Physical Systems: NIST Researchers Suggest Approach for Trustworthy Modern Infrastructure

Information technology (IT) is deeply embedded in traditionally non-IT systems, including automobiles, the electric grid, and emergency response. In many of these systems, security is largely incorporated as a last step. A new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publication recommends ways to incorporate security design principles and concepts at every step.

Updates

NNSA Conducts Fifth Experiment Aimed to Improve U.S. Ability to Detect Foreign Nuclear Explosions

On 26 April 2016, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) conducted the fifth experimental conventional explosion as part of its Source Physics Experiment (SPE) series. The SPE series, conducted at the Nevada National Security Site, improves the United States' capability to detect and characterize underground nuclear explosions.

Commentary

Border Control: Always On Guard

by Armin Cate -

Significant budgetary and political constraints should not keep people from fully exercising their authority and cause them to suffer the consequences should an attack take place. Working under budgetary-constrained environments is always difficult, but it takes on more urgency when there are clearly identified enemies that intend to harm the homeland. Difficult times call for innovative measures.

Commentary

Plan D: A Bosnian Healthcare Worker's Survival Guide

by James Terbush -

This article derives from an extended interview with Dr. Rajko Anic. As a physician during the 1992-1995 Yugoslav war and an accomplished mixed martial arts fighter, Anic explained that - when in a fight and the opponent seems to be countering every move - "If Plan A doesn't work out for you, then try B, C, or even D."

Resilience

Florida - Doing More With Volunteers

by Freddy Zelaya & Romeo Lavarias -

Today's disasters are more frequent and more complex than ever before. Although governments at all levels have risen to the occasion by training personnel and securing equipment and resources, there will always be a lack of manpower. This gap has been addressed using volunteers, who - despite having the best of intentions to help those in need - often lack the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Updates

S&T Looks to Invest in Smart Fabrics to Support First Responders

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T) First Responders Group Director Daniel Cotter said, "Over all, we need to think of smart fabrics as being a technology platform to support the Next Generation First Responder Apex Program, which is specifically designed to help tomorrows first responder be better protected, connected, and fully aware."

Updates

Federal Resources Completes Acquisition of KD Analytical

Federal Resources Supply Company announced it has acquired KD Analytical Consulting, Inc. The acquisition significantly expands upon Federal Resources' current success in providing high-quality, cost-effective total life-cycle solutions for its customers. KD Analytical's expertise in critical infrastructure protection and environmental analysis greatly advances Federal Resources' capability to serve these complementary markets.

Reports

Critical Infrastructure Protection: Federal Agencies Have Taken Actions to Address Electromagnetic Risks, but Opportunities Exist to Further Assess Risks and Strengthen Collaboration

This report examines: (a) the extent to which key federal agencies have taken action to address electromagnetic risks and how these actions align with the 2008 EMP Commission report recommendations; and (b) the additional opportunities that exist to enhance federal efforts in addressing electromagnetic risks to the electric grid.

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Updates

CyberFence Receives AFCEA 'Best Value' Award for Critical Infrastructure Protection That Reduces Costs of Cyber Defense

Ultra Electronics, 3eTI® announced that its product, CyberFence, received "Best Value" honors at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium on 22 April 2016 in Washington, D.C. This award solidifies the CyberFence value proposition for providing robust and highly vetted security to industrial automation and control systems that shields against cyberattacks.

Updates

UCI's New Biocontainment Lab to Be Designated a National Training Center

The National Institutes of Health's National Biosafety & Biocontainment Training Program has selected the University of California, Irvine's (UCI) high-containment biosafety level 3 training laboratory as the third U.S. facility to provide continuing education to professionals. The official National Training Center is the first of its kind in the country to be designed and built solely for educational purposes.

Updates

Chile Quake at Epicenter of Expanding Disaster and Failure Data Repository

The National Institute of Standards and Technology Disaster and Failure Studies Data Repository was established in 2011 to provide a place where data collected during and after a major disaster or structural failure, as well as data generated from related research, could be organized and maintained to facilitate study, analysis and comparison with future events.

Updates

Launch of U.S. Subsidiary by Professional Drone World Leader Delair-Tech

After its recent fundraising, Delair-Tech continues its global expansion with a new base in Los Angeles, California, to develop its U.S. activities. Delair-Tech has developed full-fledged solutions based on the use of long-range drones to support decision making for major groups in the transport, energy, mining, security, and agricultural sectors.

Updates

USDA Announces $6 Million in Available Funding for Antimicrobial Resistance Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $6 million. "Through our Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan, USDA is leading the way to better understand how antibiotic resistance develops, find alternatives to antibiotics, and educate people on practices that reduce the need for antibiotics," said Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack.

Updates

HHS Helping Lift Key Hurdle in the Efforts to Develop Better Zika Diagnostics

To speed the development of diagnostic tests for Zika virus infection, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will support the collection of blood samples from people in the continental United States and Puerto Rico who have been infected with Zika virus.

Commentary

DomPrep Journal: Preparing Communities

The DomPrep Journal features original content written by practitioners in various emergency preparedness and resilience fields. Addressing the needs of professionals dedicated to preparing and protecting their communities, the first four issues of the 2016 volume have been downloaded a total of more than 200,000 times! To view these or other past issues, visit the DomPrep Journal page.

Reports

From Concept to Reality: Operationalizing Social Media for Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Social media and collaborative technologies have become critical components of emergency preparedness, response and recovery. This report is intended for use by all public safety disciplines and all types of agencies to better understand and utilize social media and other web-based tools without having to duplicate effort or spend undue resources searching for examples, policy templates, or guidance.

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Updates

DOT Releases New Emergency Response Guidebook

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released the 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook, providing first responders with an updated go-to manual to help respond to hazardous materials transportation accidents during the critical first minutes.

Updates

908 Devices Expands First Responder Toolkits in the Nation

908 Devices announced that the National Capital Region's Hazardous Materials Committee has purchased nine of its handheld mass spectrometer for downrange threat detection and identification (M908). The addition of M908 replaces older, technologically obsolete mass spectrometers with an innovative technology that is user friendly and inexpensive to maintain.

Reports

MCMi Program Update-Fiscal Year 2015

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue an annual report detailing its medical countermeasure activities. This report covers the development and availability of medical countermeasures, including regulatory science and legal and policy actions related to medical countermeasure (MCM) for fiscal year 2015.

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