september 2014

Reports

National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education: Empowering, Educating and Building Resilience

This report is a call to the nation to educate youth about actions that they and their families can take to protect their safety and well-being and that of their communities when disasters threaten or strike. With such education, the nations youth can help prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

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Updates

Updates to FirstDefender RM/RMX Instruments Improve Chemical Identification Capabilities

The Thermo Scientific FirstDefender RM/RMX v4.2 software update adds more than 400 new chemicals to the instruments library, including those on the European Unions REACH Chemical List and additional explosive precursors, steroids, and narcotics.

Updates

FDA Releases Updated Proposals to Improve Food Safety and Help Prevent Foodborne Illness

Based on extensive outreach and public comment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed revisions to four rules designed to help prevent foodborne illness. Once finalized, the rules will implement portions of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which aims to strengthen food safety by shifting the focus to preventing food-safety problems rather than responding to them.

Reports

Hospital Emergency Preparedness and Response During Superstorm Sandy

Federal regulations require that hospitals prepare for emergencies including natural disasters. The strength of Superstorm Sandy and the population density of the affected areas placed high demands on hospitals and related services.

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Updates

CBP Discusses Preclearance Expansion With Industry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Deputy Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan addressed the World Routes Strategy Summit in Chicago, Illinois, regarding Preclearance Expansion. CBPs preclearance operations are an important step in the U.S. governments effort to prevent terrorism from coming to our borders, said McAleenan.

Updates

RST Thermally Conductive Demron Offers Unique Protection in the Treatment & Transportation of Ebola Victims

RSTs Demron chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) suits offer unique capabilities in the war against Ebola Virus Disease. Because of Demrons patented thermal conductive capabilities, Ebola healthcare workers wearing the suits can be monitored externally for the onset of fever, one of the first signs of the disease.

Updates

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Takes Actions to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The executive order, signed by President Barack Obama, directs federal departments and agencies to implement the National Strategy, a five-year plan for enhancing domestic and international capacity to: prevent and contain outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections; maintain the efficacy of current and new antibiotics; and develop and deploy next-generation diagnostics, antibiotics, vaccines, and other therapeutics.

Commentary

Preparedness 101 & Beyond

by Catherine Feinman -

Critical infrastructure, sustainability, and resilience are terms that are commonly used by emergency planners, responders, and receivers in various disciplines and jurisdictions. However, questions surround who needs to understand and implement these concepts, how the terms are defined and used, and how the concepts contribute to resilient communities.

Preparedness

Staying Safe Amid a Violent World

by Richard Schoeberl -

New terrorist threats against Western nations surface each day. Although these threats have prevented many citizens of these nations from traveling abroad, many other citizens continue to travel for school, work, and pleasure. By recognizing the threats and taking adequate precautions, travelers can reduce their risk of harm to life and safety.

Commentary

Critical Infrastructure - Addressing an Overarching Concept

by Joe D. Manous Jr. -

Since 9/11, critical infrastructure has evolved from a basic awareness of security into robust discussions on how to sustain entire communities. Each natural and manmade disaster emphasizes the need for greater sustainability and resilience. In this podcast, subject matter experts discuss some of these lessons learned, as well as development of career fields and bodies of knowledge.

Updates

HHS Spurs Innovation to Develop Next-Generation Portable Ventilator

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will sponsor the advanced development of a next-generation portable ventilator to help fill the need for portable, low-cost, user-friendly and flexible ventilators in a pandemic or other public health emergency.

Preparedness

Critical Infrastructure Protection: History, Overview & Update

by Kay C. Goss -

Critical infrastructure protection focuses on everyday activities related to all kinds of hazards to promote security and threat deterrence. Community and infrastructure protection, transportation and trans-border security, and protection of key leadership and events encompass the mission activities of the new National Protection Framework.

Reports

The Readiness of the Department's Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center

The Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC) is a multi-agency Federal asset whose mission is to manage radiological, environmental monitoring and assessment activities during a nuclear or radiological incident within the United States. This report details FRMAC's operational readiness to accomplish its mission in the critical areas of personnel, training, lessons learned and equipment.

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Updates

AristaTek, Inc. Offers Complimentary Service/Software Update to Increase EPCRA Compliance

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires fixed facilities storing threshold quantities of hazardous materials self-report inventories and quantities using the EPCRA Tier II form. AristaTek is offering a new 'Tier II Analysis Service,' which is designed to help EPCRA administrators understand if their facility self-submitted data is complete and accurate, or if it contains errors and omissions which may necessitate a closer review of their submissions.

Reports

DHS Has Not Effectively Managed Pandemic Personal Protective Equipment and Antiviral Medical Countermeasures

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of the DHS pandemic preparedness efforts to determine if DHS effectively manages its pandemic preparedness supply of PPE and antiviral medical countermeasures. The report contains 11 recommendations aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Departments pandemic preparations.

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Updates

FACT SHEET: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

As the President has stated, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the humanitarian crisis there is a top national security priority for the United States. In order to contain and combat it, we are partnering with the United Nations and other international partners to help the Governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal respond just as we fortify our defenses at home.

Reports

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION:DHS Action Needed to Enhance Integration and Coordination of Vulnerability Assessment Efforts

This report examines the extent to which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is positioned to (1) integrate DHS vulnerability assessments to identify priorities, (2) identify duplication and gaps within its coverage, and (3) manage an integrated and coordinated government-wide assessment approach.

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Updates

LRAD Corporation Introduces the LRAD 360 Mobile Mass Notification System

The Mobile Mass Notification System is an integrated, self-contained, ruggedized trailer that uses a telescoping/folding mast to deploy an LRAD 360 to reach a maximum height of 30 feet, which provides highly intelligible voice communications for emergency warning and mass notification with area coverage up to 5.3 kilometers.

Reports

NRC Issues Strategic Plan 2014-2018

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a new Strategic Plan covering Fiscal Years 2014-2018. It provides a blueprint for the agency to plan, implement and monitor the work needed to achieve the NRCs mission for the next four years.

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Updates

Sandia Cyber-Testing Contributes to DHS Transition to Practice

Through the Department of Homeland Security's Transition to Practice (TTP) program, cybersecurity technologies developed at Sandia National Laboratories - and at other federal labs - now stand a better chance of finding their way into the real world.

Resilience

Building Resilience - School Safety & Security Standards

by Wayne P. Bergeron -

School shootings draw a lot of attention from the media as well as from the public, but the number of school deaths is small compared to those that occur away from school property. Although "statistically safe," schools still must prepare for a broad range of possible incidents and could benefit from standardized safety and security efforts.

Healthcare

Applying the Kipling Method to Infrastructure Protection

by Joseph Cahill -

In 1900, writer Rudyard Kipling created a story about "The Elephant's Child" that would not stop asking questions. More than 100 years later, planners must ask similarly tough questions in order to protect critical infrastructure assets that could have devastating ripple effects should they cease functioning.

Resilience

True Resilience in Practice

by Marko Bourne -

Recovery, risk mitigation, and economic growth are the necessary elements that compose the concept of resilience. Building this resilience, however, requires being able to break out of operational and program silos at all levels of government and to work with nontraditional community groups to harness the power of social media.

Updates

PharmAthene Awarded Contract of Up to $28.1 Million to Develop Next Generation Thermostable Anthrax Vaccine

PharmAthene Inc., a biodefense company, recently announced that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded the company a contract, valued at up to $28.1 million if all contract options are exercised, for the development of a next generation anthrax vaccine.

Updates

Attorney General Holder Announces Pilot Program to Counter Violent Extremists

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Department of Justice - in partnership with the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center - will launch a new series of pilot programs to bring together community representatives, public safety officials, and religious leaders to counter violent extremism.

Updates

Energy Department Announces $8 Million to Improve Resiliency of the Grid

In support of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan and the administration's commitment to improve national power-grid resilience, recently the U.S. Department of Energy announced more than $8 million for microgrid projects to help cities and towns better prepare for extreme weather events and other potential electricity disruptions.

Updates

Soligenix Announces Positive Survival Results With Heat Stable Ricin Toxin Vaccine

Soligenix Inc. recently announced promising preliminary results from a preclinical study with its ricin toxin vaccine RiVax, in a nonhuman primate (NHP) lethal aerosol exposure model. The study demonstrated that NHPs vaccinated with RiVax were completely protected against a lethal aerosol of ricin toxin with a highly significant survival benefit.

Updates

Texas A&M Professor Helps to Develop New Device That Detects Radiation Better Than Ever

In a move that could have huge implications for national security, researchers have created a very sensitive and tiny detector that is capable of detecting radiation from various sources at room temperature. The detector is eight to nine orders of magnitude - 100 million to as high as 1 billion - times faster than the existing technology.

Updates

iRobot Wins Contracts Valued at $9.6 Million From Canadian Department of National Defense

iRobot Corp. has been awarded multiyear contracts with an initial value of $9.6 million by the Canadian Department of National Defense. The contracts, awarded after a competitive bidding process, call for the delivery of iRobot 510 PackBot CBRN Recce Systems, training, and future product lifecycle support.

Updates

QuickSilver to Be a Supplier of CBRN Sampling Kits & Components for the Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits & Outfits (DR-SKO)

QuickSilver Analytics Inc. will be a supplier of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) sampling kits and components for the DR-SKO system, which balances performance and affordability to offer the best capability possible for our Joint Forces safety and readiness.

Preparedness

Military & Civilian Resources: Doing More With Less

by Aaron Sean Poynton -

The civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, has raised questions about the transfer of Department of Defense (DOD) resources to nonmilitary law enforcement agencies. However, the answers to these questions require some background information about the DOD 1033 program and the equipment used on the streets in Saint Louis County.

Resilience

Solar Storm Near Miss & Threats to Lifeline Infrastructure

by Charles (Chuck) L. Manto -

In July 2012, a disastrous solar storm could have crippled the country - and possibly the planet - for months had its occurrence not missed Earth by less than two weeks. New reports about that storm have reignited the discussion about the effects of an electromagnetic pulse and the impact on society.

Resilience

Leadership Consciousness: A Call to Action

by Samuel Johnson Jr. -

Being a great leader requires much more than just a title. True leaders build a solid foundation on honor and respect, which includes building rapport with others and being aware that all actions have consequences. Emergency management and public safety officials all have the ability to be "leaders" and agents for change.

Updates

New Tool to Educate Officers How to Operate the TraceX Explosives Detection Kit

Morphix Technologies® has created a classroom TraceX® Explosives Detection Training Kit that includes a unit designed to teach end users how to identify bombers, bomb-makers, and bomb-making facilities in a single test. This kit was developed in response to the increasing need for homemade explosive material detection training.

Updates

SoBran Unveils SafeMail DC Offsite Screening Facility

SoBran Inc., the international leader in mail security, is protecting D.C.-region personnel and businesses with its SafeMail® D.C. offsite mail screening facility. SafeMail D.C. was launched earlier this year, and now includes government agencies and commercial enterprises among its clients. The state-of-the-art screening facility is a first in the metropolitan area.

Updates

Recent Report Highlights Need for Greater Focus on Preparedness Planning for Households

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ad Council launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) as an extension of their national Ready campaign to encourage parents to develop an emergency preparedness plan. The new PSAs were unveiled in time for the 11th annual National Preparedness Month.

Updates

Smiths Detection Explosives Identifier Shown Not to Ignite Dark Samples; Chemical Identifier Analyzes Samples in Less Than One Minute

ACE-ID, Smiths Detection's newest product, is a noncontact explosives and precursors identifier that uses an advanced optical platform to minimize the risk of heating or possibly igniting dark samples during analysis. The HazMatID Elite chemical identifier effectively analyzes and identifies unknown solids and liquids in one minute or less.

Updates

MSA Develops the Most Streamlined SCBA Ever Produced

Based on feedback from firefighters and other first responders, MSA recently released the G1 SCBA - the most comfortable, streamlined, balanced, configurable, and customizable self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

Updates

Ensuring Biosafety and Biosecurity in U.S. Laboratories

The National Security Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy recently sent a joint memorandum to all federal departments and agencies involved in life-sciences research, urging them to address the underlying causes of the recent laboratory incidents and to strengthen overall biosafety and biosecurity at federal facilities.

Updates

HHS Contracts with Mapp Biopharmaceutical to Develop Ebola Drug

The development of a medication to treat Ebola patients will accelerate under a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. This contract supports the government-wide response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Reports

Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implements the CFATS regulations, which regulate security at high-risk facilities possessing more than certain amounts of one or more chemicals of interest. This report analyzes data from a variety of DHS presentations, testimonies, and other sources to present a historical overview of program performance to date.

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Updates

ZUMRO Announces Innovative Universal Awning System for Trailers

At the heart of this new system is a three-sided air shelter, which has been specially designed to work in conjunction with a trailer. It can be rapidly deployed by one or two people, then quickly attached to the side of the trailer using a proprietary hardware system.

Updates

Senator Mikulski Opens Doors to New ECBC Facility

U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) recently visited the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) for the ribbon cutting ceremony signifying the official opening of the recently completed Advanced Chemistry Laboratory. This state-of-the-art laboratory will safely advance defense research for emerging chemical threats.

Commentary

Critical Infrastructure - Preparing for the 'Long Haul'

by Joe D. Manous Jr. -

The terms critical infrastructure, sustainability, and resilience are common in the preparedness fields, but these concepts are not consistent across disciplines. To test novel ideas, develop program consistency, and establish a long-term effort, some issues must be addressed: separate fields vs. crosscutting concepts; entry-level vs. advanced topics; and "bodies of knowledge."

Preparedness

Planning for High-Impact Threats to Critical Infrastructure

Top experts will update measures to plan for and mitigate high-impact threats such as electromagnetic pulse, extreme space, and cyber on critical infrastructure. This year's conference also will review recent emergency management tabletop exercises providing insights into practical steps that can be taken to reduce the tragic effects of these high-impact scenarios.

Updates

Statement on Travel & Transport in Relation to Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak

Top officials from the World Health Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, World Tourism Organization, Airports Council International, International Air Transport Association, and the World Travel and Tourism Council have activated a Travel and Transport Task Force to monitor the Ebola situation and provide timely information for travelers.

Updates

Argon Sim Probes Convert Canberra Radiation Meters Into Training Simulators

Argon Electronics has launched two new simulation probe kits, which enable users to temporarily convert real radiation meters into simulation detectors. This enhances radiological response training exercises: (a) on a standalone basis for indoor or outdoor exercises; or (b) with PlumeSIM, enabling users to create virtual tabletop/classroom and large-area field exercises.

Updates

Signature Verification: The Choice for Positive Identification

Biometric-Signature Identification is a turnkey approach providing greater accuracy for online student verification. Biosignature authentication outshines personal identification numbers and passwords for verification of online enrollment and test-taking, while reducing financial aid fraud.