The elderly are particularly vulnerable to disasters given the increased likelihood of having physical or mental health conditions or being socially isolated due to a lack of a support network. It is important for counties to assess the needs of and have plans in place to assist their elderly populations in the event of a disaster.
Many studies have shown that firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) responders have a high likelihood of experiencing an assault since they respond to calls in varied locations, often paired with only one or two colleagues. Researchers on the Stress and Violence to Fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER) study found many improvements organizations can make to mitigate the risk and impact of assaults on their responders.
The updated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training is now available. It features a revised Disaster Medical Operations section, updated Terrorism and CERT section, and new hazard-specific annexes. Find the new curriculum materials online and order free copies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency publications warehouse.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) Program Management Office has updated IPAWS to implement enhancements that will strengthen Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The WEA enhancements improve upon current WEA capabilities already in use by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management, and public safety officials nationwide.
Rapid advances in pathogen genomics have ushered in a new era of “precision public health.” Next-generation sequencing is already enabling more effective investigations of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, better-targeted tuberculosis control, and more timely and granular influenza surveillance to inform the selection of vaccine strains.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the first Project BioShield contract to fund the advanced development needed to support the expanded use of an existing antibiotic to treat exposure to inhalational anthrax. If the additional development work is successful, the antibiotic could become the first antibiotic developed and procured through Project BioShield to treat potentially drug-resistant bioterrorism agents.
When disaster strikes, critical infrastructure failures – from loss of power and water to failures of information technology infrastructure and systems – can follow. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection has tools, resources, and partnerships to help respond more effectively in an emergency.
A new intentional adulteration (IA) online training course has been made available. The “IA Food Defense Plan Preparation and Reanalysis” online course was developed through a partnership between the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) Intentional Adulteration Subcommittee and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Ervebo, the first FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of Ebola virus disease (EVD), caused by Zaire ebola virus in individuals 18 years of age and older. Risk of EVD in the U.S. remains low, but the U.S. government remains committed to fighting Ebola outbreaks in Africa.