Updates

Friendly Electromagnetic Pulse Improves Survival for Electronics

An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, emitted by a nuclear weapon exploded high above the United States could disable the electronic circuits of many devices vital to military defense and modern living. Military equipment designs— and some civilian designs as well — have been tested and improved by a “friendly” EMP generator installed at Sandia National Laboratories.

Four Ways to Enhance Language Access During Disaster Response and Recovery

A checklist, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in partnership with the HHS Office for Civil Rights, includes recommendations, specific action steps, and effective practices to assist emergency responders to communicate with various populations who have communication needs. The checklist also includes additional federal resources and tools for first responders.

TSA Releases Cybersecurity Roadmap

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released its Cybersecurity Roadmap, which will guide efforts to prioritize cybersecurity measures within TSA and across the transportation systems sector. The roadmap is the agency’s first, and closely aligns with the DHS Cybersecurity Strategy published earlier in 2018. It stresses the inextricable risks to critical cyber and physical transportation infrastructure, and provides a way forward to improve and protect the systems from threats.

Coast Guard, DHS S&T Venture Into Space With Polar Scout Launch

Coast Guard Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Program – in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) – launched two 6U CubeSats from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch is part of the Polar Scout project to evaluate the effectiveness of space-based sensors in support of Arctic search and rescue missions. Knowledge gained from this demonstration will be used to inform satellite technology recommendations for many potential applications within the Coast Guard and across DHS.

Operation Shortbread Is Not Your ‘Cookie Cutter’ MCM Exercise

In an emergency, health departments might activate a point-of-dispensing location (POD) to dispense medical countermeasures (MCMs) in the form of medicines – including antibiotics, vaccines, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates MCMs, which are used to diagnose, prevent, protect against, or treat people in a public health emergency. CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program supports state and local jurisdictions in their work to strengthen their ability to receive, distribute, and dispense MCMs during emergencies.

Reinventing Drug Discovery and Development for Military Needs

Military service members face conditions that place unique burdens on their individual physiology. The potential exists to develop pharmacological interventions to help service members complete their toughest missions more safely and efficiently, and then recover more quickly and without adverse effects. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created the Panacea program to pursue the means of rapidly discovering, designing, and validating new, multi-target drugs that work with the body’s complexity to better support the physiological resilience and recovery of military service members.

Clinical Trial of Investigational Ebola Treatments Begins in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

An international research team has begun patient enrollment in a clinical trial testing multiple investigational Ebola therapies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The randomized, controlled trial is enrolling patients of any age with confirmed Ebola virus disease at a treatment unit in the city of Beni operated by ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action), a medical humanitarian organization.

Squad X Improves Situational Awareness, Coordination for Dismounted Units

The first test of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Squad X Experimentation program successfully demonstrated the ability to extend and enhance the situational awareness of small, dismounted units. Squad X provides Army and Marine dismounted units with autonomous systems equipped with off-the-shelf technologies and novel sensing tools developed via DARPA’s Squad X Core Technologies program.

Congress Passes Legislation Standing Up Cybersecurity Agency in DHS

On 13 November 2018, the United States House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass legislation creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The CISA Act (H.R. 3359), which passed the Senate in October and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law, would reorganize DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate into a new agency and prioritize its mission as the Federal leader for cyber and physical infrastructure security.

Factsheet: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

On 16 November 2018, President Trump signed into law the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018. This landmark legislation elevates the mission of the former National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) within DHS and establishes the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This is the Factsheet released for the new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.