Updates

Study by Center for Health Security Identifies Characteristics of Microorganisms Most Likely to Cause a Global Pandemic

Infectious disease preparedness work focuses predominantly on an historical list of pathogens derived from biological warfare agents, political considerations, and recent outbreaks. However, this fails to account for the most serious agents not currently known or without historical precedent, according to scholars from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in a new report on the traits of microorganisms with high pandemic potential.

Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems in Urban Environments

There are global efforts focusing on using drone technology to improve and support everyday lives, and the commercial market is offering increasingly small, relatively inexpensive and capable drones. Given their rapid technology advancement and proliferation, the public safety and homeland security communities must address the fact that drones can be used nefariously or maliciously to hurt people, disrupt activities, and damage infrastructure.

Powerful Hurricanes Strengthen Faster Now Than 30 Years Ago

Hurricanes that intensify rapidly – a characteristic of almost all powerful hurricanes – do so more strongly and quickly now than they did 30 years ago, according to a recently published study. The chief driver is a natural phenomenon that affects the temperature of the waters in the Atlantic where hurricanes are powering up.

NFPA Releases the World’s First Active Shooter/Hostile Event Standard With Guidance on Whole Community Planning, Response, and Recovery

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released NFPA 3000™ (PS), Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program to help communities holistically deal with the fast-growing number of mass casualty incidents that continue to occur throughout the world. Serving as the first of its kind, NFPA 3000 provides unified planning, response, and recovery guidance, as well as civilian and responder safety considerations.

Perdue Announces Additional Hurricane and Wildfire Recovery Details

Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). The 2017 WHIP is just one of many programs available through USDA to help with recovery from drought, wildfires, and other disasters.

DHS Reissues the NTAS Bulletin

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen reissued the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin pertaining to the terror threat to the U.S. homeland. After carefully considering the current threat environment, as well as input from the Department’s intelligence and law enforcement partners, Nielsen determined it is necessary to extend the NTAS Bulletin at this time.

Vog Dashboard Offers Comprehensive Information and Advice on Volcanic Health Hazards

As the lava flow from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii Island continues and southerly winds occasionally prevail, vog conditions and the presence of sulfur dioxide (SO²) in the air may increase and fluctuate in various areas of the state. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging residents and visitors to access the Hawaii Interagency Vog Information Dashboard for the most comprehensive and up-to-date online information on vog and SO² from volcanic activity in Hawaii.

NIAID-Sponsored Trial of a Universal Influenza Vaccine Begins

A Phase 2 clinical trial of an investigational universal influenza vaccine intended to protect against multiple strains of the virus has begun in the United States. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is being conducted at four U.S. sites. The trial is testing an experimental vaccine for safety and its ability to produce potentially broad protective immune responses.

A Heavyweight Solution for Lighter-Weight Combat Vehicles

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed and successfully tested a novel process, called Friction Stir Dovetailing, that joins thick plates of aluminum to steel. The new process will be used to make lighter-weight military vehicles that are more agile and fuel efficient.

DHS S&T Awards First Phase 4 Award for IoT Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced Ionic Security Inc. is the first company to successfully complete prototype testing and move to the pilot deployment phase as part of the Silicon Valley Innovation Program. Ionic successfully tested a secure, data transfer plug-in specifically designed for video surveillance systems.