january 2017

Updates

Commercialized S&T Technologies Meet Critical Response Needs

Since technology can play a pivotal role in how first responders perform on the job, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s First Responders Group relies on first responder input throughout the research and development phases and beyond. Several technologies developed to meet the critical needs of first responders are now available for agencies to purchase and use.

Reports

Prevent, Counter, and Respond—A Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats (FY 2017–FY 2021)

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has updated its report, “Prevent, Counter, and Respond – A Strategic Plan to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats (FY 2016-FY 2020).” Since the initial report was published in March 2015, significant changes have occurred in the nuclear and radiological threat environment. This report describes these and other important developments and implications.

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Updates

Mason Leads Training for First Responders

A three-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences provides funding for biological safety training. Fire and emergency medical services and law enforcement personnel throughout the mid-Atlantic learn how to protect themselves during infectious disease outbreaks or pandemics thanks to training from George Mason University’s Office of Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management.

Reports

Pre-Disaster Recovery Planing Guide for State Governments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designed this planning guide to help states and territories prepare for recovery by developing pre-disaster recovery plans that follow a process to engage members of the whole community, develop recovery capabilities across state government and nongovernmental partners, and ultimately create an organizational framework for comprehensive state recovery efforts.

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Updates

Pennsylvania Launches TRAIN Learning Network Site

Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency have partnered to launch TRAIN PA, the state’s new TRAIN Learning Network site. TRAIN PA joins a growing list of TRAIN Affiliates that use the TRAIN Learning Network to collaborate on workforce development and capacity-building initiatives across state agencies, local health departments, and other partners.

Healthcare

Sustainable Emergency Preparedness & Response for Hospitals

by Rachel Clark & Oscar Enriquez -

A cohesive, well-developed disaster response team is essential to prevent adverse incidents and lives lost. Meeting current safety guidelines must be enculturated for a successful program, thus saving lives and providing optimal quality of life after a major disaster. Completing the minimal requirements for tasks to meet current safety guidelines is not enough to save lives.

Updates

Statement by Secretary Kelly on Inauguration Security

This statement by the Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security, Gen. John Kelly, thanks the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security and other state, local, and federal law enforcement personnel for their work during the 58th presidential inauguration.

Commentary

The Changing Face of Disasters Demands New Thinking

by Vincent B. Davis -

New problems call for new solutions. The definitions and parameters, in which emergency management, law enforcement, nongovernment organizations, and others now work under, are inadequate to meet the new challenges of today. Furthermore, the old rules as to how and why to prepare simply do not apply anymore.

Reports

Fire Department Overall Run Profile (2014)

This report profiles U.S. fire department run activity as reflected in the National Fire Incident Reporting System. It will help readers to understand the full role that fire departments play in a community. In 2014, fire departments responded to 23,315,600 reported incident calls.

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Updates

South African Study Provides Compelling New Evidence on Role of Person-to Person Transmission in Drug-Resistant TB Epidemics

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine provides compelling evidence that extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) is spread from person-to-person in the KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa from 2011–2014. It builds on a growing body of evidence showing that person-to-person transmission, not just inadequate treatment, is driving the spread of drug-resistant TB.http://whsc.emory.edu/home

Updates

Completing the Development of Ebola Vaccines

At a time when public attention is diverted from Ebola and the sense of urgency that propelled a rapid public health response in 2014 and 2015 has faded, the push to bring an Ebola vaccine to licensure and fully prepare the world for the next outbreak must not abate, according to the third report from the Ebola Vaccine Team B.

Reports

Quick Reference: Health and Safety Planning Guide for Planners, Safety Officers, and Supervisors for Protecting Responders Following a Nuclear Detonation

This document supports the “Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation” and was designed to provide responders with specific guidance and recommendations about the radiation risk associated with responding to an improvised nuclear device event, in order for them to protect themselves from the effects. 

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Reports

Health and Safety Planning Guide for Planners, Safety Officers, and Supervisors for Protecting Responders Following a Nuclear Detonation

Response in the aftermath of a nuclear detonation will be extremely challenging. This guidance is intended to aid in preserving the health and safety of response personnel in order to sustain lifesaving and critical infrastructure support for the duration of an improvised nuclear device emergency.

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Resilience

Time Value of Capability: Expenditures vs. Savings

by Charles Eaneff -

The business of domestic preparedness seems to be a likely priority in 2017, and the relationship between the time value of state and local capabilities and federal disaster relief policies are sure to evolve. For public safety professionals – including police, fire, emergency medical, and emergency management services – the time value of capability is fundamentally the same as the time value of money.

Resilience

Local Role in Preparedness & Resilience to Natural Disasters

by Roland Temah -

Natural disasters begin locally and may affect one or more communities simultaneously. However, a community approach to preparedness and resilience – with local government officials identifying the different natural disasters that make their communities vulnerable – can greatly influence response and sustainability efforts to counteract potential challenges. To achieve effective resilience, preparedness should be systematic.

Preparedness

Enhancing Incident Management for Local Responders

by Jeffrey Driskill Sr. -

Since 2003, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) has required local officials to report NIMS compliance actions to their respective emergency management agencies, which in turn reported these results to the state. The National Incident Management System is entering its 14th year with varied degrees of accomplishment.

Updates

Sharing Battlefield Information at Multiple Classification Levels Via Mobile Handheld Devices

Troops in remote regions around the world often struggle to operate with limited networks for data sharing and communication when U.S. troops need to share classified or otherwise secure data with each other and coalition partners. To overcome this challenge, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced its Secure Handhelds on Assured Resilient networks at the tactical Edge (SHARE) program.

Updates

Scientists Use Fluorescent Gels for Innovative Brain Research

Scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory are studying the physiological effects of blast pressure on the brain in order to discover technology solutions to protect soldiers. The team is partnering with the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

Updates

Blockchain Technology Explored for Homeland Security

Blockchain technology represents an innovative leap forward that has many uses and applications across multiple sectors of the economy. Department of Homeland Security, the Science and Technology Directorate is taking the lead with research and development projects in this area to determine viable uses for the technology, specifically under the Homeland Security Enterprise.

Updates

PulseNet Helps Washington Public Health Solve Largest Salmonella Outbreak in Recent History

In mid-2015, when reports of salmonella clusters emerged across multiple counties, public health workers knew they had a bigger problem. With the help of the nationwide laboratory network known as PulseNet, state and local public health investigators were able to connect the nearly two dozen salmonella clusters and trace the source.

Commentary

Ghosts of Old Vulnerability

by Douglas K. McDaniel -

There are few conversations today capable of surfacing guttural emotional responses quite like a discussion related to bias and inequalities. The challenge is clear. From the most elementary perspective, if the existence of bias and/or inequalities is acknowledged, it is illogical to then ignore the possibility that adverse impacts are possible as well.

Resilience

Sailing Toward Port Resilience

by Yuri Graves -

A sturdy boat and a knowledgeable crew increase the odds for a safe voyage. To build a sailboat with a strong, sturdy foundation, the keel is laid and the hull is made to balance and support the entire boat while at sea. Similarly, community preparedness also needs a strong foundation on which to build.

Reports

Cybersecurity A Way Forward

In an increasingly interconnected world of cyberthreats and defenses, the greater Pacific Northwest Economic Region of the United States has emerged as a national and international leader in information technology. This report highlights the region’s approach to cybersecurity, which can help other regions navigate the cyberworld’s sprawling dangers and opportunities.

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Updates

BlackBerry and Giuliani Partners Join Forces to Combat Cyber Threats

BlackBerry Limited announced that BlackBerry Secure has been selected by Giuliani Partners as the underlying software platform to support the firm’s cybersecurity consulting services for government and enterprise customers.

Reports

Examining Coastal Resiliency: How Policy, Education, Partnerships, and Data Can Help Change the Future

This report examines coastal resilience and highlights opportunities to improve planning through effective partnerships and data sharing. By recognizing the magnitude of the challenges related to sea-level rise that coastal communities face in developing resilience measures, communities are better equipped to take actionable steps to change the future.

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Updates

Networks of the Sea Enter Next Stage

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Tactical Undersea Network Architecture (TUNA) program recently completed its initial phase, successfully developing concepts and technologies aimed at restoring connectivity for U.S. forces when traditional tactical networks are offline or otherwise unavailable. The program now enters the next phase, which calls for the demonstration of a prototype of the system at sea.

Reports

2016 Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) Strategy and Implementation Plan

The 2016 Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) Strategy and Implementation Plan (SIP) updates the 2014-2015 PHEMCE SIPs and provides the blueprint for the PHEMCE to enhance national health security through the development, procurement and planning for effective use of critical medical countermeasures.

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Reports

Towards Epidemic Prediction: Federal Efforts and Opportunities in Outbreak Modeling

In this report, the Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology Working Group of the National Science and Technology Council aims to advance the science and application of outbreak predictions. The report identifies key challenges and recommends Federal actions to surmount them.

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