The Other Life of Command Trucks | Domestic Preparedness Photo: Erik Westgard
Preparedness

The Other Life of Command Trucks

by Erik Westgard -

For many years, large outdoor sporting events have requested government and nongovernment organization mobile command and communications trucks to support races. Although traditionally used by incident commanders, volunteer amateur radio groups have found various ways to collaborate during special events and use these resources in Minneapolis, Minnesota to support medical operations.

 
Commentary

Connecting: Benefits & Risks

by Catherine L. Feinman -

To take a multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional approach to disaster preparedness and response, agencies and organizations must connect both in person and virtually. Mutual aid agreements enable agencies to share resources and develop a collaborative strategy for addressing emerging threats. Although predicted by experts, the threats that presented over the past year – namely, a global pandemic and large-scale cyberattacks on critical infrastructure – still caught many communities by surprise.

Resilience

Online & Social Media Risks – Protecting Children, Part 2

by -

The nation has experienced unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic given the requisite need for social distancing and isolation experienced from stay-at-home orders. Daily lives were transformed. For homebound children, this was disruptive and changed daily routines. While at home, children engaged in a variety of safe and supervised activities, such as home schooling, play activities, crafts, games, etc. A side effect of social distancing is temporary physical isolation from many important influences in their lives, such as school and teachers, sports, community organizations, extended relatives, classmates, and friends.

Resilience

Online & Social Media Risks – Protecting Children, Part 1

by Michael Breslin & Robert Lowery Jr. -

The COVID-19 pandemic brought child predators into people’s homes. In the critical areas of human trafficking and child exploitation, the risks to children increased due to criminals shifting their methods and techniques to online streaming services. Increased virtual learning and stay-home mandates forced children to transition from a classroom environment to home learning via virtual platforms. This transition done in the perceived safety of a child’s home under the supervision of his/her parent was and remains fraught with inherent danger.

Healthcare

Fixing America’s Healthcare Supply Chain

by James Rush -

The buildup to World War II illustrated the negative effect that huge wartime demand for medical supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals had on public and private healthcare systems in the United States. After the war, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) began building and pre-positioning federally owned medical materiel in storage depots domestically and materiel management centers in the European and Pacific theaters of operations. Collectively, these inventories were named war reserve materiel (WRM) and consisted of billions of dollars of medical materiel. The WRM was designed to provide wartime start-up supplies until medical materiel manufacturers could ramp up production to levels capable of supporting both wartime and civilian healthcare needs simultaneously. The medical WRM was also used to provide medical support to contingencies and humanitarian assistance missions both at home and abroad.

Preparedness

Impact of Critical Biosecurity Reports – Uncertainty Remains

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

Domestic Preparedness published an article in 2016 discussing the uncertain impact of several biosecurity reports on national planning and preparedness for biosecurity and pandemic threats. The article focused on the consistent and repeated warnings of the consequences for failing to plan and prepare for a multitude of biosecurity threats. The identified inferior planning and preparedness concerns were as apparent and repetitive as the demonstrated lack of reaction to them in the past. The nation was vulnerable.

Commentary

What Are Preparedness Professionals Doing?

by Catherine L. Feinman -

With all the thought, planning, and training that go into disaster preparedness efforts, communities theoretically should be ready for any threat and hazard that they face regularly – severe storms, wildfires, hurricanes, power outages, earthquakes, droughts, mudslides, etc. However, that is not always true. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has already recorded 37 declared disasters in various states so far in 2021. Governors often request federal assistance when their states’ resources are insufficient to adequately respond to disasters.

Updates

DHS S&T Successfully Evaluates Wildfire Sensors With California Emergency Responders

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) successfully tested four prototype technologies for early detection of wildfires in California this week. The test was the second phase of S&T’s Wildland Urban Interface wildfire sensor technology program, which brings together government and private sector partners to identify technologies that meet first responders’ operational needs and ensure the nation’s critical infrastructure remains secure and resilient.

FDA Approves Drug to Treat Smallpox

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Tembexa (brincidofovir) to treat smallpox. Although naturally occurring smallpox no longer exists, concerns about potential uses of variola virus as a bioweapon has made smallpox drug development an important component of the U.S. medical countermeasures response.

HHS Launches First Venture Capital Partnership to Develop Transformative Technologies to Combat Future Pandemics, Other Health Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today unveiled a new type of public-private partnership that enables investments using venture capital practices. Through the BARDA Ventures program, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, is launching a partnership with the nonprofit organization Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC) to accelerate development and commercialization of technologies and medical products needed to respond to or prevent public health emergencies, such as pandemics, and other health security threats.

Hands-Free Comms Tech Breaks Through the Noise

First responders are often in critical response scenarios where a hands-free voice interface would improve both safety and efficiency, which could ultimately translate into saving lives. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) partnered with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to develop Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) technology. The resulting innovation is known as the Direct Artificial Intelligence System Interface, or DAISI, which enables voice-activated capabilities in noisy operational environments.

Teledyne FLIR Introduces New identiFINDER R700 Backpack Radiation Detector

Teledyne FLIR announced the launch of the identiFINDER® R700 Backpack Radiation Detector, an advanced mobile system that offers capability for broad-area radiological monitoring missions. The company also announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has placed the first order for the device as part of its Helium-3 Alternative Implementation Backpack Program (HAIBP). Programmed out of the Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction office, the $6.5 million award spans nine months of product deliveries.