Pandemic Influenza: Advice & Suggestions From an Expert | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©

Pandemic Influenza: Advice & Suggestions From an Expert

by Andrew Roszak -

With the myriad of threats that communities prepare for, influenza pandemic is consistently at the top of the priority list. In recent years, strains such as H7N9 and H1N1 have caused concern among health officials. It is no mystery why, considering the 1918 influenza pandemic – which infected over 500 million individuals around the world and caused tens of millions of deaths. Domestic Preparedness Advisor Andrew Roszak recently had the opportunity to sit down with one of the world’s leading pandemic experts, Dr. Lisa Koonin. Dr. Koonin recently retired from a 30-plus year career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was one of the leads for pandemic influenza preparedness and response efforts.


A “Pracademic” Approach to Homeland Security

by Terry Hastings & Eric Stern -

It is important for academics and practitioners to collaborate and learn from each other. Academic research can help to address real-world challenges, and practitioners are uniquely positioned to provide meaningful insight to help shape research agendas.


Predictable Surge: Improving Public-Private Collaboration

by Eric J. McNulty & John Campbell -

Public-private collaboration in disaster preparedness and response is currently sub-optimal in its organization and operational performance. This may be due to the perception of government entities that all collaboration must be formal in nature. As a consequence, small, medium, and even large private organizations may be reluctant to become involved in preparedness planning. However, reality suggests that organizations without existing contracts or partnerships are willing to participate in response efforts. This tension effectively limits the ability to anticipate the contributions that will come from entities outside of formal partnerships. “Predictable surge” is a new framework through which public and private entities, particularly at the state and local levels, may better work together to build preparedness and foster community resilience.


Seven Universities Upping Cybersecurity Educational Programs

by Joseph Scherrer & David Reddick -

Seven universities in the St. Louis, Missouri, area have banded together to improve the quality of cybersecurity education they offer their students. By increasing the number of graduates, together they strive to meet the demand for skilled cybersecurity workers in the region.


Combating Threats – Both Domestic & Global

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Disaster planners recognize the need to build interagency, interdisciplinary support to combat widespread disasters with far-reaching consequences. However, gaining such buy-in can be challenging – especially when stakeholders do not recognize the threat to their communities or do not understand the roles they can and should play in mitigating such threats. This is important considering that an international threat can quickly become a local problem and a local threat can transform into an international concern.


Local Law Enforcement for International Threats

by Richard Schoeberl & Anthony (Tony) Mottola -

According to a recent United Nations Security Council report, the number of Islamic State (IS) attacks is down over the past year. However, there is still no doubt that the IS remains a threat – both globally and domestically – particularly as it transforms into a more covert terrorist organization. Domestically, the IS remains a concern for law enforcement agencies. However, the threats have evolved from groups to individuals – radicalized from the array of propaganda and plethora of ideologies found on the internet.


FirstNet Authority Releases Public Safety-Driven Roadmap for Future of Network

The First Responder Network Authority marked a significant milestone with release of a new Roadmap for the future of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network. The FirstNet Authority Roadmap builds on the organization’s nationwide engagement with public safety to gather feedback on the most important communications capabilities for first responder missions.

Hajj Health and Safety Boosted by New Health Early Warning System

Authorities in Saudi Arabia are deploying a new health surveillance system to help keep people protected from communicable diseases during the annual hajj pilgrimage. For the first time, the Global Centre for Mass Gatherings Medicines of the Saudi Ministry of Health is using the Health Early Warning System (HEWS), which ensures the early detection of and timely response to health threats and emergencies related to mass gatherings.

NIST Awards $6.6 Million for Research to Help Structures Better Withstand Earthquakes, Wind and Fire

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is awarding more than $6.6 million to fund research into improving disaster resilience. Eleven organizations will receive grants to conduct research into how earthquakes, wind, and fire affect the built environment to inform building designs, codes, and standards to help those structures better withstand such hazards.

Crossing the Finish Line: Project BioShield Is Transforming the Nation’s Health Security With Cutting-Edge Innovation, Sound Investments, and Strong Partnerships

As directed in the National Biodefense Strategy, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) continues to enhance preparedness to ensure health security and save lives – by expanding the nation’s portfolio of medical countermeasures to address the remaining threats and to counter new and unknown threats. The United States is better prepared today because of sound investments in biodefense made using Project BioShield, strong partnerships, and a shared commitment to cutting-edge innovation.

FLIR Celebrates Final DR-SKO Delivery to U.S. Army

FLIR commemorates the last delivery of Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits, and Outfits (DR-SKO) Systems to the U.S. Army’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense. The CBRN DR-SKO system is a set of mission-specific kits that characterize and provide full spectrum CBRN dismounted reconnaissance capability utilized by the U.S. military Joint Services.