april 2022

Updates

Coronavirus Update: FDA Approves First COVID-19 Treatment for Young Children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approval of the COVID-19 treatment Veklury (remdesivir) to include pediatric patients 28 days of age and older weighing at least 3 kilograms (about 7 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing. This action makes Veklury the first approved COVID-19 treatment for children less than 12 years of age.

Updates

Updated Information on Availability and Use of Treatments for Outpatients with Mild to Moderate COVID-19 Who are at Increased Risk for Severe Outcomes of COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing this Health Alert Network Health Advisory to update healthcare providers, public health departments, and the public about the availability and use of recommended therapies for COVID-19 and to advise against using unproven treatments that have known or potential harms for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

Updates

HHS’s New Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefit Resources Will Help People Seeking Care to Better Understand Their Rights

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires most health plans or health insurers that offer coverage for mental health conditions or substance use disorders to make these benefits comparable to those offered for medical and surgical benefits. This means that deductibles, copays, out-of-pocket maximums, and treatment limitations for mental health or substance use disorders must not be more restrictive than corresponding requirements or parameters offered for medical and surgical benefits.

Reports

FEMA: Building Science Sheets

This collection of documents provide guidance on the hazard-resistant provisions in the building codes for property owners, engineers, design professionals, building codes officials, and the general public. 

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Podcast

Article Out Loud - Best Practice: Auxiliary Radios for Healthcare Facilities

by ASHLEIGH HOLMES  , An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal. 

When an emergency or disaster occurs, healthcare facilities require reliable communications for ensuring the safety and well-being of those in their care. The New York City Emergency Management Department has revamped its City’s emergency radio communications program to ensure that critical information can be exchanged before the next incident. Their best practice serves as an example for other jurisdictions to upgrade their equipment and build in communication redundancies.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson.

Commentary

Overcoming Challenges – Do Not Skip Steps

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In some ways, communities are well prepared for emergencies. However, it is critical to continuously assess systems, structures, models, and procedures to identify even small weaknesses and gaps that can become significant impediments to effectively responding to threats, hazards, and risks. The authors in this March edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal identify gaps and share possible solutions for various critical infrastructure, public health, and physical safety vulnerabilities and threats.

Healthcare

Best Practice: Auxiliary Radios for Healthcare Facilities

by Ashleigh Holmes -

When an emergency or disaster occurs, healthcare facilities require reliable communications for ensuring the safety and well-being of those in their care. The New York City Emergency Management Department has revamped its City’s emergency radio communications program to ensure that critical information can be exchanged before the next incident. Their best practice serves as an example for other jurisdictions to upgrade their equipment and build in communication redundancies.

Updates

DHS S&T Awards $259M to Counter - Unmanned Aircraft System Threats

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate awarded $259M to the U.S. Department of Defense to assist in the acquisition of technical services, in support of S&T’s Counter-Unmanned System Threats efforts. Under this contract, complex research and development activities will be performed to fight off new threats from unmanned systems. The work involves researching, developing, and testing capabilities related to cyber vulnerabilities of Countering-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) technologies.

Healthcare

A Growing Threat to Healthcare and Other Facilities

by Rodney Andreasen -

Active shooter and other violent incidents occur all over the country – in urban and rural areas, in big cities and small towns, in large and small facilities. Many examples demonstrate the need to understand and plan for them and the significant consequences that could follow. This article empowers the reader to better understand how these incidents may occur and ways to better mitigate and respond when a healthcare and other facilities are threatened.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Emerging Threats to Rail Infrastructure: Part II, Passenger

By CATHERINE L. FEINMAN  , An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, March 28, 2018.

On April 12, 2022, a man in a gas mask began shooting passengers in a New York subway car. With millions of passengers traveling each day by rail and subway in the United States alone, the passenger rail industry and the communities they serve are faced with difficult safety and security challenges – from equipment failures to terrorist attacks. This 2018 article shares expert recommendations on how a whole community approach is needed to address these challenges, understand the threats and consequences, and promote a culture of resilience.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - U.S. Citizens: The First Line of Defense

By VERNON HERRON & MICHAEL VESELY , An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, July 18, 2012.

The New York shooting incident in the subway demonstrates how citizen awareness campaigns are working. Passengers helped stop the bleed of shooting victims. Eye witness reports pointed police in the right direction. Alert citizens noticed someone suspicious. And the shooter was caught the next day. As discussed in this 2012 article, homeland defense and emergency management begin at home. New Yorkers demonstrated last week that, when they saw something, they not only said something but they also did something.

Narrated by Randy Vivian.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Growing Threat to Healthcare and Other Facilities

by RODNEY ANDREASEN , An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal. 

Active shooters and other violent incidents occur all over the country – in urban and rural areas, in big cities and small towns, in large and small facilities. Many examples demonstrate the need to understand and plan for them and the significant consequences that could follow. This article empowers the reader to better understand how these incidents may occur and ways to better mitigate and respond when healthcare and other facility is threatened.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler. 

Updates

International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference

For over 30 years, the International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference has offered informative sessions and unique hands-on training designed to tackle the most pressing hazmat issues at all levels of experience. At this event, participants can expect to get hands-on training across a range of essential topics. 

Updates

New Satellite-Based Imagery Technology to Help Coast Guard Warn Ships of Icebergs in the North Atlantic

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is developing new technology to help the Coast Guard improve maritime safety and navigation in the North Atlantic Ocean. When complete, Project Titanic will fuse satellite-based Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery with ship reporting systems to detect, identify, and report iceberg locations to the maritime community. This update explains the technology in further detail.

Commentary

Securing & Protecting the Nation’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure

by Chandler Lofland & Raymond Walker -

A cyberattack on a water treatment plant in Florida significantly elevated sodium hydroxide levels for a brief period of time. A ransomware attack in May 2021 temporarily shut down the Colonial Pipeline. The Texas power grid is currently facing cybersecurity threats from Russia. These are just a few recent examples of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities that emphasize the need to secure and protect the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. This article explains how.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Securing & Protecting the Nation’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure

by CHANDLER LOFLAND & RAYMOND WALKER, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal. 

A cyberattack on water treatment plant in Florida significantly elevated sodium hydroxide levels for a brief period of time. A ransomware attack in May 2021 temporarily shut down the Colonial Pipeline. The Texas power grid is currently facing cybersecurity threats from Russia. These are just a few recent examples of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities that emphasize the need to secure and protect the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. This article explains how.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Social Media: A Seismic Opportunity

By JORDAN SCOTT , An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal,  January 11, 2012.

News travels fast, especially on social media. In 2012, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) was embracing social media to better prepare its state for earthquakes. Since then, CalOES has continued to advance its efforts to provide early warning notifications to its residents through social media, mobile applications, and wireless alerts.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Communicating in a Crisis Is Different

By BARBARA REYNOLDS  , An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, March 28, 2007.

Crises and catastrophes are and will continue to be among the eternal verities of human life. Coping with them successfully requires effective communications – clear, concise, confident, and comforting. Leaders in Sacramento were recently challenged with this task as they consoled the public following a mass shooting that killed 6 and wounded 12 others.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler. 

Updates

Statement of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus Concerning Title 42

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus announced specific actions being taken to address the termination of Title 42 public health order. Click here to read this statement in full.

Updates

International Code Council Applauds U.S. House Passage of the Resilient AMERICA Act

Tuesday, April 4, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Resilient Assistance for Mitigation for Environmentally Resilient Infrastructure and Construction by Americans Act. The act more than doubles the allowable funding calculation under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program for additional projects, like resilient building codes.

Updates

Interior Department Releases Five-Year Monitoring, Maintenance and Treatment Plan to Address Wildfire Risk

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $1.5 billion to the Department of the Interior’s Wildland Fire Management Program to address wildfire risk and prepare communities and ecosystems against the threat of wildfire. The department released a roadmap for achieving the objectives in coordination with federal, non-federal and Tribal partners.

Preparedness

A Foot in the Door – The Value of Internships

by Sambavi Jani -

Experience required. Many jobs require wide-ranging qualifications and expertise to be able to apply and interview. However, people often ask, “How can I get the experience if I cannot get a job?” A great way to get “a foot in the door” is through internships, which can be vital in the emergency management field. Multifaceted and sometimes fast-paced, this is the type of profession where one must have the drive and passion for helping others and serving the community. Despite some public misconceptions that emergency management is only active during an event (which is often the only time an agency receives media attention), it is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year profession. Therefore, exposure to what happens in the field on “blue sky days” and during an emergency or disaster is paramount for someone new to the profession to experience.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - A Foot in the Door – The Value of Internships

by SAMBAVI JANI, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal. 

Experience required. Many jobs require wide-ranging qualifications and expertise to be able to apply and interview. However, people often ask, “How can I get the experience if I cannot get a job?” A great way to get “a foot in the door” is through internships, which can be vital in the emergency management field. Multifaceted and sometimes fast-paced, this is the type of profession where one must have the drive and passion for helping others and serving the community. Despite some public misconceptions that emergency management is only active during an event (which is often the only time an agency receives media attention), it is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year profession. Therefore, exposure to what happens in the field on “blue sky days” and during an emergency or disaster is paramount for someone new to the profession to experience.  

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler. 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Tribal Ham Radio Operators Cut Through the Storm

By NATIONAL TRIBAL AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, February 14, 2018. 

In September 2017, the National Tribal Amateur Radio Association (NTARA) – in conjunction with the Fresno Amateur Radio Emergency Services Group and Tulare County Amateur Radio Club – set up and operated Amateur Radio Special Event Station W7NTV during the National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC) annual conference. Since 2017, the NTARA and the NTEMC have continued to expand their operations to reach communities across the United States and Canada. 

Narrated by Randy Vivian 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - The “Not If, But When” Fallacy: Active Shooter Preparedness

By RESEARCH GROUP AT UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, October 12, 2016.  

Recent active shooter events in multiple cities across the United States have raised concern in other communities with people wondering if their city is next. However, the phrase “It’s not if, but when” may distort how certain people perceive emergency preparedness, especially in cases such as active shooter threats. This common expression leads to inaccurate threat perceptions and can result in leaders becoming complacent. This 2016 article explains this odd pairing of a sense of inevitability with complacency, and the importance of being prepared to counter not only the threat, but also the perceptions of threat.

Narrated by Randy Vivian.

Updates

Additional Sanctions on Russia’s Technology Companies and Cyber Actors

The United States will continue to impose severe costs on the Russian Federation in response to President Putin’s illegal war. The United States is designating 21 entities and 13 individuals. Of those being designated, 10 of those individuals and 17 entities are involved in sanctions evasion networks to procure of western technology.

Updates

Ten Priorities Identified in Commission's Apollo Program For Biodefense Addressed In President's Budget Request

The Biden Administration’s proposed FY 2023 budget, unveiled by The White House this week, includes $88.2 billion in funding to enable America to rapidly produce and deliver medical countermeasures against pandemics and other biological threats. The request significantly addresses ten priorities identified by the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense in its 2021 Apollo Program for Biodefense.

Reports

Budget of the U.S. Government - Fiscal Year 2023

The Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2023 contains analyses that are designed to highlight specified subject areas or provide other significant presentations of budget data that place the budget in perspective. This volume includes economic and accounting analyses, information on Federal receipts and collections, analyses of Federal spending, information on Federal borrowing and debt, baseline or current services estimates, and other technical presentations.  

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Updates

DHS Preparations for a Potential Increase in Migration

The Department of Homeland Security works to secure and manage our borders while building a fair and orderly immigration system. DHS is implementing a comprehensive strategy to address a potential increase in the number of border encounters. The strategy includes: 1) Acquiring and deploying resources to address increased volumes; 2) Delivering a more efficient and fair immigration process; 3) Processing and removing those who do not have valid claims; and 4) Working with other countries in the Western Hemisphere to manage migration and address root causes.

Updates

NIH experts discuss controlling COVID-19 in commentary on herd immunity

Achieving classical herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may not be attainable, according to a new perspective published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. However, widespread use of currently available public health interventions to prevent and control COVID-19 will enable resumption of most activities of daily life with minimal disruption, the authors note.

Updates

CDC Recommends Additional Boosters for Certain Individuals

Data continues to show the importance of vaccination and booster doses to protect individuals both from infection and severe outcomes of COVID-19. The CDC is updating its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.