january 2012


DHS Secretary Napolitano's 2nd Annual Address on the State of America's Homeland Security

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently delivered her 2nd Annual address on the State of America's Homeland Security, Homeland Security and Economic Security, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.


TSA Announces Additional AIT Deployments at U.S. Airports

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that 25 additional U.S. airports are set to receive recently purchased millimeter-wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units. Those units will be equipped with new automated target recognition (ATR) software designed to enhance privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images while also improving throughput capabilities and streamlining the checkpoint screening process.


Virginia National Guard Deploys TACPAK II to Reduce Mobile Command Costs

The deployment of the TACPAK II, developed by 308 Systems, is designed to ensure effective and efficient communications between the Virginia Guard and local, state, private sector, and non-governmental organizations and various federal partners.


DHS Secretary Napolitano Unveils National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security

The new DHS (Department of Homeland Security) National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security outlines the clear goals needed to promote the efficient and secure movement of goods and foster a resilient supply chain system. It also provides guidance for the U.S. government and crucial domestic and international public and private stakeholders who share a common interest in the security and resiliency of the global supply chain.


Princeton Gamma-Tech Instruments Completes Radiation Sensor Testing on LDUUV

Princeton Gamma-Tech Instruments Inc., a leading developer of Radiation Isotope Identifiers, Radiation Area Monitors, and High Purity Germanium detector technology, has completed radiation sensor testing on the Boeing Echo Ranger Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV). The new radiation detection tools were included in a Catalina Island (Calif.) series of tests performed in the Pacific Ocean by the Boeing Echo Ranger.


The InfraGard Alliance: Personal Relations & Information Sharing

by Sheri Donahue -

When the most capable and most experienced U.S. law-enforcement agency and 47,000 of the nation's best informed and most dedicated private citizens join forces to thwart terrorists, track down and capture criminals, and protect the nation's infrastructure, the smart money is on the "good guys". Which is only one reason InfraGard has been such a success.


Surviving the End of the World

by Joseph Cahill -

In almost all dangerous events and incidents, the highest priority of the first responders on the scene is to save lives. The parallel obligation of emergency managers and other senior officials, therefore, is to do as much as possible to save and protect the lives of the lifesavers themselves.


Operation Tomodachi: The U.S./DoD Response to Fukushima

by Jamie Stowe -

When Japan was faced with a Level-7 radiation event following the 2011 earthquake that triggered a devastating tsunami, it drew attention from agencies and governments around the world. The Tomodachi response team was deployed by the U.S. DoD to join Japanese forces in sharing radiation-related information to help contain the Fukushima radiation leaks. The above-and-beyond efforts of all involved provide valuable lessons learned for future events.


Disinformation: The Real Cyber Security Challenge

by W. Ross Ashley III -

U.S. intelligence experts and analysts are in general agreement that the protection of highly classified information is not only a "gentlemanly" goal, but also vital to the nation's survival. However, the quality and accuracy of that information also needs to be protected, particularly in an age when there is a massive daily flow of data and content to cope with ... and a tidal wave of communication that is false, malicious, and misleading as well.


RR/SAP: The Process of Building Resiliency

by Jerry Brashear -

Numerous tangible "things" and a broad spectrum of managers and operational personnel are needed to create and improve the nation's physical resilience and recovery capabilities. The process starts, though, in the think tanks and sometimes esoteric planning sessions that determine what specific actions should be taken - when, how, and in what order - and what complications, costs, and conceptual considerations are likely to be involved.


Army Agency Completes Mission to Destroy Chemical Weapons

The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) has completed destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile at the Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD) in Utah. With the elimination of the Utah chemical weapons stockpile, CMA has safely destroyed nearly 90 percent of the nation's stockpile of chemical agents and has successfully completed its mission to destroy all chemical agent munitions and items declared at entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and assigned to CMA for destruction.


Smart911 Continues Rapid Growth, Now Available to Over Five Million Citizens Across 20 U.S. States

Rave Mobile Safety, a leading provider of safety software solutions, has announced that its Smart911 technology is available to over five million citizens across 20 U.S. states. Smart911 allows citizens to create a safety profile with critical information, which is then automatically displayed at participating public safety answering points (PSAPs), when a 9-1-1 call is placed.


DHS Secretary Napolitano Meets With State, Local & Tribal Law Enforcement Leaders on Countering Violent Extremism

"Engaging local communities is critical to our nation's effort to counter violent extremism and violent crime, and this meeting brings together many of our partners," said Secretary Janet Napolitano. "The Department of Homeland Security will continue to collaborate with our state and local law enforcement partners and engage the public in our efforts to combat violent extremism, while protecting civil rights and civil liberties."


RDMS Used by State of Texas Division of Emergency Management & Texas Forest Service

The Rapid Data Management System (RDMS) of Global Relief Technologies (GRT) provides Emergency Response Management & Disaster Recovery Teams the ability to access, manage, analyze, and share key data and business information in the chaotic hours and days following a disaster. Armed with this real-time information, authorized Emergency Response & Disaster Recovery Management personnel can accelerate business and operational decisions.


TSA PreCheck Begins at Los Angeles International Airport

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the implementation of the passenger pre-screening initiative, TSA PreCheck, at its sixth pilot location - Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The TSA PreCheck screening concept enhances aviation security by enabling TSA to focus on passengers the agency knows less about and those who are considered high-risk, while providing expedited screening for travelers who volunteer information about themselves prior to flying.


G4S Technology LLC Awarded Contract to Perform Security Integration Services at The Port of Tacoma

"Security is of utmost importance to the Port of Tacoma," said Bob Sommerfeld, President of G4S Technology LLC. "The strong G4S Technology history and solid performance in the maritime industry will help ... Port [officials] realize the best solutions that will fit their unique needs, and will help them maintain their progressive status."


Idaho Technology Inc. Delivers 10-Target BioThreat Detection Kit for U.S. Military

The RAZOR CRP BioThreat-X Kit represents the first U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) system capable of testing for 10 biothreat agents at one time - in the field, with results available in 30 minutes. The RAZOR CRP BioThreat-X Kit contains polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays developed in DoD laboratories.


'Route PM': Building a Better Evacuation Plan

by Geoff Brown -

One of the most difficult tasks facing emergency planners today involves traffic management - more specifically, getting as many people out of town just as fast as possible in times of crisis. That job is much more difficult when thousands of local residents head south instead of north - which is precisely why a new "dynamic time clearance calculator" is now one of the most essential tools of the trade.


'Scrubbing Source Data': The EPA Response

by EPA Office of Information -

Following is an official response, provided by the EPA Office of Information, to the preceding article by Michael Jacoby about some major deficiencies in the agency databases - which are used by numerous responder agencies at all levels of government throughout the nation.


Scrubbing Source Data at the Local Level

by Michael Jacoby -

"Reasonably close" and "ballpark estimates" are good enough for some aspects of modern life - but not for legal documents, many medical procedures, and almost all emergency responses, particularly when human lives are at stake. Specifically included in the latter category, unfortunately, are a number of "locational errors" in the EPA's Envirofacts website.


2012 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut

On 7 February 2012, more than one million people across nine states will participate in the 2012 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut! Learn more and/or sign up today to participate.


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano Participates in Human Trafficking Roundtable

"At DHS, we are committed to working with our partners and leveraging our wide range of expertise and resources to combat human trafficking," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. "If we all do our part to learn the signs of human trafficking and report them to authorities, we can better prevent human trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute traffickers."


Integrating Emergency Management Education Into HSI Disciplines

This two-day course is targeted for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Department Chairs of such EM-related disciplines as sociology, geography, public administration, and/or psychology. The primary goal of the workshop is to assist HSIs by providing helpful information about EM and the benefits and resources available for integrating EM course offerings into their curricula.


Make Cybersecurity Part of Your 2012 Resolutions

There is still time to make a New Year's resolution, it's not too late to join the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign in determining, announcing, and following important online safety resolutions for 2012.


Funding Realities & Emergency Preparedness: A Grim Outlook

by Raphael Barishansky -

Most U.S. states and major cities, and the nation as a whole, are now better prepared to cope with terrorist attacks and natural disasters than they were prior to 9/11. But the gains made over the past decade will need a steady stream of continued funding, both to maintain the higher level of preparedness capabilities now evident and to protect the U.S. homeland and its people from the even greater dangers lying in wait just over the horizon.


Social Media: A Seismic Opportunity

by Jordan Scott -

News travels fast these days! Usually, in fact, much faster than the nation's news media can cover it - because it takes much longer to get news crews to a location to report about an incident than it does for a private citizen to send a quick (i.e., instantaneous) on-the-scene message, or visual image, to friends, relatives, or total strangers around the globe. That is exactly what happened up and down the "totally unprepared" U.S. East Coast when the Mineral earthquake of 23 August 2011 shattered public complacency (but not much else).


IT Preparedness: At Long Last, a Major DHS Priority

by Jordan Nelms -

In today's complex world, information technology (IT) systems serve as both the intellectual libraries and operational brains of virtually all components of the vital infrastructures of businesses, utilities, and the organizations and agencies of all levels of government. For this reason, among others, the maintenance, protection, and preservation of IT systems have now moved to the forefront of the nation's high-tech operational and preparedness priorities.


National Guard Plugs Communication Gap in Mississippi River Flooding

Because of the fluid nature of the disaster, the 189th Airlift Wing requested deployment of Region 6's Tactical Command Package (TAC-PAK) Ultra-Agile briefcase mobile command system, manufactured by 308 SYSTEMS. For 16 days, the briefcase-sized command and communication system provided both operational and welfare/morale communications traffic linking the 150-person tent city with the trailer-based Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC), Joint Operations Center, and Unit Command Posts.


TrueVector Technologies Debuts Emergency Responder Real-Time Web Drawing Solution

TrueVector Technologies has introduced a web-based interactive drawing solution for Emergency Responder web mapping software intended for use by federal, state, and local governments, and by other Emergency Responder organizations. The first deployment of the technology is by Defense Group Inc. (DGI), which will market this drawing solution as part of its CoBRA® WEB Mapping within the CoBRA Crisis Management and Emergency Response business unit.


CRA Inc. Appoints Robert Stephan Executive Vice President

"Bob brings extraordinary talent and great depth and breadth of experience in homeland security that is invaluable to CRA as we grow and continue to serve our clients," said Harriette Terbell, a member of the CRA Board of Directors. "Bob joining CRA is an exciting new development and an integral part of CRA's 'going forward' strategy."


FEMA Blog: A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the emergency management community as a whole often talk about the importance of engaging the whole community in how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. FEMA's newest blog provides an opportunity to offer some helpful feedback.


Memex Solutions Team at SAS & FBI Integrate FBI's New eGuardian Technology With Memex Patriarch

"Law enforcement agencies are seeing increased efficiencies, the elimination of repetitive tasks, and the instant availability of tips and leads to a nationwide law enforcement audience through the eGuardian system," said Neil Schlisserman, Vice President of the Memex Solutions Team at SAS. "We welcome the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the FBI in this important initiative."


EPA Releases 2010 Toxics Release Inventory National Analysis

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its annual national analysis of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which provides not only information on toxic chemical disposals and other releases into the nation's air, land, and water resources but also some helpful information on waste management and pollution prevention activities in towns and cities across the country.


New CERT Training Now Available

The National Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) includes two new courses - CERT Train-the-Trainer and CERT Program Manager - that are now available to States and local jurisdictions throughout the country.


IDCE2012 Brings International Disaster Management Experts & Innovations to New Orleans

The International Disaster Conference & Expo has released its completed program for IDCE2012, January 17-19, in New Orleans. The impressive roster of speakers and exhibitors, relevant to all aspects of disaster management - including preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation - fulfills the conference management's promise to stage the most comprehensive disaster-management industry conference and exposition ever.


The Role of Social Media Before, During, and After a Disaster

by Christina Spoons -

The new all-hazards safety rule for young children, senior citizens, and everyone else in between: Don't leave home without your smartphone. Be careful what you say, though - several billion people may be listening in ... or looking in. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. Ask anyone who has ever been lost in a storm drain in Australia.


Emergency Responder 24/7 Information Tool Available Online

by Cortney Streets -

So-called official channels used to be plagued by what was politely described as "a paucity of information." Thanks to the combination of improved communications systems and the birth of social media, what was once a desert is now a flood. Fortunately, the Responder Knowledge Base provides an easy way to turn the spigot on and off.


U Visa Law Enforcement Certification Resource Guide

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released the U Visa Law Enforcement Certification Resource Guide. This guide is a new tool being made available to law enforcement officials to support investigations and prosecutions involving qualified immigrant victims of crime.

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HHS 2011 Year in Review

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius outlines the many accomplishments of HHS during the 2011 calendar year.