january 2018

Resilience

Animal Relocation After Disaster – Four Cases in 2017

by Richard (Dick) Green -

Between late August and the end of 2017, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) deployed to six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands in response to four disasters: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the wildfires in Northern California. In all, the ASPCA assisted nearly 37,000 animals affected by these disasters. Although each response required a unique approach, one particular objective was consistent throughout, which likely saved thousands of animal lives – animal relocation.

Commentary

Making Schools Safe & Secure – A Local to National Effort

by Mary Filardo -

This article explores the meaning of safe and secure schools, shows where current schools are falling short, and offers policy prescriptions, pointing to the pending federal infrastructure package as a unique opportunity to make an important down payment to secure a safer and better future for the nation’s students.

Commentary

Plan, Inform, Practice – Factoring in Resilience

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Modern communities are faced with myriad threats, risks, and hazards that require careful planning, significant information gathering, and actionable preparedness practices. Since incidents range in scale and scope, it is important to not only examine the factors related to the type of incident, but also examine the factors related to specific agencies and organizations.

Reports

Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of The United States of America

The new National Defense Strategy seeks to implement the pillars of the National Security Strategy: peace through strength, the affirmation of America’s international role, the U.S. alliance and partnership structure and the necessity to build military advantage to maintain key regional balances of power. 

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Updates

Blast, Impact Simulations Could Lead to Better Understanding of Injuries and Body Armor

Sandia National Laboratories is developing specialized computer modeling and simulation methods to better understand how blasts on a battlefield could lead to traumatic brain injury and injuries to vital organs, like the heart and lungs. The information could help manufacturers develop better designs for helmets and body armor.

Reports

2017-2018 Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) Strategy and Implementation Plan

The 2017-2018 PHEMCE Strategy and Implementation Plan reflects the Department of Health and Human Service’s continued commitment, in collaboration with its interagency PHEMCE partners, to provide the nation with a nimble, flexible capacity to rapidly produce and effectively use medical countermeasures in the face of any attack or novel threat.  

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Commentary

Preparedness Can Be Easy

by Raynika Battle -

For more than a decade, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) statistics have shown that, although there has been some improvement, not enough people are prepared for emergencies and disasters. However, publicly available resources are educating community members and helping them prepare – one month at a time – for potential disasters that are likely to affect them.

Resilience

Incident Scale & the Need for Operational Resilience

by John Contestabile & Richard Waddell -

Numerous incidents occur every day in the United States, from simple/frequent events like automobile accidents, train derailments, and severe weather, to catastrophic/infrequent events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, and the Keystone pipeline leak to name just a few. By examining factors related to the incident and factors related to a specific entity, information needs and resource requirements can be better aligned to create operational resilience during any incident.

Podcast

Post-Disaster Relief – An Army of Volunteers

Launched by Methodist minister William Booth and the East London Christian Mission in 1865, The Salvation Army provides services during both daily operations and times of disaster. More than just thrift stores and bell ringers, The Salvation Army provides small- and large-scale disaster relief – from house fires to major hurricanes. This “Army of Good” includes about 5,000 officers, 60,000 employees, and more than 1 million volunteers located in 26 countries and across the United States.

Following a disaster, The Salvation Army sends teams to evaluate the scope of the disaster, to develop a response plan, to request donations, and to work with governmental and other nongovernmental organizations to provide victim relief, feeding kitchens, and pastoral duties. Volunteer organizations are critical assets for disaster response, yet back-to-back disasters like the hurricanes and wildfires experienced in 2017 raise concern about donor and responder fatigue. Listen to this podcast and visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to learn more about this organization and its capabilities – a critical resource for all those responding to and affected by a disaster.

Updates

Security at the Speed of Life

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate recently reached a milestone in its development of a millimeter wave imager that will screen for potential threat items – unobtrusively as people pass by, without slowing them down – at metro and train stations.

Reports

FCC Fact Sheet: Wireless Emergency Alerts

The FCC announced a proposal to improve wireless emergency alerts. This proposal includes making geographical targeting more precise, so alerts can be used more effectively in local emergencies and disasters. Details of the FCC proposal are provided in the fact sheet.

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Updates

FDA and DoD Launch Program to Expedite Availability of Medical Products for the Emergency Care of American Military Personnel

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) launched a joint program to prioritize the efficient development of safe and effective medical products intended to save the lives of U.S. military personnel.

Updates

MERS Antibodies Produced in Cattle Safe, Treatment Well Tolerated in Phase 1 Trial

An experimental treatment developed from cattle plasma for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection shows broad potential, according to a small clinical trial led by National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues. According to the World Health Organization, the MERS coronavirus has spread to 27 countries and sickened more than 2,000 people, of whom about 35 percent have died.

Resilience

Responding to the Nuclear Threat – Then & Now

by Keith Grossman -

In the civil defense era of emergency management, the federal, state, and local civil defense authorities were presented with the mission to protect the civilian population from an attack on the U.S. mainland. Shelter programs, coordinated public warning systems, emergency assistance provisions, and other protective measures were developed. Today, these measures need to be revisited and adapted in accord with current threats, timing, and resources.

Preparedness

Preparing for a Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack

by Deanne Criswell -

Complex coordinated terrorist attacks (CCTAs) are exactly as the name implies: large-scale attacks that are multifaceted, well-planned, and often involve multiple perpetrators. These individuals are often unknown to law enforcement, making them difficult to identify during pre-operational planning activities. Because of their size and complexity, these types of attacks far too often have a devastating impact across jurisdictions, disciplines, and even state lines.

Updates

New Simulator Tool Tests Aircraft Explosive Vulnerabilities

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Commercial Aircraft Vulnerability and Mitigation (CAVM) program supports testing and evaluation efforts to assess potential vulnerabilities and evaluate countermeasures that can mitigate the impact of explosives on commercial aircraft. CAVM and partners recently developed a reusable Aircraft Explosive Testing Simulator that facilitates testing for new generation commercial aircraft.

Reports

Communicating Risk in Public Health Emergencies

The recommendations in this World Health Organization (WHO) report provide overarching, evidence-based guidance on how risk communication should be practiced in an emergency. These guidelines were developed for policy- and decision-makers responsible for managing emergencies, particularly the public health aspects of emergencies, and practitioners responsible for risk communication before, during, and after health emergencies.

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Updates

First Responder Network Goes Nationwide as All 50 States, 2 Territories and District of Columbia Join FirstNet

First responders across the nation now have a wireless broadband network to call their own. With all 50 states, two U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., joining FirstNet, public safety has a new choice for its communications that will help save lives and protect communities.

Updates

Going to the Source to Prevent Viral Disease Outbreaks

A new DARPA program called Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT) seeks to support military readiness by going after new viral infectious diseases at the source, animal reservoirs – the species in which a pathogen lives, multiplies, and potentially evolves into a strain that can threaten humans.

Preparedness

U Visas – A Hidden Homeland Security Vulnerability

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

Immigration continues to be a relevant yet sensitive topic of discussion. Some of the most concerning immigration issues may be the ones that are more complex and not well understood by lawmakers, law enforcement, or the public. This complexity increases opportunities for abuse of an important immigration process, which then creates a significant vulnerability that is not fully appreciated until it is too late.

Updates

Center for Domestic Preparedness to Resume Live-Agent Training

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Center for Domestic Preparedness announced that, beginning on 11 January 2018, the Center will resume using nerve agents and biologicals in some of its hazardous materials training courses.

Reports

Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Coping With Retraumatization

Over the past several months, many communities have experienced multiple disasters ranging from hurricanes to mass shootings to wildfires. Survivors who have lived through multiple disasters may experience the effects of retraumatization. This tip sheet helps disaster survivors cope with their emotions and get through this challenge.

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Updates

DHS S&T Seeks Innovators to Collaborate on Smart Cities Technologies

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and its research and development partners today issued a request for innovators seeking to prototype, test, and transition cutting-edge emergency response technologies. The goal is to put tools with smart city and internet of things capabilities into the hands of first responders by 2020.

Updates

WHO Prequalifies Breakthrough Vaccine for Typhoid

At the end of December 2017, WHO prequalified the first conjugate vaccine for typhoid, Bharat Biotech’s Typbar-TCV®. Typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs) are innovative products that have longer-lasting immunity than older vaccines, require fewer doses, and can be given to young children through routine childhood immunization programs.

Reports

Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism

Ready or Not? examines the nation’s ability to respond to public health emergencies, tracks progress and vulnerabilities, and includes a review of state and federal public health preparedness policies. The report also provides a series of recommendations that address many of the major gaps in emergency health preparedness.

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