july 2009

Updates

DHS Reaches Fourth Efficiency Milestone, Launches Five New Cost-Savings Initiatives

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano unveiled five new efficiency initiatives, marking the fourth milestone in the Department-wide Efficiency Review launched in March.

Resilience

Protecting the Super Bowl - A Perfect Defense Is Mandatory

by Diana Hopkins -

The cost, and the challenge, of providing security at the Super Bowl and other major sports events has escalated exponentially in the almost eight years since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. And there are absolutely no fumbles allowed.

Updates

It's Official, But No Surprise - ICx Technologies Is Market Leader

A recent trace detection market study by Frost & Sullivan confirms that ICx Technologies is the market leader in handheld explosives detection.

Commentary

Discovery Channel TV Series: The Colony - Week Two

by Adam Montella -

The ten volunteers continue their efforts to create a new civilization despite attempts by the Marauders seeking to steal the basic essentials found in the abandoned warehouse. The greatest challenges facing the volunteers, though, are their own fears and uncertainties.

Updates

DHS Coordinates National Level Exercise to Prevent Terrorist Attacks

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will launch on Monday the five-day National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09)-the first national level exercise to focus on terrorism prevention, and will be held in conjunction with federal, state, local, tribal, private sector and international partners.

Updates

Secretary Napolitano Releases Report on Department's Progress Fulfilling 9/11 Commission Recommendations

"The 9/11 Commission's recommendations have in many ways set the course for the Department's efforts to combat security threats," said DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "We have answered these challenges by building an agency far better equipped to combat terrorism, and we will continue to expand these capabilities as we move forward in our mission to keep America safe and secure."

Updates

FEMA Administrator Meets With Governors To Discuss Emergency Preparedness

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate addressed governors from across the country at the National Governors Association conference in Biloxi, MS, where he discussed how FEMA can best support the states and their citizens as we prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters.

Preparedness

Wisconsin Air Guard Hosts Full-Scale Joint Exercise

by Spc. Eric Liesse & Pfc. Alyson Berzinski, 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment -

The Army and Air National Guard's annual international Operation Global Patriot exercise, hosting roughly 3,000 National Guard Troops from forty-five different states and six different coalition nations. The exercise's overall training goal is for different coalition nations and National Guard units to work together in real-world scenarios.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano and U.S. Governors Show Support for Pass ID in Mississippi

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Janet Napolitano met with U.S. governors at the National Governors Association (NGA) Conference to discuss Gulf Coast emergency preparedness efforts, H1N1 flu, and the Pass ID secure identification legislation.

Updates

NIAID Set to Launch Clinical Trials to Test 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Candidates

Scientists are set to begin a series of clinical trials to gather critical data about influenza vaccines, including two candidate H1N1 flu vaccines. The research will be under the direction of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Updates

Michigan Homeland Security Advisor, Brigadier General Michael C. McDaniel Accepts U.S. Post

The Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs announces the departure of Brigadier General Michael C. McDaniel of the U.S. National Guard, to serve the nation as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Strategy and Force Planning in Washington, D.C.

Updates

ILC Dover Opens New Houston, TX Office

The new facility will allow the staff to work with customers to define requirements and identify optimum solutions for a wide range of softgoods challenges.

Preparedness

The PPO & Surge Capacity: A Different Type of 'Insurance'

by John J. Burke -

The reverberations from last month's Washington, D.C., Metro crash were heard throughout the country - and set off a silent "security alarm" of sorts in the Town of Sandwich, Massachusetts, where emergency planners had their own good reasons for paying special attention.

Healthcare

Special Events: Reality TV for Training & Exercises

by Joseph Cahill -

People, weather disasters, terrorist attacks, and other criminal activities are inherently unpredictable. Which does not mean that law-enforcement and healthcare agencies cannot prepare for them by using the "special events" calendar as a training curriculum.

Preparedness

Security Planning for Major Events

by Joseph Watson & Joseph Trindal -

The template is there, in the Secret Service after-action reports on previous NSSEs. So are the Guidelines, issued by the Department of Justice. All that state and local emergency managers have to do, therefore, is read, heed, practice - and maybe pray a little.

Commentary

Discovery Channel TV Series: The Colony - Week One

by Adam Montella -

No one knew exactly what happened, or how much damage their world had suffered. But they all knew that life would never again be the same. They were few in number, but they had somehow survived. By joining together they might continue to survive. But how, and for how long?

Updates

Smiths Detection Awarded $10.6 Million U.S. Government Contract for Advanced High-Energy X-ray Systems

The HCV Mobile inspection vehicles use high-energy X-ray scanning designed to optimize security checks at ports, airports, and border crossings. The systems are used to inspect trucks, containers, and other vehicles for contraband, weapons, explosives, and narcotics.

Updates

John G. Meyer, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army (Ret.) Named CEO of RedXDefense

General Meyer brings with him 40 years of experience in the fields of defense, law enforcement, human resource management, business and business communications, and leadership consulting.

Updates

FEMA Teams up With Minor League Baseball & Boy Scouts to Help Families Prepare for Emergencies

In partnership with FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Ready Campaign, dozens of baseball teams and local Boy Scout councils across the nation are stepping up to the plate and encouraging fans to prepare for all types of emergencies and disasters. The Ready Campaign is a national public awareness effort designed to help all Americans prepare their families before the next emergency or disaster, by making a kit and getting a plan.

Updates

FDA Approves Vaccine for 2009-2010 Seasonal Influenza

"The approval of this year's seasonal influenza vaccine is an example of the Food & Drug Administration's important responsibility to assure timely availability of vaccine to help protect the health of the American public," said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs. "A new seasonal influenza vaccine each year is a critical tool in protecting public health."

Updates

USDA and HHS Praise Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack & Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius commended the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) for the new guidelines, which will help local, state, and federal agencies prevent & manage foodborne disease outbreaks through planning, detection, investigation, control & prevention.

Updates

HHS Purchases Additional H1N1 Vaccine Ingredients

Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced that the department will commit $884 million to purchase additional supplies of two key ingredients for the H1N1 vaccine needed to further prepare the nation for a potential resurgence of the H1N1 virus.

Updates

$8.7 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Support Law Enforcement Efforts on U.S. Southwest Border

"The Department of Justice is intensifying its efforts to investigate, prosecute, & punish members of the Mexican drug cartels," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "The guns, drugs, & bulk cash that are the backbone of the cartels' business contribute to addiction and drug-related violence in our communities. The Recovery Act funding these ... California communities are receiving will help local law enforcement in our joint efforts to combat the threat posed by these cartels."

Updates

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano Announces 60-Day Review of Homeland Security Advisory System

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano has announced the formation of a task force to conduct a 60-day review of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). The mission of the task force is to assess the effectiveness of the system in informing the public about terrorist threats and determining the protective measures needed within government and throughout the private sector.

Resilience

Providing Systems Engineering Support to State & Local Jurisdictions

by Dennis R. Schrader -

The federal government has told the nation's states and cities to build up their homeland-security capabilities - a difficult and costly task at any time, but even more so during a recession. Here is one way to solve the "unfunded mandates" dilemma.

Preparedness

Emergency Management & Special Events: Challenges, Support, Best Practices

by Kay C. Goss -

There are few if any challenges so daunting to emergency managers than the planning and implementation of the security measures needed to protect the principals and attendees at NSSEs and other highly publicized events. The greatest success occurs when nothing happens.

Updates

Bruker's CBRNE Detection Announces Contract Award for Ten First Article Test Systems for U.S. Navy IPDS Replacement Program

Bruker's RAID-S2 - a gas trace detector used for the detection of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) & toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) - will be used by the U.S. Navy to test and verify units for the Improved Point Detection System (IPDS) replacement program.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Observes Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT) Demonstration

"Maritime security is critical to interdicting threats before they reach our borders," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "The Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team is an effective tool for responding to any maritime incident at a moment's notice."

Resilience

Premiere Performances: NSSEs, Non-NSSEs - And the Security Risks Involved

by Neil C. Livingstone -

The most perfectly planned and carefully implemented security plan can easily go awry. All it takes is one suicidal terrorist or deranged assassin to make a major special event much more exciting, and dangerous - for participants and spectators alike - than originally anticipated.

Updates

CDC Launches New Environmental Public Health Tracking Network

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the launch of the Web-based Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, a surveillance tool that scientists, health professionals, and - for the first time - members of the public can use to track environmental exposures and chronic health conditions.

Updates

FLIR Systems Announces Initial $2.4 Million Order for Saudi Border Program

"We are pleased to be selected by the Saudi MOI & EADS for this initial installation of long-range infrared & visible sensors on the Saudi Northern Border," said Earl R. Lewis, President and CEO of FLIR Systems. "This order again demonstrates our industry leading position in multi-sensor thermal imaging for border applications, & we look forward to continued participation in this important program as requirements develop."

Updates

ICx Technologies Wins $6.8 Million Fido XTi Contract from U.S. Army

ICx has announced that the U.S. Army has purchased Fido XTi explosives-detection systems for use by the Afghan National Army & Afghan National Police. The Fido XTi is the international version of the combat-proven Fido XT, considered to be the world's most sensitive handheld-explosives detection system.

Updates

Avon Protection Systems Wins Department of Defense (DOD) Contract

The first stage of the contract calls for delivery of more than 700,000 Chemical B Canisters; the second, under a current spare-parts contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, will provide the same number of filters throughout the period ending in August 2010. The new contract further supports the continuing rollout of the M50 respirator to units throughout the U.S. military.

Updates

Remarks by DHS Secretary Napolitano at The H1N1 [Swine Flu] Influenza Summit

DHS Secretary Napolitano comments on the "what if" effects of a flu pandemic and discusses what the nation must do to become better prepared for such an event.

Updates

States Eligible to Receive $350 Million for H1N1, Seasonal Flu Preparedness Efforts

HHS (Health & Human Services) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces the availability of $350 million in grants to help states and territories prepare for the 2009 novel H1N1 flu virus and the fall flu season.

Updates

American People Called on to Begin Planning & Preparing for Fall Flu Season & New H1N1 Virus

The Obama Administration has sent a strong message to the nation that flu preparedness is a "Shared Responsibility" - and has announced that the federal government is prepared to commit resources, training, and new tools to help state and local governments, and American families, become better prepared.

Updates

LLIS.gov and DomesticPreparedness.com Forge Partnership

Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS.gov) and DomesticPreparedness.com will regularly share information and provide content for each other's systems and readers.

Resilience

London 2012: Protecting the Olympic Games

by Andy Oppenheimer -

The greatest challenge facing UK and London officials will not be the staging of a worthy successor to China's sterling 2008 Games, but maintaining tight security in an open society where the cuisine may be less varied but freedom and diversity are much more highly valued.

Updates

Mississippi Department of Health Prepares for Potential Evacuations by AmbuBus in 2009 Hurricane Season

When needed, the AmbuBus can quickly convert school & transit buses into non-ambulatory (stretcher) transport vehicles for the special-needs population. The AmbuBus now enables the Department of Health to safely and efficiently evacuate hospitals, medical facilities, and nursing homes from the path of hurricanes.

Updates

GE Security's Explosive Detection Technology Receives TSA Certification

GE's trace detector, the Itemiser DX, which provides effective threat substance identification, including even the most complex explosive substances from a single sample, received TSA (Transportation Security Administration) certification.

Updates

Raytheon Awarded Phase 2 Contract for Exploratory Research in Nuclear Detection Technology

"The goal of the SWARM (Stand-Off Warning Against Radiological Materials) program is to take a strategic and analytical approach to addressing the challenges of radiation detection in a realistic environment," said Michael Del Checcolo, Vice President of Engineering for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

Updates

Radiation Monitoring Techniques Training Course Held Near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

The training program was arranged by Thermo Fisher Scientific, in cooperation with the European Centre of Technological Safety (TESEC); attendees were able to practice and learn radiation-monitoring techniques under real conditions, while also appreciating the teamwork required to perform accurate and safe radiological measurements.

Updates

Preparedness Publications Available from FEMA

To help communities, families, and individuals become better informed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers free publications designed to provide assistance in planning and preparing for disasters.

Updates

Ahura Scientific Increases Response Capabilities of TruDefender FT & FirstDefender

From hazmat teams & law enforcement, to military organizations around the world, customers rely on FirstDefender & TruDefender FT for accuracy, speed, and ease of use. Ahura is pleased to announce that the company has been able to expand the TruDefender FT & FirstDefender libraries so quickly - and will continue to do so in support of its customers' needs to identify emerging chemical threats.

Preparedness

Vigilant Guard 2009

Iowa, Kansas and Puerto Rico held annual Vigilant Guard training exercises.

Updates

ESi ContinuityPlanner Software Released

The ESi ContinuityPlanner is a new stand-alone software tool that enables federal, state, and local government planners to design customized and flexible COG (continuity of government) & COOP (continuity of operations plans) that can be used and shared, by an unlimited number of participants, during an exercise or crisis situation.

Resilience

A Global Sensor Network for Disaster Warnings

by Diana Hopkins -

It would be much more complicated than "a two-step smoke-alarm process," but the nations of the world now have the technology needed to develop and build a truly global international, and interoperable, sensor system capable of almost instantaneous detection of imminent disasters. So why don't they?

Updates

DHS Announces Sites for Multi-Band Radio Pilot

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate has announced the names of 14 lead organizations for the upcoming pilot phase of testing and evaluation for the Multi-Band Radio project.

Updates

Clean Earth Technologies Announces Availability of First EPA-Approved Product to Kill Anthrax & Other Infectious Diseases

PERIDOX with EDS (Electrostatic Decontamination System) kills anthrax in seconds & meets the "6 log" EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requirement for thorough decontamination of surface areas. For the first time, the emergency-response community has an EPA-registered decontaminant that can be used in bioterrorism preparedness & response operations.

Updates

Proven Highest Levels of Protection for Avon's FM53 Mask

Avon has completed FM53 performance trials that focused on the APR (Air Purifying Respirator) performance of the mask & used the latest test method - referred to as "The Battlefield Protection Factor Test." The results demonstrate the FM53s ability to offer the highest levels of protection afforded by any APR mask in the hostile and dynamic environments of the law-enforcement and military communities.

Updates

Tulane University - Leading the Way in Disaster Management

"This program is timely and unique in its global reach, systems approach, and its emphasis on providing current and future disaster-management and humanitarian-agency/program leaders with the analytical tools they need to lead robust, effective, and efficient interventions." Tulane University President Scott Cowen.

Updates

APUS Introduces BS Degree in Criminal Justice Online Degree Program with Concentration in Forensics

American Public University System (APUS) is offering a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice program, with a concentration in forensics, specifically designed for students seeking an in-depth scientific study of crime, criminal behavior, crime-scene investigation theories, and the importance of scientific analysis as evidence presented in the criminal justice system.

Preparedness

Kids Encouraged to Participate in Disaster Preparedness

by C. Todd Lopez Army Morale, Welfare & Recreation -

Ensuring families are prepared for emergencies is one of the roles of the Army Protection Division, & it does so through the Ready Army program. This year, the Ready Army program is sponsoring a new program, "Prepared Kids," the aim of which is to get younger family members involved in the discussion about how to be ready for disasters.

Commentary

Mid-Atlantic Officials Cite Progress, Continuing Challenges

by Daniel Brethauer -

Recent AHC (All-Hazards Consortium) meeting in Wilmington (Del.) serves as a working model for all states and regions seeking to institute and/or improve cooperative multi-state programs, funding efforts, and mutual-assistance agreements.