june 2019

Resilience

EMP Executive Order & Self-Funding Resilient Microgrids

by Charles (Chuck) Manto -

The U.S. government published two landmark emergency management policies in March 2019. The first was the update of the 2015/2016 Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan released from the Office of the President. DomPrep published an article on 15 June 2016 describing how the strategy and action plan affected disaster and emergency operations planning. Then, on 26 March 2019, the Federal Register published the Executive Order of the President 13865 (EO 13865), entitled “Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses,” which outlines the threats to the national (and global), economic, as well as health and safety security.

Commentary

The Enterprise That Guards Against Attack

by Catherine L. Feinman -

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to safeguard the United States against terrorism. The department brought together 22 different federal agencies, each with a role to: prevent terrorism and enhance security, especially from a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) attack; manage borders; administer immigration laws; secure cyberspace; and ensure disaster resilience. That is just the federal part of the equation. The first DHS Secretary, Governor Thomas Ridge, envisioned an enterprise where state, local, tribal, and territorial governments were also an integral part of that mission. What is not clearly stated is the role that nongovernmental organizations play. This would include industry, think tanks, and media.

Reports

Preparedness Leadership Council (PLC) Biodefense Roundtable – Implementation and Operationalization of the National Biodefense Strategy

The National Biodefense Strategy highlights President Donald Trump's commitment to protect the American people, “and establishes objectives to effectively counter threats from naturally occurring, accidental, and deliberate biological events.” This strategy is intended to guide innovation and collaboration beyond the federal government. The president is targeting this strategy for action by state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) entities, practitioners, scientists, educators, and industry. 

This report is a meeting readout. It relays the sentiments of the many experts who participated but is not an exhaustive analysis of the recommendations and how they should be implemented. It is meant to lay the groundwork for the next steps, which key leaders and policymakers should consider. The information relayed herein is generally reflective of the opinions voiced at the meeting as well as the survey respondents, though any given statement should not necessarily be viewed as consensus.

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Commentary

Preparedness Leadership Council (PLC) Report: Biodefense Roundtable – Implementation and Operationalization of the National Biodefense Strategy

by Martin D. Masiuk -

The National Biodefense Strategy highlights President Donald Trump's commitment to protect the American people, “and establishes objectives to effectively counter threats from naturally occurring, accidental, and deliberate biological events.” This strategy is intended to guide innovation and collaboration beyond the federal government. The president is targeting this strategy for action by state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) entities, practitioners, scientists, educators, and industry.  This report is a meeting readout. It relays the sentiments of the many experts who participated but is not an exhaustive analysis of the recommendations and how they should be implemented. It is meant to lay the groundwork for the next steps, which key leaders and policymakers should consider. The information relayed herein is generally reflective of the opinions voiced at the meeting as well as the survey respondents, though any given statement should not necessarily be viewed as consensus.

Updates

Realistic Exercise Tests Information Flow, Technology Solutions in a Real World Urban Environment

First responders gathered at the Port of Houston’s Sam Houston Pavilion in Texas with response vehicles, vessels, and a mobile command center to engage in a simulated multi-effort emergency response to an accidental release of a volatile chemical on the Houston Ship Channel. As the scenario unfolded, responders continuously assessed the efficiency and interoperability of next generation response technology, ensuring collected data provided the situational awareness they needed to provide efficient and timely response to victims.

Updates

Safe Spaces: Creating a Culture to Support Infant Feeding in Shelters

Disasters and emergency evacuations can pose feeding difficulties for the mothers of infants and young children, but these challenges can be mitigated. When public health practitioners and emergency managers work together to implement straightforward guidelines, they can meet infant feeding needs in shelters. Access to maternal and reproductive health care should be a foundation in mass care after hazards and in crises scenarios.

Updates

Tracking Population Data Could Change Disaster Response

Weather satellite imagery is an indispensable part of how government agencies and aid groups understand and respond to severe weather events. Now, government agencies and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) can use large-scale population movement data – anonymized and aggregated by Facebook – to plan future disaster response efforts.

Reports

Tribal Mitigation Planning Handbook

The Tribal Mitigation Planning Handbook provides practical approaches and advice for tribal governments as they develop their hazard mitigation plans. The handbook is organized around the seven recommended steps for developing a tribal mitigation plan. It also provides considerations for how to implement the mitigation plan, advance mitigation activities, and incorporate risk reduction into other tribal plans and programs.

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Updates

New App Provides Emergency Response Vehicles With the Fastest, Safest Path to Incident Scenes

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and partner Azimuth1 LLC are developing an app called QuickRoute, giving first responders the quickest and safest route to incident scenes. QuickRoute takes into account the type of vehicle being driven, agency roadway protocols, specs like turn radius or bridge and tunnel clearance, and their unique ability to use lights and sirens to clear paths and avoid signals. Other data sources, including weather patterns, traffic and transit schedules, and local jurisdiction rules are also key factors.

Updates

Hiring! Director of Resource Management in HHS/ASPR

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Office of Resource Management is hiring a Director of Resource Management in the Washington, DC, area. The director provides strategic and expert advice to the principal deputy assistant secretary on operational readiness, recovery, and response activities to ensure efficient and effective coordination of departmental efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recovery from public health and medical emergencies.

Reports

National Health Security Preparedness Index – May 2019

The National Health Security Preparedness Index tracks the nation's progress in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the health consequences of disasters, disease outbreaks, and other large-scale emergencies. This report details the key findings from this year’s Index report. 

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Resilience

European CBRNE Summit 2019 – Salisbury & Manchester

by Bobby Baker -

Birmingham, United Kingdom – Over the past few years, the term “asymmetry” has been applied many times to the emerging threat landscape to first responders and military personnel around the world. Asymmetrical means that two sides do not match or are uneven. Intelligence SEC’s 2019 European CBRNE Summit recently held in Birmingham, United Kingdom, highlighted two of the largest and most prominent chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high-yield explosive (CBRNE) incidents in the world: The 2018 Salisbury nerve agent attack and the 2017 Manchester concert arena bombing. Intelligence-SEC will be presenting the 2019 Asian CBRNE Summit to be held 3-5 December 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Updates

NACCHO Applauds Passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (S. 1379). This important legislation maintains the commitment of the federal government to local public health preparedness.

Updates

HHS Seeks to Expand Its Network Innovation Accelerators Into More States

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, established a network of eight accelerators in 2018 through an initiative called DRIVe, the BARDA Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures. BARDA DRIVe now seeks to expand that network into other parts of the country.

Updates

Hurricane Season Is Here

Eight hurricanes and seven other named storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean last year, raining destruction on some southeastern communities and threatening many more. This year’s hurricane season begins 1 June 2019, and runs through November. If communities are not prepared for the next round of tropical storms, now is the time to get ready.

Updates

Federal Report Highlights Trend of Involuntary Institutionalization During and After Disasters

The National Council on Disability examined available data from several major storms and disasters and found that people with disabilities are frequently institutionalized during and after disasters due to: conflicting federal guidance; a lack of equal access to emergency and disaster-related programs and services; and a lack of compliance with federal law.

Updates

A Critical Crash Course in Chemical Decontamination

In communities across the country, people rely on emergency medical services (EMS) professionals to make quick, life-saving decisions. This post offers a crash course on chemical decontamination of EMS personnel and their patients, in the event of a chemical emergency.

Updates

Fire Is Out. However, There Is Still Work to Be Done

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate collaborated with TDA Research Inc. and Avon Protection Systems on a low-maintenance filtration system that drastically improves a first responders’ ability to get the overhaul process complete without exposing themselves to harmful chemicals.

Updates

Reinforcing the Front Lines of Disaster Response: ASPR Provides Critical Resources, Stronger Systems, and Lifesaving Training for EMS Professionals

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel respond to emergencies every day and serve on the front lines of the medical response to disasters, terrorist attacks, and mass casualty incidents. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is dedicated to supporting EMS personnel in enhancing and protecting the health and well-being of all Americans.

Commentary

How to Lead the Public

by Eric J. McNulty & Leonard J. Marcus -

In almost any adverse incident, whether natural or manmade, the general public is involved. At times, they are the victims and survivors. Active bystanders may be the true first responders simply because of proximity. Volunteers often surge forward hoping to help. Eager though untrained, members of the public can be a help or hindrance – and the difference may be how effectively they are led.

Reports

Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a reference document that contains key messages on hurricane- and flood-related health threats. The document can help local responders quickly create and adapt health communication products for affected communities. The document contains messages on various topics including food safety, carbon monoxide poisoning, waterborne diseases, and mold.

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Updates

National Fire Academy (NFA) Application Period Closes 15 June 2019

The application period for the National Fire Academy's resident classes scheduled during the first semester of fiscal year 2020 (1 October 2019–31 March 2020) will close on 15 June 2019.

Updates

Sounding the Alarm - Small Device Alerts Responders to Big Changes to Thermal Conditions

When firefighters rush into burning buildings, they know the thermal environment may change in a matter of seconds, exposing them to potentially lethal temperatures. Burn Saver is a body-worn technology that continuously monitors thermal conditions and warns firefighters when those conditions become threatening.

Reports

FEMA New Recipients of Disaster Grants Guide

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) New Recipients of Disaster Grants Guide is intended to provide streamlined guidance to state, territorial, and tribal governments on the essential elements of FEMA Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs and required actions to request, initiate, and receive FEMA disaster assistance grants.

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