march 2022

Resilience

Disaster Procurement: Navigating the Supply Chain

by Brian McGinley -

There are moments during a disaster that something needs to be purchased. Depending on the nature of the purchase, it could be something small, perhaps something that can be purchased with a company credit card. On the other hand, it could be a purchase for millions of dollars and, not only do procurement laws come into play, but so could federal procurement laws if the organization is going to seek Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement after the disaster closes. In the moments of needing to spend large dollar amounts, the procurement office should be consulted, not because all purchases need to go through that office, but because they work year-round to establish relationships, contracts, and price lists with suppliers that could save time, money, and allow focus to be on the disaster at hand.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Disaster Procurement: Navigating the Supply Chain

by BRIAN MCGINLEY, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

There are moments during a disaster that something needs to be purchased. Depending on the nature of the purchase, it could be something small, perhaps something that can be purchased with a company credit card. On the other hand, it could be a purchase for millions of dollars and, not only do procurement laws come into play, but so could federal procurement laws if the organization is going to seek Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement after the disaster closes. In the moments of needing to spend large dollar amounts, the procurement office should be consulted, not because all purchases need to go through that office, but because they work year-round to establish relationships, contracts, and price lists with suppliers that could save time, money, and allow focus to be on the disaster at hand.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson.

Commentary

Closing Preparedness Gaps – Timing Is Everything

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.

Updates

DHS Small Business Innovation Research to Host First Responder Technology Showcase

The DHS Science and Technology Directorate leads the Small Business Innovation Research program, which encourages startups with fewer than 500 employees to provide quality research, new processes, products and technologies in support of government missions. During the inaugural showcase, nine small businesses will present their technologies and answer questions.

Updates

DHS and DOJ Issue Rule to Efficiently and Fairly Process Asylum Claims

The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice are issuing a rule to improve and expedite processing of asylum claims made by noncitizens subject to expedited removal, ensuring that those who are eligible for asylum are granted relief quickly, and those who are not are promptly removed.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Radiation Emergency Medical Challenges and a Global Pandemic

by RON CAIN, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

It seems that every day over the past two years there are plenty of news stories covering the strain hospitals are facing in staffing shortages and the impacts from a global pandemic. Emergency medical services (EMS) are also dealing with their own similar issues across the nation. Many of these critical facilities and services are located in the proximity of nuclear power plants in which previous agreements were established to provide treatment, patient transportation, radiation monitoring, and decontamination in the event of a patient-generating event within a nuclear power plant’s emergency planning zones. 

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson

Healthcare

Radiation Emergency Medical Challenges and a Global Pandemic

by Ron Cain -

It seems that every day over the past two years there are plenty of news stories covering the strain hospitals are facing in staffing shortages and the impacts from a global pandemic. Emergency medical services (EMS) are also dealing with their own similar issues across the nation. Many of these critical facilities and services are located in the proximity of nuclear power plants in which previous agreements were established to provide treatment, patient transportation, radiation monitoring, and decontamination in the event of a patient-generating event within a nuclear power plant’s emergency planning zones.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Securing Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Continuing Challenge

By RICHARD SCHOEBERL, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, September 19, 2012.  

As events of the past week have shown, the 18-month upheaval that has devastated Syria continues to present a major risk that the Syrian government’s caches of CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) materials might fall into the hands of looters, defectors, opposition groups, and/or terrorist organizations. Moreover, as governments throughout the world continue to combat terrorism, groups with weapons-making capabilities, combined with clear intentions to acquire and use CBRNE materials, particularly nuclear, pose a threat of unprecedented magnitude.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler

Podcast

Article Out Loud - NIMS & ICS: The Next Level

By STEPHEN GRAINER , An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, October 14, 2009. 

The Department of Homeland Security  resumed the “next” series of its NIMS Incident Command System (ICS) training in August with the delivery of eight ICS position-specific Train-the-Trainer (T-t-T) programs in College Station, Texas, where the Texas Forest Service is headquartered – on the Texas A&M campus. Over a three-week period all eight command and general staff T-t-T courses were delivered.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler. 

Updates

DHS S&T Seeks Solutions for Mitigating Threats to Soft Targets

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate announced a new solicitation to help mitigate threats toward soft targets and reduce attacks in crowded places. The Securing Soft Targets topic call is looking for cutting-edge solutions that can identify and mitigate new and emerging threats both in the United States and around the world.

Preparedness

PNT Signals as National Critical Infrastructure

by Nathan DiPillo -

Several national critical functions and all 16 critical infrastructure sectors rely either directly or indirectly on functional and consistent position, navigation, and timing (PNT) signals. As such, fragility of weak and easily imitated global positioning system (GPS) signals could lead to catastrophic impacts on dependent and interdependent critical infrastructure systems. Designating PNT-signal-emanating assets as a standalone national critical function would bring resources, awareness, research, additional risk mitigation measures, and new solutions to help keep consistent and resilient PNT signals operational if threatened by natural and human-caused threats.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - PNT Signals as National Critical Infrastructure

by NATHAN DIPILLO, An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

Several national critical functions and all 16 critical infrastructure sectors rely either directly or indirectly on functional and consistent position, navigation, and timing (PNT) signals. As such, fragility of weak and easily imitated global positioning system (GPS) signals could lead to catastrophic impacts on dependent and interdependent critical infrastructure systems. Designating PNT-signal-emanating assets as a standalone national critical function would bring resources, awareness, research, additional risk mitigation measures, and new solutions to help keep consistent and resilient PNT signals operational if threatened by natural and human-caused threats.

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson

Podcast

Article Out Loud - NCRP 138: Reliable Guidance for Radiation Emergencies

By ROB SCHNEPP , An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, August 10, 2005.  

For the last several years, fire agencies across the country have been actively preparing to handle incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The need for solid and reliable information traditionally accompanies those preparations – and, with the large number of credible and varied attack scenarios to consider, including radiation incidents, most of the nation’s fire departments have found it difficult if not impossible to stay ahead of the equipment, information, and training curve.

Narrated by Randy Vivian 

Podcast

Article Out Loud - A Race Against Time: Canine/Handler Teams Prep for Disaster

By OMAR BOURNE, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, May 23, 2018. 

New York City has various disaster preparedness teams that are specially equipped to manage many types of threats. One such team involves canines trained to perform search and rescue tasks. Canines have helped save lives at critical times following disasters such as 9/11, when finding survivors among rubble and debris is especially challenging. A Dutch Shepherd named Diesel is one responder who currently works with New York City Police Department to prepare for the next disaster.

Narrated by Randy Vivian. 

Reports

Report to the Secretary of Homeland Security Domestic Violent Extremism Internal Review: Observations, Findings, and Recommendations

At Secretary Mayorkas’ direction, a cross-Departmental working group of senior officials conducted a comprehensive review of how to best prevent, detect, and respond to potential threats related to domestic violent extremism within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Secretary further emphasized that violent extremism “has no place at DHS”1 and directed the Department to “immediately begin a review of how to best prevent, detect, and respond to domestic violent extremism threats within DHS.” The recommendations in this report are a reflection of the groups findings. These recommendations are organized around the following five overarching areas: (1) establish baseline policies and guidance; (2) promote employee awareness; (3) enhance methods to identify and address violent extremist activity; (4) foster an integrated approach; and (5) ensure the protection of privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. 

View Full Report
Updates

DHS S&T Seeks Information on Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate released a request for information about commercially available self-contained breathing apparatus to meet the needs of emergency responders. The technologies will be considered for inclusion in a market survey being conducted by S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Updates

DHS S&T Awards Funding to Auburn University for Detection Canine Research and Development

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate announced a $24 million contract, awarded over five years, to Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine to support research & development in the detection canine field. The award will explore ways to improve the availability and efficacy of detection dogs, which are vital in protecting our Nation’s borders, transportation hubs, major public events, and more.

Commentary

Bipartisan Commission Says Nation Unprepared for Biological Events

by Asha M. George & John T. O’Brien -

On 17 February 2022, Dr. Asha M. George, executive director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at a hearing on addressing the gaps in the nation’s biodefense and level of preparedness to respond to biological threats. In 2015, the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense released its first report, A National Blueprint for Biodefense, to warn that the biological threat was rising and to inform the government that the nation was insufficiently prepared to handle a large-scale biological event. When COVID-19 emerged in early 2020, many of those findings proved to be true.

Updates

Secretary Mayorkas Designates Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

This designation is based on both ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that prevent Ukrainian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine, from returning to Ukraine safely. These conditions result from the full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, which marks the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II.

Updates

DHS Designated as the Lead Federal Agency to Respond to Russia-Related Impacts to the United States

The President has designated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the lead Federal agency to coordinate domestic preparedness and response efforts related to the current Russia-Ukraine crisis. While there are no specific threats to the homeland at this time, DHS is taking appropriate steps to ensure Federal efforts are coordinated should the need arise.

Updates

DHS S&T Seeks to Test Innovative First Responder Technologies at Urban OpEx 2022

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate released a Request for Information seeking new and emerging technologies that first responders can experiment with and test in a realistic, urban setting.

Updates

The TSA Federal Air Marshal Service recognizes its 60th anniversary

2 March 1962, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy swore in the first class of 18 “Sky Marshals,” a special force of Federal Aviation Administration inspectors who volunteered and trained to protect U.S. aircraft and passengers from air piracy.

Updates

Secretary Mayorkas Designates Sudan and Extends and Redesignates South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status

Secretary Mayorkas made these decisions after consultation with interagency partners and careful consideration of the conditions in these countries. The designation of Sudan and South Sudan is based off of political unrest and armed conflict that have displaced millions of residence.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Bipartisan Commission Says Nation Unprepared for Biological Events

By ASHA M. GEORGE & JOHN T. O' BRIEN , An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

On 17 February 2022, Dr. Asha M. George, executive director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at a hearing on addressing the gaps in the nation’s biodefense and level of preparedness to respond to biological threats. In 2015, the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense released its first report, A National Blueprint for Biodefense, to warn that the biological threat was rising and to inform the government that the nation was insufficiently prepared to handle a large-scale biological event. When COVID-19 emerged in early 2020, many of those findings proved to be true.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Reducing the Community's Risk - One Grant at a Time

By ANTHONY S. MANGERI SR., an Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, July 27, 2011

The city of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, recently received $1.4 million for hazard mitigation projects. The guiding principle in emergency preparedness is virtually identical to one of the Golden Rules of good health: Prevention is much better, and almost always lower in cost, than recovery and rehabilitation. This 2011 grant article provides a snapshot of the grants that were available along with how to find FEMA grants that are currently being offered, like the HMGP grant provided to Reedsburg.

Narrated by Randy Vivian

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Having the Right Tools to Shorten Periods of Chaos

By GORDON HUNTER, an Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, August 12, 2015.

Currently, in Kentucky communities hard hit by severe storms and tornados, Home Depot and Walmart have teamed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer workshops on home improvement tips, methods for preventing future damage, and techniques for rebuilding homes to be hazard resistant. As described in this 2015 article, the ongoing public-private partnership efforts in Kentucky can help to shorten the recovery period and increase community preparedness for future threats.

Narrated by Randy Vivian

Updates

Rensselaer Research Teams Receive Funding To Further Understanding of Robotics

Two School of Engineering projects secure nearly $900,000 from Department of Defense. These projects were chosen as they focus on modernization priorities set by the U.S. Department of Defense while strengthening U.S. manufacturing and empowering workers.

Preparedness

A New Model for Proactive Prevention

by Rick Shaw -

Shootings, acts of violence, crimes, abuse, suicides, overdoses, and other incidents and tragedies are increasing nationwide. Cities across the nation saw a surge of homicides in 2020 and many cities were at or near record levels for homicides in 2021. Cities also saw spikes in 2020 and 2021 with crimes, abuse, suicides, overdoses, and other incidents. Organizations, schools, and communities have continued to add more security solutions as well as more hotlines, safety/threat assessment teams, policies, trainings, and laws. However, violence and crime statistics do not reflect better safety.

Podcast

Article Out Loud - A New Model for Proactive Prevention

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

Shootings, acts of violence, crimes, abuse, suicides, overdoses, and other incidents and tragedies are increasing nationwide. Cities across the nation saw a surge of homicides in 2020 and many cities were at or near record levels for homicides in 2021. Cities also saw spikes in 2020 and 2021 with crimes, abuse, suicides, overdoses, and other incidents. Organizations, schools, and communities have continued to add more security solutions as well as more hotlines, safety/threat assessment teams, policies, trainings, and laws. However, violence and crime statistics do not reflect better safety.

Narrated by Bonnie Weidler

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Addressing Key Policy Issues Before the Next Catastrophe

by ANN LESPERANCE, an Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, October 10, 2012. 

During a major disaster, saving lives and protecting the environment while ensuring public safety are all-encompassing priorities. As a catastrophe unfolds, decision makers at all levels of government are faced with a myriad of questions and/or issues that must be quickly addressed and resolved to return a sense of normalcy to the devastated region. Additional challenges would be presented if the catastrophe was the result of a terrorist attack using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD).

Narrated by Randy Vivian

Podcast

Article Out Loud - Critical Incident Stress Management & Peer Support

by TANIA GLENN, An Article Out Loud Flashback from the Domestic Preparedness Journal, May 21, 2014.

In the aftermath of 9/11, aviation and other transportation incidents have become the focus of much national and international attention. Commercial aviation incidents like U.S. Airways Flight 1549 making an emergency landing on the Hudson River in January 2009, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 making a crash landing onto the San Francisco runway in July 2013, and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearing in midair in March 2014 raise legitimate concerns over aviation safety, standardization, and security. However, regardless of the type of incident, the personal resilience levels of those affected may vary greatly.

Narrated by Randy Vivian