may 2019

Updates

Human Antibody Reveals Hidden Vulnerability in Influenza Virus

Scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases report that the influenza virus protein has an unexpected Achilles heel. The team discovered and characterized the structure of a naturally occurring human antibody that recognizes and disrupts a portion of the hemagglutinin protein that the virus uses to enter and infect cells. Vaccines designed to elicit antibodies against this target might provide long-lasting protection against any influenza strain.

Healthcare

Meeting Healthcare Supply Chain Needs at All Times

by James M. Rush Sr. -

The healthcare industry has numerous supply chain challenges as it strives to meet patient and facility needs during routine operations as well as during small and large surge events. The current process has gaps that need to be filled. However, there is a possible solution.

Commentary

Strengthening Threat-Mitigation Efforts in Changing Times

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Threats come in many forms. Some occur naturally from weather events. Some occur maliciously through technological manipulations. Some occur violently with traditional weaponry or weaponized materials. Some threats combine two or more of these and other threats. The preparedness community is tasked with identifying potential threats in order to mitigate or thwart the devastating consequences should a threat manifest in disaster.

Resilience

Advancing Resilience – Building Codes & Benchmarking

by Ryan Colker -

Communities are facing a wide variety of shocks and stresses. Whether it is a natural disaster threat (hurricane, earthquake, flood, wildfire), socioeconomic stressor (homelessness, poverty), or loss of a major employer, communities are looking for strategies to protect their citizens, tax base, and infrastructure (including buildings) from disaster. New tools and benchmarks provide the basis for developing these strategies.

Reports

United States Government Global Health Security Strategy 2019

The Global Health Security Strategy outlines the U.S. government’s approach to strengthen global health security, including accelerating the capabilities of targeted countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.  

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Reports

Public Safety Communications – Ten Keys to Improving Emergency Alerts, Warnings & Notifications

Emergency alert, warning, and notification (AWN) systems help protect lives and property by identifying information about an impending threat, communicating that information to those who need it, and facilitating the timely taking of protective actions. This report contains recommendations to help organizations enhance critical information sharing. 

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Updates

Smarter Research & Development to Tackle Global Health Priorities

The World Health Organization’s new Science Division launched an online resource to guide the development of new health products for which there are limited markets or incentives for research and development. The Health Product Profile Directory aims to promote research and development for products to combat neglected diseases and threats to global health, including antimicrobial resistance and diseases with pandemic potential.

Reports

Extending Expiration Dates of Doxycycline Tablets and Capsules in Strategic Stockpiles

This document provides guidance to government stakeholders on testing to extend the expiration date of stockpiled doxycycline tablets and capsules. This extension would be beneficial for public health emergency preparedness and response purposes should an anthrax emergency occur.

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Updates

DoD Develops Secure 5G Mobile Telecommunication Network Strategy

The Defense Department is developing a secure 5G mobile telecommunication network strategy, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said during a Pentagon news conference. A 5G network would be 100 times faster than current networks, would be more resilient and less susceptible to attacks, and would dramatically improve military communication and situational awareness.

Preparedness

More Floods, More Effective Flood-Fighting Technology

by John Dames -

As floods become more severe and more frequent, government authorities must invest in advanced technology platforms that take the guesswork out of crisis management. Since the consequences of flood events vary dramatically, the tools used to fight them – such as surveillance, connectivity, and situational awareness technologies – must be able to adapt to each unique situation.

Updates

FEMA Release of the Senior Leaders Toolkit

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Integration Center has released a Senior Leader Toolkit, a resource that both emergency management and senior leaders can use to understand their roles and responsibilities during incidents. The toolkit includes Elected Officials/Senior Executives Quick Reference Guide, a Department Head Quick Reference Guide, and a NIMS [National Incident Management System] Senior Leader Briefing Template.

Updates

The Intersection of Hurricane Response and Opioid Use Disorder

After a hurricane, flood, or other disaster, responders, emergency healthcare professionals, and disaster relief service providers face the challenge of considering the specific vulnerabilities of people struggling to manage opioid use disorder treatment and recovery while meeting the increased needs of the community at large.

Reports

Prioritizing Zoonotic Diseases for Multisectoral, One Health Collaboration in the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Department of Agriculture have released the first federal collaborative report listing the top zoonotic diseases of national concern for the United States, including recommendations for next steps.  Zoonotic diseases are illnesses that can spread between animals and people.

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Updates

Public Health Emergency Law Online Training

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Law Program now offers a Public Health Emergency Law (PHEL) course, which prepares state, tribal, local, and territorial practitioners to make informed legal decisions related to emergency preparedness and response activities. PHEL consists of three competency-based units and covers legal issues to consider before, during, and after public health emergencies.

Updates

Promoting Calm and Coping in Your Community Following Acts of Mass Violence

Acts of mass violence stress communities and can cause serious psychological stress. By planning for a no-notice mass casualty event, emergency managers and public health professionals and their partners will be better equipped to support their communities through the recovery and healing process.

Commentary

Emerging Homeland Security Issues – A 2018 Panel Review

by Joseph J. Leonard Jr. -

DomPrep hosted the 2018 Emerging Homeland Security Issues Panel in conjunction with the Clean Gulf Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 13 November 2018. The active discussion among panel members and more than 50 attendees focused on hybrid warfare and the current threat environment, strategic and operational preparedness, emerging technology to meet these threats, and sustainment of interagency relationships.

Updates

S&T’s Immersive Imaging System’s High-Resolution Images & 360-Degree Coverage, Provides Full-Scene Situational Awareness

For security practitioners, it could seem impossible to catch everything that happens in a wide, crowded space. Stadiums and other large, public venues require near-perfect surveillance systems to do so. New technology developed by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) offers a novel 360-degree, single-vantage-point surveillance capability. https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/news/2019/04/30/snapshot-st-immersive-imaging-system-winner-rd-100-award

Commentary

Hybrid Warfare – Impact on Preparedness & Resilience

by Martin (Marty) D. Masiuk -

During the first two decades of the 21st century, the nation’s security and defense focus was primarily on terrorism by non-state actors and lone wolves. During that same period, advances in digital and information technology were rapidly adopted by government and industry. Often, technology’s implementation was quick and cheap with little regard to being secure, which created security gaps and vulnerabilities. Threats include the weaponization of information by utilizing social media and sponsorship of “news-media” programs.

Updates

DARPA Tests Advanced Chemical Sensors

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) SIGMA program, which began in 2014, has demonstrated a city-scale capability for detecting radiological and nuclear threats that is now being operationally deployed. DARPA is building off this work with the SIGMA+ initiative that is focused on providing city- to region-scale detection capabilities across the full chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threat space.

Reports

Vaccine Platforms: State of the Field and Looming Challenges

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security conducted a project aimed to develop a state-of-the-art conceptual understanding of various vaccine platform technologies, with special attention on how they may speed development of vaccines for global catastrophic biologic risks and emerging infectious disease outbreaks. This report describes major scientific and policy issues related to platforms and how they are understood in government, academia, and industry. It also provides recommendations aimed at helping realize the potential benefits of vaccine platform technologies.

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Reports

Supply Chain Resilience Guide

In recent years, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have engaged with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, private sector, civic sector, and the academic community in a series of innovative interactions to enhance supply chain resilience. This guide reflects the issues explored and the lessons learned from this process. The guide is designed to help emergency managers at every level think through the challenge and opportunity presented by supply chain resilience.

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Updates

Catalyst Renders Nerve Agents Harmless

A team of scientists including researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory has studied a catalyst that decomposes nerve agents, eliminating their harmful and lethal effects. The research was published 19 April 2019, in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

Resilience

School Active Shooter Drills – From Anxiety to Apathy

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act (MSDHSPSA) was approved by the Florida governor on 9 March 2018. The act implemented numerous new, and at times controversial, laws and requirements for schools, law enforcement, mental health officials, and others. Included in the law was the new requirement for schools to conduct active shooter drills as often as other emergency drills. Since fire drills are usually conducted once a month, the new requirement greatly expanded the number of active shooter (or code red) drills from approximately one to ten per school year in Florida schools.

Reports

Weapons of Mass Distraction: Foreign State-Sponsored Disinformation in the Digital Age

A growing number of states, in the pursuit of geopolitical ends, are leveraging digital tools and social media networks to spread narratives, distortions, and falsehoods to shape public perceptions and undermine trust in the truth. An effective response to this challenge requires understanding the converging factors of technology, media, and human behaviors. This interdisciplinary review attempts to shed light on these converging factors, as well as the challenges and opportunities moving forward. 

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