october 2012


CPSC, FEMA, and USFA Warn About Deadly Dangers After Hurricane Sandy Passes

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are warning residents in hurricane-impacted areas about the deadly dangers that still remain as Hurricane Sandy tracks north. Consumers need to use great caution during a loss of electrical power, as the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from portable generators, fire from candles, and electrical shock from downed power lines increases.


U.S. and Canada Announce New Pilot to Strengthen Cargo Security

The United States and Canada announced the launch of the Prince Rupert Pilot to strengthen cargo security at the Canada-U.S. border as part of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The pilot focuses on harmonizing the screening process for maritime cargo between the two countries.


Critical Intersection of Diagnostics and Countermeasures

by Chris N. Mangal -

A biological agent is released, samples are collected, and then the diagnostic process begins. Laboratories within a national (and international) network screen for potential threats and determine the level of exposure and treatment required for each response. Such diagnostics provide the guidelines necessary for using and distributing medical countermeasures.


FINAL REPORT: Advancing Technology in Biological Surveillance and Detection

by Jeffrey W. Runge -

The terrorist use of anthrax against the United States in 2001 pointed out the nation's vulnerability to biological attack and need for rapid and sure response. Since that time, strengths and limitations of the current biodetection system have been discovered. To achieve a better preparedness posture, now is the time to reevaluate biodetection methods and build unity of effort at all levels of government.


Concurrent Distribution of Anthrax Vaccine & Antibiotics

by Sarah Keally -

Current plans for combatting the effects of an anthrax attack at the local level include the use of antibiotics. Although federal agencies recommend - and the Strategic National Stockpile provides - anthrax vaccine adsorbed as a medical countermeasure against such attacks, the vaccine currently is not included in the preparedness plans of many local health departments.


The Use of mHealth Technology for Pandemic Preparedness

by Sara Rubin -

By using mHealth technologies, local health departments can improve their efficiency and effectiveness not only in communicating with the public but also in dispensing medical countermeasures during large-scale pandemics. Current initiatives can offer a starting point on how to integrate mobile technology into local preparedness planning efforts.


Elusive El Niño Challenges NOAA's 2012 U.S. Winter Outlook

The western half of the continental United States and central and northern Alaska could be in for a warmer-than-average winter, while most of Florida might be colder than normal from December through February, according to the annual Winter Outlook of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announced from the agency's new Center for Weather and Climate Prediction.


Upp Technology's IRMS Software Facilitates Response to Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

Public health professionals throughout the United States are responding to the recent fungal meningitis outbreak. As part of the response, irms|PM® Patient Management is being used to facilitate not only the tracking and management of patients but also the prevalence of the outbreak.


DHS Announces the Expansion of the Securing the Cities Program to Los Angeles/Long Beach Area

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the expansion, to the Los Angeles/Long Beach area, of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office's (DNDO) Securing the Cities (STC) program. The STC program is designed to enhance the nation's ability to detect and prevent a radiological or nuclear attack in cities facing the highest risk.


Northrop Grumman Remotec to Begin Delivering Titus Robot in December

Titus weighs 135 pounds and measures 27 inches long, 16 inches wide, and just 23 inches high. It retains the proven four-articulator design that has given Andros vehicles the best performance for more than 20 years. The system also features a unique operator control unit that includes a hybrid touch-screen and game system-style physical controls.


Draeger Hosts Free Firefighter Webinar on Thermal Imaging Cameras

Draeger has announced that it will hold a free webinar - "Expect More From Your Thermal Imaging Camera!" - to educate firefighters on how today's new thermal imaging camera technology can help them on the job. The live webinar will be held on 8 November 2012 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Participants will learn how to use this tool to its fullest potential in their departments.


Identifying & Isolating Bio-Threats Before They Present

by Patrick Rose -

An emerging infectious disease or a bioterrorism attack must be prevented from spreading globally even when the effectiveness of predictive measures and detection programs is in question. In addition to current medical countermeasures, defending against biological threats may require the enforcement of control measures that rely on non-medical public health interventions.


State & Local Medical Countermeasures: The 12-Hour Push

by Kay C. Goss -

Although storing and distributing medicines and other medical countermeasure assets are largely national initiatives, closer collaboration with state and local authorities is facilitating the process - and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future.


Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board to Implement Verint Audiolog for Public Safety Solution

Verint's Audiolog for Public Safety serves as an advanced, digital multimedia recording, retrieval, and quality assurance solution designed to enhance the performance of emergency response, public safety, and control room operations. This structure will help cities and counties to combine administrative and position recordings with access to the shared Motorola radio system.


National Fire Academy Adds Two New Applied Research Courses to NFA Online

The U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy (NFA) announces the availability of two new NFA online courses: Data Gathering Instruments to Support Applied Research Projects; and Designing an Applied Research Project Proposal. Both courses are available to the public and will also support Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) students in their completion of Applied Research Projects (ARPs).


APCO Partners With NENA to Draft Document for App Developers

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) have partnered to draft educational materials that will provide smartphone application (app) developers an in-depth understanding of current enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) system capabilities and limitations.


DeltaTRAK Introduces New Cold Chain RFID Wireless Traceability Solution

DeltaTRAK has recently introduced the new FlashTRAK RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Temperature Monitoring Solution. This wireless solution integrates FlashTRAK RFID loggers with the existing ColdTRAK cloud application, providing new capabilities and improved performance in end-to-end cold chain visibility and traceability.


ChemPro100 Sampling Cap Facilitates Bagging Unknown Gases/Vapors

With its new Sampling Cap, the superior sniffing and non-destructive nature of the ChemPro100 can be used to find unknown gases/vapors and bag them into a Tedlar bag.


Global Disaster Preparedness Center Launch

The American Red Cross (ARC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) have announced the launch of a new Global Disaster Preparedness Center. The center is a globally focused reference resource designed to support learning and knowledge sharing for disaster preparedness practitioners in the ARC and Red Crescent networks as well as the wider humanitarian community.


Simplicity Counts With MSA's GALAXY GX2 Automated Test System

MSA's new GALAXY GX2 Automated Test System provides advanced safety management and effortless operation. Efficiently manage your portable gas detection fleet through simple and intelligent testing and calibration.


Addressing Key Policy Issues Before the Next Catastrophe

by Ann Lesperance -

Economic redevelopment, waste and fatality management, and the prioritization of cleanup operations are just a few of the key policy issues that decision makers must consider and address before the next anthrax attack or other disaster strikes. Having a clear strategy, effective management plans, and solid relationships with partners who are critical to the effort will help reduce unnecessary delays when the time comes to respond and recover.


TSA Names Douglas Hofsass Assistant Administrator for Office of Risk Based Security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that Douglas Hofsass has been appointed Assistant Administrator for the Office of Risk Based Security. That office is responsible for developing innovative approaches to transportation security that build upon a risk-based, intelligence-driven model to implement procedures that facilitate effective and efficient security.


Protecting Civilian Emergency Responders Against Anthrax

by Thomas Zink -

There is general agreement that the best way to protect emergency responders against anthrax would be to immunize them prior to an attack. But, despite the fact that millions of "expired" doses of anthrax vaccine are routinely destroyed each year, many civilian responders still are not provided pre-event vaccinations. This raises two questions: (a) Why? and (b) Why not?


BARDA Sponsors Development of Spray Dried Blood Plasma Device

"Innovative technologies such as the spray drying of blood plasma may afford greater logistical flexibility and lifecycle cost savings for everyday health care as well as disaster response," said Dr. Robin Robinson, Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).


NOAA Ramps Up Weather-Ready Nation Initiative in Nation's Capital

"We're closer to becoming a Weather-Ready Nation every day," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. "Efforts to improve our service to the nation through these pilot projects, along with upgrading our technology and integrating social science research in our warning language, are helping us empower people to make life-saving decisions."


Samsung Megapixel Cameras Deployed With Top-Rated FaceFirst Technology to Create Gold Standard in Facial Recognition System

The FaceFirst product platform uses Samsung cameras to complement its proprietary facial recognition software system. The facial images captured by the cameras are automatically matched with watch-list photos so that, when "a person of interest" is identified, alerts are instantly sent directly to pre-provisioned computers, cell phones (as e-mail, SMS or MMS messaging), and/or cash registers.


Secretary Napolitano Participates in Meeting With Members of the HSAC Cyberskills Task Force

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano participated in a meeting with members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Advisory Council's (HSAC) Task Force on CyberSkills, during which the members discussed eleven recommendations related to five objectives aimed at improving the Department's ability to build a world-class cybersecurity team and a strong pipeline into the future.


New GORE Advanced Products for Law Enforcement Improve Comfort & Protection

W. L. Gore & Associates Inc. has announced the availability of a new line of products engineered specifically for today's patrol officer. The first two products available in the GORE® advanced products for law enforcement line - the GORE-TEX® lightweight patrol shell and the WINDSTOPPER® patrol soft shell - allow officers both to put the jacket on and to leave it on for the entire shift.


Nontraditional Partnerships Advance Medical Countermeasure Dispensing

by Greg Burel -

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is changing the dynamics of public-private partnerships as they relate to medical countermeasures for public health threats. By using nontraditional partnerships, CDC is not only providing easier access but also reducing the time needed to dispense large quantities of antiviral drugs, thereby securing the overall health of the nation.


Breaking the Rules to Save Lives

by Joseph Cahill -

No two emergency scenarios are identical and some may call for "creative" solutions - for example, overriding triage strategies for victims of a weapon of mass destruction or substituting medications for scarce countermeasures. Understanding the rules and how far they can "bend" in a crisis situation may help save not only the lives of victims but also the jobs of responders and decision makers.


New FDA Task Force Will Support Innovation in Antibacterial Drug Development

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the formation of an internal task force that will support the development of new antibacterial drugs, a critical public health care goal and a priority for the agency.


Raytheon to Provide First-Ever Laptops to Motorcycle Fleet of LA County Sheriff's Department

Raytheon Company has started to equip the motorcycle fleet of the Los Angeles (LA) County Sheriff's Department with computers that provide a new level of public safety and efficiency capabilities. Approximately 100 motorcycles will carry the new lightweight computers in saddlebags by the Fall.


FEMA Announces 2012 Community Resilience Innovation Challenge

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that the application period is now open for the "Community Resilience Innovation Challenge." This opportunity is designed to continue to move community preparedness forward and assist local areas in building and revitalizing community-based partnerships to advance the nation's resilience to disasters.