April 2022

FEMA: Building Science Sheets

This collection of documents provide guidance on the hazard-resistant provisions in the building codes for property owners, engineers, design professionals, building codes officials, and the general public.

Updated Information on Availability and Use of Treatments for Outpatients with Mild to Moderate COVID-19 Who are at Increased Risk for Severe Outcomes of COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing this Health Alert Network Health Advisory to update healthcare providers, public health departments, and the public about the availability and use of recommended therapies for COVID-19 and to advise against using unproven treatments that have known or potential harms for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

HHS’s New Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefit Resources Will Help People Seeking Care to Better Understand Their Rights

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires most health plans or health insurers that offer coverage for mental health conditions or substance use disorders to make these benefits comparable to those offered for medical and surgical benefits. This means that deductibles, copays, out-of-pocket maximums, and treatment limitations for mental health or substance use disorders must not be more restrictive than corresponding requirements or parameters offered for medical and surgical benefits.

Coronavirus Update: FDA Approves First COVID-19 Treatment for Young Children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approval of the COVID-19 treatment Veklury (remdesivir) to include pediatric patients 28 days of age and older weighing at least 3 kilograms (about 7 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing. This action makes Veklury the first approved COVID-19 treatment for children less than 12 years of age.
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Best Practice: Auxiliary Radios for Healthcare Facilities

When an emergency or disaster occurs, healthcare facilities require reliable communications for ensuring the safety and well-being of those in their care. The New York City Emergency Management Department has revamped its City’s emergency radio communications program to ensure that critical information can be exchanged before the next incident. Their best practice serves as an example for other jurisdictions to upgrade their equipment and build in communication redundancies.

Overcoming Challenges – Do Not Skip Steps

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.

DHS S&T Awards $259M to Counter – Unmanned Aircraft System Threats

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate awarded $259M to the U.S. Department of Defense to assist in the acquisition of technical services, in support of S&T’s Counter-Unmanned System Threats efforts. Under this contract, complex research and development activities will be performed to fight off new threats from unmanned systems. The work involves researching, developing, and testing capabilities related to cyber vulnerabilities of Countering-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) technologies.

A Growing Threat to Healthcare and Other Facilities

Active shooter and other violent incidents occur all over the country – in urban and rural areas, in big cities and small towns, in large and small facilities. Many examples demonstrate the need to understand and plan for them and the significant consequences that could follow. This article empowers the reader to better understand how these incidents may occur and ways to better mitigate and respond when a healthcare and other facilities are threatened.

International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference

For over 30 years, the International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference has offered informative sessions and unique hands-on training designed to tackle the most pressing hazmat issues at all levels of experience. At this event, participants can expect to get hands-on training across a range of essential topics. 

New Satellite-Based Imagery Technology to Help Coast Guard Warn Ships of Icebergs in the North Atlantic

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is developing new technology to help the Coast Guard improve maritime safety and navigation in the North Atlantic Ocean. When complete, Project Titanic will fuse satellite-based Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery with ship reporting systems to detect, identify, and report iceberg locations to the maritime community. This update explains the technology in further detail.

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