U.S. Vaccine Development: Expediting the Process

by Diana Hopkins -

Influenza and many other diseases spread with the speed of summer lightning. The "cure" for these frequently fatal viruses moves at a much slower pace - largely because the testing and validation processes take so long. Fortunately, there are new approaches coming into play to expedite those processes while still maintaining acceptable safety standards.

Resilience: Developing Professionalism, Clarifying the Incentives

by Dennis R. Schrader -

The QHSR, the BUR, NFPA, and PS-Prep are marching in lockstep in their combined efforts to upgrade the nation's awareness of resilience as a primary goal of preparedness planning, training, and implementation. Here are some helpful guidelines that political decision makers, budget managers, and operating professionals alike might find useful in developing their own resilience and business-continuity plans and policies.

'IT Security for Knuckleheads': Ten Basic Steps

by Allan Carey -

The still misunderstood, and sometimes even frightening, term "Cyber Security" has entered the common vocabulary in force in recent years. It is generally agreed that the lack of cyber security is dangerous, and potentially catastrophic. But there are a number of common-sense guidelines to follow to protect an organization's, or company's, cyber security systems and files. Here are ten of them to start with.

The Insurance Industry's Role in PS-Prep

by Donald Byrne -

The much-revered U.S. "private citizen" has become increasingly critical of all levels of government in recent years, according to most recent polls and surveys. And justifiably so, according to a virtual army of pundits and commentators - and many politicians themselves. But that same beloved private citizen, if he or she is honest, could quickly find another person to blame simply by looking at the culprit in the mirror each and every morning.

Public Safety Agencies Fight to Protect Privacy via Cyber Security

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The numerous technological advances in security systems in recent years have created new opportunities for growth, for improved operational capabilities, and for both legal and moral complications. Question: What is the dividing line between improved security and personal privacy - or is there one?

Update on Private Sector Preparedness (PS-Prep) Standards

by Diana Hopkins -

The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the WTC Towers & the Pentagon theoretically "galvanized the nation" - but it still took roughly three years before the 9/11 Commission recommended the development and promulgation of "private-sector preparedness standards." Another six years have passed, and three of those standards are ready (almost) for review, certification, and publication in their final form. Why did it take so long?

Security Standards to Help Keep Federal Facilities Safe

by W. Craig Conklin -

Two major new DHS (Department of Homeland Security) publications are now available to help federal officials throughout the country tighten the physical security of the office buildings, warehouses, and - literally - hundreds of thousands of other taxpayer-funded federal facilities entrusted to their care.

International vs. National Standards Development - Sister Processes

by Diana Hopkins -

From the glory days of the Roman empire to the space age the mandatory width of a public road had to be "enough to accommodate two horses pulling a chariot and trotting side by side" - or so the story goes. Today, the setting of minimum widths, sizes, etc. - plus numerous qualitative intangibles - is much more complex, but also much more important.

Leadership and Stewardship in Microeconomic Decision-Making

by Dennis R. Schrader -

Protection of the nation's "critical infrastructure" has long been one of the highest priorities of senior officials at all levels of government. After 9/11, response and recovery started to receive equal billing. Now comes belated recognition that "resilience" also is needed - and should be built into construction projects at every step of the way from dream to reality.

Pandemics Are In The Air

by Diana Hopkins -

Lightning strikes are sudden and spectacular, highly visible, and extremely violent. Not to mention lethal. Bacteria and viruses are just the opposite - totally invisible, in fact. But they kill many more people, in every country in the world, year after year than lightning does. It may be helpful to learn a bit more about them - and about how to deal with them.