Updates

DHS S&T Provides Critical Chemical Hazard Support as Gulf Coast Braces for Major Storm

With Hurricane Sally expected to make landfall on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) is providing critical chemical hazard support. CSAC is researching and identifying chemical facilities in the storm’s predicted path. CSAC is proactively analyzing any chemical plants that conduct processes particularly susceptible to chemical release resulting from building damage, loss of power, or process monitoring.

DARPA’s SIGMA Program Transitions to Protect Major U.S. Metropolitan Region

A December exercise at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s major transportation hubs marked the capstone for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) SIGMA program. The exercise culminated a five-year effort to develop and deploy an automated, high-performance, networked radiation detection capability for counterterrorism and continuous city-to-region scale radiological and nuclear threat monitoring.

DHS Combats Potential Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to prepare against ever evolving threats against the American homeland, most recently highlighting efforts to combat an electromagnetic pulse attack which could disrupt the electrical grid and potentially damage electronics. The department is releasing the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Program Status Report in support of establishing resilience and security standards for U.S. critical infrastructure.

DHS Funds Research to Model Compound Flood Events

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate has awarded $950,000 to Deltares USA and Deltares to develop a community-oriented, flood hazard modeling process using open source data, models and software. This effort supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s goal to build a culture of preparedness, and to reduce fatalities and property losses from flood disasters.

NIAID Establishes Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health, announced that it has awarded 11 grants with a total first-year value of approximately $17 million to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID). The global network will involve multidisciplinary investigations into how and where viruses and other pathogens emerge from wildlife and spillover to cause disease in people.

Promoting Better Shelter Safety During Peak Fire Season

From 2009 to 2019, there have been an average of 64,100 wildfires annually, burning an average of 6.8 million acres each year. This year, wildfires present a tougher challenge to emergency managers and shelter operators, because shelters need to protect people from both wildfires and the spread of COVID-19.

CISA Launches Emergency Communications Tribal Webpage

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently launched a webpage to promote the rebranded Tribal Emergency Communications Program, which supports direct consultation to tribes and Alaska Native communities to strengthen public safety communications.

Dräger Increases N95 Respiratory Mask Production With New U.S. Facility

Dräger announced the opening of a new production facility in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania that will manufacture and distribute N95 respiratory protection masks. The 45,660-square-foot facility will have three employee shifts throughout the day, operating 24/7 to ensure the mass production and supply of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved N95 respiratory protection masks to frontline workers.

Medical Device Shortages During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On 27 March 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law. One provision of this new statutory authority requires the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to maintain a publicly available, up-to-date list of the devices the FDA has determined to be in shortage. In addition, the FDA is providing a list of medical devices for which the FDA has been notified that manufacturing has been permanently discontinued.

S&T-Funded App Allows Emergency Responders to Communicate Seamlessly on the Front Lines

The Bridge 4 Public Safety app, a free, interoperable, secure collaboration app is now available for authorized response personnel. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) developed this app in partnership with the Mobility 4 Public Safety (M4PS) – a consulting firm that specializes in regional, interoperable mobility strategy, and public safety collaboration.