Updates

National Organizations Call for Action to Implement Crisis Standards of Care During COVID-19 Surge

National organizations have issued a statement calling for immediate action to implement crisis standards of care (CSC) during the current COVID-19 surge. The statement recommends key actions for governors, state health departments, and hospitals and health care systems to support, plan for, and equitably implement crisis standards of care.

New Tool Projects High-Tide Flooding in U.S. Coastal Locations

A new tool to help decision makers and others assess how sea-level rise and other factors will affect the frequency of high-tide flooding in U.S. coastal locations in the next 50–100 years has been developed by University of Hawaiʻi Sea Level Center Director Phil Thompson with funding from NASA’s Earth Science Division.

BARDA Is Partnering With Chrysalis BioTherapeutics to Continue Development of TP508 as a Nuclear Countermeasure

BARDA and Chrysalis Biotherapeutics Inc. have exercised options under their current contract to expand their partnership and continue the development of TP508 (Chrysalin) as a countermeasure to address injuries resulting from a nuclear event. Chrysalis will conduct safety studies and additional activities required to request emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

K9 Chemistry: A Safer Way to Train Detection Dogs

Trained dogs are incredible chemical sensors, far better at detecting explosives, narcotics, and other substances than even the most advanced technological device. But one challenge is that dogs have to be trained, and training them with real hazardous substances can be inconvenient and dangerous. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists have been working to solve this problem.

CDC Introduces CRC SimPLER

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the CRC SimPLER, a free, publicly available, online tool to help state and local emergency and public health planners prepare for setting up community reception centers (CRCs) to monitor people following a large-scale radiation emergency.

Tribal Health Programs and Urban Indian Organizations Choose How They Will Access the COVID-19 Vaccine

The Department of Health and Human Services is laying the necessary groundwork for the distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by ensuring that all tribal health programs and urban Indian organizations (UIOs) have the choice on how they receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Tribal health programs and UIOs had the option of receiving the vaccine either through the Indian Health Service or their respective state.

Identity Verification During the Age of COVID-19

Face masks have become a way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic: wearing them nearly everywhere – at grocery stores, on public transportation, in schools, at work. One of the challenges the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is now working to address is how to verify someone’s identity while maintaining overall safety. 

FLIR Systems Acquires Altavian, Inc.

FLIR Systems Inc. announced that it has acquired Altavian, Inc., a privately held manufacturer of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for defense and public safety customers. Altavian’s airframes integrate multiple sensors, including FLIR thermal technology, to provide users with decision support and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.

NIST “Playbook” Helps Communities With Resilience Planning

The National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) Playbook identifies key actions that communities of any size can take to better position themselves to deal with potential hazards, natural and otherwise. It complements the two-volume NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Physical Infrastructure Systems.

FEMA Releases National Risk Index: New Online Data Shows Natural Hazards Risks for Communities

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the Phase 1 rollout of the National Risk Index, a new online resource that helps illustrate communities most at risk from natural hazards. This online mapping application analyzes risk factors from 18 natural hazards. Additionally, to provide a holistic view of community risk, the application includes expected annual losses, social vulnerability, and community resilience layers.