Updates

Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Threat Detectors Put Through Paces at Indy 500

As some 300,000 cheering race fans packed the stands at this year’s Indianapolis 500, behind the scenes an advanced network of sensors kept constant vigilance, providing security officials real-time awareness of any potential weapon-of-mass-destruction/terror threat. The deployment marked the first time that DARPA’s SIGMA+ network seamlessly integrated radiological and chemical sensors with biological threat sensors from the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.

Portable Gas Detection Shrinks to New Dimensions

A sensor for detecting toxic gases is now smaller, faster, and more reliable. Its performance sets it up for integration in a highly sensitive portable system for detecting chemical weapons. Better miniature sensors can also rapidly detect airborne toxins where they occur, providing key information to help emergency personnel respond safely and effectively to an incident.

ASPR Next Innovation Day

When disaster strikes, providing lifesaving medical care becomes more challenging and complex. To promote the best possible care in disasters, next-generation solutions that harness the power of cutting-edge technology to improve health outcomes are needed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is proud to launch ASPR Next, a new program to spur innovation in the development of new technologies and products that can be used to provide lifesaving care in austere circumstances.

Mitigating Wildfire Vulnerability: One Community's Success Story

The Thomas Fire in December 2017 claimed two lives, burned 281,893 acres, and destroyed more than 1,000 structures before it was contained on 12 January 2018. The Montecito Fire Protection District (MFPD), a small coastal community in California, saw the loss of only seven structures, a remarkably low number given the extreme fire behavior it experienced. The low fire loss was due to the successful mitigation strategies the Montecito community pursued for over two decades beginning in 1994.

S&T NUSTL Supports First Responder Radiological Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) and partners have published guidance and videos for first responders and emergency managers on how to plan for the first minutes of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) detonation response.

A Dose of Inner Strength to Survive and Recover From Potentially Lethal Health Threats

Breakthroughs in the science of programmable gene expression inspired Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to establish the PReemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements (PREPARE) program with the goal of delivering powerful new defenses against public health and national security threats. DARPA has selected teams to develop new tools for programmable modulation of gene expression, to yield enhanced resilience against influenza and ionizing radiation for service members and first responders.

Breathe Easy, Part 1: How to Pick the Right Respirator for Your Emergency Kit

There are many things to consider in the process of preparing your health and safety for a public health emergency. Memories of emergencies, like the summer 2018 wildfires and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, are reminders of the threat they can pose to respiratory health. Of equal importance is an item that often gets left out of talks about emergency supplies – the respirator.

Breathe Easy, Part 2: How to Properly Use a Respirator in an Emergency

In the course of preparing for an emergency, a pack of respirators from the local hardware store may be purchased with the thought that they are ready to use out of the box. However, before relying on one of these devices for protection, there are some important selection and use criteria to consider. Choosing and using a respirator is a process that, if done the right way, can help prepare for and protect against health threats in an emergency.

FLIR Unveils Key Additions to Griffin G510 Portable Chemical Detection System

FLIR Systems Inc. has announced the availability of multiple enhancements to its Griffin™ G510 portable GC-MS chemical detector to help responders analyze and identify drugs, chemical agents, and other toxic substances faster and more effectively during field operations. Major new features on the G510 give users access to an expanded onboard drug library, as well as a new quick-search capability for chemicals and hazardous substances.

Artificial Intelligence Can Make the U.S. Electric Grid Smarter

The challenge of factoring in both the certain and the unknown to deliver electricity under all kinds of scenarios involves a series of incredibly complex math problems. With the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI), researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are developing new ways to extract insights from mountains of data on the electric grid, with the goal of ensuring greater reliability, resilience and efficiency.