Updates

Evacuating Under Fire: Children with Special Healthcare Needs in Disaster

Studies report that most children with special health care needs (CSHCN) families are under prepared for disasters. These findings are concerning since these children often require special equipment, supplies, or medical care—access to which can be disrupted by environmental hazards or other emergencies.

Realistic Exercise Tests Information Flow, Technology Solutions in a Real World Urban Environment

First responders gathered at the Port of Houston’s Sam Houston Pavilion in Texas with response vehicles, vessels, and a mobile command center to engage in a simulated multi-effort emergency response to an accidental release of a volatile chemical on the Houston Ship Channel. As the scenario unfolded, responders continuously assessed the efficiency and interoperability of next generation response technology, ensuring collected data provided the situational awareness they needed to provide efficient and timely response to victims.

Safe Spaces: Creating a Culture to Support Infant Feeding in Shelters

Disasters and emergency evacuations can pose feeding difficulties for the mothers of infants and young children, but these challenges can be mitigated. When public health practitioners and emergency managers work together to implement straightforward guidelines, they can meet infant feeding needs in shelters. Access to maternal and reproductive health care should be a foundation in mass care after hazards and in crises scenarios.

Tracking Population Data Could Change Disaster Response

Weather satellite imagery is an indispensable part of how government agencies and aid groups understand and respond to severe weather events. Now, government agencies and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) can use large-scale population movement data – anonymized and aggregated by Facebook – to plan future disaster response efforts.

New App Provides Emergency Response Vehicles With the Fastest, Safest Path to Incident Scenes

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and partner Azimuth1 LLC are developing an app called QuickRoute, giving first responders the quickest and safest route to incident scenes. QuickRoute takes into account the type of vehicle being driven, agency roadway protocols, specs like turn radius or bridge and tunnel clearance, and their unique ability to use lights and sirens to clear paths and avoid signals. Other data sources, including weather patterns, traffic and transit schedules, and local jurisdiction rules are also key factors.

NACCHO Applauds Passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (S. 1379). This important legislation maintains the commitment of the federal government to local public health preparedness.

HHS Seeks to Expand Its Network Innovation Accelerators Into More States

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, established a network of eight accelerators in 2018 through an initiative called DRIVe, the BARDA Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures. BARDA DRIVe now seeks to expand that network into other parts of the country.

Hurricane Season Is Here

Eight hurricanes and seven other named storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean last year, raining destruction on some southeastern communities and threatening many more. This year’s hurricane season begins 1 June 2019, and runs through November. If communities are not prepared for the next round of tropical storms, now is the time to get ready.

Federal Report Highlights Trend of Involuntary Institutionalization During and After Disasters

The National Council on Disability examined available data from several major storms and disasters and found that people with disabilities are frequently institutionalized during and after disasters due to: conflicting federal guidance; a lack of equal access to emergency and disaster-related programs and services; and a lack of compliance with federal law.

A Critical Crash Course in Chemical Decontamination

In communities across the country, people rely on emergency medical services (EMS) professionals to make quick, life-saving decisions. This post offers a crash course on chemical decontamination of EMS personnel and their patients, in the event of a chemical emergency.