Updates

Strategic National Stockpile Preparedness Course

The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Preparedness Course is a five-day course designed to give federal, state, and local officials information on how to best plan and prepare for a public health emergency and how to use and manage the Strategic National Stockpile in response to a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or technological accident.

Former White House Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco Joins Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense welcomed former White House Homeland Security Advisor, Lisa Monaco, as a panel member. Monaco served as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism between 2013 and 2017. She replaces outgoing panel member, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, who was recently elected to serve as a U.S. Representative for the 27th District in Florida.

HHS, in Partnership With Industry, Releases Voluntary Cybersecurity Practices for the Health Industry

On Friday, December 28, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP): Managing Threats and Protecting Patients” publication. The four-volume publication aims to provide voluntary cybersecurity practices to healthcare organizations of all types and sizes, ranging from local clinics to large hospital systems.

Puerto Rico’s Recovery Brings Opportunity to Improve

As 2018 ends, Puerto Rico’s transformation from hurricanes Irma and Maria has pivoted toward making the island stronger and more resilient. The island’s long-term recovery envisions enhanced infrastructure and communities more capable of withstanding events like the 2017 hurricanes. The government of Puerto Rico and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have collaborated on several recovery projects that meet these objectives.

Senate Votes to Authorize the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 2018 (H.R. 7213). This legislation permanently establishes the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), granting it needed authorities to protect the American people against evolving WMD threats.

Fighting Fire with Fuel Treatments: A Shared Stewardship Approach

Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service uses prescribed fire and mechanical treatments to limit the potential for extreme fire activity on national forests. National forest fire and fuels programs were designed to reduce and remove excess vegetation. Years of research confirms that these treatments result in better fire suppression outcomes and help firefighters in their response efforts.

Pandemic Influenza Vaccine: An Investment in Preparedness That Lasts More Than a Decade

As part of the nation’s overall pandemic preparedness strategy, HHS set a preparedness goal of establishing and maintaining a stockpile of bulk vaccine antigen and adjuvants for influenza viruses with pandemic potential to vaccinate 26 million people immediately after a pandemic is declared. The results of the “BARDA Ready In Times of Emergency” (BRITE) study has determined that the H5N1 influenza vaccine stored for more than a decade in the National Pre-Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Stockpile (NPIVS) is still safe and immunogenic.

VitalTag Delivers Faster Response Time for Paramedics

When mass casualty incidents occur, emergency medical technicians and paramedics need a way to easily monitor multiple patients on scene, receive notifications when vital signs change for the worse, and share that information with everyone who needs it. The first solution targeting medical responders – called VitalTag – began development about 18 months ago and is now past the prototype stage.

Partner Alliance for Safer Schools Releases New Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools

The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) released the fourth edition of its Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools, which provides school administrators, school boards, and public safety and security professionals with guidelines for implementing a layered and tiered approach to securing and enhancing the safety of school environments.

Friendly Electromagnetic Pulse Improves Survival for Electronics

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) emitted by a nuclear weapon exploded high above the United States could disable the electronic circuits of many devices vital to military defense and modern living. Military equipment designs – and some civilian designs as well – have been tested and improved by a “friendly” EMP generator installed at Sandia National Laboratories.