The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management met on Tuesday, 27 January 2015, for a hearing entitled, Rebuilding After the Storm: Lessening Impacts and Speeding Recovery. This report contains a summary of subject matter testimony from the hearing.
The Emergency Management Institute is conducting a virtual tabletop exercise series on active shooters. The VTTX involves key personnel discussing simulated active shooter scenarios in an informal setting. This exercise series can be used to assess plans, policies, training, and procedures.
With growing interdependency between the public and private sectors in critical infrastructure, students at all levels of higher education must encounter the concepts of security and resilience early to prepare them to meet the challenges of the ever-changing risk, policy, and operational critical infrastructure environments.
According to Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cyber vulnerabilities in the private sector pose a serious threat to national security. He also said that cyber legislation is needed to protect the nation and to allow information sharing between the government and the private sector while safeguarding civil liberties.
Although recovery begins after disaster strikes, planning must begin well before community members realize the approach of any potential or impending threat. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers many tools and guides to assist communities in planning now for recovery that is more rapid after a devastating incident.
Led by Mark Mirotznik, the Electromagnetic Materials Laboratory at the University of Delaware is working with the Army Research Office to engineer nanoplasmonic surfaces materials structured at the atomic scale to interact with light in unusual, specific ways. Such structures could, for example, help detect dangerous biochemical compounds by changing color if contaminated.
One of the difficulties faced by teams responding to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is identifying individuals and communities residing in remote areas. To help aid the response effort, volunteers are using an open-source online mapping platform called OpenStreetMap (OSM) to create detailed maps and map data of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and parts of Mali.
This report briefly outlines the issues involved with terrorism insurance, summarizes extension legislation, and includes a side-by-side comparison of TRIA law and the bills introduced in the 114th and 113th Congresses.
This report presents an overview of the threat landscape in cyberspace. It presents a picture of what kinds of offensive and defensive tools exist and a brief overview of recent attacks. The report then describes the current status of US capabilities, and the national and international authorities under which the US Department of Defense carries out cyber operations.
Today, at a time when public and private networks are facing an unprecedented threat from rogue hackers as well as organized crime and even state actors, the President is unveiling the next steps in his plan to defend the nations systems.
PositiveID Corporation, developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, recently announced that it has completed the design of the second-phase of the Firefly Dx prototype. The Firefly Dx prototype, with expected completion during the first half of 2015, is a real-time, handheld, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pathogen detection system.
The Global Risks report sheds light on global risks to help create a shared understanding of the most pressing issues, the ways they interconnect and their potential negative impacts. The shared understanding of challenges is needed as a base for multistakeholder collaboration to address global risks and build resilience against them.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded contracts to three organizations to support early-stage human clinical trials of investigational infectious disease treatments. The new awards expand capacity for conducting early safety testing of novel investigational drugs.
The constantly changing natural and societal environments create an ongoing challenge to design and maintain current and relevant emergency management plans. Exercises, in particular national level exercises, are an effective way to identify capability strengths and areas for improvement as well as to amend existing plans.
When a tornado touches down, a school is under fire, or another disaster strikes, patrol officers often are the first response personnel at the scene. In addition to their traditional crime-fighting roles, patrol officers must be able to manage an incident until more support arrives, which requires additional training for these officers and more collaboration within the community.
Although emergency managers plan for all types of disasters that could potentially occur within or around their jurisdictions, cyberattacks present unique challenges when identifying the nature of, and understanding how to respond to, such threats. A true all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness necessarily includes protecting communities against cyberthreats.
Progress has been made in the effort to eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients, including a 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections between 2008 and 2013, according to a report released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, additional work is needed to continue improving patient safety.
American Military University (AMU), part of American Public University System (APUS), and the Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA) at Rutgers University recently announced their co-sponsorship of the first national conference to address cybersecurity issues for the nations maritime operations.
With the development of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness, local health departments across the country have now begun to partner with healthcare coalitions and healthcare organizations on emergency preparedness planning, training, and exercises.
According to the recently released U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory report, most of the toxic chemical waste managed at U.S. industrial facilities in 2013 was not released into the environment, but instead was managed through the use of preferred practices such as recycling.
MRIGlobal announces the launch of CBRNE Tech Index, a comprehensive database of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) detection equipment. CBRNE Tech Index allows users to view, compare, and filter products according to dozens of technology categories. It also helps users make informed decisions on which product meets their needs.
First responders have downloaded more than 10,000 copies of a guide to commercially available, hand-portable biodetection technologies created to help determine what they might be up against in the field. Since many first responders do not always have immediate access to a computer, a mobile version of the guide is now available for cellphones and tablets.
The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) is kicking off the year with its new CDP LinkedIn group, a platform for emergency responders and training officers to find the latest news on new CDP courses and trainings as well as an opportunity to network with other emergency responders and trainers.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce a training opportunity on Residential Coastal Construction designed to train participants to effectively use the Coastal Construction Manual (FEMA P-55). Course E0386 provides a comprehensive approach to planning, siting, designing, constructing, and maintaining homes in the coastal environment.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently released a breakdown of the numbers of DOD personnel involved in the battle to stop the spread of Ebola. Their role in the fight is to provide logistical support and training for healthcare workers, to test medical samples, and to construct Ebola treatment units.
Foodborne illnesses kill roughly 3,000, and sicken about 1 in 6, Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, in collaboration with the startup DNATrek, have developed a cost-effective and highly efficient method to accurately trace contaminated food back to its source.
Johnson & Johnson recently announced the start of a Phase 1, first-in-human clinical trial of a preventive Ebola vaccine in development at its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. Recruitment in the trial is underway, and the first volunteers have received their initial vaccine dose. Enrollment is expected to be complete by the end of January.
Two new guidance documents further integrate emergency management planning efforts at the regional and national levels. The Federal Emergency Management Agency sets the stage for integrated planning and builds a coherent planning system by integrating the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment and providing valuable resources for national preparedness professionals.
Law enforcement and emergency management planning actions for active shooter incidents can have large payoffs for communities. For example, emergency managers can assist law enforcement officers in using resources that emergency operations centers can provide, developing training exercises, and securing grant funding for mitigation efforts, training, and equipment.
The importance of calibration for handheld gas and vapor detectors cannot be underemphasized because many gas sensors fail to an unsafe state. The only way to ensure that many sensors are working correctly is to apply a gas to them to "calibrate" them.
For years, pathogens' resistance to antibiotics has put them one step ahead of researchers, which is causing a public health crisis, according to University Distinguished Professor Kim Lewis. But in new research, Lewis and his colleagues present a newly discovered antibiotic that eliminates pathogens without encountering any detectable resistance.
The Senates recent bipartisan vote of 93-4 extends for six years the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), a significant policy tool against the potential economic fallout of terrorism that helps protect businesses nationwide from ongoing threats, provides certainty to commercial real estate markets, and allows transactions to move forward without significant interruption, according to The Real Estate Roundtable.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Supports Public Health Law Program and Office of the Associate Director for Policy compiled a table of state-by-state Ebola protocols to help lawmakers and policymakers prepare for and respond to Ebola-related situations.
Under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted the first waiver to allow a nucleic acid-based test, the Alere i Influenza A & B test, to be used in a greater variety of healthcare settings. The test previously was only available for use in certain laboratories.
CNA Corporation has announced that Timothy L. Beres, formerly vice president and director of its Safety and Security division, will become the president of its Institute for Public Research (IPR), effective January 5, 2015. He is replacing VADM (USN, Ret.) Lee F. Gunn, who is retiring from CNA Corp. after 14 years of service.
The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene a workshop, "The Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air Purifying Respirators in Health Care," to help prioritize and accelerate National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health activities to update certification requirements for powered air purifying respirators for healthcare use.
The few Ebola cases that surfaced in the United States revealed gaps in the public health plans for such illnesses. Although these cases enhanced education to the public and engaged congressional interest, these efforts must continue to be sustained for future threats. In addition, some critical issues, such as quarantine procedures, remain unresolved.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced recently that it has acquired from Evolva Holding SA the EV-035 series of molecules, which offers the potential for commercialization of broad-spectrum antibiotics to protect against multi-drug resistant strains of bacterial infections, said Adam Havey, executive vice president and president, biodefense division of Emergent BioSolutions.
Healthcare planning begins with partnerships that can break down walls to allow healthcare providers and their public health and emergency management partners to work together. The National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference brought together many of these stakeholders to promote strategies for regional healthcare readiness through healthcare coalitions.
FLIR Systems Inc. announced recently that it has received the first production orders from the U.S. Department of Defense to support the Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits, and Outfits (DR SKO) program. The contract is for FLIRs integrated chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) threat response system and services.
This guidance, comprised of various partners including the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is intended to support state and local civilian first responders, healthcare receivers, emergency managers, public health practitioners, law enforcement officials, and risk communications experts who are the nations first line of defense.
With a common goal of enhancing multiagency emergency response efforts, Mission Manager Inc. and HELP Disaster Management Inc. teamed up at the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Expo (EMEX) in San Antonio, Texas, to highlight their core capabilities for emergency managers from around the world.
Officials of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced that contracts to speed further development of two promising Ebola vaccines, known as rVSV-ZEBOV-GP and ChAd3 EBO-Z, could pave the way for commercial-scale production of millions of vaccine doses if clinical trials prove safety and efficacy.