Accelerating the Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies to Strengthen Our Public Health Infrastructure

The FDA has dedicated significant effort over the past several years to establishing both research and regulatory programs for advanced manufacturing, computational modeling, and other emerging technologies. These efforts have led to updated regulatory processes, guidance documents and dozens of peer-reviewed research publications to identify characteristics of advanced manufacturing processes that can provide regulatory evidence of quality, safety, and efficacy.

New Tools Assist Wildfire Detection and Smoke Forecasting

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had a successful year of research and development in the area of detecting and predicting the impact of wildfires and wildfire smoke, continuing improvement to its Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product. The product provides near real-time maps, fire data statistics, and data sets for monitoring wildfire and smoke positions.

New Tool Helps Organizations Improve Crisis Communications

When a wildfire, pandemic, or other crises strike, good communication can mean the difference between order and chaos – and, in some cases, life and death. A new tool developed by Sacramento State business professors is designed to help companies, agencies, and nonprofit groups convey information more effectively to their employees, stakeholders, and the public during natural disasters.

FEMA Releases Emergency Operations Center Toolkit

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released five emergency operations center toolkit documents, covering topics such as hazard vulnerability assessments, physical site selection, mitigation considerations, capabilities and requirements, information management systems, and training and exercises.

Prepare Now for Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices

The Joint Counter Terrorism Assessment Team developed the First Responder's Toolbox on Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED): Preparedness, Recognition and Response, which helps first responders prepare for, recognize, and respond to VBIEDs.

FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Application

The funding notice for the fiscal year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program is available. The program focuses on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. The program provides financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations, and state fire training academies for critical training and equipment. The application period is open until 5:00pm EST on 12 February 2021.

National Risk Index for Natural Hazards (NRI)

The NRI is a new, online mapping application from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that identifies communities most at risk to 18 natural hazards. This application visualizes natural hazard risk metrics and includes data about expected annual losses, social vulnerabilities, and community resilience.

Field Tests Demonstrate Precision of Groundbreaking Firefighter Tracking Technology

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) joined forces with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) to develop critical technology that will allow first responders to more accurately locate their team members in burning buildings. Last month, S&T and NASA JPL successfully tested the Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders (POINTER) technology.

CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States. Testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19. This strategy is consistent with the current phase of the pandemic and more efficiently protects the health of Americans.

Building a Vaccination Army

Over the next year, it will take an army of healthcare professionals to inoculate the over 328 million people who live in the United States against COVID-19. Now that a vaccine is available, we need to prepare as many members of the healthcare community as possible to administer the vaccine and respond to any emergencies should they arise during the process.