Strengthening & Streamlining Federal Response Efforts | Domestic Preparedness Photo: Strategic National Stockpile, 2010
Healthcare

Strengthening & Streamlining Federal Response Efforts

by Greg Burel -

In a world of increasingly complex and dangerous threats facing the United States – threats such as emerging infectious diseases, terrorist organizations, state actors, and extreme weather events – the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) stands tall as a robust and reliable federal resource ready to respond. On 1 October 2018, in an effort to better align the stockpile with other federal medical countermeasure response efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shifted oversight and operational control of the SNS from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

 
Updates

S&T Testing Smart Sensor to Enhance Emergency Communications

by -

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in conjunction with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is researching approaches to bring the possibilities of Internet of Things to emergency communications for first responders. S&T is testing the Wearable Alert and Monitoring System, a multicomponent communications system.

Commentary

The Seven and a Half Traits of the Ultimate Emergency Manager

by Chas Eby -

Emergency management is an evolving discipline that requires a progressive emergency manager to fulfill new and expanding requirements for success. Successful leaders in this field follow a systematic problem-solving process and excel at coordinating multiple agencies and information sources rather than simply being experts in one subject matter. The seven and a half traits discussed here describe the ultimate emergency manager.

Resilience

Animal Disease Response Tools for Disaster Recovery Efforts

by Gary Flory & Joe Hudyncia -

Florence, the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane early on the morning of 14 September 2018 at Wrightsville Beach in the vicinity of Wilmington, North Carolina, with wind gusts of up to 105 mph. As the forecasted path of Florence indicated direct impacts to North Carolina – and a declaration of emergency was issued 7 days before landfall – the animal agriculture industry and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) began implementing emergency plans before the rain began. The NCDA&CS hurricane response structure was based on lessons learned during response to foreign animal disease outbreaks in the United States over the past several years, and was fine-tuned from experiences with Hurricane Matthew just two years prior.

Commentary

Community Resilience – Combining Nature & Nurture

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In each disaster, examples of community resilience emerge: neighbors helping neighbors; volunteers filling response gaps; businesses providing unexpected resources; and first responders going above and beyond their call of duty. Many people have an innate urge to respond to disasters by donating their time and money, giving blood, providing transportation, feeding and clothing survivors, and so on. Imagine a disaster response of the future where that natural instinct to help is harnessed and nurtured by emergency preparedness professionals.

Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness: A Societal View

by Jeffrey Odoms -

As communities become more impacted by all types of disasters, society is constantly coming to new realizations. Solely relying on governmental agencies to perform emergency response and recovery tasks is insufficient. The frequency, scale, and impact of disasters make it more challenging to stage resources in the right place. Perhaps a more prepared citizenry would help the overall disaster response and recovery. Research of three leading institutions into how concerned the public is about preparedness and its effectiveness has begun to paint an informative picture for creating public outreach efforts.

Resilience

Force Multiplier – Empowering the Public

by Roger Parrino & Terry Hastings -

Perhaps one of the biggest myths in emergency management is that the public will panic during a crisis. Instead of panicking, the public often pulls together and even put themselves in harm’s way to help each other. Furthermore, the public, not first responders, are often first on-site during an emergency. The emergency management community must embrace these realties and provide the public with the knowledge and training necessary to save lives and prevent human suffering.

Updates

HHS’ BARDA Funds Its First Marburg Virus Vaccine Development

To increase national health security against biothreats and protect public health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will partner with Public Health Vaccines LLC of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to develop a potential vaccine against Marburg virus. No licensed vaccine for this virus exists today. The Marburg virus is part of the family of hemorrhagic fever viruses that includes Ebola.

Making It Modern: PNNL Infuses Innovation Into Nation’s Electric Grid

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are helping to lead a transformation of the nation’s century-old electric grid by developing and deploying new technologies to enhance its reliability, resiliency, and security.

FDA Takes New Steps to Protect Food Products From Deliberate Attacks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a revised draft guidance to support compliance with the intentional adulteration (IA) rule set forth under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. The IA rule is designed to address hazards that may be intentionally introduced to foods, including by acts of terrorism, with the intent to cause widespread harm to public health.

Emergent BioSolutions Awarded U.S. Department of State Contract to Supply Medical Countermeasures for Chemical Warfare Agents

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that it has signed an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with the U.S. Department of State to establish a long-term, reliable, and stable supply chain for medical countermeasures that address chemical warfare agents. Emergent will be supplying two of its current medical countermeasures addressing chemical threats: the Trobigard® atropine sulfate/obidoxime chloride auto-injector and RSDL® (Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion Kit).

FEMA Releases PrepTalk: “Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its emergency management partner organizations today posted online Brooke Buddemeier’s PrepTalk “Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation.” In his PrepTalk, Buddemeier shares the importance of sheltering after a nuclear detonation and provides emergency managers with tools to help citizens, responders, and city officials get ready.