Technical Assistance for Healthcare System Preparedness | Domestic Preparedness Photo:
Healthcare

Technical Assistance for Healthcare System Preparedness

by Audrey Mazurek & John Hick -

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats by leading the nation’s medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and public health emergencies. To accomplish this mission, ASPR collaborates with hospitals, healthcare coalitions, community stakeholders and groups, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector, and other partners across the U.S. to improve readiness and response capabilities.

 
Commentary

Publisher’s Message: Costs vs. Benefits

by Martin Masiuk -

Over the past 20 plus years, I have been perplexed and bewildered why leaders both in government and industry have not taken preparedness seriously. A while ago, it was explained to me. It all comes down to cost-benefit analysis. Leaders love to present bright, shiny new things to their constituents, shareholders, customers, media, and so on. Let’s face it, preparedness is boring! For example, weatherizing power plants in warm environments is not economical nor exciting. Or is it? By kicking the can, leaders hope that unpleasant, yet predictable once-in-a-hundred-years events do not happen on their watch. Cost-benefit analysis matters a lot when those unforeseen events happen. And these types of events have been occurring more and more frequently lately with great cost through loss of life, sociological-psychological impact, and loss of revenue.

Commentary

Ghosts of Viruses Past

by Catherine L. Feinman -

A decade before COVID-19 emerged as a pandemic, emergency preparedness, response, and resilience professionals were focused on infectious diseases. The H1N1 (swine flu), H5N1 (avian flu), and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreaks were real, and lessons needed to be learned in preparation for something bigger. So, in April 2010, DomPrep polled the experts (i.e., DomPrep advisors and readers) to gather their thoughts on pandemic preparedness and response. A decade later, their responses are haunting.

Resilience

Building a Holistic Homeland Security Enterprise System

by Daniel Rector -

In the United States, a diverse group of agencies and organizations work together to accomplish the homeland security mission. Many of these organizations fall within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Organizations that are not directly a part of DHS act as partners and provide support in various ways. One of the most vital and most capable partners in the homeland security mission is the Department of Defense (DOD). The current organizational makeup of DHS is disorganized and confusing. As is, it prevents efficient support from its partners. The government should create a new, robust homeland security enterprise to solve these issues. By creating an updated homeland security enterprise and leaning on the DOD’s support, the nation will increase its security and protect its citizens.

Preparedness

Viewing the U.S. Election Process as an Essential Mission

by Michael Prasad -

As a critical element of democracy, elections need to be a part of the all-hazards planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercising benefiting from the nation’s emergency management agencies and departments at all levels of government. Election security, capability, and integrity, as well as the ability for citizens to exercise their constitutional rights through democratic processes are essential to the sustained republic.

Updates

DHS Publishes Free Resources to Protect Critical Infrastructure From GPS Spoofing

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate announced it has published the Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Integrity Library and Epsilon Algorithm Suite to protect against Global Navigation Satellite System spoofing, or deceiving a Global Positioning System (GPS) device through false signals. These resources advance the design of PNT systems and increase resilience of critical infrastructure to PNT disruptions.

New USGS Strategy Harnesses State-of-the-Art Science to Tackle Wildfires Before, During and After the Flames

To help address growing wildfire-related challenges in America, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) rolled out a new Wildland Fire Science Strategy. The new fire strategy will guide future USGS research and help the agency provide timely and relevant information for land managers to tackle fire risks before they occur, during wildfire response and after the flames go out.

DHS Announces Funding Opportunity for $1.87 Billion in Preparedness Grants

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the release of the funding notice for eight different types of preparedness grants worth nearly $1.87 billion. Together, these programs provide more than $1.8 billion in critical funding to assist state and local partners in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other disasters.

FLIR Systems Announces Upgraded FLIR identiFINDER R440, Next-Generation Handheld Radionuclide Identification Device

FLIR Systems Inc. announced the launch of the upgraded FLIR identiFINDER® R440, the next-generation of its field-trusted premium handheld radiation detection system. With improved resolution and sensitivity, the new identiFINDER R440 helps operators identify and respond to radiological threats faster and with greater accuracy.

NYC Initiatives Are a Model for Safeguarding the Nation’s Public Transit Systems

To bolster the efforts to ensure the continued safety and security of mass transit nationwide, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has partnered with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City (NYC) to study how simulated coronavirus aerosols travel through buses and train cars to inform disinfection and other virus mitigation methods.