CBRNE Weapons & Islamic State – A Bad Combination | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/RomoloTavani
Resilience

CBRNE Weapons & Islamic State – A Bad Combination

by Richard Schoeberl -

The recent developments concerning the nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom and their alleged country of origin, Russia, have raised fears in the international community. The ease of the attack raises concerns about terrorists utilizing similar methods. This raises questions about the likelihood of a similar attack against the West.

 
Resilience

In Search of Infrastructure-Proof Emergency Alerts

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The increased reliance on emergency text alerts to receive warnings of natural or manmade disasters is a capability that most people have come to expect. Listening to broadcast radio warnings of severe weather happening miles away has transformed into more precise, geo-located alerts that target specific locations. The benefits of this technology are profound and should lead to people taking action when an alert comes in because they know that the threat is timely and accurate to their locations. New technologies could save many lives during future disasters.

Preparedness

Improving Local Health Department Cybersecurity

by Justin Snair -

Cyberattacks against local governments are becoming a new normal, yet the nation is not doing enough to prepare local health departments (LHDs) from such attacks. More than just a technological issue addressed by information technology (IT) professionals, cyberattacks can threaten lives and result in losses of integrity, availability, confidentiality, and physical destruction of assets. Cyberattacks can erode the trust and confidence communities have in LHDs and can introduce legal and liability issues when breaches of protected patient health information occur. LHDs should consider cyberattacks, and the myriad of nontechnical issues that may result, as part of their all-hazards preparedness efforts.

Resilience

Five Steps Toward Enhancing Climate Resilience

by Emily Wasley -

People, communities, businesses, and governments around the world are already experiencing the devastating human, economic, and environmental consequences of a changing climate. Many have been impacted by “acute climate shocks” such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, and severe winter storms – resulting in the loss of lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure. These five steps can help emergency managers build a path to enhance their climate resilience.

Commentary

Emerging Threats to Rail Infrastructure: Part II, Passenger

by Catherine L. Feinman -

With millions of passengers travelling each day by rail and subway in the United States alone, the passenger rail industry and the communities they serve are faced with difficult safety and security challenges – from equipment failures to terrorist attacks. A whole community approach is needed to address these challenges, to understand the threats and consequences, and to promote a culture of resilience.

Commentary

Roles in Disaster – Completing the Chain

by Catherine L. Feinman -

A passenger train derails in an urban community. Whether caused by intentional or unintentional factors, this incident would have consequences that go well beyond the rail company and the passengers traveling in these fated rail cars. Surrounding companies and communities would be affected, hazardous materials may be a threat, critical infrastructure beyond transportation could be impacted, cyber and physical security could be at risk, and so on. Mitigating these risks, threats, and vulnerabilities requires education, tools, and a desire to play a key role in disaster preparedness and response.

Preparedness

The Key to Saving Lives in CBRNE Events

by Bobby Baker -

In January 2018, in New York City, a group of professionals – representing entities including the Department of Homeland Security, private contractors, hazardous materials/weapons of mass destruction (hazmat/WMD), law enforcement officers, and intelligence experts – gathered to discuss the emerging threats to U.S. passenger rail service. Not only are these threats pertinent to passenger rail service, but they also may potentially affect all mass gatherings and large venues across the country on any given day. Emergency planners and responders must determine the best way to mitigate such threats.

Updates

New Joint Effort Boosts Drone Standards for Public Safety Officials

The National Fire Protection Association and ASTM International are joining forces to help the growing number of public safety professionals who want to use drones – also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – to help protect and save lives. The two standards developers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support a joint working group of about two dozen top experts in public safety and drone technology. 

S&T Announces Release of Mobile Security R&D Program Guide Vol. 2

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate released its 2018 Mobile Security Research and Development (R&D) Program Guide. The informational guide features an in-depth overview of the Mobile Security R&D Program strategy as well as summaries of the program’s two project areas: Mobile Device Security and Mobile Application Security.

Decontamination Decoded: Disrobing, Dry Wiping Removes 99% of Chemical Contaminants

ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority sponsored a set of scientific studies at the University of Hertfordshire on chemical decontamination. The results of these studies, codified as the Primary Response Incident Scene Management (PRISM) Guidance for Chemical Incidents, will help local emergency management planners and first responders prepare for and respond to disasters involving chemical agents.

Deep South, Southwest, Mountain West Regions Still Lag Behind in Overall Health Security and Emergency Preparedness

An annual assessment of the nation’s day-to-day readiness for managing health emergencies improved significantly over the past five years, though deep regional differences remain. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index, which analyzes 140 measures to calculate a composite score that provides the most comprehensive picture of health security available.

North Huntingdon EMS and Dictum Health Bring Clinical Telehealth to Pennsylvania Residents

Dictum Health announced that North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue (NHEMS/R) has added the Dictum Health telehealth solution to their Community Paramedicine/Mobile Integrated Health program. Through the expansion of this program, NHEMS/R expects to collect more complete, timely data on frequent users of emergency medical services using Dictum Health's VER-MEDIC telehealth system and to reduce avoidable hospital visits.