The Early Years: Shaping a National Stockpile for Preparedness | Domestic Preparedness Photo: Strategic National Stockpile, date unknown
Healthcare

The Early Years: Shaping a National Stockpile for Preparedness

by Greg Burel -

In today’s emergency response landscape, public health jurisdictions across the United States rely on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) when incidents prove large enough or severe enough to deplete medicines and supplies needed to protect communities. In just 20 years, the SNS – now managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) – has grown to a $7 billion enterprise poised to respond to a variety of public health threats. These threats include anthrax, botulism, smallpox, plague, tularemia and viral hemorrhagic fevers, as well as emerging infectious diseases, pandemic influenza, natural disasters, and other chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents. Although predicting the future of any program is challenging, the SNS has evolved from humble beginnings to a formidable component of national security.

 
Healthcare

Opioid Epidemic & Narcan’s Unintended Consequences

by Andrew Roszak -

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency related to the opioid crisis. Indeed, overdoses and deaths from opioids have skyrocketed over the past decade. In 2017, deaths from opioids were six times higher than in 1999. Opioids impact the quality of life and longevity, as well as have tremendous social and economic impacts on communities throughout the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse costs over $78 billion per year.

Preparedness

Trauma-Informed Crisis Management

by Michael Ross -

There is a growing industry of “realistic active shooter” drills. Many are focused on teaching participants how to “survive” an event. These drills involve imitation attacks, physical confrontations, fake weapons, and simulated deaths. Some of these drills have led to actual shootings, people being locked in closets or storage rooms, and deployment of tactical squads who were not pre-briefed or included on the drill. These drills do not promote resilience.

Commentary

Preparing a Nation for Disaster – One Community at a Time

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready campaign recognizes September as National Preparedness Month. Agencies and organizations across the United States participate in this national preparedness effort by sharing educational resources, organizing events, and mobilizing action to help reduce risk and build community resilience. FEMA recognizes that, when individuals and communities prepare for any of the numerous potential threats they may face, the nation as a whole benefits.

Preparedness

Integrating Jurisdiction Plans

by Allen B. King III -

Guidance for developing an integrated, coordinated, and synchronized emergency operations plan (EOP) is provided in Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101 (CPG 101). Although many emergency managers consider the EOP the foundation of emergency and disaster plans, CPG 101 acknowledges that it is not the only plan that supports emergency management within a jurisdiction.

Updates

S&T’s NUSTL Assesses In-Suit Communications Equipment

In August 2019, DHS Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T) National Urban Science and Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) conducted a System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) field assessment of in-suit communications equipment, which is the most common way for emergency responders to communicate with each other during an emergency scenario where personal protective equipment must be worn.

HHS Advances Novel Technology to Meet Need for Blood Platelets in a Nuclear Disaster

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will support development of technology that, for the first time, could produce platelets outside the human body. If successful, the technology would improve U.S. emergency preparedness by making additional blood products available to save lives during a radiological or nuclear emergency.

HHS Funds Development of Two Filovirus Vaccines for Biodefense, Public Health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will support the simultaneous development of individual vaccine candidates against Marburg virus and Sudan ebolavirus infections. Together, these vaccine candidates will represent key enhancements in the U.S. preparedness posture for the potential public health and biodefense threats posed by these viruses.

HHS Awards $6 Million to Create Pediatric Disaster Care Centers of Excellence

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) awarded $6 million to support the creation of two Pediatric Disaster Care Centers of Excellence as a pilot project to improve disaster response capabilities for children in the United States.

U.S. Army Awards $35.1 Million Contract to FLIR Systems for New Chemical Agent Disclosure Spray

FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has won an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract worth up to $35.1 million with the U.S. Army to deliver a new version of the company’s Agentase™ C2 chemical agent disclosure spray to detect sulfur mustard, a highly toxic chemical warfare agent. FLIR Agentase C2 spray quickly changes color on a surface if a chemical warfare agent is present.