The National Preparedness Report (NPR) summarizes progress the nation has made in building, sustaining, and delivering the 31 core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal across all five mission areas identified in Presidential Policy Directive 8. This report marks the second annual NPR, updating and expanding upon findings from the 2012 NPR.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced the release of FY 2013 Funding Opportunity Announcements for eight U.S. Department of Homeland Security preparedness grant programs - totaling over $1.5 billion. Such grants assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector in strengthening the nation's ability to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies in support of the National Preparedness Goal and the National Preparedness System.
As the southwest areas of the country face deadly tornadoes, other areas are preparing their communities and schools for the 2013 Hurricane season, which officially starts on the first day of June. Unlike tornadoes, hurricanes usually give advance warning - sometimes several days - before making landfall. Schools, though, must be fully prepared to cope with any and all disasters that might strike.
For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). These ranges are well above the seasonal average.
Z-Medica, a leading developer and marketer of hemostatic agents, has announced it has launched the first-ever line of products designed to meet the unique needs of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The line includes products designed and packaged for faster deployment and more efficient inventory management for EMS centers.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced that more than half of all doctors and other eligible providers have received Medicare or Medicaid incentive payments for adopting or meaningfully using electronic health records (EHRs). HHS has met and exceeded its goal for 50 percent of doctor offices and 80 percent of eligible hospitals to have EHRs by the end of 2013.
Implementing the guidance provided by Presidential Directive 8 can lead to organizational and procedural challenges - while also working toward greater national preparedness. The first step in implementation is to identify threats and hazards and define the risk as it pertains to a particular jurisdiction. The next step is to determine and validate all potential capabilities currently available.
From military "takeover" to a "win-win" situation for states affected by natural disasters: The U.S. Department of Defense used the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina to develop new tactics - and used them creatively when assisting the response and recovery efforts in New Jersey and New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina left many people without basic resources. Less publicized was the fact that a number of citizens suffering from various disabilities were transported without their wheelchairs and/or other equipment and devices required to meet their needs. In Connecticut, trainers with real-world experiences are helping first responders lessen the impact of future disasters on persons with functional needs.
Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1), along with the Incident Support Team cache, has been activated by FEMA through the Texas Division of Emergency Management and will deploy from their facility in College Station to Oklahoma. The 80-member TX-TF1 "White" Team is a Type 1 Urban Search & Rescue Team consisting of Technical and Canine Search components along with Heavy Rescue personnel and equipment.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners, including the National Weather Service, continue to closely monitor the effects of severe weather - including this week's tornados - that have impacted the Central United States. FEMA encourages those in the areas affected or potentially affected to continue to monitor radio, TV stations, and/or the National Weather Service for the latest information.
President Barack Obama has signed the following presidential memorandum to advance the goal of cutting aggregate timelines for major infrastructure projects in half, while also improving outcomes for communities and the environment. The quality of the U.S. infrastructure is critical to maintaining the nation's competitive edge in a global economy and to securing a better path to energy independence.
FLIR Systems has announced that its Integrated Systems division was awarded a contract for an integrated perimeter intrusion detection security solution for Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver, BC, Canada. FLIR's solution consists primarily of a number of CommandSpace Argus ground surveillance systems and Cameleon Tactical Command and Control Software.
The Department of Homeland Security's National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Office of Cybersecurity & Communications Acting Assistant Secretary Roberta Stempfley, and National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) Director Larry Zelvin address NCCIC's role, responsibilities, and future planning to protect the Nation's critical infrastructure from cyber attacks, secure federal networks, and coordinate private sector cyber threat information sharing.
The United States already has a national system in place that can help responders "manage" any disaster situation - both natural and manmade. By adapting and modifying the concepts and processes of the Incident Command System, large and small jurisdictions alike can easily incorporate several categories of specialized response teams into complex response efforts.
There is no way to prevent weather disasters from happening, but advance planning, frequent training drills and exercises, and rapid communications can save lives and reduce damage to infrastructure. Under the "Homeowner" bill, that same combination of managerial tools can also be used to reduce the response and recovery costs caused by natural disasters lying in wait.
Urgent action is needed to reduce the U.S. military's dangerous dependence on foreign suppliers for the raw materials, spare parts, and finished products needed to defend America, according to a new study prepared by Brigadier General John Adams, USA (Ret.).
Wearing a bulky HazMat suit during responder decontamination makes it difficult to maneuver, and leads to many slips and falls. After watching emergency responders resort to the use of walkers, traffic cones, and other objects not designed for their specific needs during decontamination, DQE has developed the Decon Stability Cane. Responders can now move with greater ease by grasping the security provided by the Decon Stability Cane.
BioFire Diagnostics Inc. recently announced that it has submitted the FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for 510(k) clearance. The panel provides automatic results for the most common infectious causes of sepsis, a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in adults, younger children, and infants.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Vancouver Airport Authority have announced a new program, Automated Passport Control, an expedited customs entry process that will allow eligible passengers - traveling to the United States, from Vancouver International Airport in Canada - to clear customs more efficiently, while still ensuring the same high standard of safety and security.
Morphix Technologies, an innovator in the science of colorimetric detection devices for dangerous chemical gases, has developed an Ammonia sensor cassette for the Chameleon Clan-Meth Lab Detection Kit. The Ammonia sensor detects gases and vapors in the air, whereas other technologies only detect hazards in liquid or aerosol forms.
On 22 April 2013, DomesticPreparedness.com hosted an Executive Briefing at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Keynote speaker Major General Stephen Reeves, USA (Ret.), started the discussion, and was followed by subject matter experts - each of whom focused on various key components of biodefense - the threats, the costs, and the priorities. These high-level presentations address the scientific, medical, and government policies required to fully comprehend today's biothreat challenges.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced a new cooperative effort with Premiere Networks and private sector broadcasters that will provide an alternative method for radio stations to receive emergency information during a national emergency.
Understanding the different facets of tornado preparedness planning helps responders address questions related to these often costly and sometimes deadly incidents. A comprehensive approach for gathering and disseminating information, educating and training response personnel, and creating and updating a strategic plan could help reduce fatalities, damages, and recovery time when the next funnel cloud forms.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States. One of the most important lessons learned from that disaster was that the federal government must work with local authorities to support communities in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the adverse health effects of major public health emergencies. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act is key to making that possible.
The federal government and its partners have released three of five National Planning Frameworks, which document the roles and responsibilities of the whole community in all facets of national preparedness. A major benefit provided by this unified effort is a better informed, and shared, understanding of risks, needs, and capabilities across the whole community - and, in the end, a more secure and resilient nation.
The Government Accountability Office was asked to evaluate the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to strengthen its management of chemicals. This report determines the extent to which: (a) EPA has made progress implementing its new approach; and (b) EPA's new approach positions it to achieve its goal of ensuring the safety of chemicals.
KD Analytical has announced that it has been selected, in partnership with prime contractor Government Scientific Source, to support the General Services Administration's multi-million dollar indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNe) detection and protection equipment and sustainment for the Joint Product Manager Consequence Management under the Joint Program Executive Office, Chemical Biological Defense.
The resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and similar drugs - called antimicrobials - is considered a major public health threat by the Food and Drug Administration and its counterparts around the world. David White, Ph.D., and Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., explain the challenges presented by antimicrobial resistance and the efforts being made to combat this public health risk.
VR Technology is pleased to announce that as of 26th April 2013 the company became part of Avon Protection under the Avon Rubber p.l.c group. Avon's acquisition of VR Technology is seen as a significant enhancement for both companies and for the future of terrestrial and sub-marine life support systems.
The nation remains vulnerable to terrorist and other threats posed by chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents. Medical countermeasures can prevent or treat the effects of exposure to CBRN agents, and are available in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) for some of these agents. Children, who make up 25 percent of the population, are especially vulnerable because many of the countermeasures in the SNS have only been approved for use in adults.
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center's mission is to "train those who protect our homeland." Throughout 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is commemorating its tenth anniversary by recognizing key initiatives and employees who have contributed to successes while considering new and innovate ways to achieve its mission.
Multi-use equipment is a valuable tool for emergency response. Sometimes, though, specialized equipment also is needed to manage unique risks within a community. Thorough risk assessments and cost estimates can help determine specific planning and equipment needs.
In an environment that is constantly changing and increasingly interconnected, many states are finding new ways to use existing assets. In New Jersey, one valuable asset previously used primarily for collecting and analyzing information on terrorist threats played a leading role in the rapid sharing of disaster-response information before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy in late 2012.