The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review the federal public health and medical services response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The report examines the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) actions and leadership of this response. Following the review, GAO made seven recommendations.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released the updated National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) – the nation’s roadmap to ensuring emergency communications interoperability at all levels of government. The NECP was updated to address the current gaps within emergency communications, reflect new and emerging technological advancements, and provide guidance to drive the nation towards a common end-state for communications.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has designated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Center for Global Health as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Biosafety and Biosecurity. The CDC will assist PAHO/WHO in their efforts to help countries safely handle and contain dangerous diseases, such as Ebola, influenza, and polio.
FLIR Systems Inc. announced the FLIR MUVE™ C360, the industry’s first multi-gas detector specifically built for unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The MUVE C360 will transform how emergency response teams approach chemical, industrial, or environmental incidents by providing a new level of safety, dramatically reducing time to action, and delivering a more complete assessment in situations where every second counts.
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.
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.
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.
This report highlights recent developments in Additive Manufacturing (AM) relevant to nuclear proliferation and adds analyses of the impact of AM on delivery systems as well as chemical and biological weapons programs. Focusing on AM developments in both North America and Western Europe, this report maps latest AM developments, projects AM development out to 2030, and applies those findings to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation pathways.
The President signed an executive order modernizing and expanding sanctions to combat terrorism. This executive order – the most significant update of terrorism designation authorities since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks – enhances the United States’ ability to target and deprive terrorists and their enablers of financial, material, and logistical support worldwide.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a new type of sensor that uses atoms to receive commonly used communications signals. This atom-based receiver has the potential to be smaller and work better in noisy environments than conventional radio receivers, among other possible advantages.
The 2018 National Household Survey measures individuals' attitudes and behaviors toward preparedness and assesses what influences them to prepare for specific hazards. The Federal Emergency Management Agency surveys the American public yearly to assess how the culture of personal disaster preparedness and resilience has changed over time in the United States.
A recent action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will help the military treat severely injured warfighters suffering from traumatic bleeding on the battlefield. The FDA granted a variance request for the use of cold stored platelets in theater for the Department of Defense.
With few exceptions, human beings in the United States are literally on life support – plugged in to the electric grid. If that connection is unplugged, everything necessary to sustain the human population stops, including: food, water, fuel, transportation, medical resources, communications, and financial resources. According to a 28 March 2017 Senate report, in a long-term national-scale blackout, millions of U.S. citizens could die. After only a few weeks, deaths would escalate from waterborne diseases, starvation, and societal collapse. Immediate action could reduce these threats.
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is working with industry to improve security systems – whether at airports, government facilities, border checkpoints, or public spaces like arenas – to work faster and smarter. The second annual Biometric Technology Rally brought together subject matter experts, industry partners, security stakeholders, and volunteers to test new and emerging automated biometric technology systems for high-throughput use cases.
This bulletin focuses on the experiences of individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) before, during, and after disasters. Research focused on individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and on individuals with SMI as defined in part through functional limitations.
Princeton researchers combined storm surge, sea-level rise, and the predicted increased occurrence and strength in tropical storms and hurricanes to create new maps of flood-hazard possibility along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. They find 100-year floods could become annual occurrences in New England; and happen every 1 to 30 years along the southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shorelines.
In support of the U.S. government’s policy to maintain a stockpile to be able to protect every American from smallpox, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced a contract award by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the continued supply of ACAM2000® (Smallpox [Vaccinia] Vaccine, Live) into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.
In June 2019, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in coordination with the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, organized a trilateral exercise aimed at testing the robustness of the Science Advisory Guide for Emergencies (SAGE), a supplemental tool that provides up-to-date scientific and technical support for homeland security threats, emergencies, and major disasters.
The 35-day government shutdown of 2018-2019 became the longest in U.S. government history. Food banks, firefighters, and community services agencies ramped up their food and other care services. Much like during natural disasters, a significant number of federal workers and contractors did not have sufficient savings to cover expenses during this hiatus in pay and experienced uncertainty in insurance and other financial considerations during such a lengthy and uncertain time, occurring during the Christmas holidays.
As part of the international response to the Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to meet domestic biodefense goals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will support manufacturing of an investigational Ebola vaccine, V920, from Merck & Co. Inc.