Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, 4 U.S. Senators, and 3 Former Federal Government Public Health Officials Launch the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Pandemic Preparedness & Health Security

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, alongside 4 bipartisan U.S. senators and 3 former federal government public health officials, have launched a new educational initiative: The Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Pandemic Preparedness & Health Security. The Committee is a nonpartisan “off-the-Hill” group that convenes educational policy briefings and technology demonstrations for Capitol Hill offices, federal agencies, and the invited public focused on strengthening U.S. health security.

HHS Selects Third Pilot Site to Demonstrate Better Approach to Disaster Medical Care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) awarded Denver Health and Hospital Authority a $3 million cooperative agreement to demonstrate how a Regional Disaster Health Response System (RDHRS) can improve medical surge and clinical specialty capabilities – including trauma, burn or other specialty care – during a national emergency and save more lives.

USAID Announces New $100 Million Project to Anticipate Threats Posed by Emerging Infectious Diseases

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a five-year, $100 million project called Strategies to Prevent Spillover (STOP Spillover). Tufts University will implement STOP Spillover with a consortium of wildlife and human-disease experts to anticipate and address threats posed by the emerging zoonotic diseases that pose the greatest risk of jumping from animals to humans.

FEMA Publishes Annual Preparedness Survey: Trends Show Americans Becoming Better Prepared

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published its disaster preparedness survey, and the trends show Americans are becoming better prepared. The annual survey assesses how the culture of disaster preparedness and resilience has changed since 2007, and the 2020 survey results suggest that the public is experiencing a wave of culture change in disaster preparedness.

IPAWS Program Planning Toolkit Provides New Resources for Emergency Alerts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, has released the “Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Planning Toolkit.” It will assist new and existing state, local, tribal, and territorial alerting authorities to create and support an effective program for alerts, warnings, and notifications.

DHS Public Action Plan to Implement Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence (CTTV Framework)

In September 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence and now offers this corresponding Public Action Plan demonstrating the Department’s efforts to combat emerging threats and improve information sharing. The Public Action Plan provides a high-level outline of the goals set by DHS, along with the ability to dynamically modify DHS resources as new threats emerge.

DHS S&T Provides Critical Chemical Hazard Support as Gulf Coast Braces for Major Storm

With Hurricane Sally expected to make landfall on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) is providing critical chemical hazard support. CSAC is researching and identifying chemical facilities in the storm’s predicted path. CSAC is proactively analyzing any chemical plants that conduct processes particularly susceptible to chemical release resulting from building damage, loss of power, or process monitoring.

DARPA’s SIGMA Program Transitions to Protect Major U.S. Metropolitan Region

A December exercise at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s major transportation hubs marked the capstone for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) SIGMA program. The exercise culminated a five-year effort to develop and deploy an automated, high-performance, networked radiation detection capability for counterterrorism and continuous city-to-region scale radiological and nuclear threat monitoring.

DHS Combats Potential Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to prepare against ever evolving threats against the American homeland, most recently highlighting efforts to combat an electromagnetic pulse attack which could disrupt the electrical grid and potentially damage electronics. The department is releasing the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Program Status Report in support of establishing resilience and security standards for U.S. critical infrastructure.

DHS Funds Research to Model Compound Flood Events

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate has awarded $950,000 to Deltares USA and Deltares to develop a community-oriented, flood hazard modeling process using open source data, models and software. This effort supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s goal to build a culture of preparedness, and to reduce fatalities and property losses from flood disasters.