Fireshed Registry Helps Address the Growing Wildfire Threat

In May 2021, the USFS published a report describing the development and application of the Fireshed Registry in wildfire risk management. The Fireshed Registry is a geospatial dashboard and decision tool built in ArcGIS online, serving as the data warehouse for the Forest Service Scenario Planning Platform. Although the Fireshed Registry is not a public-facing application, its capabilities and plans for its continued development are described in detail in the report.

DHS Announces Results of 2020 Privacy Technology Demonstration

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has published the results of the 2020 Privacy Technology Demonstration (2020 Demo). S&T hosted a first-of-its-kind event to understand the product landscape of technologies that can assist in protecting the privacy of individuals appearing in photos and videos.

Funding for Public Safety Communications

Public safety agencies must balance integration and alignment of communications technologies with other competing priorities and funding needs. To address these needs, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in partnership with SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC), released the updated Funding Mechanisms Guide for Public Safety Communications to assist public safety agencies in identifying funding sources for emergency communications projects.

CISA’s CSET Tool Sets Sights on Ransomware Threat

CISA has released a new module in its Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET): the Ransomware Readiness Assessment. CSET is a desktop software tool that guides network defenders through a step-by-step process to evaluate the cybersecurity practices on their networks.

Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Vaccine Boosters

The United States is fortunate to have highly effective vaccines that are widely available for those aged 12 and up. People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants, such as Delta, that are currently circulating in the country. Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.

DHS Announces Expansion of the Securing the Cities Program

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office announced the expansion of its Securing the Cities program to two additional metropolitan regions, Boston and New Orleans. This expansion will assist these regions with building capabilities to detect, analyze, and report nuclear and other radioactive materials.

NYC Subway Sensors Could Provide Early Warning for Potential Chemical and Biological Threats

Quickly detecting and mitigating biological or chemical threats in the subway is critical for preventing the spread of hazardous materials should the unthinkable occur. However, technologies that are currently in use do not perform fast enough for a subway environment, and false alarms may cause unnecessarily disruptive and expensive closures. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate has been developing and perfecting various sensor technologies for public transit to help protect high-density urban areas against threats.

DHS S&T Successfully Evaluates Wildfire Sensors With California Emergency Responders

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) successfully tested four prototype technologies for early detection of wildfires in California this week. The test was the second phase of S&T’s Wildland Urban Interface wildfire sensor technology program, which brings together government and private sector partners to identify technologies that meet first responders’ operational needs and ensure the nation’s critical infrastructure remains secure and resilient.

FDA Approves Drug to Treat Smallpox

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Tembexa (brincidofovir) to treat smallpox. Although naturally occurring smallpox no longer exists, concerns about potential uses of variola virus as a bioweapon has made smallpox drug development an important component of the U.S. medical countermeasures response.

HHS Launches First Venture Capital Partnership to Develop Transformative Technologies to Combat Future Pandemics, Other Health Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today unveiled a new type of public-private partnership that enables investments using venture capital practices. Through the BARDA Ventures program, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, is launching a partnership with the nonprofit organization Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC) to accelerate development and commercialization of technologies and medical products needed to respond to or prevent public health emergencies, such as pandemics, and other health security threats.