Updates

FEMA Releases First-Ever National Tribal Strategy

FEMA released a national tribal strategy -- the agency’s first-ever -- to better address its responsibilities to federally recognized tribal nations when responding to and preparing for disasters affecting tribal lands.

HHS Invests Nearly $60 Million to Strengthen Health Care Workforce and Improve Access to Care in Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration, announced investments of nearly $60 million to grow the health workforce and increase access to quality health care in rural communities, including nearly $46 million in funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces over $1 Billion in Project Selections to Make Communities More Resilient to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

Vice President Kamala Harris, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the selections for $1.16 billion in climate resilience funding through two competitive grant programs to help communities across the nation enhance climate and disaster resiliency.

HHS Strengthens Country’s Preparedness for Health Emergencies, Announces Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Secretary Xavier Becerra has elevated the existing Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) from a staff division to an operating division, taking on the new name of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). This change will allow ASPR to mobilize a coordinated national response more effectively and efficiently during future disasters and emergencies in close collaboration with its sister agencies.

DHS Establishes New Office of Health Security 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the Office of Health Security, a new office that will serve as the principal medical, workforce health and safety, and public health authority for DHS. 

FEMA, AARP Release New Resources to Help Local Communities Protect Older Adults Before, During and After Natural Disasters

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) have released new resources to help local officials and emergency managers protect older adults in their communities before, during and after natural disasters and support communities in mitigating the effects of extreme weather events.

DHS Prize Winners Announced in $195K Challenge to Counter Extreme Temperatures

In September 2021, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, announced a new series of prize competitions focused on strengthening nationwide resilience to climate change. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the winners of the Cooling Solutions Challenge prize competition.

DHS, Army Partner to Provide New Chemical Security Laboratory Capability

The Department of Homeland Security Science (DHS) and Technology Directorate announced that its Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) opened a new experimental Chemical Security Laboratory in partnership with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. This new space will help CSAC’s team of DHS and Army experts validate scientific data and produce findings that are essential to national readiness.

USDA Announces New SARS-COV-2 Research Funding Opportunity Through the American Rescue Plan Act

he U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced it will commit up to $24 million for research grants through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and the National Science Foundation Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program. These grants will support research that directly aligns with APHIS’ American Rescue Plan strategic framework and will support APHIS and its One Health partners’ efforts to identify risks and plan effective interventions to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at the human-animal interface and to prevent impacts to the food supply.

FDA Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Down to 6 Months of Age

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include use in children down to 6 months of age.