It is easy to understand the importance of “critical infrastructure,” such as telecommunications, energy, transportation, and emergency services, but what is often overlooked are the underlying technologies that enable them. One such technology is Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) services. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Resilient PNT Conformance Framework addresses this, and is planned for public release by the end of the year.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced the completion of a new mobile tool that provides real-time information on water levels, weather, and flood forecasts all in one place on a computer, smartphone, or other mobile device. The new USGS National Water Dashboard (NWD) provides critical information to decision-makers, emergency managers, and the public during flood events, informing decisions that can help protect lives and property.
On any given day, educational institutions house more than 20% of the U.S. population. This equates to more than 60 million students, faculty, and staff. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department Advanced Practice Center created the Pandemic Influenza School Planning Toolkit to assist local public health agencies in partnering with schools within their jurisdictions for pandemic emergency preparedness planning.
A tool developed by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate called Power Hawk enables bomb technicians to be at a safe distance from an explosive device during procedures. What makes Power Hawk so special is that the bomb itself is not destroyed while being rendered safe. Since the components are left intact, the authorities can recover valuable forensic evidence to help lead law enforcement to the arrest of the bomber.
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues working to address the current pandemic, they are also looking ahead to prepare for the next potential public health emergency. A recent executive order directed the agency, in consultation with federal partners, to identify a list of essential medicines, medical countermeasures, and critical inputs that are medically necessary to have available at all times in an amount adequate to serve patient needs and in the appropriate dosage forms.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) SIGMA+ program conducted a week-long deployment of advanced chemical and biological sensing systems in the Indianapolis metropolitan region in August 2020, collecting more than 250 hours of daily life background atmospheric data across five neighborhoods that helped train algorithms to more accurately detect chemical and biological threats. The testing marked the first time in the program the advanced laboratory grade instruments for chemical and biological sensing were successfully deployed as mobile sensors, increasing their versatility on the SIGMA+ network.
Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Medical Countermeasures Clinical Studies Network (CSN) contract awards. The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 established the support development and acquisition of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to prevent or treat the medical consequences of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. These MCMs include vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices.
Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the rescission of and replacement for the 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (Handbook). The Department determined that “much of the guidance provided was outside of the scope of the relevant statutory and regulatory authority.” The announcement also provided an overview of a new Clery-related Appendix of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Inmazeb (atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn), a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies, as the first FDA-approved treatment for Zaire ebolavirus (Ebola virus) infection in adult and pediatric patients.
Michael Breslin, strategic client relations director for federal law enforcement at LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Advisor to Preparedness Leadership Council has been selected to serve on the newly established cyber investigations advisory board of the U.S. Secret Service.