Updates

USDA Helps Rural Communities Restore Water Systems Damaged by Disasters

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding the National Rural Water Association and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership each a $500,000 grant. The grants will be used to provide training and technical assistance, onsite repairs, and utility management advice for rural water and sewer utilities impacted by disasters.

Federal Resources Offers More Than an Expo at 5th Annual ExperienceFR Event

Federal Resources is hosting its 5th annual ExperienceFR event on 6 December 2017 in Washington, D.C. ExperienceFR is an exhibition of products and solutions for military personnel, first responders, and law enforcement professionals. The event features training, demonstrations, book signings, and a prominent guest speaker.

Restoring Hope, Wi-Fi in Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico

The Avwatch team, a nationally recognized leader in disaster response and mobile tactical networks, was on a humanitarian mission to establish Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANET) in areas where critical communications had gone dark since 20 September 2017, when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico.

ASTM International Group Advances Array of Drones Standards

ASTM International’s committee on unmanned aircraft systems (F38) recently held a successful meeting that included significant progress in standards development and live demonstrations. The committee is launching work on six new standards related to: detect-and-avoid technologies (acoustic-based and non-acoustic-based), fuel cell design, business operations manuals, maintenance technician qualification-and-certification, and beyond visual line-of-sight package delivery. 

Three Decades of Responding to Infectious Disease Outbreaks

In an online essay in Annals of Internal Medicine, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci reflects on the ways efforts have been marshaled to address infectious disease outbreaks of the past three decades. Lessons learned must be applied to the infectious disease threats faced today and beyond.

Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders

The "Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders" provides unified, scientific, evidence-based recommendations to first responders so they can protect themselves when the presence of fentanyl is suspected during the course of their daily activities such as responding to overdose calls and conducting traffic stops, arrests, and searches.

Officials Detail DoD Support During Unprecedented Hurricane Season

Defense Department officials told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee how the Department of Defense (DoD) has supported federal, state, and local officials in responding to the unprecedented series of hurricanes in 2017. DoD’s main support was to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the department also supported other federal agencies such as the departments of Health and Human Services, Energy, and Transportation.

Biodefense Evolving in the 21st Century

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) hosted its BARDA Industry Day 2017 on 7-8 November 2017 in Washington, D.C., featuring government and industry experts, who shared their perspectives on medical countermeasures for evolving biodefense threats. One of these experts was the new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, M.D.

New Turnout Ensemble Aims to Reduce Firefighter Cancer Risk

A new suite of personal protective equipment may provide additional protection for firefighters from exposure to carcinogenic vapors and particulate matter at incident sites. The Smoke and Particulate Resistant Turnout Ensemble, developed by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate in partnership with the North Carolina State University Textile Protection and Comfort Center is now available for purchase from LION First Responder PPE Inc.

EPA Publishes Companion Documents to Protective Action Guide Manual

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published two companion documents to the EPA’s Protective Action Guide (PAG) Manual that will help emergency responders prepare public communication materials prior to and during a radiological emergency. These communication materials are based on the safety measures in the PAG Manual, and are designed to be used in all types of radiological emergencies.