Updates

CERT Train-the-Trainer Course Now Available Online

The Emergency Management Institute will deliver two virtually facilitated offerings of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer in August and September. The audience for the course is CERT Basic Training course managers and instructors.

As Drone Popularity and Potential Risk Soars, so too Does S&T Preparedness

The popularity of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), or drones, has grown as the cost has become more affordable. Their nefarious capabilities continue to increase, as well. They can attain high speeds and move in three dimensions with the potential to carry dangerous payloads, smuggle contraband, and conduct illicit surveillance. The applications are endless, which creates a formidable challenge for national security agencies. Adaptation is key to ensuring resilience. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is supporting counter-unmanned aircraft systems research, testing, training, and evaluation across multiple DHS missions and components.

Saving Lives (and Breath) on the Wildland Fire Line

One of the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) main mission focus areas is supporting the development of technologies that vital first responders need to stay safe. S&T and its partners contributed to the design and testing of a new Wildland Firefighter Respirator, which is currently being developed by TDA Research Inc. This has the potential to be a big leap forward in the fight against wildfires.

DHS Announces New Cybersecurity Requirements for Critical Pipeline Owners and Operators (2nd Directive)

In response to the ongoing cybersecurity threat to pipeline systems, the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the issuance of a second security directive that requires owners and operators of TSA-designated critical pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas to implement a number of urgently needed protections against cyber intrusions.

DHS Announces Funding Allocations for FY 2021 Preparedness Grants

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the final allocations for $475 million for seven Fiscal Year 2021 competitive preparedness grant programs. These allocations, together with the almost $1.5 billion in non-competitive grant funding announced earlier this year, total nearly $2 billion in FY 2021 to help prepare the nation against man-made threats and natural disasters.

United States Government Launches First One-Stop Ransomware Resource at StopRansomware.gov

As part of the ongoing response, agencies across the U.S. government announced new resources and initiatives to protect American businesses and communities from ransomware attacks. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), together with federal partners, have launched a new website to combat the threat of ransomware. StopRansomware.gov establishes a one-stop hub for ransomware resources for individuals, businesses, and other organizations.

CRC SimPLER: A Practice Workshop

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced the release of CRC SimPLER, a free, publicly available, online tool to help state and local emergency and public health planners prepare for setting up community reception centers (CRCs) to monitor people following a large-scale radiation emergency. To introduce CRC SimPLER, ASTHO and the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness are hosting a workshop on Monday, Aug. 23 from 1-2 p.m. ET via Zoom.

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.