Updates

DHS Seeks to Improve Communication Between Public Safety Agencies in Joint Emergency Response Scenarios

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency jointly announced today that the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute will spearhead a project to develop interoperability standards for Computer Aided Dispatch systems used by the nation’s public safety agencies.

New Website Aims to Enhance Disaster Response, Boost Preparedness

The Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center (LADRC.org), a national website helping legal aid and other service organizations more effectively meet the civil legal needs of disaster survivors, has officially launched. The website’s goal is to provide trainings on best practices and resources for pro bono and legal aid attorneys and the communities they serve. It will also encourage relationship building to improve disaster preparedness and response.

Accelerating the Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies to Strengthen Our Public Health Infrastructure

The FDA has dedicated significant effort over the past several years to establishing both research and regulatory programs for advanced manufacturing, computational modeling, and other emerging technologies. These efforts have led to updated regulatory processes, guidance documents and dozens of peer-reviewed research publications to identify characteristics of advanced manufacturing processes that can provide regulatory evidence of quality, safety, and efficacy.

New Tools Assist Wildfire Detection and Smoke Forecasting

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had a successful year of research and development in the area of detecting and predicting the impact of wildfires and wildfire smoke, continuing improvement to its Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product. The product provides near real-time maps, fire data statistics, and data sets for monitoring wildfire and smoke positions.

New Tool Helps Organizations Improve Crisis Communications

When a wildfire, pandemic, or other crises strike, good communication can mean the difference between order and chaos – and, in some cases, life and death. A new tool developed by Sacramento State business professors is designed to help companies, agencies, and nonprofit groups convey information more effectively to their employees, stakeholders, and the public during natural disasters.

FEMA Releases Emergency Operations Center Toolkit

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released five emergency operations center toolkit documents, covering topics such as hazard vulnerability assessments, physical site selection, mitigation considerations, capabilities and requirements, information management systems, and training and exercises.

Prepare Now for Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices

The Joint Counter Terrorism Assessment Team developed the First Responder's Toolbox on Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED): Preparedness, Recognition and Response, which helps first responders prepare for, recognize, and respond to VBIEDs.

FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Application

The funding notice for the fiscal year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program is available. The program focuses on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. The program provides financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations, and state fire training academies for critical training and equipment. The application period is open until 5:00pm EST on 12 February 2021.

National Risk Index for Natural Hazards (NRI)

The NRI is a new, online mapping application from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that identifies communities most at risk to 18 natural hazards. This application visualizes natural hazard risk metrics and includes data about expected annual losses, social vulnerabilities, and community resilience.

Field Tests Demonstrate Precision of Groundbreaking Firefighter Tracking Technology

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) joined forces with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) to develop critical technology that will allow first responders to more accurately locate their team members in burning buildings. Last month, S&T and NASA JPL successfully tested the Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders (POINTER) technology.