After a hurricane, flood, or other disaster, responders, emergency healthcare professionals, and disaster relief service providers face the challenge of considering the specific vulnerabilities of people struggling to manage opioid use disorder treatment and recovery while meeting the increased needs of the community at large.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Law Program now offers a Public Health Emergency Law (PHEL) course, which prepares state, tribal, local, and territorial practitioners to make informed legal decisions related to emergency preparedness and response activities. PHEL consists of three competency-based units and covers legal issues to consider before, during, and after public health emergencies.
Acts of mass violence stress communities and can cause serious psychological stress. By planning for a no-notice mass casualty event, emergency managers and public health professionals and their partners will be better equipped to support their communities through the recovery and healing process.
For security practitioners, it could seem impossible to catch everything that happens in a wide, crowded space. Stadiums and other large, public venues require near-perfect surveillance systems to do so. New technology developed by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) offers a novel 360-degree, single-vantage-point surveillance capability. https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/news/2019/04/30/snapshot-st-immersive-imaging-system-winner-rd-100-award
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) SIGMA program, which began in 2014, has demonstrated a city-scale capability for detecting radiological and nuclear threats that is now being operationally deployed. DARPA is building off this work with the SIGMA+ initiative that is focused on providing city- to region-scale detection capabilities across the full chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threat space.
A team of scientists including researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory has studied a catalyst that decomposes nerve agents, eliminating their harmful and lethal effects. The research was published 19 April 2019, in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced the establishment of the new Department of Homeland Security Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention. The Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention widens the scope of previous departmental efforts to ensure that all forms of violence, regardless of the ideological motivation, are being addressed.
The National Biodefense Science Board serves as a group of thought leaders who advise the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) on issues related to biodefense, public health emergency preparedness, response and recovery, and other issues related to national health security. HHS ASPR is now soliciting applications for new board members. Applications will be accepted until 15 June 2019.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the release of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Notices of Funding Opportunity for eight DHS preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.7 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, to improve the nation’s readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.
Part of the general mandate of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, is to stem – and, if possible, to roll back – the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), delivery systems, and advanced conventional weapons. Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, discusses the challenges of biosecurity.