Aiding the Response to Fentanyl With Portable Equipment | Domestic Preparedness Photo: FLIR Systems Inc., 2017.
Commentary

Aiding the Response to Fentanyl With Portable Equipment

by Philip Tackett -

Illegal manufacturing of fentanyl continues to rise and, with it, the dangers of clandestine drug laboratories to responders. Dangerous crime scenes like these are not limited to any one location. Responders everywhere need to prepare to encounter them at any point. Portable gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) equipment can help hazardous materials (hazmat) response teams quickly identify white powders, like fentanyl, and associated cutting agents on-scene.

 
Resilience

Counterinsurgency & Emergency Management

by Roger Parrino & Terry Hastings -

Counterinsurgency and emergency management are two seemingly unrelated concepts, yet they have a lot in common in terms of the strategies necessary to succeed. In each case, empowerment is the ultimate key to success. For counterinsurgency, it is about empowering the host country and, for emergency management, it is about empowering local jurisdictions. Although empowerment is the central theme, the strategies to achieve empowerment include diplomacy, relationship building, and trust.

Commentary

Averting Disaster – A Multi-Tier Approach

by Catherine Feinman -

Disasters can take many forms – naturally occurring like a volcanic eruption or solar flare, human-caused like a terrorist attack or radioactive material release, or technological like a cyberattack or data breech. Although a specific threat or hazard may be unavoidable, whether it eventually becomes a “disaster” is not a certainty. Averting disaster requires making the right decisions at the right time – from the crisis leaders to the boots on the ground.

Preparedness

A Race Against Time: Canine/Handler Teams Prep for Disaster

by Omar Bourne -

New York City has various disaster preparedness teams that are specially equipped to manage many types of threats. One such team involves canines trained to perform search and rescue tasks. Canines have helped save lives at critical times following disasters such as 9/11, when finding survivors among rubble and debris is especially challenging. A Dutch Shepherd named Diesel is one responder who currently works with New York City Police Department to prepare for the next disaster.

Updates

Statement From FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on FDA’s Efforts to Foster Discovery and Development of New Tools to Fight Antimicrobial-Resistant Infections

The increase in serious antimicrobial drug resistant infections is a critical public health concern and a growing threat to patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S. at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working on the scientific challenges, and economic impediments surrounding this issue.

DRIVe-ing Innovation

DRIVe is a transformative, business-friendly approach to identifying, capturing, nurturing and accelerating lifesaving innovation to solve tough health challenges that span health security and daily healthcare. The Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures, part of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will oversee this new accelerator program.

Building a Resilient Nation

As FEMA moved from immediate response and recovery to long term recovery, they reflected on the lessons from 2017 disasters. As a result of FEMA’s months-long after action review, FEMA recently released their 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. A newly announced organization, FEMA Resilience, will implement the vision set forth in the Strategic Plan, focusing on preparing for disasters and making the nation more resilient by leveraging several FEMA missions including mitigation, insurance, preparedness, grants, and continuity.

DHS Accelerates Data Solutions to Uncover Emerging Biothreats

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate collaborated with the Office of Health Affairs National Biosurveillance Integration Center to launch the Hidden Signals Challenge, which called for the design of an early warning system to uncover emerging biothreats. Winners have been announced and move on to deploying their systems.

5 Communication Lessons Learned From Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria exposed residents to an increased risk for foodborne, waterborne, infectious and non-infectious diseases, and other public health risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assembled a team of experienced communicators to figure out how to communicate multiple health risks to the public, especially to rural and isolated communities, when basic resources and services are not available. These five key lessons learned will help other communication responders prepare for the 2018 hurricane season and any future emergency events.