Author Archive

by CHHS Staff Members Shanna Batten and Maggie Davis In March 2017, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy released a detailed, bi-partisan report within a series of policy recommendations to the Trump Administration. The report, Defeating Ideologically Inspired Violent Extremism: A Strategy to Build Strong Communities and Protect the U.S. Homeland, emphasizes the need for communities to develop programs focused on preventing or countering violent extremism. The report lauds CHHS's BRAVE (Building Resistance Against Violent Extremism) model as the premier example of a community-led approach to countering violent extremism.[1] Describing it as “[t]he most developed example of [community-led CVE ...Read More
By Jonathan Lim, CHHS Extern The recent Oroville Dam crisis highlighted America’s need to repair its many aging dams. In the Oroville case, authorities responded quickly enough that the 180,000 people most endangered by the dam’s potential failure were evacuated. This may be a dangerous sign, as the average age of our nation's 84,000 dams are 52 years old, and of those, experts classify 4,000 of those dams as "deficient."  That this crisis is a symbol of the need to reinvest in American infrastructure has already been much opined, and from both sides of the political spectrum. However, this crisis can ...Read More
by Jonathan Lim, CHHS Extern On January 26, 2017, the President signed an executive order for the construction of a wall on the United States-Mexico border. The President deviated from one of his most controversial campaign promises when he admitted that the American taxpayer, and not Mexico, would pay for the wall (although he claims that Mexico will reimburse the wall later). Some estimate that the cost of an actual wall would be around $25 billion. Even before this admission, the President's now confirmed nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), retired Gen. John F. Kelly, gave a ...Read More
by Glyn Cashwell, CHHS Extern A recent December 2016 cyber attack in Ukraine has the public concerned that the U.S. could be the next victim.  Ultimately, whether a foreign actor decides to attack the power grid will likely hinge on foreign relations, as it appears that several foreign governments probably can take down the U.S. electric grid.  In explaining why our power grid might be attacked, the following are germane: the characteristics of the recent Ukraine grid attacks, the vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid, and past cyberattacks waged against the U.S. In 2015, the first cyberattack that resulted in ...Read More
by Trudy Henson with Birch Barron As 2016 came to a close and many were focused on a year-end countdown, health officials were paying attention to a different tally: the alarming rate of drug overdose deaths, which nearly tripled between 1999 – 2014, and continued to increase for synthetic opioid deaths in the last few years. The findings, written about extensively in a CDC report, underscore the need for “intense attention and action.” But how can public health partners make that action most effective? "Solving the heroin and opioid addiction problem will require a united effort," says Birch Barron, CHHS ...Read More
by Mehreen Farooq, CHHS Senior Policy Analyst Initially developed by the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) in 2013, the Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) program[1] is a collective impact initiative to promote social cohesion and public safety, with a core focus on building resilience against violent extremism through engagement, education, and specialized interventions. In 2016, the WORDE transitioned the BRAVE program to the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) to institutionalize the program in Montgomery County, Maryland and expand into other jurisdictions. On November 30, 2016 CHHS organized a kick-off event for the ...Read More
by Christie Chung, CHHS Research Assistant “This is serious. . .This storm will kill you. Time is running out. We don’t have that much time left.” On Thursday morning October 6th, there was no mistaking the gravity of the situation as Florida Governor Rick Scott once again urged residents to heed evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Matthew’s landfall. Officially a Category 4 storm, and soon expected to reach Category 5 status, Hurricane Matthew has already left a trail of devastation as it moved away from the Caribbean and towards the southeastern U.S. coast.  In Haiti, where entire towns have been ...Read More
By: Christopher Smeenk, CHHS Extern There is a common denominator among the 142 school shootings that have occurred in the United States since 2013: in each instance, the perpetrator(s) attacked a “soft” target. Schools are considered “soft targets” because they are relatively unprotected and vulnerable to deadly attacks. This reality was clearly evident in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which took the lives of 20 children and six adults. That tragedy reinforced the need to develop new strategies to protect students and staff at schools across the country. In response, school districts have begun to employ innovative technology ...Read More
by Emily Rosenberg, CHHS Research Assistant Tuberculosis (TB) is no longer the long-gone threat that plagued the urban lower classes of Europe from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution. In fact, TB is now more resilient and widespread than ever. It has remained a pandemic disease throughout the world for thousands of years. It is strongest today in Southern Asia, Latin America, West Africa, and Eastern Europe.  In 2014, 9.6 million people contracted TB and 1.5 million people died from the disease. The annual decline of TB in the United States also reached its lowest point of 1.5% that same ...Read More
By Christie Chung, CHHS Research Assistant From world-class athletes skipping the Olympics to Florida theme parks handing out complimentary insect repellent, the Zika virus has prompted much concern and anxiety. However, the disease most widely known for its link to birth defects is just one of several mosquito-borne illnesses currently threatening global health. Mosquito-borne diseases pose a number of unique problems to public health officials. For one, there are approximately 3,500 different species of mosquitoes endemic to regions across the planet; many are vectors of transmittable diseases. Aedes aegypti alone is responsible for outbreaks of Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue ...Read More
By Lauren Morowit, CHHS Research Assistant If an emergency happens in your community tomorrow – will you be ready? September is National Preparedness Month in the United States, and government agencies are urging all citizens to consider developing an emergency communication plan.  The slogan for this readiness campaign is, “Don’t Wait.  Communicate.” Emergencies can happen at any time – with or without any warning.  However, individuals can exercise the choice to prepare practical responses before an emergency strikes in an attempt to lessen the perilous effects of a tragedy. The message being proliferated this month highlights the notion that the ...Read More
By: Christopher Smeenk, CHHS Intern Thomas Jefferson once said, “Knowledge is power, knowledge is safety, and knowledge is happiness." However, the opposite may hold true for those subjected to the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program. Is it possible that knowledge about this program is enough to hold a prisoner incommunicado for the remainder of his life, even if he does not otherwise pose a significant threat to the security of the United States? The answer to that question could potentially determine the fate of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected terrorist who, despite never being charged with a crime, has been detained in ...Read More
by Christie Chung, CHHS Research Assistant Large-scale events pose unique safety and security concerns for law enforcement officials. In addition to anticipating common disruptions such as public drunkenness, fighting, and petty theft, police officers must grapple with the fact that special events provide an attractive target for terrorist attacks. The nature of such events—large, excitable crowds in confined spaces—makes planning for contingencies exceedingly difficult. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel’s Bastille Day attack on the Promenade des Anglais demonstrates the tremendous potential for tragedy posed by such events and the importance of preliminary planning. Running a distance of approximately four and a half miles, ...Read More
by CHHS Research Assistant Jie Liu Our nation’s threat from public mass shootings remains elevated. According to a cross-national study of 171 countries, the United States has the most public mass shootings in the world. Between January 2009 and July 2015, there were at least 133 mass shootings in the U.S. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines a mass shooting as an incident where four or more people are killed, which does not include gang killings or slayings that involve the death of multiple family members. Recently, the typical response to active shooter and mass casualty incidents (AS/MCIs) involves ...Read More
by Christie Chung, CHHS Research Assistant              For nearly the price of a paintball gun, you could buy an AR-15. Though most generally go for around $1,000 to $2,000, the most popular rifle in the U.S. retails for as low as $215.19 online.  Nicknamed “America’s Rifle” by the NRA, the AR-15 is a civilian variant of the M-16 rifle used by the U.S. Military. Since Colt began marketing the rifle in 1960, the weapon has been widely adapted and made available through a number of other manufacturers. Lightweight and highly customizable, the AR-15’s shooting capacity is limited only by the ...Read More
by by Jie Liu, CHHS Extern In the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Zika Situation Report on June 16, the Emergency Committee concluded that “there is a very low risk of further international spread of Zika virus as a result of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.” However, just recently, the Number 1-slated Olympic hopeful golfer, Jason Day, has announced he won’t participate in the Olympics out of concern for the Zika Virus. He joins a number of athletes who have chosen not to attend the 2016 Olympics. As the world continues to watch the Olympics’ approach and Zika’s effect on it, here ...Read More
by Christie Chung, Research Assistant In the wake of 9/11, airports face the difficult task of balancing national security concerns with the need for customer convenience and efficiency. This summer travel season from June through August, approximately 231 million passengers will fly on airlines across the country—up 4% from the same period last year. However, if the weeks preceding these summer months are any indication, the bottlenecks caused by security screening will continue to delay flights, frustrate passengers, and stymie travel plans. Against this backdrop of growing exasperation with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform ...Read More
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Co-authored by Ellen Cornelius and Markus Rauschecker - CHHS Senior Law and Policy Analysts as well as Adjunct Professors for Law and Policy of Cybersecurity at the University of Maryland School of Law Not a day goes by where we don’t hear about yet another cyber incident. With more and more high profile cyber hacks occurring, government, the private sector, and individuals are looking for solutions, but also wondering what’s next. Here are the top six cybersecurity issues we see for the coming year: Sony Hack – The fallout from one of the largest hacks ever will continue. Administration officials have repeatedly stated that ...Read More
From Sinclair Broadcasting: "American ISIS Sympathizers Living in the US" aired nationwide following the foiled terrorist plot to attack the US Capital by an Ohio citizen this week.  CHHS Founder and Director Michael Greenberger explained why ISIS benefits from Western recruits, who can blend in easily on US soil.
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CHHS works with top emergency responders across the globe to develop plans, policies and strategies for government, corporate, and institutional clients that ensure the safety of citizens in the event of natural or man-made catastrophes.
Wall of Sandbags By CHHS Research Assistant Mona Qureshi Sea levels have risen an average 8 inches in the past century, leaving American cities struggling to keep their heads above water. Yet outdated, quick fixes to curb flooding and other disasters across the country continue to be used today. Recognizing the overwhelming costs of using the same flawed band-aids years after year, the federal government has recently turned to competitive outlets for innovative ideas in resiliency. Specific to flooding, the Rebuild by Design competition for creative disaster mitigation was launched in 2013. Teams consisted of engineers, architects, scientists, and urban planners. Instead of ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Andrew Geltman Call it an educated prediction, keen foresight, or just a good guess, the Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) has been warning about the potential dangers of mishandled bacterial and viral agents at our nation’s bioterrorism research facility since 2009 when Founder and Director Michael Greenberger testified before Congress. At the time Director Greenberger urged caution and an overhaul of the regulatory regime that governed the handling of dangerous agents. And as recently as this February, CHHS and the Middle Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging and Infectious Diseases hosted a ...Read More
October 16, 2014 - October 17, 2014 | Register Description: The Network for Public Health Law has invited three CHHS leaders to participate in their 2014 Public Health Law Conference entitied "Intersection of Law, Policy, and Prevention." CHHS Founder and Director Michael Greenberger will be a part pf the panel on Legal Preparedness After Hurricane Sandy, while Associate Director Amy Major and Public Health Program Manager Trudy Henson will be joined by former CHHSer Earl Stoddard, now Public Health Emergency Preparedness & Response Program Administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services in Montgomery County, Maryland, to present on ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Laura Merkey On June 17, 2014, California Senator and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein released a draft of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), drafted in collaboration with Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss.  As Senator Feinstein’s website explains, the bill is aimed at creating incentives for sharing information about potential cybersecurity threats between the private and public sectors.  CISA accomplishes this in part by relaxing laws creating liability for this type of information sharing, authorizing companies to monitor their networks, and directing the federal government to share information with the private sector at both the ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant R. Justin Morris “There are two kinds of big companies in the United States: those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese and those who don’t yet know that they’ve been hacked by the Chinese.” This statement by FBI Director James Comey to a Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year describes where the U.S. finds itself today in the realm of cybersecurity: Sub-par and in need of development.  As Director Comey’s comment alludes to, the private sector’s lack of attention to cybersecurity in past years has allowed nation-state actors like the Chinese, individual hackers, and online fraud ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Laura Merkey Hosting a World Cup is expensive – among other costs, the infrastructure and security needed to prepare the 12 host cities for the roughly 800,000 fans expected to flood into Brazil this summer has cost the country a stunning $11.3 billion dollars.  To further complicate the logistics and security concerns, citizens angered over the significant government expenditures have turned to rioting in the streets, while other key employees, such as airport and subway workers, have gone on strike.  As can be imagined, these complications have caused the traffic in Brazil to become a foremost ...Read More
By Bonnie Portis, CHHS Extern After action reports stemming from both natural and man-made disasters over the past decade have demonstrated a recurring problem – the inability of medical providers to ensure adequate continuity of care for hospital patients and those who have chronic health conditions or other functional needs when patient records are destroyed or unavailable.  The lesson?  Having personal medical information on-hand can be a life saver in the event of a disaster.In 2005, the rising floodwaters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in the total failure of healthcare facilities and their infrastructure.  In the wake of this catastrophe, ...Read More
By Amond Uwadineke, CHHS Extern When you think of emergency preparedness, do you think of the role that a pharmacist could play in a disaster? Why would we want our local Rite Aid or Walgreens pharmacist to be involved in emergency preparedness? It may be surprising to you, but the unique skills that pharmacists possess would make them a valuable asset to emergency planning, preparedness, and response.Besides the usual job of dispensing prescription medication and patient education, pharmacists could also provide surveillance of pandemic diseases, distribution of medical supplies, and with extra training they could even triage. Just think of how pharmacists, who ...Read More
By Crystal Schroeder, CHHS Extern On the heels of Winter Storm Leon in Atlanta, Georgia, the city and surrounding counties put their emergency management plan into action for a three-day winter storm beginning February 10, 2014.  Comparing these two reactions demonstrates that emergency response is, at its core, a collection of decisions, each of which is made by balancing the costs, benefits, and implications of initiating emergency plans.  In making a particular decision, there is simultaneously the risk of under-reacting, and the risk of over-reacting to the situation at hand.  The decisions whether or not to close schools and businesses, ...Read More
By Chelsea Person, CHHS Extern After attending the 2013 National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP) Animals in Disaster Summit, I am glad to see there are many resources for animals during disasters. However, I learned that one of the largest draw-backs this area of emergency management still faces today is the lack of awareness about available resources and a simple, coordinated reporting system for states to take advantage of these resources. When Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast in 2005, the need for emergency plans addressing pets came to light.  Many people refused to evacuate because ...Read More
CHHS has been expanding our expertise since the Spring edition of our newsletter - learn more about our recent projects in the Fall 2013 Newsletter. Printed copies have been distributed to our contacts across the country. If you are interested in receiving a copy of our newsletter, click here to fill out the sign up form. CHHS projects outlined in this edition include: Public Health Toolkits Bar Association Planning Guide MD Mitigation Planning  DHS/FEMA COOP Training Conclusion MD Eastern Shore Interoperability  D.C. Operational Procedures and Guidelines  Baltimore Metropolitan Local Capability Exercise  All Hazards Train Derailment Exercise  Central MD Regional Hospital ...Read More
By Amanda Eddy, CHHS Research Assistant The start of a new school year often brings excitement for children as they look forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and carefully selecting their outfit for the first day. But for parents, the first day of school can bring fear. Just last year the nation watched in horror as a gunman in Newton, Connecticut entered Sandy Hook Elementary School killing 20 children and 6 adults. We were again devastated when rescue workers in Moore, Oklahoma found the bodies of seven third-graders who died when their school crumbled after a series of ...Read More
By Rebecca Zorn - CHHS Research Fellow Ms. Zorn currently works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Montgomery County's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Images from developing or impoverished countries that show collapsed schools following an earthquake due to poor building codes, or children being targeted on their way to class by extremist groups, are too often seen in international news. For some, it may be hard to acknowledge that children in the US could also face similar adversities at school, or even in our own backyards. This past year, we saw child fatalities at the hands of ...Read More
Effective responses to man-made and natural disasters require timely and continued planning for all hazards. Incidents in the past year, including the June derecho Storm and Superstorm Sandy, have illustrated the need to track the essential services of Maryland communities and assess their vulnerability to energy disruption in the event of a disaster. Gathering this information can be challenging for emergency management and key stakeholders. To address these challenges, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) have developed the Energy Assurance Plan (EAP). The Maryland EAP, released in July 2012, provides background information to aid ...Read More
By Ben Yelin, CHHS Research Associate The danger posed by cyber attacks is urgent and growing. Cyberattacks have breached the Pentagon and sent businesses into bankruptcy. Unless Congress takes decisive action, our nation will be vulnerable to a cyber attack that could damage critical infrastructure or our national security interests. A recent incident highlighted our nation’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities and crystallized the need for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. Earlier this month, the White House confirmed a report that government computers, including those containing sensitive data, were breached by Chinese hackers.  The email, sent from a computer server in China, was a so-called ...Read More
By Megan Ix, CHHS Research Assistant Maryland started planning for the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) soon after it was signed into law in 2010, even as critics filed lawsuits claiming it was unconstitutional. Maryland’s swift action has put it ahead of many states in reforming the way health care works. With the law now largely upheld, we wanted to take stock of where Maryland is on the road toward implementing the law, and what has already been impacted since the law passed. The parts of the ACA that have already gone into effect ...Read More
By Lisa Piccinini, CHHS Research Assistant Homeland Security Presidential Directives, such as the directive that establishes the National Incident Management System, often address “state, tribal, and local governments.” But what role does the federal government actually play in ensuring the security of tribes? States with high American Indian populations may know the answer, but in states like Maryland, which is home to few American Indians and no federally recognized tribes, how the U.S. does or should assist American Indians isn’t exactly making headlines. For people from states like Maryland, here’s a little background. A federally recognized tribal nation is an ...Read More
by Ben Yelin, CHHS Research Assistant On June 11, 2012, a five-alarm fire struck a vacant warehouse in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore. Luckily, the building was unoccupied, and there were no fatalities, though one firefighter was injured. To get the fire under control, Baltimore City had to call in fire companies from surrounding counties.  The city’s firefighters’ union says that should be a wake-up call for city officials, who in recent years have enacted major budget cuts that have forced rotating, and now permanent, closures of fire companies. The reality of budget cuts reinforces the need for cities ...Read More
Society's rising expectations for improved treatments and better health outcomes continuously push the boundaries of discovery in biomedical research. One focus of such research is to develop the newest drugs to address humanity's increasing exposure to emerging infectious diseases. Researchers in Europe and the U.S. recently developed the recipe for the deadly H5N1 virus in a lab setting, which sparked a debate about whether the findings should be published for public health preparedness reasons or whether this is sensitive information that may have dire homeland security consequences. The full article (in pdf format below) by CHHS Public Health Program Manager Earl Stoddard, Senior Law & ...Read More
Almost one in five people living in the United States has a disability. Therefore, there is not only an ethical need but also a practical demand for jurisdictions to invest in emergency preparedness initiatives that address the functional needs of people with disabilities. The full article (in pdf form below) by CHHS Law & Policy Analyst Nishamarie Sherry and former CHHS Law & Policy Analyst Anne Marie Harkins appeared in the November/December 2011 edition of the Journal of Emergency Management.
Social media has changed the way information is communicated and analyzed. Through social media services, individuals can exchange information with large groups of people in real time. Local emergency management agencies should incorporate these tools into their communication plans to effectively communicate with the public and to obtain a better level of situational awareness to aid response and recovery efforts. The full article ( in pdf format below) by CHHS Law & Policy Analyst R. Sabra Jafarzadeh appeared in the July/August 2011 edition of the Journal of Emergency Management.
By Lisa Piccinini, CHHS Research Assistant The global push for polio eradication is gaining attention again now that India, once considered the epicenter of polio, can boast over a year and a half free of new cases of the debilitating disease. India’s success is the result of a government and Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partnership to vaccinate each newborn in the country, as well as every child coming into India from countries with active cases. Together, the Indian government and GPEI launched a massive education campaign to combat misconceptions about the vaccine, such as the myth that the vaccine ...Read More
By Ben Yelin, CHHS Research Assistant On Friday June 1st, 2012, the mid-Atlantic was bombarded with a cluster of severe, and frankly, frightening thunderstorms and tornadoes, which caused 2 injuries and property damage across the Baltimore area. The National Weather Service issued 23 tornado warnings. Turns out, 12 tornadoes were confirmed to touch down in the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area. The National Weather Service was understandably liberal in issuing tornado warnings, based on the belief of many emergency managers that there should be an abundance of caution responding to potential risks. There is, of course, an equally legitimate concern about issuing ...Read More
Turf Valley Conference Center 2700 Turf Valley Road Ellicott City, MD 21042 January 9, 2012 8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Thank you for your interest in attending the 2012 MARCE Public Health Emergency Response Conference - Biopreparedness: Where We've Come from and Where We're Going.  Please register by providing the requested information below.  If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact Annie Harkins at 410.706.5711 or, or Earl Stoddard at   The keynote address will be delivered by Gerald R. Kovacs, PhD, the Director of the Division of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures at the Biomedical Advanced ...Read More
By Tina Williams, CHHS Research Assistant Millions of Facebook and Twitter members know how easy it is to get insight into people’s private lives. And most of us can quickly spot a spam or scam e-mail. But most of us DON’T know how determined cyber attackers can be to get private and sensitive information. It’s not just individuals or companies targeted in cyberspace; the United States government is a prime target. The stakes have been raised. Cyber attacks aren’t just about the thrill or financial gain. Some adversaries are after military intelligence in order to gain a strategic advantage in war – ...Read More
By Patrick Rose, PhD & Czarina Biton, MPH   The recent listeria outbreak originating in Colorado melons conjures up an important question: why isn’t the issue of food-borne illness a top priority of federal regulators and why are they not doing more? Every year food-related illnesses affect 48 million Americans. That translates to about 1 in 6 Americans who get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from food-borne diseases. What is our government doing to protect us, and what can we do to protect ourselves?  This most recent outbreak has been acknowledged to be the third worst ...Read More
On August 23rd, Libyan rebel groups seized the capital of Tripoli and stormed the compound of Muammar Gaddafi, effectively ending his decades of tyrannical rule in Libya. The success of the rebels is in no small measure attributable to the military assistance provided by the U.S. and its allies through NATO.  The assistance that was provided was devoid of any significant troop or “boots on the ground” presence. Rather, NATO provided technical guidance, intelligence and most importantly defensive and offensive air support.  The success in Libya presents a low cost and comparatively low risk alternative to the large scale campaigns ...Read More
Recently Pakistani tribesmen filed a criminal complaint in Pakistan against John Rizzo, the former acting General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  The complaint is based on Mr. Rizzo’s authorization of the CIA’s use of armed unmanned aerial vehicle attacks, or drone strikes, in Pakistan’s tribal regions near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The ultimate disposition of the complaint is not terribly important because it is highly unlikely that the U.S. will extradite Mr. Rizzo to face any possible prosecution in Pakistan.  However, there are several fundamental legal and policy questions that are raised by this new means of warfare.  One important ...Read More
Last week, Baltimore City launched a new text and email alert system that will provide important alerts for issues related to public safety and crime.  According to Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, “[t]his new system is an important addition to our efforts to improve transparency and communication with the citizens of Baltimore using technology and social media.” Social Media and Text Messaging/SMS outreach programs are quickly becoming commonplace throughout the country in an effort to provide citizens with alerts, news and information that is timely and accurate.  Wireless carriers and federal agencies are coming together to deliver an SMS-based ...Read More
On June 22, President Barack Obama announced that 10,000 of the 33,000 surge troops that were deployed in 2009 to augment U.S. military operations in Afghanistan would be withdrawn by the end of this year.  This will be followed by the withdrawal of all surge troops by the end of the summer of 2012. This draw-down in troop levels comes shortly after a joint operation between the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. Military Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) led to the detection and killing of Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaida and mastermind of the September ...Read More
  We shouldn't just give our people a government that's more affordable. We should give them a government that's more competent and more efficient. We can't win the future with a government of the past. Those lines from President Barack Obama's State of the Union in the evening of January 25, 2011 raise an interesting idea: How can what President Obama said about government efficiency be applied to national security? Earlier that day, The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) presented The Power of People: Building an Integrated National Security Professional System for the 21st Century, a congressionally-mandated study that ...Read More
In the wake of the shooting that occurred on January 8 at an Arizona Safeway, legislators across the country are left questioning their current security measures when holding public town hall meetings. The alleged shooter in custody targeted United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed a federal Judge who was among the six people killed and 13 injured. “Every member of Congress gets threats,” said Sean Brown, a spokesman for Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tx.) “The question is: ‘Is it credible?’ Now, all will be taken more seriously.” That same tone has resonated here in Maryland, where State legislators convened in ...Read More
Following a build-up of public comments by Administrator Fugate stressing the need for inclusive planning, FEMA officially released its "Functional Needs Support Services Guidance" (FNSS Guidance) on November 3, 2010. Over the past year, FEMA has been introducing the guidance to various state and local agencies at invitation only events in each region. The meetings were guided by outside contractors, FEMA's Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section. I attended the FEMA Region III meeting on behalf of a client. During that meeting, the FNSS Guidance was presented less ...Read More
By Adrian Wilairat Late last month, federal employees around the nation received a long-overdue gift: news that they’d soon be working under a federal telework policy. Through the Sept. 30 passage of the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, Congress will require every executive branch agency to implement a policy through which eligible employees can telework. Moreover, the law directs agencies to incorporate their telework policies into their Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans. Congress’s acknowledgement of the necessity of telework and its role in COOP planning allows telework to play a vital role in ensuring that in any emergency, the most ...Read More
    Recipients of FEMA's Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP) funds for FY2010 could be in for a surprise this year: jurisdictions that apply to receive funds to purchase equipment must also write and submit a Communications System Lifecycle Plan (CSLP). This plan should outline the six phases of the lifecycle of communications equipment: planning, acquisition, implementation, support and maintenance, refresh, and disposal. As this is a new requirement for FY2010, the Eastern Shore Communications Alliance (ESCA), comprised of the nine counties on Maryland's Eastern Shore and the town of Ocean City, was one of the first to tackle ...Read More
Today, technology - cell phones, e-mail, social media, etc. - provides abundant opportunities for people to communicate instantly with one another. General information sharing, planning, and coordination occur seamlessly on a daily basis. These modes of daily correspondence might appear sufficient to sustain communication between individuals during and after an emergency. Given all the high-tech options, use of low-tech interoperable technologies, like amateur (ham) radio, for emergency response might appear unnecessary, outdated, and wasteful - like an attempt at reviving the typewriter or the Model-T. However, because technologies like ham radios provide invaluable benefits for emergency preparedness and response, emergency ...Read More
The CHHS Exercise and Training team led by Christina Crue designed, planned, and executed a functional exercise for Montgomery County, Maryland in April 2010. The exercise scenario was based on a Category 3 hurricane ravaging Maryland. The functional exercise began with a conference call briefing on each of the days leading up to the actual day-long exercise on Thursday, April 8 to simulate Montgomery County’s actual process of preparing for a severe storm. During these conference calls, the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) provided weather briefings and recommendations to prepare county agencies for the worst. ...Read More
The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) in cooperation with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), leads efforts to support the repatriation of American Citizens as they arrive in Maryland. Through its staff on long term assignment to DHR, CHHS is supporting repatriation activities in Maryland related to the crisis in Haiti, and assisting with revisions to the Maryland Repatriation Plan.  
You can call or email Founder and Director Michael Greenberger, or any one of our Associate Directors to discuss a particular project or to get more information on the work we do.
CHHS is part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and is therefore considered a state institution for contracting purposes. We are able to establish Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs) directly with state and local institutions. We are also able to work with your institution on contract language.
The Middle Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (MARCE) represents a consortium of 45 scientists from 15 research institutions located in the Northeast United States who collaborate to research and develop new or improved therapeutic, vaccine, or diagnostic products that can be used by the public health community.  When the MARCE wanted to improve its presence and promote its services to public health responders and officials, they naturally turned to CHHS. CHHS organized and hosted, on behalf of MARCE, the 2009 MARCE Conference, “Training in Law and Policy Issues Related to the Public Health ...Read More
CHHS writes and revises the Maryland Public Health Emergency Preparedness Handbook for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Scope   In 2005, CHHS worked with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to produce the Maryland Public Health Emergency Preparedness Handbook, which provided information and guidance to public health officials, hospital administrators, and county attorneys regarding the legal issues associated with a public health emergency.   The document was tailored to address Maryland state and local law, Maryland procedures, and Maryland state and local governmental structure. In the summer of 2009, DHMH asked CHHS to revise the handbook to address ...Read More
CHHS drafts COOP plans for Howard Community College in Howard County, Maryland Scope   CHHS has vast experience in creating Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans for agencies within Maryland as well as throughout the nation. This extensive experience was utilized to create COOP plans for several of the community colleges in Maryland, including Howard Community College (HCC). Results   This six month effort began in July 2009. Through an initial kick-off meeting and subsequent information-gathering meetings, CHHS collected and analyzed data to guide the administrative, academic, and operational departments of HCC in ascertaining their essential functions. Draft COOP plans were ...Read More
State partners with CHHS to develop a Maritime Strategic Security Plan to coordinate resources and streamline response. Scope   The state of Maryland relies heavily on its maritime, both commercially and recreationally. The Chesapeake Bay, along with the waterways surrounding Washington, D.C. and the back bays and tidal waters of the Eastern Shore, support a large amount of business for the state, and provide numerous rest and relaxation opportunities for residents. Protecting these waterways from terrorist attacks, as well as other disasters, is a high priority for the state. However, the maritime domain is a complicated mix of local, state, ...Read More
Tabletop exercise organized and hosted by CHHS is an overwhelming success as Baltimore City officials applaud the work of CHHS staff. Scope   CHHS' range of services includes homeland security and emergency preparedness exercises and training. In this capacity, CHHS can design, develop, plan, facilitate, and evaluate seminars, workshops, drills, and tabletop, functional, and full-scale exercises to better prepare your organization for an emergency. Seminars, workshops, and tabletop exercises are discussion-based; drills, along with functional and full-scale exercises, are operations-based.  Baltimore City approached CHHS to design a tabletop exercise aimed at preparing top officials for a possible H1N1 pandemic. CHHS ...Read More
Two-year project with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene completes mass fatality planning for facilities across the state. Scope   Over the past two years, CHHS has worked with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to conduct mass fatality planning at the facilities that agency directly operates throughout the state.  CHHS staffers worked in two phases on this project, which culminated in the production of mass fatality plans for each facility and a report that outlined how DHMH might proceed in the future to make these plans stronger and coordinated.  First, CHHS surveyed the 14 DHMH facilities ...Read More
Last year, the bi-partisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism provided the grave warning that “unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013.”  The Commission’s report, World at Risk, emphasized the ease with which a terrorist group could assemble a biological weapon of mass destruction and provided several recommendations to different U.S. sectors to improve the situation. Congress said ‘give us more,’ and took the ...Read More
With all of the exciting work we have going on at CHHS, the Center is going through what you might call a “growth spurt” – we are hiring new employees left and right, and I am one of them.  It’s been six weeks since I started and so far, I am loving being a Law & Policy Analyst at CHHS.  I do, however, have some experience in the field: like many of our other employees, I served as an extern at CHHS while I was still in law school.  Thus, I know a bit about what it’s like to work ...Read More
  The fear that the anthrax attacks stirred in the fall of 2001 is not a distant memory to political leaders on Capitol Hill. On Sept. 22, 2009, Michael Greenberger, founder and director of CHHS,  delivered testimony on the prescient issues of biosecurity and governance of our Nation’s high containment laboratories to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security.  The Subcommittee is leading Congressional review of the security of the laboratories that conduct research on dangerous biopathogens including anthrax, ebola, foot and mouth disease, just to name a few. The request for testimony gave me, along with ...Read More
This is a test post to the CHHS group.
Doctors Community Hospital is a private, not-for-profit hospitallocated in Lanham, MD. Doctors Community Hospital currently operates 200 medical/surgical beds, admits 12,000 patients annually, treats more than 55,000 Emergency Center patients and employs 1,300 individuals. The medical staff is comprised of more than 600 physicians. The hospital offers a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services, a number of specialty and subspecialty services, and a full range of ancillary and support services.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is Maryland’s public academic health and law university devoted to professional and graduate education, research, patient care, and public service. Located in downtown Baltimore, UMB has an enrollment of more than 6,000 students and employs more than 7,000 people.UMB
Created in 2003 to coordinate emergency preparedness activities in the Baltimore region, the Urban Area Work Group (UAWG) includes committees of fire, police, emergency medical services and public works personnel from BMC's member jurisdictions plus the City of Annapolis.UAWG
The Maryland Judiciary includes the District and Circuit Courts in each county in Maryland, as well as Baltimore City; the Court of Special Appeals, which serves as Maryland’s intermediate appellate court; and the Court of Appeals, which is the state’s highest court. Both the Administrative Office of the Courts and District Court Headquarters, located in Annapolis, provide administrative services to the Maryland Judiciary, including personnel administration, preparation and administration of the Judiciary's budget, planning and research functions, and information technology services. Through this network of trial and appellate courts, the Maryland Judiciary serves the citizens of Maryland by handling judicial ...Read More
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