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This morning the White House released a new strategic plan for countering violent extremism in the United States by further empowering local community initiatives. While the new plan retains the goals set out by the 2011 Strategy for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States, it recognizes the current dynamics of violent extremism seen over the last several years. In particular, it emphasizes the complexity of preventing violent extremism in the age of social media and the internet. From ISIS recruits to Sovereign Citizens to White Supremacists, “violent extremist” is a general term to refer to ...Read More
Ending a nearly seven months long political stalemate, Congress appropriated $1.1 billion to fund international and domestic activities related to the spread and effect of the Zika virus on September 28. The funding, which became available on October 1 with the beginning of the 2017 fiscal year, generally aligns with the World Health Organization’s coordinated strategy for addressing Zika through coordinated detection, prevention, care and support, and research. Supporting Zika Vaccine Research and Clinical Trials The appropriation bill includes $152 million to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for vaccine and medical countermeasure development. Developing a vaccine ...Read More
Last week, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implemented its Active Post-Arrival monitoring program to prevent a domestic Ebola outbreak. Under this program, the six states—which includes Maryland, New York, and New Jersey—that see approximately 70% of travelers from West African countries affected by the Ebola epidemic were asked to begin actively monitoring travelers from impacted countries for 21 days. In days following this announcement, controversial quarantine resulted in Nurse Kaci Hickox’s confinement in an isolation tent at a New Jersey Hospital while medical experts and government leaders debated how best to monitor healthcare workers returning ...Read More
When a major disaster strikes a community, there are more than just first responder rescue efforts to consider.  Notification and reunification of family members during and after a mass casualty event is a key part of emergency management, requiring many different organizations to work together in order to address the behavioral health needs of a community.   On March 18, 2014, Montgomery County, MD practiced its capability to respond to behavioral health issues resulting from a mass casualty incident, as well as the readiness of public and private partners, through a simulated family reunification center. To test Montgomery County’s current capability, ...Read More
Preparing Kids for Severe Weather Severe storms and natural disasters can be very frightening for kids, especially if they are unsure of what to do during these weather events.  Including kids in storm preparedness activities and talking to them about their fears of a storm can help them cope during a severe weather event.  While it’s important to include kids in preparedness planning, it can also be a fun family activity.  To help families make severe weather preparedness more fun and engaging for younger children, a local group, the Montgomery County Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT), is hosting its first ...Read More