By CHHS Extern Kaitlyn Holzer  On November 16th, The President signed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018 into law. The House of Representatives had passed the bill on November 12th and the Senate passed it in October 2018. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sponsored the bill. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to redesignate the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The new agency will consist of a cybersecurity division, infrastructure security division, and ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Alison Venable  “Marines Rush Towards Burning Building to Save Residents.” Versions of this heartwarming headline were plastered all over local news sources throughout the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore region on the week of September 21st. A senior center apartment building caught fire on Thursday, September 20th, requiring the emergency escape of dozens of elderly citizens. For the days following the fire, news outlets highlighted the heroic efforts of 100 marines who assisted firefighters in rescuing the senior residents. All involved were heralded as heroes. That is until the fifth day following the event. On September 24th workers ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Kaitlyn Holzer  Two years ago, Russia interfered with the United States presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s server and engaging in a series of online campaigns through false social media accounts. Today, voters wonder if the midterm election faces similar challenges. Federal and state officials are closely monitoring today’s election by surveying voting and registration systems across the country. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security installed ALBERT Sensors in 39 states. These sensors detect traffic on an election system’s network and alert the federal government to suspicious information. Swing states such as Florida have ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Kaitlyn Holzer On October 9th, 2018, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report to the Senate that details the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) weapon systems. The DOD published the report in support of its plan to spend $1.66 trillion to further develop their major weapon systems. The increase of the computerized nature of DOD weapon systems and DOD’s failure to prioritize the cybersecurity of these systems has contributed to the cyber vulnerabilities exposed in the GAO’s report. Historically, the DOD has focused on the cybersecurity of their networks rather than ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Courtney Bennett On October 1, a North Carolina man died from a bacterial infection from floodwater as a result of Hurricane Florence. Like all natural disasters, most families are unprepared for the unexpected water, sewage, and soil contamination after a disaster. After a hurricane, families are always eager to resume their normal routine and repair what remains of their property. In doing so, many people are unaware of the dangers of cleanup efforts and how to maneuver with contaminated floodwater in close proximity. The Center for Disease Control recognizes most infectious diseases may already be present in ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Alison Venable National Preparedness Month Kicks Off with a Bang as Southeastern States Prepare for Hurricane Florence The theme for National Preparedness Month this year is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” This matter-of-fact message could not be more aptly timed as Southeastern States prepare for one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall in the region since 2004. Meteorologists are still refining the route Florence will take and which areas will feel the largest impact, but it is likely that whichever direction the Category 4 storm heads, Maryland will feel the effects. As of this morning, ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Nicole Kulaga In 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, claiming the lives of an estimated 4,645 people. Almost a year later, Puerto Rico and the nation as a whole, are still recovering.  While officials have restored 95% of the power grid, more than 250 schools are set to close permanently, and drug shortages are impacting healthcare providers throughout the United States. Puerto Rico is home to an estimated 101 pharmaceuticals including drugs for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, H.I.V., blood thinners, and IV saline bags. Factories in Puerto Rico “make 13 of the world’s top-selling brand-name drugs, ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Nicole Kulaga  Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as programs that provide behavioral therapy and medications to patients with substance abuse disorders.  MAT programs treat opioid use disorder with either methadone, naltrexone, or buprenorphine.  Implementing these programs into correctional facilities will reduce relapses, prevent overdoses, and consequently, could help reduce drug-related crimes. A study conducted in Massachusetts found that the “opioid-related overdose death rate is 120 times higher for people who are released from Massachusetts prisons and jails.” This is because while incarcerated, inmates who do not receive ...Read More
How The United States Government Is Taking Action Against Deadly Wildfires By CHHS Extern Nicole Kulaga  In 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018’s new funding structure for wildfire suppression will take effect. This bill aims to correct serious flaws in the way wildfire prevention and treatment are paid for in the United States. After one of the worst fire seasons in the past decade, it was time to make a positive change- and Congress did exactly that. This Act creates a contingency fund that provides up to $2 billion yearly to fight wildfires. Reports of the detrimental impact of ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Tyler Babich On March 22nd, Atlanta's city government announced that it was the target of a cyberattack that effectively shut down most of its computers and internet-connected systems. Criminals successfully perpetrated a ransomware attack that blocked local government employees from being able to use their computers. The result was at least a week of cancelled court hearings, unavailable bill payments, and otherwise ceased or slowed the services that make up the usual functions of Atlanta's government. The impact of the ransomware attack also resonated beyond Atlanta’s boundaries. A regional Federal Emergency Management Agency office and the Georgia ...Read More
By CHHS Extern John Travers Mass shootings are a recurring issue in American society and thus have provided impetus for hospitals to reexamine their ability to respond effectively after such events. The verdict seems to be a mixed bag as administrators, doctors and other professionals struggle to plan for the unthinkable. Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust, an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School writes “In moments like these, doctors, nurses, and technicians lean on their training for most of the required actions. But … there are intricacies that could never ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Erika Steele  Like a child trapped in a septuagenarian’s body, artificial intelligence (AI) presents an odd sort of dichotomy, which triggers emotions not seen since the proverbial splitting of the atom, ranging from exuberance to resistance, paranoia to terror, and from hopes for a better life to warnings of Armageddon. The recent Buzzfeed profile, Avid Ovadya, an MIT graduate and Chief Technologist at the Center for Social Media Responsibility and Knight Two Fellow, is not an exception. Therein, Ovadya warns that AI-assisted technology, used maliciously, could spread propaganda, manipulate reality, and in essence effectively compete with real ...Read More
Photo Credit:  RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images By CHHS Extern Kirby McMahon Following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida on February 15, 2018, a number of actions have been proposed to help stop the growing trend of gun violence in America. Amid the calls for reform, there is a growing movement to repeal the Dickey Amendment. The Dickey Amendment is a 1996 bill, which provides that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” Since 1996, firearms have become something of a taboo ...Read More
By: CHHS Extern Erika Steele Image Source: Jovanmandic/ The flu this year has shown a very rapid increase in the number of people hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed cases. More alarming, is the fact influenza activity has not peaked, and all states, except for Hawaii and Oregon continue to report widespread activity. Increased contagion is overwhelming hospitals, impacting schools, and workplaces, and it is having an effect on the nation’s economy. The CDC predicts that 18 million employed adults will miss four workdays due to the flu—an estimated economic cost of at least $15.4 billion in lost productivity due to the flu ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Kirby McMahon Photo Credit: Alison Teal/AFP/Getty Images On January 13, 2018 at 8:07 a.m. local time, the state of Hawaii was sent into a panic, as residents received an alert of an imminent ballistic missile threat. The alert was sent out through the Emergency Alert System and was broadcast via television, radio, and cellphones throughout the state. Residents were informed that the alert was not a drill and were advised to take shelter. It was not until 8:45 a.m. local time, 38 minutes later, that residents were informed that the alert of an incoming ballistic missile was ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Joshua Prada In recent years, the United States has been experiencing a major public health crisis in the form of an epidemic of opioid abuse. In 2015 alone, there were 33,091 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in the United States. These numbers represent a rate of overdose deaths more than 2.5 times higher than the rate in 1999. The potential for federal action to combat this epidemic has become a major political issue, with both candidates for President in 2016 making it a major issue of the campaign. The epidemic was back in the news recently when ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Edward Miller Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck This past year, more people died from opioid overdoses than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War. States and local agencies have reacted in various ways in their development of emergency response tactics to combat the epidemic. With an ever increasing overdose fatality rate due to the increased levels of synthetic opioids in local heroin, some jurisdictions have looked into creating Safe Injection Sites that would give citizens suffering from opioid dependency a place where the drugs would be screened for synthetic opioids, clean needles for usage, naloxone ...Read More
Photo Credit: Trend Micro & Organization of American States A fundamental responsibility of State and Local governments is to protect critical infrastructure that preserve public safety, normalcy, and quality of life.  It can be a major challenge, however, for States and localities to determine how best to use limited critical infrastructure protection (CIP) resources to protect the thousands of publicly and privately-owned critical infrastructure assets that the whole community relies on every day.  By following the two actionable recommendations below, State and local governments can begin developing a strategic CIP program in their jurisdiction that will yield significant policy benefits. ...Read More
Photo Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times   A terrorist killed 8 and injured at least 12 in New York City on Tuesday when he purposely drove a small truck into unsuspecting civilians on a bike path.  After driving 20 blocks, the driver crashed into a school bus and exited the vehicle with what appeared to be two firearms before being shot by a police officer. An initial review of information about the attack raises several issues on which homeland security and emergency management professionals should focus to derive potentially compelling insights and strengthen public safety. Homegrown violent extremism. The ...Read More
Survivors, witnesses, loved ones, and other members of the Las Vegas community are already bravely navigating a plethora of evolving challenges to recover from the tragic mass shooting on October 1. Facilitating the recovery will be a major challenge for emergency managers, but they can craft useful strategies by reviewing available evidence from similar tragedies in recent history. Reports from the Washington, DC sniper shootings (2002); London attacks (2005); Virginia Tech shootings (2007); Santa Monica shootings (2013), and; Boston Marathon bombings (2015) provide a compelling body of evidence about lessons learned and best practices in recovering from a terror attack ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Charles Richardson As new stories push the public’s attention away from the disasters of a hurricane, the people who still live in the impacted areas are left to pick up the pieces. Superstorm Sandy hit in the late fall of 2012 and has left a lasting impact on New Yorkers and on the shore communities of New Jersey. Although most of the areas impacted have recovered, some still face the storm after the storm: insurance claims. For the lucky few who had flood insurance after Superstorm Sandy, many are unlucky enough to still be dealing with long-term ...Read More
In 2013, former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed a surveillance program that allows for the collection of the content of electronic communications under the authority of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (“702”). The program ostensibly targets non-U.S. persons located abroad who are have foreign intelligence value. However, due to some glaring loopholes in the way the program is administered, Section 702 authority also threatens the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens and legal residents. The Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Reps. Goodlatte (R-VA) and Conyers (D-MI) have introduced ...Read More
The news of the tragic death of eleven Hollywood, Florida, nursing home patients made headlines, and the investigation into what happened continues to make headlines. The facility, which maintained power but lost air conditioning, eventually ended up evacuating its patients to a nearby hospital, but not before eight patients died, and over forty were found in critical states of distress, presumably from the excessive heat within the building.   In a statement, Governor Rick Scott called the situation “unfathomable,” and said that he would “aggressively demand answers.” As a precaution, other nursing homes in the state without power or AC ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Virginia Giannini  What do you do when you receive an evacuation notice? You pack your most valuable belongings, secure the property you are leaving behind and leave on your evacuation route. But like most people, you are probably missing something very valuable: your health information and records. Failure to bring these records can be critical during and after an emergency. Fortunately, some healthcare facilities are remembering for you through their use of electronic health/medical records (EHR/EMRs). In late August, Hurricane Harvey brought questions of emergency preparedness back to the forefront of national news. The healthcare industry showed ...Read More
By CHHS RA Jonathan Lim The news is now dominated by the story that at least eight people died in a Hollywood, Florida nursing home that lost power and air conditioning because of Hurricane Irma. As of the time of this writing, the details of the incident are still forthcoming; however, it may raise questions about why certain medical care facilities evacuate their patients during a hurricane and others don’t, as well as the sufficiency of emergency preparedness of those facilities. Hospital accrediting bodies require each hospital to have an emergency plan, and last year, the federal government issued an ...Read More
By CHHS Intern Jonathan Lim In August, several members of the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) resigned, citing, among other reasons, the current Administration’s lack of attentiveness to Cybersecurity issues, which leave the country’s infrastructure vulnerable. For his part, the President had issued a sweeping Executive Order several months ago, ordering many agencies to study and report on their state of Cybersecurity readiness. NIAC’s report was released a day after the resignations and stated that the United States is in a “pre-9/11 moment” in terms of cybersecurity. The report offered 11 recommendations on how to improve cybersecurity, most notable ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Jesse Cade Photo Credit: ABC13/Twitter Spontaneous volunteers have always been a crucial component of disaster response. Traditionally, these volunteers served in a variety of support roles, while certified and highly trained first responders conducted front-line rescues. However, the specific circumstances and sheer scale of the Hurricane Harvey response caused a shift in this paradigm, with citizens working side-by-side with first responders to help ensure the safety of their fellow citizens. There was a dire need for additional shallow-draft boats and high-water vehicles. But what good would these additional assets be if there was no one available to operate ...Read More
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, news stories abound about ongoing rescue and recovery efforts, efforts to get federal aid, the resilience of communities as citizens return to their cities and homes, and future concerns as Texans look to rebuild. At the same time, the dangers from Harvey are far from past: many returned to find their homes flooded, and already beginning to mold, and a few, with alligators in them.  Schools face massive clean-up and recovery efforts at the same time that administrators are trying to determine new “back to school” dates, and how to create a safe learning ...Read More
Photo Credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images It’s been two weeks since President Trump said he considered opioid addiction a “national emergency” and was having papers drawn up to that effect. The announcement followed the recommendation of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and was met with approval from the public health community, even as some debated what a declaration would mean in practical terms. However, two weeks later, there has been no official declaration of an emergency, as the New York Times, among others, has pointed out. The difference is no small linguistic nuance: an official declaration ...Read More
By CHHS Public Health Director Trudy Henson and RA Bach Nguyen  As both opioid addiction rates and opioid related deaths nationwide continue to increase exponentially, legislators and government officials have taken action both at the state and federal level. Among these efforts is the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, established by executive order in late March of this year. The Commission, led by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, was created to study the impact of the federal response to the issue and make recommendations to improve the federal response, and it issued a preliminary ...Read More
By CHHS RA Bach Nguyen Note: This is part of an ongoing series of posts covering recent state legislative efforts to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The posts are organized by federal judicial circuit, with this post covering the Seventh Circuit. As a reminder, in the federal court system, a circuit court hears appeals from a group of states, usually based on geographical region, though some exceptions exist. In this case, the Seventh Circuit is composed of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Like Kentucky, many states in the Seventh Circuit are following up on laws passed in 2016, many of which ...Read More
Deaths from drug overdoses continue to rise across the nation.  From 1999 to 2014, overdose deaths increased nearly three-fold, over 60% of which involved an opioid in 2014.[1]  In Maryland, 89% of intoxication deaths in 2016 involved opioids, increasing 70% since 2015 and almost quadrupling since 2010.[2] [3] One response, adopted by 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam, is to track the lawful prescription and dispensing of controlled substances.[4]  The Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (“PDMP”) [5] was created in 2011 to provide informational assistance to professionals in health care, public health, and law enforcement about the prescription ...Read More
By CHHS RA Bach Nguyen Note: This is part of an ongoing series of posts covering recent state legislative efforts to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The posts are organized by federal judicial circuit, with this post covering the Sixth Circuit. As a reminder, in the federal court system, a circuit court hears appeals from a group of states, usually based on geographical region, though some exceptions exist. In this case, the Sixth Circuit is composed of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee Recent trends in opioid legislation in the Sixth Circuit are not as expansive as in some prior circuits, ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Mark Cather Within the emergency management structure of the United States, emergency preparation and response is typically driven at the local level.  State and federal resources can be requested to augment local resources, but local emergency responders and public officials are the first responders to an incident and the only source of local area knowledge.  Local emergency resources have traditionally evolved through lessons learned from past disasters; and historically, the most common emergencies have been related to floods, fires, diseases, and other forms of natural disaster.  This has led communities to develop their emergency response leadership, staffing, ...Read More
By CHHS RA Bach Nguyen Note: This is part of an ongoing series of posts covering recent state legislative efforts to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The posts are organized by federal judicial circuit, with this post covering the Fifth Circuit. As a reminder, in the federal court system, a circuit court hears appeals from a group of states, usually based on geographical region, though some exceptions exist. In this case, the Fifth Circuit is composed of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Geographically and culturally, the Fifth Circuit is a very different region than the Northeast and East Coast regions of ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Kyle Cleavenger Hurricane season is here for the East Coast, and now is time for everyone to think about proper preparedness in the event a storm makes landfall. Proper preparation for emergencies can see like a daunting task. It is also difficult to engage the local population in activities that might highlight the preparations stage of emergency management. This is why highlighting some of the more innovative and creative preparation activities around the country may give some insight into how preparation can be fun and engaging. With the peak of hurricane season around the corner, the New ...Read More
By CHHS RA Bach Nguyen Note: This is part of an ongoing series of posts covering recent state legislative efforts to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The posts are organized by federal judicial circuit, with this post covering the Third Circuit. As a reminder, in the federal court system, a circuit court hears appeals from a group of states, usually based on geographical region, though some exceptions exist. In this case, the Third Circuit is composed of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. As with the previous circuits, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are focused on creating laws that limit the ...Read More
By CHHS RA Bach Nguyen Note: This is part of an ongoing series of posts covering recent state legislative efforts to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The posts are organized by federal judicial circuit, with this post covering the Second Circuit. As a reminder, in the federal court system, a circuit court hears appeals from a group of states, usually based on geographical region, though some exceptions exist. In this case, the Second Circuit is composed of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. Much like the Fourth Circuit, Second Circuit states are also passing legislation to address the opioid epidemic. One ...Read More
By CHHS RA Bach Nguyen Note: This is the first in a series of posts covering recent state legislative efforts to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The posts will be organized by federal judicial circuit, beginning with our home Fourth Circuit, and then proceeding numerically from the First Circuit.   Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed several bills into law on March 25th of this year. Included in the package are the Prescriber Limits Act of 2017 (HB 1432), which “requires health care providers to prescribe the lowest effective dose of an opioid;” the Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death Act ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Bach Nguyen On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the State of Ohio filed a lawsuit against five major drug manufacturers for the role the manufacturers played in the ongoing opioid epidemic, making Ohio the second state to do so. The suit brings six causes of action, generally alleging that “the drug companies engaged in fraudulent marketing regarding the risks and benefits of prescription opioids which fueled Ohio's opioid epidemic.” The named parties in the suit include Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, Teva Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary Cephalon, Endo Health Solutions, and Allergan. ...Read More
By CHHS RA Lauren Morowit The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared that measles was eliminated in the United States in 2000 due to widespread vaccination.  However, this accomplishment has been undermined by three major outbreaks since the announcement including: the Amish community outbreak in Ohio in 2014, the Disneyland outbreak in California in 2015, and now the Somali community outbreak in Minnesota in 2017. What—or who—is to blame for these three outbreaks? The culprit is the American anti-vaccination movement.  This group’s propaganda efforts in conjunction with the false notion that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism has caused ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Bach Nguyen On May 3rd, 2017, the governor of Florida declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, echoing a similar move made by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan two months prior, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) declaration of a national opioid epidemic in 2011. As part of its state response, Florida Governor Rick Scott also approved the distribution of naxolone, a fast acting anti-overdose treatment, to first responders. Although the epidemic has been a concern of Gov. Scott for some time, the statement comes after an April 21st announcement that made federal ...Read More
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 On March 4th, current President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower in a Tweet. Apparently, the accusation was based on a Heat Street article which stated that the FBI had sought and obtained a FISA warrant to “examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia. The Heat Street reporter, Louise Mensch, later emphasized that her article only talked about the application for a FISA warrant itself, and not whether there was an actual wiretap of Trump Tower. This issue raises several questions: what is ...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 CHHS Research Assitant Faiza Hasan Governor Larry Hogan announced on March 1, 2016 a state of emergency for opioids, amidst escalating overdose deaths in Maryland and nationwide. The state of emergency is an instrument many jurisdictions use to coordinate anti-opioid and heroin strategies. Hogan, who lost a cousin to addiction years ago, commented at a news conference at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency that "we need to treat this crisis the exact same way we treat any other state emergency," He further commented that we need to take an “all-hands-on deck” approach so that everyone can work together ...Read More
by CHHS Research Assistants Christie Chung and Charles Hilberg Substance abuse and addiction is a serious public health problem that impacts communities on multiple levels. It is estimated that at least 40 million Americans age 12 and over meet the clinical criteria for addiction that involves substance abuse, a tally that surpasses the number of individuals inflicted with heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.  Even larger, 80 million people are estimated to be at risk for substance abuse.  These numbers, not including those suffering more broadly from mental health conditions, have been quantified to cost the U.S. Government $468 billion annually. ...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
CHHS is proud to support The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the Maryland Law Review to present: The State of Cyberlaw: Security and Privacy in the Digital Age On February 10, 2017, this Symposium will address dynamic policy and legal issues related to cybersecurity, surveillance, and consumer privacy. The event will consist of four panels featuring nineteen highly respected legal scholars and practitioners. Travis LeBlanc, Chief of Enforcement for the Federal Communications Commission, will deliver the keynote address. Breakfast, lunch, and an evening reception will be provided. CHHS Cybersecurity Program Manager Markus Rauschecker, J.D., will moderate ...Read More
By Trudy Henson, Public Health Program Manager As the new year gets under way, and a new President takes office, health and transportation officials are turning their attention to a new rule, finalized January 19th, by the Centers for Disease Control. The rule, originally proposed in August 2016, deals with Control of Communicable Disease for Interstate and Foreign Travel. The CDC states that the rule seeks to create greater transparency in disease response, as well as updating certain regulations based on lessons learned from recent outbreaks, such as Ebola. The final rule, officially published yesterday, is similar to the proposed ...Read More
Maryland Carey Law offers two online degree programs: a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Law and a Master of Science in Homeland Security and Crisis Management Law. Both programs provide subject matter specialists the legal and regulatory knowledge to help their organizations gain a competitive advantage. The programs will give them the legal training they need, increasing their skill and depth. Senior CHHS Staff have developed these degree programs, serve as instructors for the courses and offer hands-on support to students. For additional information about cost and enrollment, click here Both online programs are enrolling now for classes beginning February 6, ...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 Jason Greene, CHHS Extern Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has dubbed The Old Line State as the nation’s cyber security capital, and for good reason. Maryland is home to government agencies such as the National Security Agency, US Cyber Command, Defense Information Systems Agency, and National Institute of Standards & Technology, as well as over a dozen of the nation’s most prominent cyber security companies, to include Lockheed Martin, ZeroFox, KEYWCorporation, Tenable Network Security, and RedOwl. And let’s not forget the numerous top-ranked cybersecurity academic programs in the University System of Maryland, US Naval Academy, and leading research and development ...Read More
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
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
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
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
CHHS Senior Policy Law and Policy Analysts Preeti Emrick, J.D. and Christine Gentry, J.D., with help from CHHS Research Assistant Lauren Morowit, published an article in Disaster and Military Medicine which examined public health measures, including health surveillance and decedent disposition, and their effects on isolation and quarantine practices in six countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, United States, Canada, and Australia) in context of the 2014–2015 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) response, and made recommendations. Read "Ebola Virus Disease: international perspective on enhanced health surveillance, disposition of the dead, and their effect on isolation and quarantine practices" from August 31, 2016, or download the PDF, below.   DMM-PDF.pdf
Read our latest newsletter here:  Summer/Fall 2016 Newsletter
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
On August 15th, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a Notice for Proposed Rulemaking to revise current domestic and foreign federal quarantine regulations. The new provisions are the result of recent domestic and foreign disease outbreaks, including the Ebola Virus, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, and repeated outbreaks of measles. According to its explanation, the proposed provisions will “enhance HHS/CDC’s ability to prevent the further importation and spread of communicable diseases into the United States and interstate by clarifying and providing greater transparency regarding its response capabilities and practices.” A large part of the clarification comes from definitions ...Read More
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News in the headlines about “striking” results from a Zika vaccine raise hopes that even if the outbreak spreads, there may be another way to avoid its devastating effects. However, coupled with that promising news is the news that such progress relies on a funding stream that is quickly drying up, and replenishment depends on Congressional action. On Sunday, Governor Rick Scott of Florida criticized the federal government’s lag in response to Zika, stating that although Florida has responded quickly and comprehensively to the discovery of locally-acquired cases, Zika is “a national, international issue” and that Florida still “need[s] the ...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 Lauren Morowit, CHHS Research Assistant The recent announcement of locally-acquired Zika cases in Florida, a count currently at fifteen, has the public health and medical world on alert.  The potential panic that could ensue from an outbreak of the Zika virus in the United States serves as a catalyst for discussing the benefits and dangers of sharing data in public health emergencies. The trade-offs involved in sharing scientific information early and maintaining the review process emphasize the need for establishing a system for publishing and communicating data in the midst of a disease outbreak.  The primate center at the ...Read More
With every day, more and more news headlines bring details about Zika, its spread, and the U.S.’ various response. Here’s a short roundup: Numbers of cases of Zika in the U.S. continue to rise, as more and more citizens are tested. In the Miami area, the number of confirmed cases has risen to fifteen. At least 33 members of the military have tested positive for Zika, including one pregnant woman. The first clinical trial of a potential Zika vaccine is underway, although continued progress depends on Congressional funding, which is running low. One of the trial sites for a Zika ...Read More
On Saturday, July 30th, a torrential rainstorm caused widespread flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland, killing two, and causing devastating damage that will take months, or perhaps years, to repair. The storm dropped over six inches of rain in two hours in the historic downtown area, which is especially prone to flooding due to being a small valley surrounded by steep hillsides. The rain caused the nearby Patapsco river to surge up to six feet in an hour, and floodwaters consumed Main Street in the early evening, as residents and visitors took in a late evening meal at the many popular ...Read More
As August approached, the U.S. turned its attention to Florida, which began making headlines in late July for a case of potentially locally-acquired Zika virus. On July 29th, the Florida Health Department stated it believed there was “active transmission of the Zika virus,” based on four cases that were detected earlier in the Miami-Dade area. By August 1st, thanks to intensive testing in the area suspected of housing the Zika virus, those numbers had been revised to include at least 10 new cases. The response to the news of local transmission in the U.S. has been swift, and in many ways, ...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 Trudy Henson, CHHS Public Health Program Manager As the world continues to watch the Zika virus epidemic unfold—Spain recorded its first case of sexually-transmitted Zika virus this week—and Congress attempts to pass a $1.1 billion dollar bill to help fund the fight against Zika, people are increasingly asking: who pays for pandemics? This week, two prominent articles sought to answer that question. In a paid post to The New York Times, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wrote about the importance of preparing for pandemics. At the heart of that preparation—the “vital” key to everything from collaboration, research, and ...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
  From The Baltimore Sun: CHHS Senior Law and Policy Analyst Chris Webster, J.D. and Academic Program Manager Mike Vesely, J.D. are leading the initiative over the coming months. After the initial phase, there may be continuation of the project.    
Our partners in Montgomery County will host a presentation open to the public to address the County's plan for fighting the Zika Virus.  Wednesday, June 29, 6:30-8:00pm, Sidney Kramer Upcounty Regional Services Center, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD 20874. For more information on the Zika virus, see the CHHS vlogs, or check out this pre-recorded Zika town hall previously held in Montgomery County.    
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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CHHS’ Public Health Program Manager Trudy Henson, J.D., sits down with our own Maggie Davis, J.D., Senior Law and Policy Analyst, for a discussion of the Zika virus including preventing its transmission via mosquito control, planning and prevention efforts by State and local agencies, and guidance for individuals on how to protect themselves.
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CHHS' Public Health Program Manager Trudy Henson, J.D., sits down with the Baltimore City Health Department's Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen for a discussion of the Zika virus, its potential impact in Maryland, and what we can do to prepare:
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Get the app. Activate alerts. Save a life. The principle behind the free-to-use PulsePoint app is simple: cardiac arrest events occur in public places every day, and CPR-trained community members may be seconds away. The PulsePoint app uses mobile device technology to connect CPR-trained users with people in need of their life-saving skills. PulsePoint is integrated with the 911 dispatch system, so the app identifies the need for help the instant an emergency takes place. App users are alerted through their phones when they are in close proximity to a cardiac arrest, at which point the app directs users to ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Marissa Johnson The relationship between the U.S. tech industry and government hangs in the balance as Apple, Inc. and the FBI continue to disagree over unlocking one of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.  A magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court of Central California ordered Apple to provide the FBI with software to access the locked iPhone that was once used by Syed Rizwan Farook. The phone was last backed up six weeks before the shooting, so the FBI has access to all of the information except from the weeks leading up to the tragic event. ...Read More
CHHS Cybersecurity Program Manager Markus Rauschecker and Senior Law and Policy Analyst Ben Yelin, both also adjunct faculty at Maryland Carey Law, discuss the Apple v. FBI case:  
By CHHS Research Assistant Lauren Morowit On February 1, 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus and its suspected link to birth defects an international public health emergency.  In particular, the Americas are being plagued by a virus that researchers and the general public have little knowledge of with respect to both long-term and short-term side effects.  After the WHO was previously scrutinized for the delayed response to the Ebola crisis, the WHO decided to be more proactive about the Zika virus outbreaks by declaring a public health emergency.  But what does that mean, exactly, and what ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Marissa Johnson The Center for Health and Homeland Security partnered with the University of Maryland’s School of Law and the Universities at Shady Grove to host a Cybersecurity Symposium on February 5th. The event included seven speakers that informed the attendees on privacy issues, assessing risk, emerging law and policy trends and more. Nancy Libin, partner attorney at Jenner & Block, spoke on civil liberties and privacy. This topic was particularly interesting because the Obama Administration recently met with social media leaders to discuss the government monitoring online communications. In these meetings they discussed the government’s ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Chaitra Gowda The 15th anniversary of 9/11 is approaching, and every year we are faced with even more terrorism at home and abroad. Over the past year attacks carried out or inspired by ISIS alone have resulted in nearly 1,000 deaths across the world: the most recent attack on American soil being the San Bernardino, California shootings. The never dwindling statistics have had agencies and entities including Congress and the Obama Administration attempting to eliminate, or at the very least limit, terrorist attacks. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recognizing that terrorism has evolved into ...Read More
On February 2, the New York Times reported that a case of Zika virus had been sexually transmitted in Texas. The first known case of its kind in the U.S., a patient was infected by someone who had traveled in Venezuela. The new case is causing health officials to change their advice to Americans visiting where the virus is present, and continues to raise the profile of a virus that the World Health Organization is calling a global emergency. Although the virus has been found in 20 countries, cases in the U.S. have been few and far between. If you’re ...Read More
In a 7.2 square mile area along the Chesapeake Bay and Severn River, the City of Annapolis houses the State Capitol, seat of Anne Arundel County government, and the prestigious United States Naval Academy. The 38,000 residents and 1,000,000 visitors per year enjoy the City’s small businesses and old town environment, but what they do not see are the diligent efforts made by the City’s officials to maintain high levels of operational readiness and multi-agency coordination to ensure their safety while they enjoy their day-to-day activities. The Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative for Businesses recognizes the importance of the informed community ...Read More
It may be hard to think about a warm-weather pest like mosquitos when the region is still digging out from record snowfalls, but that’s exactly what the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) is asking people to do: focus on the Aedes mosquito, the main transmitter of the Zika virus. On Thursday, the World Health Organization “rang a global alarm” about the Zika virus, citing its rapid spread in South America—particularly Brazil—and stating that as many as four million people in the Americas could be affected by the end of the year. ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Maraya Pratt In anticipation of the predicted blizzard that was to hit Baltimore and surrounding areas this past weekend, Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Maryland starting Friday morning at 7:00 am. The declaration, according to Hogan, was to allow for the coordination of “all available resources – to prepare to clear roads, manage incidents, and recover from this storm.” Generally, a state of emergency allows the Governor to access certain resources, like the National Guard, in order to better equip the state to respond to a disaster. However, ...Read More
By CHHS RA Jules Szanton On November 13th, terrorists murdered at least 130 victims in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, France.  While concerned people around the world learned of the attacks through traditional media sources, millions of social media users learned about the attacks through a more personalized medium: a Facebook tool.  This tool, called Safety Check, has the potential to change the way people connect with family and friends after surviving a disaster.  If Facebook can move a critical mass of these post-disaster conversations online, the social media giant could relieve phone networks from the stress and failure ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Jules Szanton Over the past several years, several high profile data breaches have proved costly to American firms and citizens, and the public is increasingly concerned that online data is vulnerable to hackers.  The federal government, however, is in a tricky position when it comes to countering these challenges: many people don’t trust a prominent federal agency charged with countering cyber threats, and most are unwilling to sacrifice privacy to gain online security. For several years, Congress has been wrestling with the question of how to help websites protect user data without making the same user ...Read More
Earlier this week, it appeared that the Mid-Atlantic could be in the crosshairs for a potentially dangerous Atlantic tropical cyclone.  Several weather models Monday and Tuesday showed soon-to-be Hurricane Joaquin making landfall in the Chesapeake Bay, which would have been a major natural disaster for the surrounding areas. As the Capital Weather Gang blog from the Washington Post put it, a direct landfall would have meant 6 to 12 inches of rain, damaging winds, downed trees and electrical lines, storm surges and widespread flooding from streams and rivers. However, over the past couple of days, the models have gradually shifted ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Maraya Pratt September is National Preparedness Month, which can effectively serve as a reminder to take the necessary steps early that will adequately prepare you to stay safe during any public emergency or crisis. This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Just as the nation must ensure that communities as a whole have the support and resources needed to respond and recover, individuals should also take responsibility to ensure both their and their families’ necessary preparation. Public health is an area that does not immediately come to mind when thinking of ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Jules Szanton Imagine this scenario: You read in the paper that a chain department store where you frequently shop has suffered a data breach.  Hackers implanted malware into the company’s payment system, stealing credit card information from millions of the company’s customers.  Since you shop at the department store frequently and have a store credit card, you suspect that your card is among the roughly 1.1 million cards to be compromised. You check your credit card statement online. Sure enough, you find several large charges that you did not make. After several hours of calling customer ...Read More
By CHHS Extern Fangzhou XIE In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the nation witnessed a burgeoning era of numerous counter-terrorism tactics. Over time, criticisms arose as to whether those precautionary measures truly serve to prevent terrorism, or are merely placebo to calm down unsettling public nerves, and at what cost?  The United States (US) is not the only nation to face this crisis; other countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) also have a history of developing and applying counter-terrorism measures with limited success. On September 2, 2015, CHHS invited Dr. Genevieve Lennon, a renowned UK legal scholar specializing ...Read More
By CHHS Research Assistant Hanna Ernstberger Recent peaceful gatherings outside the Baltimore Circuit Courthouse are a stark comparison to the riots that tore through the city in April. Throughout the past few weeks, protesters have assembled, with little incident, in front of Courthouse East to speak their opinions regarding pre-trial motions in the ongoing Freddie Gray case. The drastic difference may be due to hindsight, giving the city time to cool off, or it may be due to the pre-trial motions thus far being determined favorably to protestors.  But it may also be, in part, due to the city’s newfound preparation. ...Read More
Continued training is imperative to maintaining a well-qualified, effective workforce – especially in emergency response fields where best practices evolve with every emergency.  Traditional training programs, however, may not always be the best approach.  Traditional training occurs in person, in real time, and often represents a large investment in paid time/lost productivity venue and travel expenses.  For those in the emergency management and public health fields, as well as first responders, this commitment in time and effort is not always possible. Online training, or eLearning, provide effective and responsive workforce training anytime and anywhere.  ELearning generally refers to any type ...Read More
Traditional police responsibilities have expanded tremendously since Hurricane Katrina touched down in New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Katrina not only highlighted the need for officials in Louisiana and nationwide to enhance preparedness and coordination efforts, but also emphasized the need for local police to broaden their roles during a crisis. Typical police training focuses on keeping communities safe through prevention and detection of crime, traffic stops, investigative techniques, and arrests. Self-defense tactics and firearms training are also required for officers to meet government regulations and maintain minimum safety standards. However, after Katrina and similar natural disasters, police executives have ...Read More