• Emergency responseThis Emergency Response Tech May Just Save Your Life in a Shooting

    By Naama Barak

    Gabriel is an emergency-response system that can be installed in schools, places of worship, workplaces and elsewhere to help save lives in cases of shootings and other attacks. New Gabriel device detects gunshots, points first responders to the scene and mitigates crises in schools and places of worship.

  • CommunicationThe Future of Security-Forces Communication

    Setting out to tackle real-world challenges in the fight against terrorism and crime, researchers and police officers have developed a new, future-ready technology for sharing information and coordinating in the field. The solution has since been adopted throughout Germany on the merits of its great practical benefit and acceptance on the part of users.

  • Search & rescueRapid Rescue of Buried People

    When someone is buried by an avalanche, earthquake or other disaster, a rapid rescue can make the difference between life and death. Researchers have developed a new kind of mobile radar device that can search hectare-sized areas quickly and thoroughly.

  • PrivacyDe-Identifying Public Safety Data Sets

    For critical applications such as emergency planning and epidemiology, public safety responders may need access to sensitive data, but sharing that data with external analysts can compromise individual privacy. NIST) has launched a crowdsourcing challenge to spur new methods to ensure that important public safety data sets can be de-identified to protect individual privacy.

  • FireAddressing Risk, Safety in Fire Containment

    As 2020 has shown, wildfire frequency, size and severity are threatening communities and natural resources across the western U.S. As a result, there is a high demand for decision-making to mitigate risk, improve firefighter safety and increase fire containment efficiency.

  • Disaster evacuationImproving Wildfires Evacuation Planning

    As global temperatures continue to rise, cities and towns not historically prone to large wildfires may begin to face greater threats. An unsuspecting Tennessee community found itself in this position during the 2016 Chimney Tops 2 Fire, which led to 14 deaths and nearly 200 injuries — many related to last-minute evacuations. A new NIST study could help communities, especially those without robust wildfire response plans in place, devise and improve strategies for getting people to head for safer ground.

  • Disaster casualtiesUniform Framework for Quantifying Disaster-Related Deaths, Illness

    To more accurately quantify disaster-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies supporting disaster response should adopt a uniform national framework of data collection approaches and methods for distinguishing direct from indirect disaster deaths, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences.

  • Drones & disastersAmateur Drone to Aid in Natural Disaster Damage Assessment

    It wasn’t long after Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast Thursday that people began flying drones to record the damage and posting videos on social media. Those videos are a precious resource, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, who are working on ways to use them for rapid damage assessment.

  • Next Generation 911Testing Interoperability, Compatibility of Next Generation 911 systems

    Next Generation 911 (NG911) is an updated version of the current nationwide emergency response system operating on an Internet Protocol (IP) platform that will enable voice, video, photographs, text, and future communications technologies to be transmitted to and by the public and first responders for assistance. The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), a DHS Center of Excellence led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), will develop a framework and process for testing the interoperability and compatibility of NG911 systems.

  • Nuclear threatsNuclear Threats Are Increasing – Here’s How the U.S. Should Prepare for a Nuclear Event

    By Cham Dallas

    On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some may like to think the threat from nuclear weapons has receded. But there are clear signs of a growing nuclear arms race and that the U.S. is not very well-prepared for nuclear and radiological events. Despite the gloomy prospects of health outcomes of any large-scale nuclear event common in the minds of many, there are a number of concrete steps the U.S. and other countries can take to prepare. It’s our obligation to respond.

  • Dust explosionsReal-time Imaging to Help Prevent Deadly Dust Explosions

    Dust explosions can be among the most dangerous and costly workplace incidents. Dust builds up in agricultural, powder-handling or manufacturing settings, causing hazards to employees and posing the risk of exploding. Researchers have developed an image- and video-based application using OpenCV algorithms that detect explosible suspended dust concentration.

  • ExplosionPort of Beirut Explosion kills 73, injures 3,700

    A massive explosion late afternoon Tuesday at the warehouse section of the port of Beirut, Lebanon, killed more 73 and injured nearly 4,000, flattening buildings, shattering glass, and spreading fire. There were two explosions. The first, and much smaller one, was at a warehouse storing fireworks. But that explosion triggered the massive explosion next door, in a sprawling warehouse which stored 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a volatile chemical which was downloaded from a commercial ship in 2014 and which was supposed to be stored at the site only temporarily (for comparison: Timothy McVeigh used 1.8 tons of ammonium nitrate to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995). The number of dead and injured is likely to rise, as an untold number of people are still buried under collapsed buildings. Lebanese authorities say that many bodies may never be found because they were likely destroyed by the immense explosion or incinerated in the intense fires which follow.

  • AnthraxPreparing to Clean Up Following an Anthrax Attack

    The microorganism that causes anthrax, the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, has infected people and animals since ancient times. Anthrax is one of the most likely agents to be used in a biological attack, because the anthrax bacteria exist in the natural environment, can be easily disguised in powders, sprays, food or water, and have been previously used as a biological warfare agent.

  • First respondersAutotalks Deploys Smart Traffic Signals in Alpharetta, Georgia

    By Brian Blum

    When an emergency vehicle comes speeding towards an intersection, drivers know to pull over and give the ambulance or firetruck the right of way. Israeli automotive technology firm Autotalks takes that one step further by sending a wireless signal from the emergency responder to the traffic lights so the signals will automatically change to stop cross traffic.

  • PreparednessPreparing for an Explosive Attack

    Explosives are a popular choice among terrorists for causing disruption, casualties and destruction. Although chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons may cause much more damage, explosives can still be the first choice because they are relatively easy to make, transport and use. DHS S&T says it wants to make sure that state and local leaders have choices, too, by arming them with technology to plan for worst-case scenarios and mitigate the fallout of terrorist attacks.