• Puerto Rico is Prone to More Flooding Than the Island is Prepared to Handle

    Puerto Rico is not ready for another hurricane season, let alone the effects of climate change, according to a new study that shows the island’s outstanding capacity to produce record-breaking floods and trigger a large number of landslides.

  • Drone with 3D Mapping Tech Gives First Responders Near Real-Time Data

    ResponDrone’s new precision mapping abilities enable rescue teams to better understand their working environment in emergency situations such as fire, flood or any other natural disaster.

  • Early Wildfires Detection Systems Successfully Tested

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) successfully tested four prototype technologies for early detection of wildfires in California this week. The test was the second phase of S&T’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) wildfire sensor technology program.

  • Teaching Drones to Hear Screams from Catastrophe Victims

    In a disaster, time is of the essence when searching for potential victims who may be difficult to find. Unmanned aerial vehicles make the perfect platform for state-of-the-art technology allowing emergency crews to find those in need and provide situational awareness over a large area.

  • The Next World War, Liberals and Crime, and UFOs Mystery

    A new novel — 2034: A Novel of the Next World War — ) imagines a future war between the United States and China that takes place in the eponymous year. Rapes, aggravated assaults and thefts from and of cars continue to increase across the United States, which is a problem not only for the victims, but also for advocates of criminal-justice reform. The current UFO-mania notwithstanding, the U.S. military began investigating UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena) in the summer of 1947: the military’s interest in UFOs – they were then called “flying saucer” – can be traced to the pilot and UFO godfather Kenneth Arnold’s ur-sighting in late June 1947.

  • How AI Could Alert Firefighters of Imminent Danger

    Firefighting is a race against time, but exactly how much time? For firefighters, that part is often unclear. Building fires can turn from bad to deadly in an instant, and the warning signs are frequently difficult to discern amid the mayhem of an inferno. To remove this major blind spot, NIST researchers have developed P-Flash, or the Prediction Model for Flashover.

  • Enhanced Rescue Hoist Glove Available for Responders

    An enhanced rescue hoist glove will soon be available for first responders. DHS and partners worked to identify and develop the best materials with which to create a more durable and flexible glove for rescue hoist operations.

  • California's Wildfire Season Has Lengthened, and Its Peak Is Now Earlier in the Year

    California’s wildfire problem, fueled by a concurrence of climate change and a heightened risk of human-caused ignitions in once uninhabited areas, has been getting worse with each passing year of the 21st century.Researchers have found that the annual burn season has lengthened in the past two decades and that the yearly peak has shifted from August to July.

  • Low-Cost NIST Demo Links Public Safety Radios to Broadband Wireless Network

    Engineers have built a low-cost computer system that connects older public safety radios with the latest wireless communications networks, showing how first responders might easily take advantage of broadband technology offering voice, text, instant messages, video and data capabilities.

  • Cybersecurity Tech for Emergency Communications Centers

    DHS S&T is expanding pilot testing of a technology to improve the cybersecurity defenses of the nation’s emergency communications infrastructure. Odenton, Md.-based SecuLore Solutions in the research and development (R&D) of a cybersecurity defense solution based on predictive analytics and cyber data that helps detect and mitigate cybersecurity attacks against legacy emergency communications systems and new Next Generation 911 (NG911) and Internet Protocol-based technologies.

  • The Future of Lifesaving Firefighting Technology

    A groundbreaking tracking and location technology will soon allow agencies to pinpoint their firefighters to within centimeters, helping to navigate them quickly and safely out of potentially disorienting emergency scenarios.

  • Homeland Security for Radiological and Nuclear Threats

    Radiation exposure events are complicated: there is a variety of radiation sources, and since radiation is invisible, and its effect may not always be immediately apparent, first responders and emergency services must prepare for a “worried well” of people requiring attention: individuals who do not have other physical injuries but are concerned about whether they have received a radiation exposure.

  • New Fire-Simulating Tool Could Improve In-Flight Fire Safety

    Some of the most dangerous fires are the ones you don’t see coming. That goes not only for fires in buildings but for those kilometers off the ground, aboard commercial airliners. Many aircraft have systems to detect fires early on, but fires that spark in their attics, or overhead compartments — spaces with curved ceilings, filled with air ducts, electrical wiring and structural elements — could potentially sneak past them.

  • PlanetSense: Stepping in When Disaster Strikes

    As Hurricane Dorian raged through the Bahamas, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory worked around the clock to aid recovery efforts for one of the Caribbean’s worst storms ever. The researchers helped direct that relief, churning out geographic data that guided decisions on everything from where to open emergency shelters to how to staff first-aid centers.

  • Four Ways the Biden Administration Can Revamp Disaster Management

    In the United States, 2020 had more billion-dollar disasters than any other year in recorded history, even without accounting for the COVID-19pandemic. This is part of a growing trend of more powerful disasters, such as forest fires or hurricanes, across more susceptible areas. This vulnerability is becoming understood to include a combination of the built environment, governance, and underlying social vulnerability. Among federal agencies in the United States, disasters are managed by as many as 90 different programs across 20 agencies. These programs are an uneven patchwork, leaving significant gaps in some areas, and overlapping responsibilities and authorities in others.