THREATS: Top five global health threats for 2014…and more


  • By: EMR-ISAC
  • Posted on: March 6, 2014


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the top five global health threats for 2014 as:

  • 1. The emergence and spread of new microbes; 
  • 2. The globalization of travel and food supply; 
  • 3. The rise of drug-resistant pathogens; 
  • 4. The acceleration of biological science capabilities and the risk that these 
  • capabilities may cause the inadvertent or intentional release of pathogens; 
  • 5. Continued concern about terrorism acquisition, development, and use of 
  • biological agents.

The increase in world travel makes the spread of pathogens, new infectious diseases, and even bio-terrorism more threatening and relevant. A past example of this is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which spread to 4 continents in 2003. Currently, global health officials are watching Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and H5N7 influenza.

Catching a new strain of a virus early is key to keeping it contained and developing  a proper course of action. World organizations and national agencies rely on the medical surveillance, detection, reporting, and response of local agencies and public health offices to strengthen the global health outlook.

(Source: CDC Global Health Security)

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day – May 3

The first National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and State Farm, is scheduled for Saturday, May 3rd.  State Farm is providing $10,000 in grant funding to support neighborhood projects that will reduce community wildfire risk.

Twenty projects will be awarded $500 each. Project organizers may enter the contest to receive money for project funding. The deadline is March 19th; specific information is required for entry, please make sure the entry form is complete.  NFPA also offers suggestions about the types of projects (PDF, 410 Kb) communities might consider, a variety of project resources, and a video about the program off the program’s main site.

Over 2,200 primary structures burned due to wildfires in 2012, and the National Association of State Foresters reports 72,000+ U.S. communities are currently at  risk. NFPA hopes this program will become an annual event, as there is a need for better community involvement in wildfire risk reduction.

(Source: NFPA)

Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative 2014 Study

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has released the Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014) Study, revised and updated from the original 2004 version. The study was conducted to address the high percentage of vehicle-related fatalities of both fire and law enforcement officers and to share best practices of roadway safety.

Vehicular incidents account for 25 percent of firefighter fatalities, while they account for 39 percent of law enforcement fatalities between 2002 and 2011. The majority of  these incidents were preventable and many are due to unsafe driving (excessive speed, fatigued driving, not using a seatbelt, reliance on lights and sirens, etc.). The study identifies current problems and areas for improvement in the areas of
apparatus and vehicle design and maintenance; scene safety; the importance of inclusive training; and internal and external response variables.

This study was a joint effort between USFA, the International Fire Service Training Association, the Department of Justice, and the National Institute of Justice. Additional resources on emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety are listed at the bottom of the page.

(Source: USFA)

Lessons Learned from Active Shooter Incident

Several officials and civil servants appeared before the Connecticut governor’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to describe what could be done better in the future should another school shooting occur. Four points were mentioned as being items of concern or areas for improvement:

  • • With only three dispatchers staffing the local PSAP, they were quickly overwhelmed by the volume of calls; 
  • • Parents and media converged on the scene, making it difficult for responders to do their jobs; 
  • • Too many ambulances arrived with too little resource management; 
  • • Donations poured in, but no mechanism was identified to handle the funds at first; questionable groups appeared, prompting a fraud watch from the state. 

Newtown has had over a year to look back at their multi-agency response, identify these issues, and begin to address them. Other towns and cities should review their own response plans and determine how these problems may play out in their own jurisdictions, or conduct extensive and realistic drills to identify other gaps in plans and training.


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Updated: March 7, 2014 — 9:36 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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