US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

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Daring to Defend the Federal Bureaucracy

Charles S. Clark | Government Executive | August 2, 2017

In an age where “unelected bureaucrats” is a common Washington epithet, give credit to a law professor, former college president and experienced federal manager for cutting against the grain. “The need for a robust civil service has never been greater,” writes Paul R. Verkuil in Valuing Bureaucracy: The Case for Professional Government. “To be effective, government must be run by professional managers,” says the former president of William and Mary College who served five years in the Obama administration as chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States...

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How Secure Is Our Smart Grid?

Dan Lohrmann | Government Teachnology | February 26, 2017

Over the past several months, alarm bells have been going off regarding potential attacks against the U.S. electrical grid...In the [Department of Energy’s] landmark Quadrennial Energy Review, it warned that a widespread power outage caused by a cyberattack could undermine 'critical defense infrastructure' as well as much of the economy and place at risk the health and safety of millions of citizens. The report comes amid increased concern over cybersecurity risks as U.S. intelligence agencies say Russian hacking was aimed at influencing the 2016 presidential election”...

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How Technology Can Help Mitigate Hurricane Harvey-Like Disasters

John Breeden II | Next Gov | September 5, 2017

Unfortunately, we don’t yet have technology that can prevent a storm of the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey from devastating our cities and towns. But it can help in the response, and even provide valuable information for citizens trying to survive a catastrophic event. One key is properly locating backup and recovery systems for government agencies. Typically, most cities and towns with a backup plan for their data rely on nearby data centers. That’s fine if there is a fire at the local office building or something that forces the temporary closure of government buildings...

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Open Source Resources for major Disaster & Emergency Management Situations

As everyone knows by now, the super storm known as 'Hurricane Sandy' has caused considerable devastation across the East Coast of the United States and all the way up to the Great Lakes region. The effects of the storm will continue to be felt for days and weeks as major portions of the East Coast are without electricity and flooding is expected to continue for days. Under these circumstances it seemed appropriate to put together a listing of open source applications that have been successfully used in emergencies and disaster recovery all over the world. In times of man-made crises or natural disasters there are a range of organizations, web sites, open source tools, mobile apps, and more that might be of use to first responders and citizens in general. Check out some of the following resources...

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The Secret History of FEMA

Garrett M. Graff | Wired | September 3, 2017

FEMA gets no respect. Consider: The two men who are supposed to be helping run the federal government’s disaster response agency had a pretty quiet late August. Even as a once-in-a-thousand-year storm barreled into Houston, these two veterans of disaster response—Daniel A. Craig and Daniel J. Kaniewski—found themselves sitting on their hands. Both had been nominated as deputy administrators in July, but Congress went on its long August recess without taking action on either selection—despite the fact that both are eminently qualified for the jobs.

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What If It Happened Again? What We Need To Do To Prepare For A Nuclear Event

As we observe the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it may seem like the threat from nuclear weapons has receded. But it hasn’t; the threat is actually increasing steadily. This is difficult to face for many people, and this denial also means that we are not very well-prepared for nuclear and radiological events. I’ve been studying the effects of nuclear events – from detonations to accidents – for over 30 years. I’ve been involved in research, teaching and humanitarian efforts in multiple expeditions to Chernobyl- and Fukushima-contaminated areas. Now I am involved in the proposal for the formation of the Nuclear Global Health Workforce.

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Where's The Next Big Thing In Tech? Try A Government Funded Lab

Dr. Nadia Carlsten | Forbes | August 16, 2017

Research from government and university labs has brought us technologies as ubiquitous as the internet, microwaves, and GPS. But the path from laboratory bench to market success goes uphill, and it’s a steep hill at that. Most projects never make it out of the lab, and instead of helping us stream Youtube videos or warm up leftovers, are left to languish, unused, forever. It’s a cruel irony, given that today’s tech economy is driven by the relentless search for innovation. But this uphill path is not insurmountable, especially not with the right partner to guide the way...

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