There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.
The U.S. surpasses 12 million COVID-19 infections
From The New York Times: Officials in the United States have reported more than 12 million total cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday, Nov. 25 as the country’s outbreaks lead to agonizing new levels of hospitalizations. Deaths, though still well below their peak spring levels, averaged more than 1,200 a day and continued to rise.The latest virus surge began accelerating across much of the country in mid-October.
Our take: We are in the middle of a second COIVD-19 spike — businesses are closing, schools are sending kids home, and restaurants are closing in-person dining in many places in the country. As we get deeper into flu season, all organizations should take care to follow guidelines, enforcing mask use, encouraging remote work for employees who can work from home, and sanitizing sites.
Nearly 2 dozen arrested in protests in Washington
From The Associated Press: Demonstrations over President Donald Trump's loss at the polls have resulted in charges against nearly two dozen people in Washington, including a person accused of setting off a commercial firework and four people accused in an assault that left the victim unconscious on the street.
Our take: Expect to see more protests in the coming months; tensions over the election, anger over COVID-19 shutdowns and mask regulations, and counter protests mean more people are likely to be out in the street this winter. Unfortunately, due to bad actors, nearly 100% of protests have been violent. If your business is in an area where a protest is likely to take place, make a plan to protect your people from any unexpected violence.
Justice Department invests $2.6 million to mitigate violent crime and support public safety in disruption efforts
From Security Magazine: The Department of Justice announced awards from the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) totaling $2.6 million to four jurisdictions to disrupt and mitigate threats of violence. The funds support state and local prosecutors and investigators who seek expertise from mental health and threat assessment experts to identify these individuals and prevent violent acts.
Our take: Active shooter situations are extremely difficult to prevent; often because active shooters are usually someone who has access to a site and it may not be easily identifiable when the event is about to happen. Oftentimes active shooter incidents usually focus on response, not prevention. If there were a way to discover who an active shooter is ahead of time, many incidents could be prevented and lives could be saved.
Renesas and Altran Team to Deploy First Social Distancing Wristwatch that uses Ultra-Wideband Chipset with Low Rate Pulse
From Security World: Renesas Electronics Corporation and Altran announced that they have co-developed a wearable solution for social distancing based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. The wristwatch’s safe distance is user-configurable; the wearer is alerted by LEDs and haptic feedback when a second device is detected within this range. Renesas will begin sampling the UWB chipset during the second half of 2021.
Our take: COVID detection and innovations will become more prevalent. Most will be necessary in the attempt to contain the spread and protect vulnerable populations. These types of devices can be useful in certain circumstances. We are interested in seeing devices that will be able to rapidly detect the virus from home to mitigate the pre- and asymptomatic patients from infecting others.
November’s Top Security Grants
National Science Foundation: The Security and Preparedness (SAP) Program supports basic scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of issues broadly related to global and national security. Research proposals are evaluated on the criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts; the proposed projects are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented. Substantive areas include (but are not limited to) international relations, global and national security, human security, political violence, state stability, conflict processes, regime transition, international and comparative political economy, and peace science. Moreover, the Program supports research experiences for undergraduate students and infrastructural activities, including methodological innovations. The Program does not fund applied research. In addition, we encourage you to examine the websites for the National Science Foundation's Accountable Institutions and Behavior (AIB) and Law and Science (LS) programs. Grant closes: Jan. 15
FEMA: The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities for pre-disaster mitigation activities. The guiding principles of the program are to: (1) support state and local governments, tribes, and territories through capability- and capacity-building to enable them to identify mitigation actions and implement projects that reduce risks posed by natural hazards; (2) encourage and enable innovation while allowing flexibility, consistency, and effectiveness; (3) promote partnerships and enable high-impact investments to reduce risk from natural hazards with a focus on critical services and facilities, public infrastructure, public safety, public health, and communities; (4) provide a significant opportunity to reduce future losses and minimize impacts on the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF); and (5) support the adoption and enforcement of building codes, standards, and policies that will protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, take into account future conditions , and have long-lasting impacts on community risk-reduction, including for critical services and facilities and for future disaster costs. Applicants must submit applications via FEMA Grant Outcomes (FEMA GO) system: Website. Grant closes: Jan. 29
The United States Coast Guard: The purpose of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program is to reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths on America’s waterways and to provide a safe enjoyable experience for the boating public. The program also encourages greater nonprofit organization participation and uniformity in boating safety efforts. This competition is only open to nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS status. Grant closes: Jan. 27
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