16th Edition of Global Risks Report Released

The World Economic Forum has released Global Risks Report 2021, the sixteenth edition of the Global Risks Report analysis which details the risks and consequences of increased inequality and societal fragmentation.  

Beginning with an assessment of the 2020 Global Risks Perception Survey results, the report finds that “among the highest likelihood risks of the next ten years are extreme weatherclimate action failure and human-led environmental damage; as well as digital power concentrationdigital inequality and cybersecurity failure.

Among the highest impact risks of the next decade, infectious diseases are in the top spot, followed

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Vaccines National Strategic Plan for the United States

The Department of Health and Human Services has recently released the Vaccines National Strategic Plan: 2021-2025. Building on the 2010 National Vaccine Plan, this newly released plan “articulates a comprehensive strategy to promote vaccines and vaccination including research and development, vaccine safety monitoring, increase public knowledge and confidence in vaccines, increase access and use of recommended vaccines across the lifespan, and global cooperation.”

Shows syringe extracting random vaccine from medical vial.The plan is designed around five overarching goals:

  • Goal 1: Foster innovation in vaccine development and related technologies
  • Goal 2: Maintain the highest levels of vaccine safety
  • Goal 3: Increase knowledge of and confidence in
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FEMA Releases COVID-19 Initial Assessment Report

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to grip the nation, FEMA has released Pandemic Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Initial Assessment Report. This assessment focuses solely on FEMA’s response to COVID-19, describing the agency’s roles and responsibilities over the period of January through September 2020.

The report provides an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlines the agency response in five key areas:microscope view of a view

  1. Coordinating Structures and Policy
  2. Resources
  3. Supporting State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) Partners
  4. Preparedness and Information Analysis
  5. Organizational Resilience

At the time of this report’s release, over 22 million Americans have been infected

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National Maritime Cybersecurity Plan Released

Recently released by the White House, the National Maritime Cybersecurity Plan to the National Strategy for Maritime Security (Maritime Cybersecurity Plan) provides a roadmap for safeguarding the American economy by strengthening cybersecurity in the Maritime Transportation System. As an extension of the National Strategy for Maritime Security (NSMS), the Maritime Cybersecurity Plan aims to integrate cybersecurity with the NSMS’s key principles:
  1. Freedom of the seas
  2. Facilitation and defense of commerce to ensure the uninterrupted flow of shippingShip with cybersecurity threats. Maritime
  3. Facilitation of the movement of desirable goods and people across our borders, while screening out dangerous people and material

There are three

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In Focus: Online Extremism

New In Focus now available on Online Extremism.

A collection of reports focused on how people can become radicalized to certain beliefs or actions by way of online media such as social networks. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (ICAP),

Online radicalization to violence is the process by which an individual is introduced to an ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from mainstream beliefs toward extreme views, primarily through the use of online media, including social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. A result of radical interpretations of mainstream religious or political doctrines,

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National Strategy for Planetary Protection

The White House National Space Council has released the National Strategy for Planetary Protection, an effort to protect Earth and other planets from the potentially harmful biological contamination effects of space exploration.   

According to the document “two underlying principles should guide United States planetary protection policy 

  1.  The United States should continue to lead the development of internationally accepted guidelines for avoiding harmful biological contamination that properly balance the interests of scientific discovery, human exploration, and commercial activities in space; and
  2. Avoiding harmful biological contamination of the Earth and other planetary bodies supports a safe, sustainable, and predictable
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President Trump Releases the 2020 Federal Mission Resilience Strategy

The White House has released the Federal Mission Resilience Strategy along with Executive Order 13961: Governance and Integration of Federal Mission Resilience.  The President of the United States recognizes the threat of “unforeseen events including natural disasters, pandemics, cyber threats, and kinetic or electromagnetic pulse attacks” and states that the Strategy accelerates our collective efforts” to “preserve our constitutional form of government, under any and all conditions.”

Using the planning model of “Assess, Distribute, and Sustain,” the Strategy seeks to improve existing continuity policy with the following goals:

  • Continuity and risk management incorporated into all aspects
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In Focus: Vaccine Hesitancy

New In Focus now available on Vaccine Hesitancy.

A collection of reports focused on how misinformation, skepticism, and fear all play a role in dissuading people from receiving vaccination from COVID-19 and other diseases.  According to a report by the Aspen Institute, “[A] combination of factors—including misinformation spread on social media; decreased trust in institutions including government, science, and industry; and weaknesses within health systems—has emerged to diminish confidence among some populations.”

Please Note: An HSDL account may be required to view some resources.

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2020 National Preparedness Report

FEMA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have released the 2020 National Preparedness Report, based on data through December 31, 2019.  The National Preparedness Report (NPR) “summarizes the progress made, and challenges that remain, in building and sustaining the capabilities needed to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats, hazards, and incidents that pose the greatest risk to the Nation.”

FEMA Administrator, Pete Gaynor, provides a foreword stating, “Through the NPR, FEMA hopes to inspire action by the whole community―including individuals; communities; state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments; the private and non-profit

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CHDS’ December 2020 Commencement: Remarks by Chad F. Wolf

On December 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) Commencement remarks of Acting Secretary, Chad F. Wolf.  He congratulates the graduates for their “dedication and hard work,” noting that “2020 has been a challenging year, but it’s important that we have all come together today for this important milestone in your careers.”

Some key highlights of the speech involve discussion of the history of CHDS, how it has evolved over the last 17 years, and how its success is attributed to the “dedicated public servants inside the Department and committed

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