Pre-Disaster Planning Recovery Guide for Local Governments
The best time to figure out how your community will recover from a disaster is before you have one—that’s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency has a created a guide to help local governments get a plan in place sooner rather than later. The guide lists steps to creating a plan, engaging community members and the private sector in planning, and incorporating existing response plans in the process.

Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative
Wherever disaster strikes, there is sure to be pieces of cultural heritage at stake—from the irreplaceable photographs in your attic to museum-quality works of art. The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative is here to save them. The initiative responds to crises worldwide and also teaches conservators how to safeguard cultural artifacts. The website has more or those efforts, plus helpful resources such as guides on emergency evacuation of collections, response and recovery information, and more on the Heritage Emergency National Task Force co-sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

GAO Report on Civil Defense Support of Pandemic Preparedness
Now is the time to shore up communication on pandemic preparedness between the U.S. Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, according to this new report from the Government Accountability Office. The report, which assesses the DOD plan to support civil authorities during a pandemic, found that the departments could make better use of existing mechanisms—including interagency working groups and training exercises—to improve pandemic response. Since DHS and HHS are in the process of updating response plans, the timing is especially good to include additional coordination support into the process.

National Profile of Local Health Departments
This survey, conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, will provide insight about local health departments in the United States—who they serve, how they’re financed, and what they’re working on. Nearly 2,000 of the 2,500 U.S. local health departments responded to the survey to report on wide range of topics including leadership structure, preparedness activities, and public health policy. The result is a glimpse into the day-to-day worlds of the organizations that protect public health.

First Observer Plus
Since transportation hubs make appealing targets for terrorist attacks, it makes sense to give transportation officials extra training in spotting suspicious activity. The First Observer Plus program by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration does just that, offering online and in-person training classes in categories for highway workers, school bus drivers, and other employees that could encounter potential crimes. Classes focus on how to assess and report threats.

Accomplishments of the U.S. Global Change Research Program
This new National Academies report looks at the many accomplishments of the nearly 30-year-old program Global Change Research Program, which was created to provide strategic planning and coordination to federal agencies as they advanced the science of global environmental change. The report finds the program has helped produce science that is more useful to decision makers and the public, and suggests the program expand on it’s current Earth system observations, while making better use of social science resources.

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