Homeland Defense and Security Resources

The preparedness effort is moving ahead with so much information and so many perceived threats, it seems impossible to stay fully informed

Weapons of Mass Destruction -- Any device, material, or substance used in a manner, in a quantity or type, or under circumstances evidencing an intent to cause death or serious injury to persons or significant damage to property.

Protective apparel, respiratory protection, decontamination kits and detectors of toxic gases and radiation are part of the vast and work-in-progress domestic preparedness mix. Officials at all levels of government are assessing and upgrading the security of "hard assets" and drinking water systems. Meanwhile, the new federal Homeland Defense Department takes shape and a flood of federal money flows down to states and cities -- building decontamination facilities, stockpiling vaccines and establishing emergency communications centers.

The preparedness effort is moving ahead on all fronts domestically, with so much information from so many sources, and so many perceived threats from "dirty bomb" advisories to pesticide warnings, that it seems impossible to stay abreast of new developments. Scarcely noticed, the National Institute for Occupational Health & Safety (NIOSH) in May began approving respirators for use by firefighters and emergency responders against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents, for example, and then the agency moved on to testing supplied self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) and air purifying respirators.

All 50 states have a designated homeland security contact to maintain coordination with federal authorities. The White House's Homeland Security State Contact List, www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/contactmap.html, includes names and contact information for those officials.

That list and the main White House Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office homepage are good bookmarks for getting the latest information on this constantly changing subject. The following Web sites can be useful, too, for research, training and official advisories about terrorism, CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear), threats, and security.

Military and Federal Agency Resource Pages

  • White House DHS information page -- www.whitehouse.gov/homeland
  • Pentagon CBRN Workforce Awareness Training site -- www.dtic.mil/ref/biochem/Training/pent/pent_slide1.html
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Protecting Our Nation?s Drinking Water and Waste Water Systems From Terrorism -- www.epa.gov/ost/humanhealth/microbial/proceedings/protection
  • American Water Works Association, "The Bioterrorism Preparedness Bill: What's Next" -- www.awwa.org/education/bio
  • Water Environment Federation's Resources for Security & Preparedness -- www.wef.org/publicinfo/securitypublications.jhtml
  • Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies' Clean Water Advocacy Security links -- www.amsa-cleanwater.org/advocacy/security/geninfo.cfm
  • U.S. Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Information and Analysis Center homepage -- www.cbiac.apgea.army.mil
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Biological Disease/Agents Listing -- www.bt.cdc.gov/Agent/Agentlist.asp
  • FEMA Emergency Management Institute, Terrorism Training and Resources page -- training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/ctrt.htm
  • U.S. EPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office homepage -- www.epa.gov/swercepp
  • U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD), information for military, government, and private health care professionals and first responders -- chemdef.apgea.army.mil
  • Central Intelligence Agency "The War on Terrorism" homepage -- www.cia.gov/terrorism/index.html
  • U.S. State Department Office of Counterterrorism -- www.state.gov/s/ct/index.htm
  • U.S. Department of Education resource page, "Helping Children Understand the Terrorist Attacks" -- www.ed.gov/inits/september11/index.html
  • U.S. Department of Justice Office for Domestic Preparedness homepage -- www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp
  • U.S. General Accounting Office, Terrorism and Homeland Security Special Collections -- www.gao.gov

Commercial and Professional Pages

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2002 issue of Environmental Protection.

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