Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Homeland Security’ Category

The Department of Homeland Security needs to waive a law that would allow foreign ships to send supplies to Puerto Rico after the U.S. territory was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last week.


NY Daily News

  • 3.4 million people are virtually without electrical power
  • Food and drinking water remain scarce.
  • The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, requires shipments between ports of the United States to be carried out exclusively by vessels built and operated by Americans.  That prevents Puerto Rico from receiving shipments from foreign countries like Jamaica, even though it may be cheaper and faster than shipping from the continental U.S.

Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 201: Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Guide

Document:  HomelandSecurity-Haz_Risk_Assess-2013

CPG 201 provides a four-step process for conducting a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. Developing an understanding of its risks from natural, technological, and human-caused threats and hazards, allows a community to make informed decisions about how to manage risk and develop needed capabilities.

Fact Sheet: Aviation Enhanced Security Measures for All Commercial Flights to the United States


Release Date:
June 28, 2017

The United States and the global aviation community face an adaptive and agile enemy. Terrorist groups continue to target passenger aircraft, and we have seen a “spider web” of threats to commercial aviation as terrorist pursue new attack methods.  Based on these concerns, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working to raise the baseline of global aviation security to keep the traveling public safe, in coordination with our international partners.

Change to Global Aviation Security Requirements

In light of evaluated intelligence, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has determined it is necessary to implement enhanced security measures for all commercial flights to the United States.  These measures, both seen and unseen, include enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices as well as heightened security standards for aircraft and airports.

  • Countries: 105
  • Airports: 280 (approximate number as it will vary based on seasonal airports)
  • Total airlines: 180
  • Average daily flights: 2,100
  • Passengers: 325,000 average daily passengers

Enhanced Security Measures and Timeline

The enhanced security measures include but are not limited to:

  • Enhancing overall passenger screening;
  • Conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices;
  • Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas; and
  • Deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional preclearance locations.

Over the course of the next several weeks and months, DHS/TSA will work with aviation stakeholders to ensure these enhanced security measures are fully implemented.  Those stakeholders who fail to adopt these requirements with certain timeframes run the risk of additional security restrictions being imposed.

International Flights Bound for the United States

These enhanced security measures will help to secure all commercial flights departing from 280 airports that serve as last points of departure to the United States.


The Office of Health Affairs (OHA): The Department of Homeland Security’s principal authority for all medical and health issues.

Office of Health Affairs

OHA anticipates the public health impact of biological attacks, chemical releases, pandemics and infectious disease threats, and disasters to help prepare the nation to respond and rebound. Our expertise supports DHS operations, its workforce, and the preparedness of public health and medical communities.

OHA advises DHS leadership about health security issues, guides DHS policies to keep its workforce safe, and coordinates stakeholders at all levels of government to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the public health consequences of national threats and hazards.

OHA helps inform federal, state, and local decision-making about high consequence biological threats with biosurveillance programs that give early warnings for a rapid response to contain and limit the impact.

OHA helps communities nationwide prepare for a chemical or biological attack and build their own capacity to respond and recover.


To advise, promote, integrate, and enable a safe and secure workforce and nation in pursuit of national health security.

View the Office of Health Affairs Organizational Chart


  • Provide expert health and medical advice to department leadership
  • Build national resilience against health incidents
  • Enhance national and department medical first responder capabilities
  • Protect the department workforce against health threats

Leadership and Organization

OHA is led by the Assistant Secretary and Chief Medical Officer.


  • The Health Threats Resilience Division – helps the nation prepare for and respond to the health impacts of chemical and biological incidents and other threats and hazards.
  • The Workforce Health and Medical Support Division – leads health protection and medical oversight activities for the DHS workforce and coordinates with stakeholders nationwide to strengthen the emergency medical response system.  OHA guides DHS medical services with medical expertise, oversight, credentialing, protocols, and standards. OHA medical and veterinary experts guide the department on health threats to ensure a ready and resilient workforce. And OHA collaborates with federal, state, and local emergency medical services stakeholders to ensure we can work together in a crisis.


Contact Information

By mail or phone

Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Attn: Office of Health Affairs

Phone: 202-254-6479

By e-mail

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