Skip Navigation

Preparedness and Response News

News Archive
2006 ~ 2005 ~ 2004



November 8, 2007

  • President Declares Major Disaster for Washington State
    The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for the state of Washington to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on December 1, 2007, and continuing. [PDF 46KB]

November 1, 2007

  • United States, Canada and Mexico Agree to Mutual Assistance
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Ministry of Health of the United Mexican States today agreed to strengthen cross-border coordination and cooperation in the surveillance, prevention, and control of infectious diseases for the protection of the health, well-being, and quality of life of their peoples.

November 2, 2007

September 27, 2007

  • HHS Awards $25 Million in Health Care Partnership Emergency Care
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded $5 million health care partnership emergency care grants to five health care partnerships. The recipients were selected via a competitive process aimed at improving hospital surge capacity, emergency care system capability, and community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies. 

September 27, 2007

  • HHS Awards Health Care Facilities Partnership Program Grants
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced health care facilities partnership program grants to eleven health care partnerships totaling $18.1 million. Selected through a competitive process each grantee presented a program designed to enhance community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies.

September 26, 2007

  •  HHS Purchases Additional Anthrax Vaccine for Stockpile
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the purchase of 18.75 million doses of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, AVA) from Emergent Biodefense Operations of Lansing, Mich., at a total of $448 million.

September 1, 2007

  • FDA Approves Second-Generation Smallpox Vaccine
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has licensed a new vaccine to protect against smallpox, a highly contagious disease with the potential to be used as a deadly bioterror weapon. The vaccine, ACAM2000, is intended for the inoculation of people at high risk of exposure to smallpox and could be used to protect individuals and populations during a bioterrorist attack.

August 30, 2007

August 10, 2007

August 9, 2007

  • NIH Scientists Target Future Pandemic Strains of H5N1 Avian Influenza
    Preparing vaccines and therapeutics that target a future mutant strain of H5N1 influenza virus sounds like science fiction, but it may be possible, according to a team of scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a collaborator at Emory University School of Medicine. Success hinges on anticipating and predicting the crucial mutations that would help the virus spread easily from person to person.

August 7, 2007

  • Community Measures Prevent Deaths during Pandemic, New Study Finds
    School closures and other community strategies designed to reduce the possibility of spreading disease between people during an epidemic can save lives, particularly when the measures are used in combination and implemented soon after an outbreak begins in a community, according to a new study based on public records from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic.

August 7, 2007

  • FEMA's Support Revives Only Acute Care Hospital In Cameron Parish
    For the first time nearly two years after Hurricane Rita, Cameron Parish residents will have an acute care facility at home again. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is funding the replacement of South Cameron Memorial Hospital, which is expected to resume operations this September.

July 31, 2007

  • FDA Announces Program to Enhance States’ Food Safety Programs
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today launched a national program to bring about the adoption of more uniform, equivalent, and high quality regulatory programs by state agencies responsible for regulating facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food under FDA’s jurisdiction.

July 17, 2007

July 11, 2007

June 28, 2007

June 22, 2007

  • Advancing Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Care in our Nation
    On June 22, 2007, HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary Kevin Yeskey testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding the Institute of Medicine report on emergency care in the United States and the role of the new Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in this area.

June 19, 2007

June 13, 2007

June 8, 2007

  • Make a Disaster Kit and a Family Plan
  • Now is an excellent time for residents to make sure their home has a disaster supply kit and a family communication plan. FEMA is urging everyone to act now to assemble their family's emergency supplies and develop a plan.

June 6, 2007

June 4, 2007

  • HHS Buys Next Generation Smallpox Vaccine
  • HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced today that HHS has awarded a contract for $500 million to Bavarian Nordic A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark to manufacture and deliver 20 million doses of a next generation modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) smallpox vaccine. The vaccine would be recommended in the event of a smallpox outbreak to protect people in the United States who have weakened immune systems. The full supply of the vaccine will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile, a reserve of large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency.

May 29, 2007

  • Hurricane Season Begins - FEMA Urges Personal Preparedness and Responsibility
    Fortunately last year’s hurricane season proved uneventful. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants residents living in hurricane prone areas not to be caught off guard for this year’s season. The agency urges residents to prepare now for their personal safety and survival so they are ready in case a hurricane threatens their community. June 1 is the start of hurricane season and a good time to begin preparing before a storm threatens.

May 28, 2007

  • Human Antibodies Protect Mice from Avian Flu
    An international team of scientists, including researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, report using antibodies derived from immune cells from recent human survivors of H5N1 avian influenza to successfully treat H5N1-infected mice as well as protect them from an otherwise lethal dose of the virus.

May 22, 2007

  • News Conference on the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
    Participants: Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, NOAA Administrator
    Dr. Gerry Bell, Seasonal Hurricane Climate Prediction Center Lead Forecaster
    Bill Proenza, Director of the National Hurricane Center
    Air Force General John Bradley, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command, Hurricane Hunter Aircraft
    Secretary Michael Chertoff, Department of Homeland Security
    David Paulison, FEMA Administrator

May 21, 2007

  • DHS Completes Key Framework for Critical Infrastructure Protection
    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today the completion of 17 Sector-Specific Plans (SSPs) in support of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). The NIPP outlines a comprehensive risk management framework that defines critical infrastructure protection roles and responsibilities for all levels of government and private industry. Each SSP is tailored to the unique risk characteristics of that sector to promote greater consistency of protective programs and resources within the sectors.

May 15, 2007

  • U.S. Preparedness to Respond to Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Strengthened by CDC/CSTE Partnership
    Atlanta –A three-day training course which provides a standardized curriculum to state and local public-health responders about how to identify and control human infections and illness associated with avian influenza A (H5N1) is being released on-line today. The course, entitled "CDC/CSTE Rapid Response Training: The Role of Public Health in a Multi-Agency Response to Avian Influenza in the United States" is the result of a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).

May 8, 2007

May 3, 2007

  • Interim Guidance Issued For the Use of Facemasks and Respirators in Public Settings during an Influenza Pandemic
    Facemasks and Respirators Could Provide Added Value When Used in Combination with Other Preventive Measures
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today released interim advice to the public about the use of facemasks and respirators in certain public (non-occupational) settings during an influenza pandemic. There is very little research about the value of masks to protect people in public settings. These interim recommendations are based on the best judgment of public health experts who relied in part on information about the protective value of masks in healthcare facilities.

April 24, 2007

April 26, 2007

February 1, 2007

January 18, 2007

January 17, 2007

January 4, 2007


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at