New HHS system unveiled to help communities better prepare for impacts from disasters

The department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response developed the system with a network of experts across the country to help those responsible for preparing for public health and healthcare system emergencies.

Radiation levels from X-ray scanners that screened airport travelers were safe, says report

Weapons-detecting X-ray scanners that were removed from U.S. airports two years ago due to privacy concerns met federal safety limits for radiation exposure, accoridng to a new scientific report funded by the Homeland Security Department.

New report recommends US strategy to prevent Americans traveling overseas to fight for ISIS

More than 250 Americans are going overseas to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other terrorist groups and the United States has largely failed to stop most of them, in part, because it lacks a national strategy, the House Homeland Security Committee said in the new bipartisan report.

DHS developing 3-D, real-time X-ray scanning rover to help first responders detect IEDs

The Science and Technology Directorate said that its integrating the detection technology into existing, commercially available midsize robots widely used by civilian bomb squads, by mounting the X-ray generator onto a robotic arm's sensor-tool bracket.

Expert: Highly effective Islamic State's digital messages inspired by modern popular culture

Deeply adept at using digital communication tools to spread its terrorist messages, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is not just "socializing terror" through public opinion but also "making terror popular, desirable, and imitable," an expert said.

NSF launches experimental research facilities to better understand impacts from natural hazards

With $40 million, the National Science Foundation is building a network of state-of-the-art experimental research facilities to better understand the impacts from earthquake, wind and water hazards and bolster community resilience.

New survey shows 'overwhelming' global warming consensus among nonclimate scientists

The survey found that over 90 percent of nearly 700 nonclimate scientists believe in global warming through human induced activities – the first time such a consensus has gone beyond just climate scientists.

GAO: Federal integrator of biosurveillance activities should be strengthened or eliminated

The National Biosurveillance Integration Center, which was established through the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, faces many challenges in its roles as analyzer, coordinator and innovator.

FEMA has taken steps to improve responses to FOIA requests, but several challenges remain

The Office of Government Information Services review pointed out that FEMA reported in fiscal 2014 that it had "several of the oldest pending requests" at the Homeland Security Departrment, including the third-oldest request across the department.

Immigrants, their children integrate well into US society but not in all areas, finds report

Today, there are 41 million immigrants who represent about 13.1 percent of the U.S. population, while the U.S.-born children of immigrants represent another 37.1 million people, or 12 percent of the population.

State Department's proposed diplomatic security facility meets needed criteria, GAO says

While a State Department plan for a diplomatic security training facility is expected to cost more than $140 million more than an alternative proposal, congressional investigators recently concluded that it was the better of the two options because it met four needed critical elements.

Study: El Niño, La Niña will fuel bigger waves, flooding, erosion along Pacific coastline

An analysis of coastal data collected from 48 beaches across five countries bordering the Pacific Ocean – Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United States and Canada – and over two decades indictates an increase in storms.

TSA reportedly ends practice of selecting non-enrolled travelers to use PreCheck security lanes

The Transportation Security Administration will no longer funnel regular travelers at participating U.S. airports to use designated PreCheck security lanes unless those travelers are actually enrolled in the program.

GAO says federal agencies need better way to assess wildfire fighting efforts

A report said that five federal agencies responsible for wildland fire management are supposed to assess the effectiveness of their response through performance goals and reviews of specific wildfires, but haven't followed their own guidance.

Heroin, fentanyl seizures increasing in US; feds stepping up efforts to address issue

While overall nationwide drug seizures dropped 13 percent from fiscal years 2013 to 2014, the head of the Customs and Border Protection agency recently said that heroin seizures rose by 12 percent during the same period.

DHS IG questions Puerto Rico's $90M in housing program costs after '98 hurricane

The DHS inspector general said the Puerto Rico Department of Housing didn't always account for and spend Federal Emergency Management Agency funds as per federal construction cost requirements.

GAO urges greater oversight of Red Cross disaster operations; new bill proposes just that

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who's the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, requested the report after what he said were "unorganized and mismanaged responses to significant natural disasters – including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti."

Top administration officials seek new budgeting method to fight wildfires, improve resilience

To fix this in the long term, administration officials said Congress should permit spending on firefighting to be scored as an adjustment to discretionary spending caps during bad fire seasons, similar to other federal disaster responses. 

New study finds snowpack level in California's Sierra Nevada mountains lowest in 500 years

About 80 percent of the state's precipitation occurs during winter months and the snowpack level is typically measured on April 1 every year when it's at its peak, which is used to predict the amount of runoff during the summer.

Audit finds security vulnerabilities in CBP's internal intelligence analysis system

While Customs and Border Protection deployed an analyst intelligence platform on time and within budget, the Homeland Security Department's watchdog found security problems that could expose the system to "unnecessary risk."