alert - warning

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Appendix A: Examples of National-Level Notification Modalities

Information-Sharing ProcessDescription
Biological Incident Notification and Assessment (BINA) ProtocolProvides a consistent means for NSC staff to convene agencies pursuant to the interagency policy process outlined in National Security Memorandum (NSM)-2. This process allows the federal government the ability to rapidly develop a common understanding of an evolving, potentially high-consequence biological incident or threat, allowing for rapid decision-making and coordinated action among agencies and as directed by the President.
BioWatch National Conference CallOccurs within 2 hours of the BioWatch Actionable Result declaration and after the local jurisdictional BioWatch Advisory Committee (BAC) call. It begins with a summary of laboratory testing data and the current local situation by the BAC chair and other local public health, law enforcement, and emergency management representatives to provide situational awareness of follow-on activities and potential requests for assistance from other federal agencies (DHS, HHS CDC, DOJ FBI, EPA, or the Strategic National Stockpile [SNS]). It also provides information regarding the next conference call time.
National Biosurveillance Integration System (NBIS) ProtocolMechanism to bring federal NBIS partners together on a short-notice teleconference to share information on a potentially significant biological incident. It can be initiated at the request of any NBIS partner and is an example of a unique capability of the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) that helps enable national biosurveillance integration. The protocol is activated when a situation meets one or more of the threshold criteria and is requested by an NBIS agency.
Health Alert Network (HAN)The HHS CDC’s primary method of sharing public health information with public information officers, federal and SLTT-area public health practitioners, clinicians, and public health laboratories. There are jurisdictional HAN programs from 50 states, the District of Columbia, and eight territories, as well as the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Epidemic Information Exchange (Epi-X)A web-based communications solution for public health professionals. Through Epi-X, HHS CDC officials, state and local health departments, poison control centers, and other public health professionals can access and share preliminary health surveillance information—quickly and securely. Users can also be actively notified of breaking health events as they occur. Key features of Epi-X include unparalleled scientific and editorial support, controlled user access, digital credentials and authentication, rapid outbreak reporting, and peer-to-peer consultation.
Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA)Provides timely, accurate, and credible information to clinicians related to emergency preparedness and response and emerging public health threats. COCA fosters partnerships with national clinician organizations to strengthen information-sharing networks before, during, and after a public health emergency.
HHS Public Affairs Conference Line (PACL)Provides a conference line to allow telephone connectivity for public affairs staff supporting ESF #8. This conference line allows HHS public affairs personnel to work from dispersed sites during the crisis while receiving guidance or direction or providing information to those who need it.
National Incident Coordination Conference Line (NICCL)While DHS traditionally leads the NICCL for transmission and exchange of critical and timely incident information among federal authorities, HHS, when needed, can coordinate communications information related to the public health and medical aspects of a response, particularly in a public health-specific emergency such as a pandemic disease. DHS coordinates similar processes for private and state entities through the Private Sector Incident Coordination Conference Line (PICCL) and State Incident Coordination Conference Line (SICCL), respectively.
National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC)Leverages a network of state and local public health communicators to exchange information and facilitate consistent messaging and communication activities between federal and SLTT-area governments regarding the emergency and its impact on health.
National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN)A nationally coordinated network and partnership of federal, state, and university-associated animal health laboratories. NAHLN veterinary diagnostic laboratories provide animal health diagnostic testing to detect biological threats to the nation’s food animals, thus protecting animal health, public health, and the nation's food supply. These laboratories also provide the capability to diagnose both endemic and foreign high-consequence livestock pathogens in animals and environmental samples and are likely to be the first-line laboratories for recognition of an intentionally or accidentally introduced agent in animals. The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) serve as the nation’s reference laboratories for both the NAHLN and USDA.
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL)Located in Ames, Iowa, and Plum Island, New York, the NVSL helps safeguard U.S. animal health and contributes to public health by ensuring that timely and accurate laboratory support is provided via its nationwide animal-health diagnostic system. NVSL provides diagnostic services, reagents, and training in world-class facilities; facilitates response to animal health emergencies; manages NAHLN; serves as an international reference laboratory; and maintains a well-trained and responsive staff.
National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS)Collects, analyzes, and disseminates data on animal health, management, and productivity across the U.S. The NAHMS team also conducts national studies on the health and health management of U.S. domestic livestock populations to meet the information needs of the industries associated with these commodities, as identified by people within those industries.
National Animal Health Surveillance System (NAHSS)An interdisciplinary network of partners working together to protect animal health and promote trade through surveillance, control, and prevention of foreign, emerging, zoonotic, and endemic diseases. The NAHSS infrastructure also provides the tools necessary to detect chemical or environmental agents that could affect animal health.
National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS)A web-based platform used by SLTT health departments in the U.S. to report all waterborne and foodborne disease outbreaks and enteric disease outbreaks transmitted by contact with environmental sources, infected persons or animals, or unknown modes of transmission to HHS CDC.

Initial notifications related to intentional biological threats and incidents, including those within the scope of National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) - 36, Guidelines for USG Interagency Response to Terrorist Threats or Incidents in the United States and Overseas (January 19, 2021), are further outlined and referenced in the Branch 1 Plan (Intentional Biological Incidents) to the BIA (currently under revision).

Figure 43: Common operating picture for biological incidents
Figure 43: Common operating picture for biological incidents