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  • Message from U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on the 2018 Secretary’s Awards

    Message from U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on the 2018 Secretary’s Awards



    (November 8, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    Each year, the Secretary's Awards provide an opportunity to recognize some of the outstanding DHS employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to our missions. It is a time for us to celebrate their accomplishments, and thank them for their service.

    Today, I had the distinct honor of presenting these awards to the more than 660 employees who received individual or team awards. These employees and their stories—full of honor, courage, and ingenuity—represent the very best of our Department. It was a pleasure to be joined by other leaders throughout the Department, as well as the families of our honorees, to celebrate their accomplishments.

    I would like to note, however, that these men and women represent only a fraction of our outstanding employees who, every day, commit themselves to the important work of our Department. I want to thank each of you, and your families, for the sacrifices you make in service to our Department.

    Once again, congratulations to the 2018 Secretary's Award recipients. Thank you for your service to our country and our Department.

    Best regards,


    Kirstjen M. Nielsen
    Secretary of Homeland Security

    With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • Message from U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on National Preparedness Month

    Message from U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on National Preparedness Month




    (August 30, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” That is the theme this September for National Preparedness Month, an opportunity for us to remind our families, friends, and communities to get ready for disasters and emergencies before they strike. Thinking ahead can save lives. So we are working to create a “culture of preparedness” nationwide, which requires all Americans to prioritize preparedness efforts in their daily lives. I urge all of you to take the time to evaluate your preparedness and learn how to protect your family so that if disaster strikes, you are ready.

    National Preparedness Month is divided into four weeks. Each week we will publish recommended steps you can take to ensure you are prepared:
    • Week 1 (September 1 – 8): Make and Practice Your Plan
    • Week 2 (September 9 – 15): Learn Life Saving Skills
    • Week 3 (September 16 – 22): Check Your Coverage
    • Week 4 (September 23 – 29): Save For an Emergency
    There are a number of resources available to help you implement the steps recommended for each week of National Preparedness Month. You can begin to boost your level of preparedness by taking small steps, such as discussing an emergency communications plan with your family over dinner, installing carbon monoxide detectors, reviewing your insurance coverage, or starting an emergency savings fund.

    In addition to utilizing these resources, I hope you will consider taking part in the National Day of Action on September 15th. This is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to take an action, such as learning a life-saving skill or participating in an exercise or drill, to increase preparedness. Please visit www.ready.gov for more information and resources. And if you have the ability to help others, please consider joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

    With these resources and training, you can be a lifeline for your family and fellow citizens.

    Thank you for all that you do to serve our country.

    Best regards,

    Kirstjen M. Nielsen
    Secretary of Homeland Security



    Courtesy: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • 2018 Hurricane Season Preparedness and Safety Message from the Consumer Product Safety Commission

    2018 Hurricane Season Preparedness and Safety Message from the Consumer Product Safety Commission


    The CPSC says: "It’s Hurricane Season: You Have the Power to Be Prepared!"






    Washington, DC - - (May 31, 2018) - - Today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued the following information:

    June 1 marks the start of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, and meteorologists have forecast it to be an active one. This means powerful storms and hurricanes are likely to hit the region hard, affecting millions of Americans. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to remind everyone that you have the power to prepare. Don’t sacrifice safety, before or after the storm.

    Before the Storm

    Consumers need to be especially careful during power outages, as the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire increase. That’s why now is the time to make sure:
    • There are battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup installed in your home-- outside separate sleeping areas and on each floor of your home.
    • CO and smoke alarms are working properly.
    • Your generator has had proper maintenance and you have the proper extension cords for connecting the items you need to power.
    • Read the label on the generator and the owner’s manual, and follow the instructions.

    Why is this important? Poisonous carbon monoxide from portable generators can kill you and your family in minutes. CO is an invisible killer. It’s colorless and odorless. More than 400 people die each year in the United States from CO poisoning, about 70 of those are related to portable generators.


    After the Storm

    The storm has hit and the power is out. Now what? Follow these life-saving tips:
    • Operate portable generators outside only away from doors and windows and direct the generator’s exhaust away from the home and any other buildings that someone could enter. The CDC recommends placing the portable generator at least 20 feet away from the house.
    • Never operate a portable generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed, or on the porch. Opening doors or windows will not provide enough ventilation to prevent the buildup of lethal levels of CO.
    • Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm when it rings. Get outside immediately. Then call 911.
    • Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy, and then call 911. CO poisoning from portable generators can happen so quickly that exposed persons may become unconscious instead of experiencing these symptoms.

    Other hazards include:

    CHARCOAL DANGER:

    - Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide.

    CANDLES:

    - Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room.

    WET APPLIANCES:

    - Look for signs that your appliances have gotten wet. Discard electrical or gas appliances that have been wet because they pose electric shock and fire hazards.

    - Before using your appliances, have a professional or your gas or electric company evaluate your home and replace all gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and fuses that have been under water.

    GAS LEAKS: IF YOU SMELL GAS, REPORT IT

    If you smell or hear gas, do not turn lights on or off, or use electrical equipment, including a phone.


    Remember, you have the power to prepare and be safe!








    Courtesy: Consumer Product Safety Commission
    ...
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  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Sends Clear Message to Plans - - - Stop Hiding Information from Patients

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Sends Clear Message to Plans: Stop Hiding Information from Patients




    Part of the continued roll-out of American Patients First, CMS sends letter to Part D plans explaining that gag clauses that keep patients from knowing how to get the best deal are completely unacceptable



    (May 17, 2018) - - Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to companies that provide Medicare prescription drug coverage in Part D explaining that so-called “gag clauses” are unacceptable, as part of the Administration-wide “American Patients First” initiative to lower prescription drug costs.

    In Part D, Medicare pays prescription drug plans to cover medicines, which beneficiaries buy at a pharmacy. Gag clauses are provisions in contracts that insurance plans and their pharmacy benefit managers enter into with pharmacies. These clauses prevent pharmacists from telling patients when they could pay less for a drug by paying cash, instead of billing their insurance and paying the required copay or deductible.

    “President Trump and Secretary Azar are committed to lowering drug prices, and CMS today took another important step to help patients who are feeling the pain,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Many patients don’t know that some drugs are actually more expensive when they use their insurance. What’s worse is that some pharmacy benefits managers are preventing pharmacists from telling patients when this is happening, because they get a share of the transaction when the patient uses their insurance. Today we are taking a significant step towards bringing full transparency to all the back-end deals that are being made at the expense of patients.”

    A copy of the letter that was sent to all Part D Plan Sponsors today is included below, and to learn more about the President’s blueprint to lower prescription drug costs, please visit: http://hhs.gov/drugpricing .

    To view Unacceptable Pharmacy Gag Clauses letter click here




    Courtesy: U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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  • Message from Secretary Kelly to DHS Employees on Celebrating 14 Years of Keeping America Safe

    Message from Secretary Kelly to DHS Employees on Celebrating 14 Years of Keeping America Safe




    (March 1, 2017)


    On this day, fourteen years ago, the Department of Homeland Security officially opened its doors, marking a new beginning in protecting America. The attacks of 9/11 taught us we needed to rethink our approach to national security; homeland security must be a top priority. By bringing together 22 agencies and offices into a single Department, we created a team of professionals and entities who could more closely unify our efforts to protect the American people and our Nation.

    We have seen many changes over the past fourteen years, both in the world and in DHS. We have grown more unified and have integrated our many law enforcement, security, and counterterrorism capabilities. Much has been accomplished in the first fourteen years. We will do much more in the years ahead, especially by focusing on our mission, enforcing the law, and investing in our workforce.

    The constant through these dynamic and challenging times has been the people who make up our Department. You have remained steadfast and faithful to your unique duties and to our common oath of office. I thank each of you for your professionalism and the hard work you bring every day to your important jobs.

    To those of you who have been part of our DHS family since March 1, 2003—thank you for choosing a life of public service, and for helping build DHS from its very foundation. To those of you who have joined us since or very recently—and I count myself among the ranks of recent arrivals—we have joined a proud and principled organization. As we celebrate our birthday, let us continue to protect the American people, our homeland, and our values with honor and integrity.

    Sincerely,

    John F. Kelly
    Secretary of Homeland Security





    Information source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security...
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