Disaster Preparedness | Emergency Response

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Dubhe Beinhorn describes AtHoc, Inc, winner of GSN’s 2012 award for “Best Mass Notification Solutions,” as a company that operates in one sector only: critical communications for crisis management....

News

Tue, 2014-04-22 07:20 AM
North Carolina State University has been awarded a five-year, $25 million grant by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and...
Tue, 2014-04-22 06:10 AM
Link to video: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/331417/cbp-air-and-marine-rescue.Just nine days after agents from the U.S. Border Patrol and the Office of Air and Marine’s (OAM) Tucson Air Branch...
Mon, 2014-04-21 05:51 AM
As part of Earthquake Preparedness month, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a San Francisco based electric and natural gas utilities company, has announced its ongoing efforts to...
Tue, 2014-04-08 12:55 AM
Israel-based NowForce, a developer of comprehensive mobile emergency response solutions, announced last week at the ISC West conference in Las Vegas that it has signed an original equipment...
Wed, 2014-03-19 09:01 AM
Editor’s Note: GSN has reprinted below in its entirety the DHS press announcement released yesterday on its six preparedness grant programs totaling over $1.6 billion. The grants included more than $...
Mon, 2014-03-17 04:21 AM
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), of Gaithersburg, MD, will host the first of six workshops devoted to developing a comprehensive, community-based disaster resilience...
Mon, 2014-03-03 01:57 AM
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has finalized a rule to increase thresholds for grant assistance available to disaster relief projects. The change aims to make more grant applications...
Wed, 2014-02-19 09:10 PM
The state of Oklahoma last year had the highest natural disaster related insurance payouts, totaling about $2 billion, a figure caused mainly by tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information...
Wed, 2014-02-12 05:59 PM
Pennsylvania state officials are advising residents to prepare for even more winter storms approaching the state on February 12-13th. This announcement follows a series of severe winter storms...
Wed, 2014-02-12 05:29 PM
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is closely coordinating with states potentially impacted by severe winter weather across the southern United States. FEMA, through its regional offices...
Tue, 2014-02-11 09:28 PM
Cars in ditches, severe traffic accidents, road closures, abandoned vehicles, warming centers, and children forced to stay in school overnight were common sights during the severe winter storm system...
Mon, 2014-02-10 09:31 PM
Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) introduced a bill last week to strengthen the security of chemical facilities from...

Company News

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy will be a special guest at the upcoming Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery Workshop hosted by the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency, Northeast Utilities, the Traveler’s Institute, and the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Institute for Technology and Business Development. The workshop is designed to educate small business owners on disaster preparedness planning and disaster recovery strategies to anticipate and respond to crisis situations.

Government officials from the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) will participate in a Twitter chat to discuss emergency preparedness strategies for wildfires. The social media discussion will include Teresa Neal, a specialist from the U.S. Fire Administration, Chief Ken Pimlott, the Director of CAL Fire, and Tom Harbour, the U.S. Forest Service Fire Chief.

Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of the Atlanta based electric utility company the Southern Company, has announced plans to conduct a hostile action-based exercise at its Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant facility in Columbia, AL on April 23, 2014. It is required that nuclear power plants conduct a hostile action-based exercise at least once every eight years.

The City of New York has implemented Local Law 1111-2013, regarding smoke alarms in multi-family properties. It was signed into law in December 2013 by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The new legislation that went into effect on April 1st requires owners of multi-family properties to install 10-year sealed battery smoke and/or CO detectors when they must replace old or damaged units. Property owners may receive up to $50 per smoke detector as a reimbursement for their expenses.

Washington, D.C.-based Apprio, a provider of technology solutions, particularly for the health, defense, and homeland security markets, has announced it received a new contract with the DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worth as much as $20 million over five years. The base year of the contract totals $3.75 million, with an additional four option years.

Pearl television stations, a partnership that includes eight of Florida’s leading television stations, are testing their emergency alert systems to include mobile digital TV devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS) will include alert banners, text messages, and videos to be sent to mobile device users in the event of emergency situations. Some of the Pearl stations include locations in Orlando and West Palm Beach such as WPTV-TV, WFLX-TV, WPBF-TV, and WESH-TV.

The DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate will use the Knowledge Management System (KMS) from Scottsdale, AZ-based EDGE Innovation Network to exchange information and discuss technical solutions to the department's capability gaps. The KMS is a technology portal provided by General Dynamics C4 Systems, also of Scottsdale, a leading technology partner with the EDGE Innovation Network.

Glendale, CA-based Everbridge, a provider of unified critical communications, has partnered with NC4 to deliver Interactive Visibility: Threat View, an integrated threat assessment solution. Threat View combines the risk assessment intelligence of NC4 Risk Center with Everbridge’s Unified Critical Communication Suite and global reach, empowering organizations to respond to risks and improve resiliency.

Commentary and Opinions

By Chuck Brooks

Public/private partnerships are critical to the success of government operations that provide essential services and benefits. Such partnerships can help agencies reduce costs, simplify operations, and are easily scalable at times of increased and decreased need. Whether motivated by a natural disaster, terrorism, or an interruption caused by legislative shortfall, successful public/private partnerships can provide business continuity and resilience.

By Ann Coss and Ronald Bearse

Over the last couple of weeks, we have done our part to share with GSN’s readers our belief that one of the best things that can be done to make our nation more resilient is to focus more intensely on strengthening the resilience of individuals and families, since personal resilience is the foundation of national resilience.

By Ann Coss and Ronald Bearse

Since the attacks of 9-11, our nation has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on strengthening its homeland security and domestic disaster response and recovery capabilities.  

Despite these expenditures, individuals and families are concerned that they now have to think seriously about being prepared to be self-reliant for as long as a week, based on assumptions about disaster aid from external sources. And so they should be. 

By Esther Ndichu and Dale Herzog 

Meteorologists sometimes can predict disasters with a high degree of certainty days, if not weeks, before they make landfall. Other times, however, the public is warned within mere minutes; and then there are those events that can’t be predicted at all. 

The security industry has a long history of protecting and saving lives, as well as a list of heroic achievements. Now, one more can be added to the list.

 

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Recent Disaster Preparedness Videos

Stephen Meer, one of the founders of Intrado, Inc of Denver, Colorado, indicates that his company provides services and products to the 9-1-1 infrastructure, which he says is a very complicated ecosystem with lots of different constituent groups. The 9-1-1 infrastructure is like an iceberg, he says, with a little piece that delivers services to the public that is above the water line, and a massive infrastructure under the water line that supports it in operating seamlessly, continuously, dealing with all the regulations and issues in the world of public safety communications.

Mike Bostic of Raytheon points out that he spent 34 years as an Assistant Chief in the LAPD, where he worked about a third of that time in technology  and communications. And one thing he learned from his LAPD experience is that everything the military needs, so does public safety. But Raytheon is in the business of solving operational problems rather than selling boxes and devices, he says, and as a systems integrator the company sells solutions to specific sets of problems.

Kevin Madden discusses the nation’s first demonstrated multi-vendor interoperable Public Safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which was deployed by a consortium of companies including Cisco and Raytheon during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL.

Spillman Technologies is a vendor of public safety software used by law enforcement, fire and emergency management agencies, according to Dave Snyder. The company provides an integrated solution and specializes in multi-jurisdictional assignments involving agencies that want to collaborate with other agencies with information systems in large geographic areas. Snyder points out that the company has been in business for almost 30 years and has an extraordinary degree of stability, and its customers can count on major upgrades each year at no cost.

ESRI is the innovator of GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, which Paul Christin describes as a way of managing information and understanding it geographically, or plotting information, visualizing the data, and analyzing the dots to make sense out of the data. The company sells to 40 verticals, one of which is homeland security. Christin describes how GIS technology is used for planning major events, such as political conventions or the recent NATO conference in Chicago.

New Products

Add Jerusalem-based Identa Corp. to the handful of companies that issued statements in the wake of the failed...

Legalzoom.com, an online legal service, and Donate Life America (DLA), a non-profit organization, have created and are offering ICE App, intended to help users input the compreh...

Cambridge, MA-based MetaCarta, Inc., a provider of geographic search solutions, has announced the launch...

Waukesha, WI-based Magnasphere reports that its new high-security sensor, HSS, has completed its UL inspections and is r...