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, 2014-06-10 03:26 AM
President Obama has introduced a new approach to addressing the costs associated with extreme natural disasters including wildfires and drought. The approach is modeled after bipartisan proposals...
Mon, 2014-06-09 10:56 PM
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced the launch of a 45-day focused deep dive safety assessment of Chicago’s Metra in response to three...
Mon, 2014-06-09 03:54 AM
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers have invented a promising green fire retardant using a dash of clay, a dab of fiber from crab shells, and a dollop of DNA.Applied to...
Mon, 2014-06-02 04:57 AM
President Obama convened a meeting last week at the Federal Emergency Management Agency with members of his response team to receive an update on efforts to prepare communities for extreme weather...
Fri, 2014-05-30 04:00 AM
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the process of allocating $13 billion from the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (DRAA) for surface transportation relief. Over $10 billion of the...
Tue, 2014-05-20 11:48 PM
As part of a study to improve firefighter safety and effectiveness, fire researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and partners from fire service organizations have...
Thu, 2014-05-15 08:54 PM
In the midst of one of the country’s worst droughts in decades, firefighters, particularly smokejumpers, who often parachute into the worst kinds of wildfires at a moment’s notice, are ramping up for...
Mon, 2014-05-12 01:45 AM
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an emergency order requiring railroads moving more than one million gallons of crude oil, equaling about 35 tank cars, to inform state emergency...
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...

Company News

The convergence of drought-parched conditions, a recent rash of suspected arson-caused fires around the state, and the increased movement of illegal fireworks into California are bringing renewed commitment to fire safety enforcement efforts in the run-up to the Fourth of July. A linchpin for these efforts is the sale of Safe and Sane fireworks, which not only has proven to reduce the use of illegal pyrotechnics but also provides funds for enhanced enforcement efforts.

Palm Beach, FL-based Global Digital Solutions Inc. (GDSI), a provider of cyber arms manufacturing and complementary security and technology solutions, has announced the acquisition of North American Custom Specialty Vehicles (NACSV), a provider of mobile command/communications and specialty vehicles for emergency management, first responders, national security, and law enforcement operations.

Exelis C4i, a business unit of Exelis Inc. has been awarded a contract extension by Airservices Australia to provide its voice communications system to six additional airports. This extension brings the number of Australian airports served by Exelis C4i to 27, with presence at all Australian capital city airports and 19 regional airports.

C4i, which was acquired by Exelis in January, 2013, was Winner in GSN’s 2012 Homeland Security Awards Program in the category of “Best Interoperable First Responder Communications.”

Framingham, MA-based Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, has announced the availability of Rave Panic Button. Uniquely tying together 9-1-1, first responders and school personnel, Rave Panic Button shortens the time between the onset of an incident and the arrival of first responders on-scene, while improving collaboration during the critical first minutes, allowing for the fastest, most effective crisis resolution possible.

Emerging global trends are impacting the operating environment of light tactical interdiction vehicles for military, law enforcement and homeland security operations, particularly helicopters and patrol boats. As they engage in higher-risk scenarios, such as supporting clandestine operations and penetrating inner harbors and coastlines, such vehicles require enhanced armor protection that won't compromise their speed, agility, range and payload capacity.

Falls Church, VA-based Irving Burton Associates’ (IBA) In Case of Crisis has announced that Providence College has selected its emergency management mobile app. Launching during the fall of 2014, In Case of Crisis will provide Providence College’s 5000+ faculty, staff, and students -- living on or off-campus -- and its 100-acre campus community with dynamic, real-time emergency plans, and procedures and incident reporting capabilities during emergencies.

Weymouth, MA-based ELERTS Corp., a provider of mobile communication for emergency response, and the ALICE Training Institute, the foremost active shooter response program, have entered into an exclusive agreement to improve response options during emergency events.

ELERTS develops mobile security solutions for academic, corporate, hospital and mass transit systems. Leveraging the popularity of smartphones and the power of crowd-sourcing, ELERTS apps enable rapid, shared communication when seconds count.

Washington, D.C.-based The Halifax Group has announced that it has completed, in partnership with management, the acquisition of U.S. Environmental Services (USES). USES is a provider of non-discretionary environmental and industrial services, including emergency response services, industrial cleaning and other recurring maintenance services to refineries, petro-chemical plants, owners of bulk storage terminals, and marine and rail transportation companies.

Commentary and Opinions

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.

When an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011, Japanese nuclear safety experts were quick to call for potassium iodide to be rushed to people in affected areas. Potassium iodide, or KI, lowers the risk of people developing thyroid cancer as a result of radioactive iodine exposure.

The disastrous results of the Boston Marathon bombings are testimony to the ineffectiveness of current security systems to predict and help avert devastating attacks. Although Boston’s security infrastructure was quite effective at post-disaster forensics, enabling the identification and neutralization of two suspects only days after the bombings, the community still had to suffer hundreds of injuries, loss of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in collateral damage. 

The Boston Marathon incident is an unfortunate, tragic reminder that, as citizens, we must always remain aware, alert and diligent! Individuals must hone a “sixth sense” that helps them detect, anticipate and plan for danger in advance of it happening. People innately know when something is wrong, dangerous, or just “off,” and in those situations it is imperative to take action rather than just brushing it off. 

 

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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...