Disaster Preparedness | Emergency Response

Featured Videos

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....


Tue, 2014-01-14 11:48 PM
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, has released a Majority Staff report questioning whether DHS’s plan to consolidate its...
Tue, 2014-01-14 06:58 PM
One of the biggest weather-related events in 2013 was Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated areas of the Philippines and other portions of Southeast Asia, causing more than 6,000 fatalities. Another...
Tue, 2014-01-14 01:33 AM
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have announced a plan to provide almost $12 million in federal disaster assistance to people that...
Sun, 2014-01-12 11:42 PM
Working in close coordination with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to supplement state and local...
Fri, 2014-01-10 04:02 PM
The current deep freeze across much of the northern regions of the United States and Canada has certainly caused new challenges for police departments and emergency management services (EMS). But...
Fri, 2014-01-10 02:43 PM
January 6 - High temperature for the day -2 degrees at 12:03 AM, beating the 1912 record of -1. Noon temperature was -14 degrees. “And it just kept going down”, reported Deputy Director of...
Fri, 2014-01-10 02:25 PM
Over the last week the city of Cleveland wrestled with low temperatures, piles of snow and roadways covered with ice that left some people stranded and caused a number of car accidents. While the...
Fri, 2014-01-10 01:54 PM
The City of Indianapolis is slowly getting back on its feet after several days of icy road conditions, dangerously low temperatures, and over a foot of snow. Thousands of residents across the city...
Thu, 2014-01-09 02:20 PM
When the temperature drops to a certain level, many fire departments have protocols in place to help protect firefighters’ safety and to help them continue to carry out their duties in an effective...
Thu, 2014-01-09 11:07 AM
January 8 – The temperature is 7 degrees. The city has been in a deep freeze for a week. Schools are closed for the third day, and the snow is so high that it blocks the first floor of many buildings...
Wed, 2014-01-01 05:52 PM
A 31-year-old woman was rescued by the Coast Guard Auxiliary after spotting her clinging to a channel marker near Matanzas Pass, FL, last week. The Auxiliary boat crew from Flotilla 91 was on a...
Mon, 2013-12-23 03:30 PM
In its role as overseer of security for the nation’s pipeline infrastructure, TSA expects to collect current contact information from more than 3,300 pipeline operators across the United States. “The...

Company News

Herndon, VA-based Irving Burton Associates has released version 3.0 of its mobile emergency management and business continuity app, In Case of Crisis, in four editions: corporate, education, hospitality, and government. Helping emergency, security, and risk professionals empower their communities before, during, and after crisis situations, In Case of Crisis 3.0 is available as an iOS and Android app.

With the construction industry adopting a wide array of “green” technologies, materials, and sustainable building practices, a team of fire protection engineering researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is investigating the fire safety risks associated with green construction.

Inovonics, a Louisville, CO based provider of wireless sensor networks for life safety and commercial applications, will sponsor a school safety panel entitled "Beyond School Shootings: Everyday Violence in K-12 Schools and Methods for Prevention." It will be held at ISC West 2014, an annual international security and conference and exposition in Las Vegas, NV.

The University of Southern California (USC) has unveiled a new program geared toward emergency preparedness and safety entitled the USC Community Emergency Preparedness Project (USC-CEPP). The project will be run through the USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).

The project will work to both secure the USC community as well as the surrounding neighborhoods by offering a hybrid training program that includes Community Emergency Response Training (CERT), family preparedness training, and Citizen Corps neighborhood team planning.

Hawaii Biotech, a Hawaii based biotechnology firm, has received a $5.5 million contract from the DoD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The contract will provide funding to develop anti-botulism drugs that are designed to block the botulinum toxin that causes botulism, a potentially fatal disease. Botulinum is a powerful toxin that can cause serious illness or death through paralysis and respiratory failure. The substance can be used in small amounts for medicinal purposes in drugs such as Botox, but larger amounts of the substance can be used for potential terrorist attacks.

Portland, OR-based Erickson Air-Crane, a leading global provider of aviation services to a diverse mix of commercial and government customers, and the vertically-integrated manufacturer and operator of the powerful heavy-lift Erickson S-64 Aircrane helicopter, has announced that Brian Clegg has been named vice president of global aerial operations. In an anticipated move, previous vice president of aerial operations H.E.

Edward Davis, recently retired commissioner of the Boston Police Department, has joined the advisory board of Wallingford, CT-based Mutualink, which specializes in advanced real-time interoperable communications and multimedia solutions for public safety and emergency management.

AtHoc, a major provider of network-centric interactive crisis communication systems, today announced it has quadrupled its data center capacity and increased security with the implementation of VCE Vblock Systems to support global customer demand in the large enterprise market as well as from large homeland security and defense customers.

Commentary and Opinions

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. 

The cost of healthcare in the U.S. continues to soar year after year. The problem is not a result of idleness or the lack of technology, but of not addressing the core problem of patient identity.

When a disaster strikes, the pre-existing relationships between government and the private sector must be leveraged to launch an effective response and recovery effort. The objective for community crisis response is to support and bolster the capabilities that function effectively in the normal state to function with the same level of success in the emergency state.


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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...