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

Wed, 2014-01-15 11:58 PM
The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, has announced a partnership with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones to develop earthquake resilience strategies for Los Angeles.Dr....
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...

Company News

The Connecticut Convention Center, in Hartford, CT, has completed the installment of a multimedia communications system with the assistance of Mutualink, Inc. -- the Wallingford, CT-based company. The system provides an interoperable communications platform that enables multimedia sharing of radio, voice, text, video, data files and telephone communications in a secure environment -- all in real-time.

The Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and IBM have unveiled a new intelligent operations center to provide a central point of command for disaster management. The new center will help the Philippine government better manage ongoing and future disaster response and recovery efforts following Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Sunnyvale, CA-based Da-Les Auto Body, a full service auto body vehicle repair business located in Sunnyvale, CA, has posted a new blog to its site that is devoted to the topic of safe driving, including why people should never think about texting while driving. The new blog is just part of a new public service campaign that Da-Les will release in the near future.

Wallingford, CT-based Z-Media, a developer and marketer of hemostatic agents, has announced that its Belt Trauma Kit, which includes QuikClot Combat Gauze, will be standard issue to every law enforcement officer in the State of New York. Distributed by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), the initiative is one of the largest standardizations of advanced first aid kits ever deployed by a state.

Buffalo Computer GraphicsDisasterLAN (DLAN) version 9.0 includes major upgrades to style, usability, and function, according to the company, a provider of incident management software (IMS) and maritime training solutions. The new design and logo are more than just a facelift, the new style reflects system-wide changes that improve usability for both desktop and mobile devices.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Clear Channel Outdoor will announce a new partnership that leverages the real-time ability of digital billboards to communicate safety information to area travelers. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, May 22, adjacent to a Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboard at 1500 Union Avenue in Baltimore.

Phoenix, AZ-based nFocus Solutions, a provider of performance management solutions to more than 4,500 clients nationwide, has reached an agreement with General Dynamics C4 Systems to become the exclusive domestic supplier of GeoSuite. GeoSuite is a software tool that enables first responders, law enforcement, and other public safety professionals to view, collect, and share real-time and historical data with one another, throughout a mission.

Mountain View, CA-based Rhombus Power Inc.'s first product, Mercury, is a networked, scalable, digital, highly accurate, easy to use neutron detector. Mercury can be readily used by homeland security, defense, and intelligence communities to detect contraband nuclear weapons and materials, the company says. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has independently verified that Mercury meets ANSI standards.

Commentary and Opinions

The word tornado came from the Spanish word "tronada" which means a thunderstorm. Also known as a twister, a tornado is a violent spiral-shaped storm with a rapidly rotating column of air rising upward, forming a vortex. The vortex has relatively low pressure at the center and is shaped like a funnel.

When reports emerged from Blacksburg, VA, last Thursday afternoon that a shooter had descended upon Virginia Tech’s campus, confirmation that a campus police officer had been killed and headlines of a possible second victim overwhelmed news channels, Websites and every social media outlet.

Throughout the day, there was a jarring litany of that old cliché by anyone that remembers the unspeakable tragedies of April 2007, which claimed 33 lives on Virginia Tech’s campus:

History really does repeat itself.

From the time it capsized at a refinery dock in Texas City, the listing barge -- loaded with 235,000 gallons of sulfuric acid -- began seeping its toxic, corrosive load into the 30-foot-deep waterway.

The water mixing with sulfuric acid inside the hull had begun to corrode the steel. This process reduced the barge’s structural integrity and created reactions inside the sealed compartment that generated a cloud of highly-flammable, highly-pressurized hydrogen gas -- just one spark away from a calamitous blast.

It was time for new plan.

Most people who are involved in emergency management are aware of the four primary phases of emergency management: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Recovery includes short-term measures taken to restore essential functions and systems, as well as longer-term activities intended to facilitate a return to pre-emergency conditions, or ideally to improve conditions through mitigation measures. I will focus on early recovery; the short-term phase.

The frantic phone calls arrived on the leading edge of Hurricane Irene’s assault on the East Coast.

“We are out of flares and need to re-stock fast.”

“Can we drive to you and pick them up at your warehouse?”

“Do you have distributors or retailers in our area and do they have stock?”

 

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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...