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....

News

Wed, 2013-12-11 05:24 PM

Oil spill
removal

The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that it will experience a 35 percent increase over last year in the number of oil spill removal organizations who respond each year to the Coast Guard’s regular...
Thu, 2013-12-05 03:45 PM

Chuck Brooks

Government Security News is pleased to announce the winners of its GSN 2013 Homeland Security Awards program, which were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by leading vendors of IT and...
Tue, 2013-12-03 01:23 PM
A year-and-a-half after a tornado devastated Joplin, MO, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a 492-page report of its comprehensive investigation of the weather-...
Mon, 2013-12-02 07:15 PM
Ardent Management Consulting (ArdentMC) was awarded a five-year blanket purchase agreement, with an estimated combined ceiling value of $98 million, to support programs throughout DHS with...
Sun, 2013-12-01 01:47 PM
A new report, Transportation Safety and Transportation Security Market Modes, Worldwide Market Forecasts (2013 - 2018), offered by market research firm MarketsandMarkets defines and segments the...
Sun, 2013-11-24 11:51 AM

Coast Guard surveillance
of a smuggling panga

In recent testimony before the House subcommittee on border and maritime security, representatives from both the U.S. Coast Guard and CBP told of their organization’s increasing use of aerial...
Tue, 2013-11-19 07:43 PM
Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, MI, regained normal communications capabilities in the northern Great Lakes region on November 19, following outages throughout the region as a result of storms....
Tue, 2013-11-19 04:38 PM
Three government organizations -- DHS, the Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency -- are gathering input from members of the public to help them implement President Obama’s...
Mon, 2013-11-18 07:19 PM
First released in 2011, the mobile app known as First Responder Support Tools, or FiRST, has just been enhanced with a major sharing service update, according to the Science and Technology...
Sun, 2013-11-17 07:00 PM

Triggerfish T4H
Remotely Operated
Vehicle

Using their Triggerfish T4H Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc., the Carter County, TN, emergency and rescue squad located and retrieved a fisherman from Roane Mountain...
Thu, 2013-11-14 03:38 PM
FEMA anticipates that its Emergency Management Institute, which educates first responders, will hear from more than two million individuals each year who are interested in the Institute’s independent...
Mon, 2013-11-11 02:28 PM
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is looking for new members for two advisory groups that might be of interest to the readers of Government Security News: the Information...

Company News

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) has selected Blackboard to enhance district-wide advanced mass notification capabilities. Blackboard works with some of the largest school districts in the country including the Los Angeles Unified School District and Chicago Public Schools.

Firefighters wear protective gloves called “structure gloves” to keep their hands safe on the job. The protective equipment firefighters wear -- including structure gloves -- give them the confidence to focus on putting out fires and saving lives. The structure gloves currently used by firefighters, however, are not designed for the precision movements first responders must perform, according to Responder Technologies, a division within the U.S. DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

St Louis, MO-based Code 3, Inc., has introduced a new amplifier system that significantly changes how warning sounds are utilized in emergency response. The Banshee system offers a selection of tones, features, and options that have never been available in one siren amp system before: three low frequency tones, multiple dual tones, and a true-sounding electronic air horn, according to the company.

Mutualink, based in Wallingford, CT, will partner with Comprehensive Communication Services and CTS Consolidated Telecom Services at the Texas Emergency Management Conference to demonstrate multimedia interoperability capabilities for public safety personnel. Attendees will experience first-hand how on-demand interagency communication and information sharing can be simply and effectively achieved across the Public Safety LTE Band 14 broadband network.

Redlands, CA-based Esri and Alchemy Management has selected five of the nation's leading fire rescue departments to take part in the 2014 National Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Leadership Program. As part of the program, Esri will train fire rescue staff on how to use mapping software to identify community risk, establish risk prevention programs, and prioritize neighborhood outreach and education.

The Pennsylvania National Guard is hosting a multi-agency emergency-preparedness exercise called Vigilant Guard, May 7-16, at Fort Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County, PA. Secondary training events are scheduled to take place in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lawrence, Mercer, and Philadelphia counties.

America’s PrepareAthon! launched its Spring program on April 30th for its first day of action to help communities focus on emergency planning and disaster preparedness strategies. This Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initiative is geared toward helping communities plan and respond to natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. President Obama released a statement encouraging people to get involved in the America’s PrepareATHON!

The temperate climate and bright sunny skies of California make it one of the most desirable states to live in or visit. While in the midst of a three-year drought, however, the warm air and clear skies of the state has become a dangerous liability, as the threat of fire has grown substantially. That's why so many property owners throughout the region have expressed their gratitude for the fire pump testing, installation, and many other services offered by Fire Protection Group (FPG), the company says.

Commentary and Opinions

When natural disasters strike or catastrophic man-made events occur, existing infrastructure is often disrupted or compromised; power and communications frequently fail and personal contact can become difficult. Rural areas may become isolated and urban areas impassible and dangerous. Maintaining civil order, implementing evacuations, conducting rescue operations and providing relief distribution becomes highly problematic.  

Facilitating communication with acoustic hailing devices (AHDs)

With new emphasis being placed on data protection due to the broken state of backup – as well as budget cuts -- there needs to be an increased focus on data reliability and recoverability while adding value back into the agency itself.

Backing up data to a physical tape is just not viable due to the amount of data and the speed and flexibility with which data must be recovered.

Agencies are implementing disks into their IT infrastructure. However, before taking this step, chief technology officers must first ask and answer these questions:

A good disaster recovery plan includes all of the processes, policies and procedures necessary for your company to continue operating its critical technology systems after a disaster. The “classic” disaster recovery (DR) scenarios -- such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes -- are widely understood. However, the disasters most commonly faced by businesses are not those recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but the more mundane power outages, cyber attacks and vendor issues. Yet, in all cases, you need to be prepared.

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 created a lot of buzz around the word “telework.” President Obama signed this Act into law in December 2010.

According to an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) memorandum, the Act provides a framework for agencies to better leverage technology and to maximize the use of flexible work arrangements, which will aid in recruiting new federal workers, retain valuable talent and allow the government to maintain productivity in various situations.

The subject of disaster management and emergency preparedness has fundamentally evolved over the last 10 years.

 

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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...