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

Thu, 2014-07-03 03:51 AM
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has denied a petition for reconsideration of its findings in the investigation of the 1996 TWA flight 800 crash.The petition was filed in June 2013 by...
Wed, 2014-07-02 03:53 AM
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened its first investigation into the safety of parasailing and has found that the popular activity is largely unregulated with serious accidents...
Tue, 2014-07-01 08:30 PM
Live from PortSecurity2014 -- Washington, D.C.-based Captain Andrew Tucci, U.S. Coast Guard chief of Ports and Facilities, Information Issues and Supply Chain Security, delivered a chilling...
Mon, 2014-06-30 11:08 PM
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration is reminding passengers who are flying this July 4th holiday to leave their fireworks at home. Fireworks pose a significant...
Tue, 2014-06-24 09:04 AM

Michael Madsen

GSN parent company World Business Media has announced that Michael Madsen, the company’s first advertising director and longtime sales “MVP,” has been promoted from Associate Publisher to Publisher...
Mon, 2014-06-23 05:10 AM
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has joined local officials in breaking ground for a new, $26 million air traffic control tower at Tucson International...
Mon, 2014-06-23 04:13 AM
After a week of heavy rains and rising waters in Iowa, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made available $750,000 in emergency relief funds to assist with the cost of repairing damaged...
Wed, 2014-06-11 03:28 AM
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) made 95 major disaster and fire declarations last year. In 2012, FEMA declared 112 major disasters and fires, including Hurricane...
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...

Company News

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.

Buffalo Grove, IL-based Siemens Industry, Building Technologies Division’s new Intelligent Voice Communication panels allow small and medium-size facilities to have full-featured protection sized for their everyday and emergency life safety and communication needs. With Siemens’ Intelligent Voice Communication systems, facilities can now leverage a system that provides increased communications functionality in an efficiently designed solution.

Chicago-based RedSky Technologies, Inc., a provider of automated E911 solutions to enterprises, has announced that the company's flagship product, E911 Manager Version 6, has achieved Interoperability Certification from the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) which is part of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported a 70 percent chance that this year’s hurricane season will produce three to six hurricanes. Two of them are predicted to be major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.

PulsePoint AED, a new mobile application designed to build a comprehensive registry of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available for use during cardiac emergencies, has been released by the PulsePoint Foundation at the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) 2014 Conference in Las Vegas, NV. The PulsePoint Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing mobile technologies to help everyday citizens save lives.

Commentary and Opinions

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?”

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:

 

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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...