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, 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...
Fri, 2013-11-08 07:45 PM
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued its analysis of a specific piece of legislation, H.R. 1791, the Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act, and determined that because the money cited in...

Company News

The City of New York has implemented Local Law 1111-2013, regarding smoke alarms in multi-family properties. It was signed into law in December 2013 by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The new legislation that went into effect on April 1st requires owners of multi-family properties to install 10-year sealed battery smoke and/or CO detectors when they must replace old or damaged units. Property owners may receive up to $50 per smoke detector as a reimbursement for their expenses.

Washington, D.C.-based Apprio, a provider of technology solutions, particularly for the health, defense, and homeland security markets, has announced it received a new contract with the DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worth as much as $20 million over five years. The base year of the contract totals $3.75 million, with an additional four option years.

Pearl television stations, a partnership that includes eight of Florida’s leading television stations, are testing their emergency alert systems to include mobile digital TV devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS) will include alert banners, text messages, and videos to be sent to mobile device users in the event of emergency situations. Some of the Pearl stations include locations in Orlando and West Palm Beach such as WPTV-TV, WFLX-TV, WPBF-TV, and WESH-TV.

The DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate will use the Knowledge Management System (KMS) from Scottsdale, AZ-based EDGE Innovation Network to exchange information and discuss technical solutions to the department's capability gaps. The KMS is a technology portal provided by General Dynamics C4 Systems, also of Scottsdale, a leading technology partner with the EDGE Innovation Network.

Glendale, CA-based Everbridge, a provider of unified critical communications, has partnered with NC4 to deliver Interactive Visibility: Threat View, an integrated threat assessment solution. Threat View combines the risk assessment intelligence of NC4 Risk Center with Everbridge’s Unified Critical Communication Suite and global reach, empowering organizations to respond to risks and improve resiliency.

The Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has received a prime contract from the State of California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to provide support services for the implementation of FirstNet. FirstNet is intended to be a nationwide wireless, high-speed, broadband data network designed to facilitate communications between public safety and emergency personnel. The contract has a value of $440,000 and includes a base period of two years and a 12-month option.

The American Red Cross has released a new flood safety app during National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which is between March 16-22, 2014. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide more information about flood safety throughout the week.

"National Flood Safety Awareness Week is the perfect time for people to download the app and to start preparing,” said Jim Judge, a disaster preparedness expert and member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee.

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.

Commentary and Opinions

It used to be that most government organizations had a crisis communications plan that would be pulled out and reviewed maybe once a year, which was relatively static and standard in its contents.

The plan provided guidance on calling a press conference to update reporters who would, in turn, update the public on the process and progress being made in dealing with the crisis or disaster at hand, creating press releases and other briefing materials, etc.

During the past year, the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council has issued a series of monthly papers encapsulating the major topics that have shaped our nation’s approach to homeland security. Thirteen monographs have highlighted industry and government’s joint effort to confront the challenges, and develop solutions to successfully focus on the historic mission to create a more prepared, responsive, resilient, safer and secure homeland. 

Pre 9-11, the security community in Europe assumed that individual terrorists wanted to attack from afar and take part in more than one operation. The danger had been mainly from the Provisional IRA and Basque separatists.

Since the 2011 attacks, however, authorities have confronted threats not just in territories which are the subject of religious or political dispute (Northern Ireland and the France-Spain border), but also in countries existing peacefully, where immigrants or foreign nationals have adopted radical ideologies.

Cassidian Communications announced on August 31 the successful use of its emergency notification technology to aid in the search for a missing four-year-old boy, Jeremy Guthrie, on August 5, 2011.

Static protective flooring is a critical element of any mission-critical or electronics-rich environment. Since the very essence of a mission critical environment is to ensure that it functions as intended, on a 24/7 basis, close attention needs to be paid to the durability and efficacy of all equipment. Equally close attention should be paid to the environment housing the equipment. 

 

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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...