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....


Fri, 2013-07-05 01:48 PM
FEMA is preparing to award small business set-aside contracts to vendors who could supply as many as 5.4 million bottles of drinking water (with a shelf life of at least two years) and as many as 1.5...
Wed, 2013-06-26 04:09 PM
Guardly announced on June 27 that its Mobile Mass Notification System (MMNS) is the first enterprise-grade emergency mass notification system designed to send 500,000 location-targeted notifications...
Fri, 2013-06-21 04:39 PM

Timothy Manning

A Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on June 25 that will look at the impact that FEMA grants have had on U.S. preparedness since 9/11, and assess the role that federal, state and local...
Thu, 2013-06-20 01:38 PM
The logistics management division of FEMA will host an industry day for transportation carriers in Washington, DC, on July 11, from 9 am to 12:30 pm. FEMA envisions the event as an opportunity for...
Tue, 2013-06-11 06:59 PM
The Department of Justice's office of justice programs (OJP) on June 11 released guidance for law enforcement and local governments for planning and managing large-scale events. The guidance includes...
Tue, 2013-06-11 06:48 PM

Lillian Roberts

District Council 37, AFSCME, Executive Director Lillian Roberts has called on DHS to investigate New York City’s 9-1-1 emergency response system, citing recent alleged failures and the fact...
Sat, 2013-06-08 03:53 PM

Security personnel use
HSIN at last Super
Bowl in New Orleans

The Homeland Security Information Network Advisory Committee will meet, via a teleconference call open to the public, on June 25, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm (EST). During the session, the advisory...
Mon, 2013-06-03 05:42 PM

Rep. Susan Brooks

The House Homeland Security subcommittee on emergency preparedness, response, and communications will hold a hearing on June 4 at which it will examine the ways in which social media --  such as...
Fri, 2013-05-31 12:42 PM

William Price

FEMA has issued a small business set-aside award valued at more than $4.4 million to Safety and Security Services, Inc., a company based in Oklahoma City, OK, to provide armed security guards at a...
Wed, 2013-05-29 03:56 PM
Some cell phone providers, in some geographic areas, offer their customers the ability to send text messages announcing an emergency to their local 911 dispatch center. Some users prefer to send such...
Wed, 2013-05-29 12:21 PM

Hurricane Sandy flooded
this MTA subway station

Having already allocated about $2 billion to transportation agencies most severely affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Transit Administration on May 29 announced the allocation of an additional...
Tue, 2013-05-28 12:26 PM
As FEMA gears up its response to the mighty tornadoes that blasted Moore, OK, and other nearby areas surrounding Oklahoma City, the agency has issued a small business set-aside solicitation for a...

Company News

RAM Mounts and GammaTech Computer Corp. announced on Oct. 18 that they have teamed up to provide vehicle mounts to securely hold a variety of Durabook units in patrol cars and other police vehicles.

RAM’s Tough-Tray universal laptop tray perfectly adapts to GammaTech Durabook’s rugged convertible U12C models, rugged S15C and D14RM, and fully rugged convertible R13S.

Gamewell-FCI by Honeywell has expanded its fire alarm and emergency communications (aka mass notification) systems offerings through the integration of audible and visual notification devices and IP network command software from Alertus Technologies.

Nixle, LLC, a free provider of informational communication services between government agencies and the communities they serve, received 26,000 new citizen subscribers during two recent natural disasters -- Hurricane Irene and the massive Texas wildfires, Nixle said in a Sept. 15 news release.

In areas affected by these catastrophes, agencies using the Nixle high-performance notification system were able to provide their citizens with real-time warnings, information, and evacuation details.

As it unveiled the product in London on Sept. 14, Panasonic Solutions Company launched a micro-Web site for its soon-to-be-released enterprise-grade Toughbook Android tablet computer.

Panasonic launched the Toughbook Android tablet, along with newer versions of its Toughbook lineup of notebook computers, in London during the biennial Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi).

SRI International and the National Disaster Resiliency Center (NDRC) signed a strategic alliance agreement to collaborate on new technologies, systems, and enhanced training capabilities to assist first responders during emergency and disaster situations.

SRI said it will work with the NDRC to create, test, and commercialize solutions that will help federal, state, and local agencies prepare for, train, and manage crisis situations.

Protecting people and other critical assets from the devastation of an explosive attack is a high priority for security and building managers – and for Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

LRAD Corp., a provider of acoustic hailing devices (AHDs), announced on August 17 approximately $1.5 million in new LRAD orders from the U.S. Navy. The orders, which consist primarily of LRAD 1000X systems and support equipment, are scheduled to ship this quarter.

The Government Accountability Office has thrown out a contract protest lodged by BayFirst Solutions, LLC, of Washington, DC, after BayFirst objected to the State Department’s award of an $18 million contract to a rival, Veteran’s Solutions, Inc. (VSI), of Arlington, VA, to provide support services related to the upgrade of security at U.S. Government locations overseas.

Commentary and Opinions

Internet-enabled mobile devices and smartphones account for more and more traffic in today’s connected environment. In fact, as the global population becomes increasingly Internet-enabled, it is expected that the number of smartphone-connected users will rise exponentially and exceed 50 percent of all Internet traffic by 2015.

Leveraging the latest mobile technologies of smartphones and tablets is a significant development for emergency mass notification systems (EMNS), bringing powerful mass alerting functionality to most popular devices.

Remember back when we were kids and heard the fire alarm bell in school? On cue, we lined up in an orderly manner and dutifully marched out of the classroom single file, no talking, and keep your hands to yourself. How times have changed!

Interruptions to day-to-day business operations for the average organization occur numerous times per year, resulting in thousands of hours of lost productivity and revenue -- potentially endangering public safety. Common causes of these interruptions include power outages, severe storms, floods, chemical spills, accidents, information system crashes, human error and more.

Change is coming in the world of industrial control systems or "SCADA" systems. There was a time when the computers and networks controlling most power plants, chemical plants and other critical infrastructures were not connected to external networks at all.

First responders, emergency management and community leaders are often overwhelmed when a disaster or catastrophe strikes. However, these same groups will rise to the challenge, and through proper training and knowledge of the emergency management system, will bring enough resources to bear to effectively manage and control the situation at hand, sooner or later.


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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...