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

Mon, 2015-02-16 03:43 PM
Editor’s note: On February 11, GSN received a press release from the Pacific Area Command of the United State Coast Guard indicating that its cutter Polar Star was responding to a 207-foot fishing...
Sun, 2015-02-15 09:55 PM
Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years, according to a...
Sun, 2015-02-15 08:55 PM
The White House has issued a Presidential Memorandum to promote economic competitiveness and innovation while safeguarding privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in the domestic use of unmanned...
Thu, 2015-02-12 08:28 PM
NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) lifted off from Cape Canaveral, FL, at 6:03 p.m. EST on its way to an orbit one million miles from Earth. DSCOVR will give NOAA’s Space Weather...
Thu, 2015-02-12 05:45 PM
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine (OAM) received the first of eight completely overhauled UH-1N twin-engine helicopters this week. The overhaul lets OAM maintain...
Wed, 2015-02-11 10:56 PM
The Departments of Justice, State and the Interior Wednesday unveiled the implementation plan for the U.S. National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. The agencies are co-chairs of the...
Wed, 2015-02-11 09:05 PM
It has been approximately 10 months since the first U.S. personnel were deployed to West Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic. In keeping with President Obama’s charge that the U.S. tackle Ebola...
Tue, 2015-02-10 11:45 PM
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that in calendar year 2014, airlines reported the lowest number of tarmac delays longer than three hours on record. According to...
Tue, 2015-02-10 11:16 PM
Mr. Leahy: Mr. President, not long ago Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations, and the United States, Great Britain, France, and other countries...
Tue, 2015-02-10 10:09 PM
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced awards to 10 project teams to deploy 55 low and no emission fuel cell, battery electric and electric hybrid buses in neighborhoods from Stockton...
Tue, 2015-02-10 09:52 PM
By K. Denise Rucker Krepp
Tue, 2015-02-10 07:27 PM
The World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board, currently holding its 136th session, has appointed Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti as the new Regional Director for WHO's Africa Region. Dr. Moeti...

Company News

The Internet Society has outlined its approach to cyber security policy:The headlines of today regarding hacking, exposure of large quantities of personal data, denial of service attacks, and the continued revelations about pervasive monitoring are deeply disturbing.
Richmond, CA-based Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc., a robotic exoskeleton company, has announced that its leading work on the first phase of the TALOS project has resulted in a grant to expand its involvement into the second phase of the project. United States Special Operation Command (SOCOM) announced last year that it was working to create a wearable uniform, which provides superhuman capabilities with superior mobility and protection, for their Special Operations Forces.
Chelmsford, MA-based ZOLL Medical Corporation, a manufacturer of medical devices and related software solutions, announced today that the Dubai Police Department has standardized on the ZOLL AED (automated external defibrillator) Plus for its fleet of police cars. This is the first installation of AEDs in police cars in the Middle East.
Dr. Steve Mathies, a renowned expert in ecosystem restoration and sustainable urban and coastal development, has joined ENVIRON as a principal in the firm’s New Orleans, LA, office. Mathies will direct the firm’s strategic services aimed at helping communities, government agencies and companies located in the U.S. and abroad with developing and implementing climate change-related response strategies that overcome the threats to both the natural and built environments.
Amid growing fears about the disease, one visitor identification software solution eases concerns around the potential spread of Ebola in a hospital setting. The Fast-Pass Visitor Management System manufactured by Security Identification Systems Corporation (SISCO) can keep track of people visiting patients in hospitals.
The LRAD Corporation, a leading provider of long range acoustic hailing devices (AHDs) and advanced mass notification systems, has announced follow-on orders totaling over $2.4 million from multiple Asian customers.
Mutualink, Inc., a Connecticut-headquartered company specializing in real time voice, video and data interoperability for first responders and critical infrastructure, has announced that its Tactical Collaboration Node solution was selected for inclusion in JerseyNet, New Jersey’s dedicated Band 14LTE deployable public safety network.
Alexandria, VA-based ASIS International (ASIS) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) will present details of a new training focused on what private security professionals need to know about child victimization. The presentation will take place on Friday, Jan. 23 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA.

Commentary and Opinions

Although historians may characterize 2011 differently than I do, I believe that many in the government and public safety arena likely will remember this as the “Year of the Natural Disaster.” From the unparalleled Japanese tsunami to wildfires and tornadoes that literally destroyed entire communities and droughts that plagued many parts of the United States, we have come face-to-face with natural disasters of epic proportions. 
Port security seems to be the forgotten child when it comes to preparing for disasters, at least in the public eye. Potential threats to aviation and mass transit generate many more conversations, and for good reason, but the risks posed to ports, primarily from cargo, cannot be ignored. A cargo container looks innocuous, just a square, metal box loaded with goods…right? This impression could not be further from the truth. 
What if your cell phone could detect toxic airborne substances like carbon monoxide, chlorine or even chemical warfare agents? The public would have a new level of personal protection against a range of fairly common airborne chemical-based toxins, as well as against terrorist attacks involving WMDs. And when sensor data is harnessed in an environmental sensing network for first responders and other organizations, it will be the dawn of a new era for disaster preparedness. 
  Today, more than half of the world’s populations live in cities, and that figure is expected to reach 60 percent by 2030. Large, modern cities function thanks to a complexity of infrastructure systems that deliver and manage energy, water, food, traffic, healthcare, mass transit, sanitation, environmental monitoring, etc. Working together, these systems make it possible for businesses and citizens to go about their daily activities.
A woman in Black Hawk County, Iowa was alone upstairs when her former boyfriend -- who had a history of domestic violence -- entered her home. Afraid that the sound of her voice would reveal her location, she used her cell phone to send a text message to 9-1-1. A few minutes later, police officers arrived at the scene and arrested the ex-boyfriend for violating a court order requiring him to stay away from the woman.
 

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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...