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....


Thu, 2015-01-15 08:27 PM
More than 2,200 people die from alcohol poisoning each year in the United States -- an average of six deaths each day -- according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and...
Wed, 2015-01-14 09:16 PM
Progress has been made in the effort to eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients, including a 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)...
Tue, 2015-01-13 09:43 PM
In 2010, President Barack Obama declared January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the hopes of bringing an end to this form of modern day slavery.
Tue, 2015-01-13 03:13 PM

Sarah Feinberg

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that Department of Transportation Chief of Staff Sarah Feinberg will serve as Acting Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)....
Mon, 2015-01-12 06:27 PM
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced the availability of $30 million in state grants through two annual programs, each designed to...
Sun, 2015-01-11 09:20 PM
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced last week the next phase in the agency’s efforts to increase supercomputing capacity to provide more timely, accurate, reliable,...
Sun, 2015-01-11 06:44 PM
Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with citizens, public officials and civic organizations of Newport, OR, launched a successful campaign in 2014 requesting the U.S. Coast Guard not to...
Thu, 2015-01-08 05:15 PM
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) recently provided over $5 million in federal grants to local jurisdictions and qualified organizations throughout Maryland that are at risk for impacts...
Wed, 2015-01-07 08:03 PM
A growing number of Cubans have been attempting to sail to the U.S. in the past month, apparently caused by rumors that U.S. immigration policy may soon change, officials said.In the month of...
Tue, 2015-01-06 09:10 PM
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have announced the removal of Mali from the list of Ebola-affected nations subject to enhanced visa...
Tue, 2015-01-06 04:57 PM
Dangerously low temperatures and accumulating snow are in the forecast for much of the Midwest and the Northeast. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants individuals and families to be...
Tue, 2015-01-06 02:24 AM
International organizations, development partners, and the Ministers of Health and Finance of Ebola-affected countries assembled in Geneva earlier this month for a high-level meeting on how to...

Company News

In 2013, America’s poison centers managed 3.1 million calls, almost 8,400 per day on average, according to the recently published 31st Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System.
December 26 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. An estimated 230,000 people in 14 countries lost their lives in the disaster and immediate aftermath.
Working in conjunction with StopDUID.org, NMS Labs has released an updated compilation of the laws in all 50 states dealing with alcohol impaired driving and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Dr. Barry Logan, vice president of Forensic Science Initiatives at NMS Labs, introduced the report saying, “There is a huge increase in awareness among lawmakers and the driving public about the influence of drugs on driving and the consequences of mixing drugs with alcohol.
More Americans fall victim to accident, theft, and violent crime during the holidays than any other time of year. New York-based Securify (available on iOS and Android) is the app that addresses this problem and brings safety, security and emergency response into the twenty-first century. Consumers can now alert authorities in a matter of seconds and while keeping them and their families safe and secure at home and around the world -- a great app for travelling safely.
Boston, MA-based SPR Advanced Technologies (SPR) has announced that it has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to test, refine and deploy its patented technology to assist USAID and its partner agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the United States Department of Defense, with an Ebola response solution to protect health care workers in affected countries from contamination by the Ebola virus.
Plans to purchase millions of doses of an Ebola vaccine to support large-scale vaccination efforts have been agreed upon by the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The decision means that Gavi will be ready to act as soon as a safe, effective vaccine is recommended for use by the World Health Organization.
Appleton, WI-based Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation company, recently placed four Pierce Impel pumpers on duty with the Scottsdale Fire Department (SFD) in Scottsdale, AZ. In addition, SFD has purchased two more Impel pumpers that will be delivered in April 2015. All six utilize the Pierce Ultimate Configuration (PUC) pump system. In total, SFD now has 23 Pierce apparatus in service or on order for delivery.
Oshkosh Airport Products, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, has placed six new generation Oshkosh Striker aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles into service at Manchester Airport in the U.K. All six identically equipped vehicles feature the innovative Snozzle high-reach extendable turret (HRET). The Striker fleet was introduced to a group of over 100 guests and dignitaries at a launch ceremony held at the airport.

Commentary and Opinions

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.
Whether an incident occurs locally or overseas, the response to a disaster can become its own storm, pulling people in from their normal daily duties and placing them squarely in the middle of crisis response.

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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...