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....


Sat, 2013-08-17 12:55 PM

GeoLynx server
shows 'hotspots'

GeoComm, Inc., of St. Cloud, MN, announced on August 16 that GeoLynx Server, its Web-based mapping solution, has met the requirements set by FEMA to qualify as an IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and...
Thu, 2013-08-15 03:01 PM

Chevy Suburban carries
Secret Service agents

The Secret Service is looking for a company that can armor five Chevy Suburbans (model years 2011 to 2013) each year for the next three years. The agency expects to award a firm fixed price...
Tue, 2013-08-13 07:54 PM

Barry Rand,

FEMA and AARP announced on August 12 an agreement that will expand outreach around emergency preparedness for millions of older Americans.  FEMA and AARP will work together to provide resources...
Tue, 2013-08-13 02:56 PM
DHS wants to extend a contract, on a sole source basis, to The McConnell Group, of Rockville, MD, to continue providing clinical veterinary services and laboratory services on swine and cattle at the...
Sun, 2013-08-11 08:35 PM
As part of the ongoing National Distress and Response System (NDRS) Modernization Project (Rescue 21), the U.S. Coast Guard competitively awarded a contract on August 5, 2013 to Eyak Technology LLC,...
Fri, 2013-08-09 05:27 PM

Possible tent design for
UN General Assembly

To get ready for the upcoming United National General Assembly, which will take place in Manhattan in late September and early October, the U.S. Secret Service is planning to install a variety of...
Mon, 2013-08-05 06:03 PM

Chemical fire in
Garland, TX,
in 2012

President Obama on August 1 issued an executive order, entitled Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, which establishes a new Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group, co-...
Mon, 2013-08-05 11:37 AM

Drawing of proposed mobile
command-and-control container

FEMA wants to acquire a minimum of three and a maximum of six standard, intermodal 40-foot shipping containers that have been retrofitted to serve as mobile command-and-control offices for use...
Fri, 2013-08-02 02:59 PM
FEMA, on behalf of DHS, is planning to award a sole source contract to the National Governors Association for Best Practices, nicknamed the NGA Center, to manage the Governors Homeland Security...
Thu, 2013-08-01 06:20 PM

Rugged Mesa notepad
from Juniper

Several Missouri counties recently purchased a fleet of Juniper Systems Mesa rugged notepads with a grant meant to aid with disaster management. The counties -- collectively comprising the Pioneer...
Wed, 2013-07-31 02:49 PM

Devastated fertilizer
plant in West, TX

A lethal explosion at a huge fertilizer plant in the town of West, TX, on April 17, 2013, has inspired the House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on cybersecurity, infrastructure protection...
Wed, 2013-07-24 03:28 PM
Northrop Grumman Corp. has been selected by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in London, UK, to provide its CommandPoint application as the core solution for the MPS' new command and control...

Company News

Lenco Industries, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of armored police vehicles, announced on October 15 the successful underbody and side blast testing of its BEAR 17-man troop transport armored vehicle. The armored vehicle is designed for military and government personnel and international security forces operating in hostile environments around the world.   

Ping4 Inc, the company behind ping4alerts!, has appointed Mark Sexton its new vice president of engineering. 

Ping4alerts! is the free hyper-local mobile alert app that instantly notifies users of dangers and emergencies by sending an alert to user’s smartphones. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a sweeping recall of all propane and gas cylinders manufactured by The Lite Cylinder Company, Inc., of Franklin, TN --  which are marked as if they were authorized by the DOT -- because those cylinders might be hazardous due to their leaks or damages.

Oshkosh Airport Products Group, a division of Oshkosh Corp., has delivered three Oshkosh Striker 4 x 4 aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) vehicles to New Guinea’s National Airports Corp., a state aviation enterprise owned by the people of Papua New Guinea. 

The U.S. Forest Service is testing airborne imaging technology it got from NASA in 2012 that can be mounted to unmanned and manned aircraft to prepare for this year's wildfire season in the western U.S.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will receive a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to advance the development of its next generation DNA vaccine delivery device capable of simultaneously administering multiple synthetic vaccines via skin surface electroporation.

Once unmanned aerial vehicles are integrated into U.S. airspace plans, the unmanned aircraft industry will generate 70,000 - 100,000 new jobs, according to a study released by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

CoroWare Technologies has signed a membership agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Safety, Security, and Rescue Research Center (SSR-RC) along with the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte to participate in cooperative research on advanced robotics for homeland security, health care, and search and rescue.

Commentary and Opinions

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. 

What has the country done in the decade since 9/11 to strengthen its homeland defense and security, and better protect our people, property and way of life?

A great question that can and will create a lot of debate, but in my opinion, a fantastic job, so far. Homeland security is an enduring concept in both peace and war. The global war on terrorism is a long war and it may take 25 to 30 years because of the nature of the threat.

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.


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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...