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, 2013-10-03 07:00 PM

Boats torn loose
by Hurricane Sandy

As the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, some New Jersey survivors who didn’t apply for federal disaster assistance may now need help, says FEMA in a recent news announcement.  While...
Thu, 2013-10-03 05:37 PM

Honolulu Harbor

In anticipation of a huge tsunami -- like those that pummeled Chile in 2010 and Japan in 2011 -- the U.S. Coast Guard has announced new proposed rules that would establish a “regulated navigation...
Thu, 2013-10-03 04:53 PM

Scott Greiper

Scott Greiper, the president and founding partner of Secure Strategy Group, LLC (SSG), a consulting firm offering financial and business development advice in the homeland security sector, has been...
Tue, 2013-10-01 05:21 PM

W. Craig Fugate

FEMA’s National Advisory Council will hold an all-day public meeting in Philadelphia on October 16 at which its members will discuss the National Incident Management System, a public assistance pilot...
Mon, 2013-09-30 07:14 PM

Flooding isolated
this Colorado town

FEMA’s response branch has issued a solicitation for a 100% small business set-aside contract to provide contract security guards to provide security services at disaster-related sites in nine...
Wed, 2013-09-18 06:45 PM

Colorado National
Guard responds to
floods in Boulder

LRAD Corp. has announced that it has sent six Long Range Acoustic Device systems to the Colorado National Guard for land- and air-based communication to broadcast critical information and...
Tue, 2013-09-17 08:57 PM

Testing a FINDER

NASA and DHS are collaborating on a new radar device that detects heartbeats of victims trapped in wreckage. The agencies will demonstrate and discuss the device on September 25 at the Virginia...
Tue, 2013-09-17 07:34 PM

Johns Hopkins University

FEMA awarded on September 16 a contract worth more than $300,000 to Johns Hopkins University, of Baltimore, MD, to provide technical assistance to a federal effort to produce a guide for high-quality...
Tue, 2013-09-17 05:21 PM
As part of its celebration of National Preparedness Month in September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans to host a live Twitter chat about campus readiness on September 18 from 1:...
Sat, 2013-09-14 12:09 PM
An industry-government team demonstrated on September 12 how plugging the Cloud into an international disaster-relief effort can improve response time, collaboration and mission success.
Fri, 2013-09-13 04:46 PM
FEMA’s office of response and recovery intends to award a contract extension (of four to six months) to Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) to continue hosting a Cloud-based geospatial...
Mon, 2013-09-09 05:54 PM
President Obama has declared September 2013 as National Preparedness Month and hailed this year’s theme: “You Can Be the Hero.”In a presidential proclamation issued on August 30, the president urged...

Company News

Portland, OR-based Erickson Air-Crane, a leading global provider of aviation services to a diverse mix of commercial and government customers, and the vertically-integrated manufacturer and operator of the powerful heavy-lift Erickson S-64 Aircrane helicopter, has announced that Brian Clegg has been named vice president of global aerial operations. In an anticipated move, previous vice president of aerial operations H.E.

Edward Davis, recently retired commissioner of the Boston Police Department, has joined the advisory board of Wallingford, CT-based Mutualink, which specializes in advanced real-time interoperable communications and multimedia solutions for public safety and emergency management.

AtHoc, a major provider of network-centric interactive crisis communication systems, today announced it has quadrupled its data center capacity and increased security with the implementation of VCE Vblock Systems to support global customer demand in the large enterprise market as well as from large homeland security and defense customers.

Chantilly, VA-based SpectraRep, a provider of homeland security and public safety solutions, has announced the integration of its ActiveAlert technology, an emergency desktop notification solution, with Framingham, MA-based Rave Mobile Safety, a provider of mass notification solutions for enterprises, school districts, and institutions nationwide.

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) has pushed “Disaster Psychiatry” to the forefront of the field. Disaster psychiatry is a relatively new field of study in psychiatry that focuses on helping people resolve emotional issues and disturbances that stem from surviving major disasters such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and wars.

Airport Products Group, a division of Oshkosh Corp., delivered a new generation Oshkosh Striker 6 x 6 aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) vehicle to Edmonton International Airport (EIA) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 

The new Striker ARFF vehicle joins a fleet of Oshkosh Airport Products snow removal equipment already at the airport. 

Cooper Notification, a unit of Eaton, has introduced a holistic line of Internet Protocol (IP) network-based Mass Notification Systems (MNS). The newest solution from the company’s ALERiTY line of unified interoperable platform offers WAVES over IP (WoIP) for emergency communications. 

RELM Wireless Corp. announced on October 23 that it was awarded two delivery order contracts from a DHS agency under the DHS Tactical Communications (TacCom) contract, which was originally issued in March 2012. 

The contracts specify RELM's KNG VHF and UHF portable and mobile radios with accessories and have an aggregate maximum total value of $9.5 million. Each contract has a base period that began on September 25, 2013 and will run through July 31, 2014, and includes three one-year option periods.

Commentary and Opinions

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. 

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.


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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...