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, 2013-11-14 03:38 PM
FEMA anticipates that its Emergency Management Institute, which educates first responders, will hear from more than two million individuals each year who are interested in the Institute’s independent...
Mon, 2013-11-11 02:28 PM
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is looking for new members for two advisory groups that might be of interest to the readers of Government Security News: the Information...
Fri, 2013-11-08 07:45 PM
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued its analysis of a specific piece of legislation, H.R. 1791, the Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act, and determined that because the money cited in...
Wed, 2013-11-06 04:24 PM
In order to be able to maintain satellite connectivity at disaster sites, even when the local telecommunications infrastructure has been destroyed or compromised, FEMA wants to extend an existing...
Tue, 2013-11-05 02:30 PM
Government Security News has announced its 2013 Homeland Security Awards finalists, and in some cases preemptive winners, in three different broad awards categories: Vendors of IT security products...
Fri, 2013-11-01 06:57 PM

Hurricane Sandy struck
Coney Island, Brooklyn

Three suspects who schemed to bilk the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the wake of Super Storm Sandy have been arrested and charged with fraud following an investigation by agents of...
Thu, 2013-10-31 06:08 PM

Hurricane Sandy
strikes New Jersey

One year and one week after Hurricane Sandy blasted the Northeast, a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee will hold a hearing to study the aftermath of that mega-storm, in a session entitled, One...
Wed, 2013-10-30 06:11 PM

L. Eric Patterson,
Director of FPS

A handful of senior DHS officials trooped up to Capitol Hill on October 30 to explain to a House subcommittee on oversight and management efficiency what the department is doing to protect employees...
Wed, 2013-10-30 04:02 PM

TAC 700 launcher
from Pepperball

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, plans to make a sole-source purchase for the Federal Protective Service (FPS) from Pepperball Technologies, Inc., of San Diego, CA, of “less...
Wed, 2013-10-30 03:20 PM

Bus evacuation
exercise by FEMA

When a disaster strikes, it is sometimes vital to evacuate the local population from the affected area by using commercial buses.
Tue, 2013-10-29 03:21 PM
DHS is planning a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business set-aside contract for a vendor to provide laboratory support for the animal disease countermeasures work taking place at the Plum...
Mon, 2013-10-28 06:58 PM
The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) led a team of engineers and scientists from multiple Coast Guard units, other federal agencies, and universities in evaluating methods to detect...

Company News

The DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate will use the Knowledge Management System (KMS) from Scottsdale, AZ-based EDGE Innovation Network to exchange information and discuss technical solutions to the department's capability gaps. The KMS is a technology portal provided by General Dynamics C4 Systems, also of Scottsdale, a leading technology partner with the EDGE Innovation Network.

Glendale, CA-based Everbridge, a provider of unified critical communications, has partnered with NC4 to deliver Interactive Visibility: Threat View, an integrated threat assessment solution. Threat View combines the risk assessment intelligence of NC4 Risk Center with Everbridge’s Unified Critical Communication Suite and global reach, empowering organizations to respond to risks and improve resiliency.

The Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has received a prime contract from the State of California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to provide support services for the implementation of FirstNet. FirstNet is intended to be a nationwide wireless, high-speed, broadband data network designed to facilitate communications between public safety and emergency personnel. The contract has a value of $440,000 and includes a base period of two years and a 12-month option.

The American Red Cross has released a new flood safety app during National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which is between March 16-22, 2014. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide more information about flood safety throughout the week.

"National Flood Safety Awareness Week is the perfect time for people to download the app and to start preparing,” said Jim Judge, a disaster preparedness expert and member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee.

Herndon, VA-based Irving Burton Associates has released version 3.0 of its mobile emergency management and business continuity app, In Case of Crisis, in four editions: corporate, education, hospitality, and government. Helping emergency, security, and risk professionals empower their communities before, during, and after crisis situations, In Case of Crisis 3.0 is available as an iOS and Android app.

With the construction industry adopting a wide array of “green” technologies, materials, and sustainable building practices, a team of fire protection engineering researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is investigating the fire safety risks associated with green construction.

Inovonics, a Louisville, CO based provider of wireless sensor networks for life safety and commercial applications, will sponsor a school safety panel entitled "Beyond School Shootings: Everyday Violence in K-12 Schools and Methods for Prevention." It will be held at ISC West 2014, an annual international security and conference and exposition in Las Vegas, NV.

The University of Southern California (USC) has unveiled a new program geared toward emergency preparedness and safety entitled the USC Community Emergency Preparedness Project (USC-CEPP). The project will be run through the USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).

The project will work to both secure the USC community as well as the surrounding neighborhoods by offering a hybrid training program that includes Community Emergency Response Training (CERT), family preparedness training, and Citizen Corps neighborhood team planning.

Commentary and Opinions

During the past year, the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council has issued a series of monthly papers encapsulating the major topics that have shaped our nation’s approach to homeland security. Thirteen monographs have highlighted industry and government’s joint effort to confront the challenges, and develop solutions to successfully focus on the historic mission to create a more prepared, responsive, resilient, safer and secure homeland. 

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.


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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...