Index > Citizen & Community Sector: Best Practices
January 2011: Australian government authorities are working overtime to try and help the communities of Queensland in the midst of epic flooding, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. More than 9,000 homes in Brisbane, the country's third largest city, are expected to be impacted by flood waters, while the city's downtown central business center cut it's electricity, the BBC reported.
We were very saddened by the passing of our friend John Solomon last November. John was a friend and a great resource for inspiration through his blog In Case of Emergency, Read Blog. Throughout the years, his work provided the germination of many of the stories that I have used to work on community preparedness and resilience in the face of natural and man-made disasters. I also will remember warmly our wonderful and productive email exchanges. His stories and blog posts proved insightful and I will remember him fondly. Below are a few examples of the helpful work of John's we used to write about how our country is working toward sustainability, resiliency and preparedness during an emergency or crisis. John's obituary can be read here. Thanks John, we'll miss you.
January 2011: When Jared Lee Loughner opened fire killing six people during a Congressional meet and greet in Tucson on January 8 , citizens present at the gathering were instrumental in tackling and disarming the gunman thus preventing any more casualties. According to the Arizona Republic, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik identified the three men and one woman as Patricia Maisch, Roger Salzgeber, Bill Badger and Joseph Zamudio. The official timeline of the response said the first 911 call was received at 10:11:56 a.m. "Within one minute of the first deputy's arrival, the suspect was in custody and medical personnel began treating the injured," the Pima County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.
July 2010: **NB** Thanks to InCaseofEmergency and Recovery Diva for the links and the original stories.
The Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University has published a paper for communities who are working to "prepare for surprises." Community Resilience: A function of resources and adaptability works to tackle the problem of preparing communities for responses to disasters and challenges - man-made and environmental - through policy change, programs and systems "that help local communities cope with a wide range of threats."
November 17 '08: As wildfires destroy homes in Southern California, social networking sites have been used by community first responders and citizens to spread important information, updates and maps in real-time. The fires have burned more than 1,000 homes, forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate and have claimed over 20,000 acres in the past four days, Reuters reported. CNN reported Monday that at least one of the fires has been linked to human activity.
October 27 '08: In a report that is being considered a first of its kind for the DC area, the Washington Post reported a new collaboration between the Nonprofit Roundtable and Deloitte to look at the ability of nonprofit groups to coordinate and respond to a disaster.
October 17 '08: Thanks to John Solomon over at Incaseofemergencyblog.com for the tip regarding the Disaster Accountability Project and its article in the Natural Hazards Observer which appeared in last month's edition. DAP, begun in August 2007, was established to help improve the national disaster response framework through citizen oversight, research, whistle-blower engagement, and policy research, the website read.
It has been one month since the formation of Hurricane Ike, the ninth named storm of the 2008 hurricane season. Since the storm hit the Texas coast, more than 300 people are still missing while the storm claimed 67 lives, and could end up costing close to $22 billion officials said. The storm also was responsible for high winds and rain in the interior parts of the country, causing power outages, flooding and gas shortages in the Midwest and Southeastern US.
September 12 '08: Category 2 Hurricane Ike is heading toward the Houston/Galveston communities and is already flooding the streets of Galveston which "forecasters warned could reach up to 22 feet and bring 'certain death' to anyone who remained in Galveston Bay homes," CNN reported. Galveston has been known for its hurricane response partnerships to aid with evacuation, special needs care and recovery operations.
August 22 '08: As Tropical Storm Fay has worked its way across Florida, as much as 30 inches of rain have fallen on parts of the state prompting federal and state officials to declare states of emergency, the Associated Press reported. Online resources for community members have been made available according to One Storm which linked to TropicalStormFay.org sponsored by the Red Cross.
July 29 '08: A Congressionally-mandated study, funded by the Federal Transit Administration and compiled by the Transportation Research Board has looked at the role of mass transportation before, during and after an emergency. Writers of the report said the study's aim was "to explore the capacity of transit systems serving ... locations in times of emergency."
July 28 '08: The Naval Academy's Center for Homeland Defense and Security blog (HSDL) announced a new report released by two immigrant communities-focused think tanks looking at the impacts of disaster preparedness in communities where English is not the primary language. In the press release, the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and the AsianPacific American Legal Center of Southern California wrote that recent disasters in Southern California have shown that "in order to improve disaster awareness among immigrant community members and to help emergency response personnel better serve limited English speaking populations," education and outreach operations must be increased.
July 24 '08: Last year, organizers from America's Emergency Network (AEN) announced a new public/private partnership providing a suite of communications technologies for the general public and state, local and federal emergency response officials and government agencies. AEN provides a website containing video feeds and bulletins issued by OEMs and other government agencies in addition to AEN-TV (for emergency response and government agencies) as well the radio based AlertFM warning system.
July 18 '08: The Disaster Zone blog reported on a new Internet technology which allows blind persons access the web without the expensive technology typically needed. The WebAnywhere alpha release is an open source project which was developed by researchers at the University of Washington.
June 24 '08: Wired reported on a new social network which allows users to build their own social activist network and then link it to other similar networks. The project, called Change.org was begun by two men in their late twenties, and now boasts up to 2,000 non-profit group now using it, Wired reported.
June 20 '08: The First Response Team of America is a privately run organization to help communities respond and recover in the first days after a disaster. On its website, the organization said it helps local, state and federal first responders "by removing the initial obstacles that local emergency and government officials encounter when dealing with a natural or manmade disaster."
June 18 '08: Flood waters from the Mississippi River are working their way south to communities in Illinois, Missouri and other states CNN reported. The destruction from the severe storms over the Midwest have caused large-scale evacuations, as well as causing a surge in global food prices. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that fuel costs will likely rise due to damage to corn crops which produce ethanol used as an additive in gasoline.
June 11 '08: A new website for minority community disaster preparedness and outreach has launched. The National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities' DiversityPreparedness.org is the product of a partnership between Drexel University's School of Public Health's Center for Health Equality and the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. In a press release Dennis Andrulis, the director for Drexel's Center for Health Equality said, "If you strengthen the precontext of a community before a disaster you make sure the effects are less severe after the storm."
June 3 '08: On its created by the Community Foundation announced it was closing operations after seven years of providing recovery outreach for those surviving families who were affected by the attacks on 9/11 in Washington DC. In conjunction of the fund's closure, the Community Foundation has released a final report to the community, and a disaster recovery process outline.
June 2 '08: On their website site the the Muslim community disaster relief group Islamic Relief USA said it had partnered with students from Dartmouth College who volunteered to travel to New Orleans and help the local community with their on-going recovery operations. "For about two weeks during winter break (2007) this past December, 14 Dartmouth College students took the long journey from New Hampshire to Louisiana to do their part in assisting in the aid efforts," the relief group's website read.
May 30 '08: Chinese government officials are utilizing grassroots citizen groups to help with disaster recovery efforts in Sichuan province, the Washington Post reported. The groups are using Internet technologies such as chat groups and online social networking to organize themselves.
May 29 '08: Members of the Jewish community have established the Secure Community Network to promote information sharing among community stakeholders as well as to establish "national standards for improving security at the local level" the organization's website read. SCN offers its members access to "critical safety and security" information through its Internet portal which includes forums, security awareness programs, model crisis management and rapid response scenarios tailored for the Jewish community.
May 23 '08: The Associated Press reported state and local officials in California have partnered with more than 300 scientists, first responders and private sector stakeholders to "create a realistic crisis scenario that can be used for preparedness," if the expected "Big One" earthquake were to erupt along the San Andreas Fault. In the press release the US Geological Survey said a response exercise has been planned for November 2008 called "Golden Guardian '08" which will focus on a magnitude 7.8 temblor that lasts four minutes.
May 22 '08: In a piece run in the Washington Post, blogger and citizen responder John Solomon wrote that emergency preparedness and disaster response within communities is essential: "The more prepared a population is, the more effective the response to and recovery from a catastrophe will be." To underscore the importance of personal preparedness among our communities, former Under Secretary for Preparedness at DHS George Foresman echoed Solomon's piece on the Security Debrief Blog, "preparedness is not an exclusive responsibility of government agencies. ... Our elected leaders must provide their citizens with clear expectations ... [of] what is expected from them as citizens."
May 13 '08: Boutique strategic advisory firm TD International partnered with employee emergency support services company Assist America to augment the SecureAssist initiative which seeks to provide a "comprehensive program of security and intelligence (to companies and employees who are responding to or are victims of) a multitude of threats ranging from terrorism," political, and socio-economic situations.
May 12 '08: After the recent tornadoes which struck Oklahoma over the weekend, one town's residents are considering whether to rebuild their community, the Associated Press reported. Picher, Oklahoma with about 800 residents is also the location of a federal Superfund site - Tar Creek - and local officials said that the storm's destruction was enough for many community members to relocate.
May 1 '08: CNN reported seismic experts saying they are puzzled by the continuing earthquakes which now number 344. The continuing activity has prompted Governor Jim Gibbons to ask all residents of the state to be prepared for any emergency, the Insurance Journal reported. Gov. Gibbons has said 72hour kits and a family response plan should be in place.
April 29 '08: According to the Washington Post, at least 200 people were injured when a series of tornadoes ripped through Southeastern Virginia. Governor Time Kaine declared a state of emergency while emergency medical officials in Suffolk at the Sentara Obici Hospital set up an incident command center and triage stations outside after the hospital was mildly injured after the storms.
April 28 '08: The Associated Press' full coverage of the recent earthquake activity in Nevada has shown local and state officials asking residents to prepare for larger, more damaging temblors in the weeks to come. The Nevada Daily Herald reported that insurance industry officials are saying they are receiving more and more calls about how residents can prepare against possible housing damage.
April 23 '08: Honeywell announced in a press release that it would be partnering with Butler University to deploy Honeywell's Instant AlertŠ emergency notification system. The emergency alert service was announced last summer.
April 22 '08: The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security has posted the new 2008 - 2013 FEMA Strategic Plans which were announced recently. The five-year plan outlines the goals and missions of the federal agency in working with federal, state, local and private sector stakeholders and officials to respond, prepare and recover from national, natural and man-made emergencies through five state goals.
April 22 '08: In a press release, Illinois Governor Rod J. Blagojevich said efforts to train first responders, school faculty, personnel and school children to confront the dangers of events such as the Columbine High School shooting have resulted in more than 4,500 training sessions. Gov. Blagojevich said, "Schools have enthusiastically embraced the training opportunities and guidance we are offering, and I believe real progress has been made."
April 16 '08: State Farm is working to create partnerships among federal, state and local governments with the private sector and individual policy holders which will boost cooperative efforts to prepare for and to respond to natural disasters and emergencies. "The private insurance market - on its own - has insufficient capacity to handle exposures for catastrophic natural disasters and still cover all of its other insurance obligations," State Farm said about its partnerships."
April 3 '08: A new report released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has looked into the ways in which the private sector is able to augment, and in some salient cases, improve upon the overall federal response to a disaster. The report highlights the mechanics behind the private sector's ability to help communities recover from a disaster and the ways in which the public sector can augment those capabilities.
March 28 '08: The Associated Press reported in Arkansas that recent flooding - which could be the worst the state has seen in 100 years - has left 35 counties under a state of emergency. One death has been reported as well. The heavy flooding also has devastated the winter wheat crops Reuters reported.
March 18 '08: The Eagle Tribune in North Andover, Massachusetts reported on the local community's new emergency management command center and website which officials say will help to distribute greater preparedness awareness among the community.
March 17 '08: City and police officials in Atlanta are working to restore order to the downtown area after a tornado smashed through several neighborhoods CNN reported. The storm's 130 mph winds "slammed into skyscrapers as well as landmarks like the CNN Center and the Georgia Dome ... Dozens of streets remained blocked Monday as cleanup crews gathered debris and downed limbs and trees, piling it on sidewalks or in dumpsters positioned on cordoned-off roads," the cable news channel reported.
March 13 '08: In New Orleans, one community almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina is rebuilding by utilizing a needs-based approach through an online database originally used for sales, NPR reported. The website, Salesforce.com is an online leader in software as a service, customer relationship management and business application delivery services, but because it can pair needs to capabilities, Broadmoor neighborhood resident Hal Rourk has turned it into a recovery tool.
March 13 '08: The Washington Post reported a Northern Virginia nonprofit which is working to connect family members, resources and those needing resources during a disaster. Stargazer.org was developed by Arthur Bushkin and the website "uses Web- and cellphone-based tools to connect users of handheld devices with colleagues and relatives."
March 12 '08: The Associated Press reported a new study released by the National Academies which found that "Climate change will affect transportation primarily through increases in several types of weather and climate extremes," and that federal, state and local governments should "incorporate climate change into their long-term capital improvement plans ... and emergency response plans."
March 6 '08: Sometimes during disasters, those who are responding may not have all the transportation resources they need to make sure that the affected communities can be reached. The Christian Appalachian Project has developed a partnership with the rental car company Enterprise to provide cars and rental vans on short notice.
February 28 '08: In a press release, the notification system developer Cooper Notification announced that it will be touring the nation's colleges and universities to demonstrate its messaging technology to faculty, students and local emergency response personnel.
February 28 '08: The St. Louis Business Journal reported that the rental car company Enterprise has partnered with Washington University to provide hybrid cars for hourly use on a 24-hour basis. The WeCar program has been targeted to students and faculty who need may need transportation quickly or for a family emergency.
February 26 '08: Ameriqual, makers of meals-ready-to-eat, has developed the APack self-heating emergency meal. The APack has a long shelf-life - up to three years, and can be ready to eat in under 10 minutes, the company's product website read. The company also contracts with the Department of Defense to provide MREs to American military personnel, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.
February 5 '08: A new report has been released by the UK-based Oxford Group, which works to find sustainable solutions to security questions facing the UK and the rest of the world. The new report outlines the potential challenges law enforcement agencies will face in the coming years if changes in the climate begin to stress resources among communities in both the developed and developing world.
February 1 '08: To help communities who have been affected by disasters or other crises, Honeywell has partnered with Operation USA. The partnership's focus is to "rapidly and expertly [provide] on-the-ground aid by sending vital life-saving supplies and cash grants to assist communities in rebuilding."
January 31 '08 The U.K. business and technology consultancy Detica is urging businesses to "move beyond 'security' to 'resiliency'," a press release announced. The message, the company said, is that though businesses can never be completely free from threats facing continuity, they can develop ways to become "as resilient to threats as possible.
January 25 '08: The Burlington Free Press reported a group in Eastern Vermont working to provide a template for rural communities who want to build and deliver broadband Internet access. The group, called the Eastern Central Vermont Community Fiber Network, has gathered 25 towns together in an effort to reduce costs to any one community and to provide the legal framework for delivering the infrastructure.
January 24 '08: Mine Safety Appliances partnered with regional state officials in Southwestern Pennsylvania in 2004 when some of the worst flooding in decades inundated communities. MSA delivered "approximately 6,000 air-purifying respirators, along with safety eyewear, coveralls and first aid kits."
January 23 '08: The Department of Homeland Security has launched a new resource website called the National Resource Framework Resource Center. The website's goal is to allow for emergency management officials, community organizations, religious organizations and public officials to come together and share best practices and ideas as well as find solutions to some of their preparedness and response questions.
January 22 '08: CrisisR4 is a company which provides crisis counseling for companies in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. The company works to provide "Readiness, Response, Resilience and Recovery" and says that they "view emergencies as a Crisis Cycle, believing that groups go through the four phases (aforementioned) when dealing with a critical incident."
January 18 '08: The New York Interfaith Disaster Services was established in 2003 after the attacks on 9/11. The 501(c)(3)'s mission is to provide "disaster readiness, response and recovery services for New York City." NYDIS' mission in disaster recovery includes "all phases of a disaster life cycle, including sustained advocacy, mitigation education, preparedness training, disaster planning, and recovery programs."
January 17 '08: In an archived story on the BNET.com page, MetLife was reported to have worked with "security teams and other financial services companies, as well as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies," in the days proceeding the attacks on 9/11.
January 16 '08: Earlier in 2007, with the hurricane season just about to start, Anheuser-Busch announced it was pre-staging canned water around the Gulf and Southeastern Atlantic coasts. 12,850 cases of canned water were delivered to relief organizations and local emergency response agencies. An additional fact sheet from the National Conference of State Legislatures showed that the company also gave support to law enforcement and relief agencies as well as financial support and transportation/trucking capabilities during Hurricane Katrina.
January 15 '08: New York City has begun a contest to encourage individual residents to increase their preparedness. Through the Ready New Yorker of the Month contest, city emergency management officials pick one resident to showcase. Winners of the contest receive a go-bag containing supplies like batteries, emergency radio, flashlight and bottled water.
January 11 '08: Carmax has initiated a company-wide disaster relief program to help its customers and employees with disaster relief. The program's goals are two-fold: to look for ways to assist local community organizations working on disaster relief; and to help employees with recovery after a disaster.
January 10 '08: The Red Cross' Ready When the Time Comes program has been working to prepare communities and their businesses for disasters by recruiting local volunteer teams and training them to help respond in a disaster. Earlier in October, the Mid Hudson News reported that a local non-profit, Elant Inc., had been working with the Red Cross to recruit and train seniors develop emergency response skills.
January 9 '08: A new report has been released by the Local Governments for Sustainability addressing the challenges facing communities due to the changing climate. Among the issues addressed, the ICLEI featured pandemic, drought, severe storms mitigation tactics while response, preparedness and cooperative programs were examined. More than 250 American cities, communities and towns are a part of the organization with the cooperation of almost all major American mayors.
January 8 '08: Matching customers' donations during the California wildfires were met up to a total of $50,000 by Lowe's the company said in a press release. In addition to the donations, the home improvement store also provided bottled water and other emergency response relief products to those fighting the blazes.
January 8 '08: The makers of the Hexayurt, a portable and quick-setup emergency shelter have been working on the Disastr.org emergency evacuation plan for cities and communities using a peer-to-peer resource allocation process which would provide sheltering for potentially hundreds of thousands of people. The value of having portable emergency shelters using scant resources was evident when the company participated in the 2006 Strong Angel III exercise, the New York Times reported.
January 3 '08: The Palestine Herald-Press reported that the local National Weather Service branch in Fort Worth, Texas and the Anderson County Emergency Management Office have partnered to offer the local community a severe weather preparedness seminar. Organizers of the event said they hoped to build a more robust weather-watching and preparedness culture in the community.
January 3 '08: Workforce training and positioning company Manpower Inc., has developed an economic response program to help communities affected by a disaster rebuild their economies sustainably. The company already works to partner with businesses, governments, and non-profits to provide workforce opportunities to "the un-employed and under-employed with the skills, competencies and relevant work experience" to match job demands.
January 2 '08 The New York City's Office of Emergency Management has begun an online community business resource tool to help during a response to a disaster. The Private Asset and Logistics Management System (PALMS) is a private sector registry resource designed to enhance the Citywide Asset and Logistics Management System (CALMS).
January 2 '08 The University of Southern Mississippi's Spectator Sports Security Management program has announced the beginning of the first CENTER for Spectator Sports Security Management which focuses on interdisciplinary work related to the research, education, outreach and protection of stadiums during events. The new program helps to close a gap in collegiate sport event security according to Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson (D), the New York Times reported.
December 28 '07: The Rocky Mount Telegram in North Carolina reported that the local emergency services management has been working on consolidating its ambulance groups in Nash County which has resulted "in good employees, standardizing training and equipment."
December 19 '07: The Associated Press reported that the recent ice storms which have crippled the Midwest are raising several recovery and resilience issues stemming from extended bouts of loss of power and freezing temperatures. The AP reported, "Many residents have a new problem to rival dwindling temperatures: dwindling bank accounts. Some have spent their money to stay in hotels, thinking power at home would be restored within a day or two, or depleted their funds by stocking up before the storm on food that has now spoiled."
December 17 '07: Hummer has been working with the American Red Cross to coordinate and provide emergency vehicle and transportation services during emergencies through a program called HUMMER Owners Prepared for Emergencies (HOPE).
December 13 '07: Western Union has announced a new partnership with the United Nations' Central Emergency Response Fund by being the first corporate donor to the international response and aid agency. In a press release Western Union said its corporate donation would help on-going humanitarian and response operations around the world.
December 6 '07: The Associated Press reported state officials at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency are working on water shortage mitigation plans in the face of a looming crisis. According to the AP, Georgia residents "may be down to just a few months of easily accessible water, and the faucets could run dry if reservoirs aren't replenished soon."
December 5 '07: The Medical University of South Carolina, a National Congress partner, announced in a press release earlier this fall, that they would begin a five-year study on the effects of disasters on mental health through a federal grant totaling $3.89 million from the National Institutes of Health. The study would coincide with the creation of the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research with the cooperation of Dartmouth Medical School, the University of Michigan, Yale University and the University of Oklahoma.
December 5 '07: The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported that a state of emergency has been declared in Washington by Governor Chris Gregoire and in Oregon by Governor Ted Kulongoski. The late fall storms have knocked out power to more than 50,000 people while completely inundating Interstate 5. Officials said the road should re-open Thursday or Friday pending little damage to the infrastructure, however some estimates put the total cost of damage in the hundreds of millions.
November 27 '07: According to first draft federal pandemic vaccination plans, EMS responders would be at the top of the priority list while firefighters and police would be second to receive the medicines. South Coast Today reported that after New Bedford's, MA pandemic revisions and actions, the federal governments guidelines were revised so that all first responders would get vaccines.
November 27 '07: The Examiner in Maryland has reported that a homeland security magnet program at the Joppatowne High School is focusing courses such as security analysis, chemical warfare, first response, Arabic-language training and history classes for its students. Officials from the Harford County Public School system said the courses would help with college and career opportunities.
November 21 '07: A local NBC affiliate in Richland, Washington reported that the Washington State Department of Emergency Management's new business preparedness website has just gone live.
November 19 '07: In Santa Rosa, California a group of residents has formed the community-based response organization Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies. The COPE organization works in partnership with the city's fire department and the Red Cross "to help train and prepare their neighbors, so that we can all COPE a little better with disasters that may disrupt our lives."
November 16 '07: A recent partnership designed to test communities' abilities to respond to fire emergencies in multicultural settings using the GoToMeeting online collaborative meeting tool was aided by a group which is seeking to build better relationships between fire departments and their communities. The group, Fire 20/20 works to highlight and support best practices among the fire fighting and EMS community.
November 15 '07: In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, part of the recovery process was the ability for the housing market to begin to assess the damage done by the storm. Similar to families and individuals taking stock of their possessions and the damage caused by the hurricane, the mortgage and housing industry were faced with the challenge of understanding the severity and extent of the damage and ways in which they could begin to recover. Ohio-based Safeguard Properties, helped the industry and home-owners by inspecting the damage while pulling the mortgage industry's resources and assets together to help communities begin to cleanup and rebuild.
November 13 '07: In Stockton, California, the Record reported that community leaders are working with the University of the Pacific and the Port of Stockton to develop and execute the Golden Guardian 2007 emergency response exercise which will begin on Wednesday.
November 9 '07: The Associated Press reported that a 58,000-gallon oil spill in San Francisco Bay has prompted a cleanup and response effort from local residents and environmental groups working to contain the slick which has spread at least 15 miles out into the Pacific Ocean. To help with the cleanup and response efforts, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that local residents are aiding emergency crews who have established remote and mobile operations units along the beaches.
November 9 '07: The Associated Press reported that a 58,000-gallon oil spill in San Francisco Bay has prompted a cleanup and response effort from local residents and environmental groups working to contain the slick which has spread at least 15 miles out into the Pacific Ocean. To help with the cleanup and response efforts, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that local residents are aiding emergency crews who have established remote and mobile operations units along the beaches.
November 9 '07: A press release from Wal-Mart and SAM's Albums in Canada have announced a new program to help the Red Cross with "raising much-needed funds for Canadian Red Cross disaster preparedness and response beginning August 9." The total campaign will last until September 2 and is expected to raise about $1 million in funds.
November 6 '07: Reuters reported Monday that a new report released by the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the Center for a New American Security entitled "The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change" has found that domestic and international security concerns will begin to grow as the earth's climate changes and heats up.
November 2 '07: Disaster News Network reported a gathering of local and state California officials with community church groups, relief organizations and church leaders "to bring local churches together in order to better coordinate their response efforts," during the recent devastating wildfires.
October 25 '07: For the next National League of Cities' Congress of Cities and Exposition in New Orleans, mayors, public and city officials, and other members of the private sector will look at ways to increase communities' emergency preparedness, sustainability and green power initiatives, public safety and first response a press release announced.
October 24 '07: In Southern California, as wildfires continue to burn, close to 1 million people have been evacuated while President Bush declared a state of emergency allowing for federal aid and resources to be sent to the state. Officials have said they have learned from Hurricane Katrina, the LA Times reported.
October 22 '07: The Los Angeles Times has reported that local communities in Southern California are rushing to respond to the intense wildfires sweeping through at least seven counties. More than 30,000 reverse 9-1-1 calls were made to residents urging them to evacuate from the "unrestrained fires." Local emergency officials also have partnered with area businesses to organize an effective response, the Times found.
October 15 '07: A new online community has been launched to help train virtually first responders for a pandemic. Through the SecondLife platform, participants cant visit virtual hospitals to triage and treat victims of a pandemic using the Play2Train Open Content Alliance, according to Idaho's Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program, a project run by Idaho State University.
October 11 '07: Reuters reported that the United Nations has called on disaster response organizations to increase their preparedness levels to confront increasing environmental disasters. U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told the international wire news service that "Climate Change is already driving an increase in the frequency and the intensity of heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. We believe that more needs to be done to contain these natural disasters at the outset."
October 9 '07: Buffalo News reported area businesses working to develop disaster response and continuity of operations plans which will help them "cope with the loss of a major portion of staff, how to contain (a pandemic) disease, how to keep operations running, and how to serve customers. ... From insurers and banks to grocery store chains like Wegmans, companies large and small ... are developing contingency plans."
October 9 '07: Chicago Marathon officials activated their emergency response contingency plan on Sunday after soaring temperatures hospitalized hundreds of people and caused organizers to cancel the race - a first for the city, the Chicago Tribune reported.
October 5 '07: Virginia officials have announced a new Spanish-language emergency preparedness website to help the Latino community prepare for disasters, CBS 6 in Richmond reported. The site, called ListoVirginia.gov "is an important step to reaching out to all Virginians," Michael M. Cline, the state coordinator for the Department of Emergency Management said.
October 5 '07: In New York, the Mid Hudson News reported on a partnership which is working to put response and preparedness skills directly into the hands of the communities' residents. The Red Cross has partnered with Elant Inc., a non-profit group working to help seniors, to develop the Ready When the Time Comes program for Greater New York an Elant Inc. press release read.
October 3 '07: The Home Safety Council and the battery maker Duracell have partnered to raise home fire safety and prevention through the Power to Protect program, a press release announced.
October 2 '07: In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the annual National Emergency Managers Association conference attendants said they focused on recent lessons-learned after heavy snowfalls this past winter and vernal torrential rains flooded the state activating record response measures. The Norman Transcript reported "Networking and sharing experiences were the messages" of the conference.
October 1 '07: Savannah State University will be the first school in Georgia to offer its students a degree in homeland security, the Savannah Morning News reported. Nine students have signed up for the major which will be "housed" in the Department of Political Science, Public Administration, and Urban Studies, a press release from the University announced.
September 27 '07: Similar to the Wall Street West project in Pennsylvania, the New York Mercantile Exchange is working to ensure that its operations are safe in the event of a large-scale tragedy such as the attacks on 9/11, Newsday reported. At an undisclosed location in Nassau County Mercantile officials have set up remote-location base of operations with separate electricity, water and database systems.
September 26 '07: Earlier this year, state and local leaders from Louisiana and New Orleans, as well as first responders, members of the media, academia, corporations and other organizations met to discuss ways in which communities could learn to meet the the challenges of long-term, post-disaster recovery operations on the local level during the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's, Restoration 2007 event in New Orleans.
September 24 '07: The Red Cross and the Business Roundtable have announced a new partnership to help increase the nation's corporate emergency preparedness, a Red Cross press release announced.
September 21 '07: At Delaware State University early this morning, two people were shot, one critically, other other stable, in what is the first campus shooting since the Virginia Tech massacre in April earlier this year. The New York Times reported in its Lede Blog, "the incident looks to be the first major test of college and university leaders' resolve ... to act more quickly and to communicate better and faster," with the campus community.
September 21 '07: Congressional Quarterly reported several pilot programs developed and organized by the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association - a partner with the National Congress for Secure Communities - which are using existing relationships between businesses to help federal, state and local governments respond to disasters.
September 20 '07: On the Penn State's Live website, the school's efforts at preparing its community for disasters were highlighted through cooperation and participation during the National Preparedness Month campaign, sponsored by DHS. Disaster information resources for the school are bolstered through the Extension Disaster Education Network which also has been used by other community groups across the country.
September 20 '07: A new website has been developed by the Roche company to help provide businesses with information to promote businesses continuity in the face of a pandemic emergency. The website, called Pandemic Toolkit, was developed, and is the product of company officials working with federal health agencies over the last several years, the Chief Executive Officer of Roche George Abercrombie said in a speech in Tennessee recently.
September 19, '07: A new severe weather emergency alert system, developed by the National Weather Service, will go online October 1 to help provide more geographically-sensitve data to the public about the specific locations of storms, the Associated Press reported. "Known as storm-based warning, the new alerts could reduce a warning area from thousands of square miles to a few hundred square miles," the AP reported according to weather experts.
September 5 '07: During September's National Preparedness Month, XFM's ReachMD, will air a new series highlighting emergency disaster and response medicine, a press release announced. A full schedule can be found here.
September 4 '07: The Coulee News in Wisconsin reported that during the recent intense flooding in Midwest states some residents in La Crosse County were ready to respond and give assistance to local first responders and emergency management officials.
August 30 '07: At the 42nd World Congress of Surgery of the International Society of Surgery ISS/SIC being held in Montreal, Quebec, the public has been invited to attend a general session focusing on terrorism attacks and the impact that it has on the response in the surgical world a press release announced. The biennial event hosts topics on all health-related issues such as military trauma, disorders, new and emerging technologies, and this year - terrorism.
August 29 '07: In Bella Vista, Arkansas, a local emergency preparedness expo focused on the potential dangers facing community families with the idea that some dangers are not as present as others. The Northwest Arkansas' News Source reported the event was hosted by the Institute for Corporate and Public Safety at the Northwest Arkansas Community College.
August 28 '07: The International Bottled Water Association has announced a federal, state and local emergency response directory for its industry members to use to help distribute supplies for recovery operations. The new directory's availability comes in preparation of September's National Preparedness Month.
August 28 '07: Recently, when a magnitude 8.0 earthquake shook Peru, the Mormon Church mobilized disaster response resources and recovery supplies to help to affected communities. Church leaders said on their website that disaster and response efforts were helped through existing resources and congregational help.
August 27 '07: The Associated Press reported new plans from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to overhaul the state's emergency response apparatus. The governor also said the new effort will coincide with a public awareness campaign in September to raise emergency preparedness education in the state "to preserve critical resources for first responders by encouraging the general public to develop personal and family emergency response plans."
August 21 '07: CNN has a new section on its website called Impact Your World which was designed to offer disaster resource outlets to all its customers "to take action on the news you witness and to impact your world." The site's goal is to allow viewers an opportunity to learn how to send monetary, logistical aid or resources to areas affected by natural or man-made disasters.
August 20 '07: In Fairfield, Ohio, Fire Chief Don Bennet has created the Clergy Crisis Response Team "in an attempt to support the citizens which encounter traumatic events within the community."
August 20 '07: Georgia Tech has a new emergency notification system portal which will send out time-sensitve messaging through email, voice, and SMS, a press release on the school's website announced. The system is open to anyone who has access to the school's PASSPORT portal.
August 16 '07: A new one-stop hurricane preparedness site, advised and developed by hurricane and response officials is working to raise coastal communities' preparedness, Disaster News Network reported. The OneStorm.org site offers tips, information, planning scenarios, and other content designed to give the most information about hurricane response and preparedness to families and communities.
August 15 '07: FirefighterNation.com is a new social network dedicated to first responders as well as firefighters. The First Response Coalition reported that the site is run by the former publisher of Firehouse.com, Dave Iannone. Those who join the site can participate in chat and forum groups, posts profiles and media such as videos, photos and blog posts.
August 14 '07: Despite headline grabbing scenarios which push most managers to prepare their businesses for a disaster, InformationWeek reported that most of the time, the greatest threat to continuity of operations is simple human error. According to experts, about 80 percent of all IT outages and failures are caused by employee mistakes.
August 14 '07: In Hawaii, residents and responder officials are bracing for Hurricane Flossie while a 5.3 earthquake struck the Big Island under a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning, CNN reported. To help residents stay informed about the impending storm - which has been downgraded to a Category 3 and is not expected to hit the islands directly - the Honolulu Advertiser has posted a disaster preparedness page on its website.
August 9 '07: A partnership between King Soopers Groceries, City Market Food Stores, El Dorado Spring Water, Health One and Denver area Hospitals, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will launch a state-wide competition based on a reality-TV format to put residents in a house to see which ones would be able to survive a disaster. The program is called "What If Colorado". The winner of the competition will receive $2,500. Organizers said they hope the competition will raise disaster preparedness and response awareness.
August 6 '07: First responders in Minneapolis said that the city's new wireless network - just two months old - has been invaluable in sending and receiving information to help with response and recovery efforts after the I-35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River. PC World reported that the new network has "helped the city with communications, moving large mapping files to the recovery site, and is supporting wireless cameras that are being installed to help with recovery operations."
August 1 '07: A recent press release from EMBARQ and the Home Safety Council announced a new partnership to help raise preparedness awareness to families in several Southern states.
August 1 '07: A post in Computer World by IT professional Peter N. Glaskowsky outlined recent exhortations in his industry to take steps to prepare for disasters and pandemics to maintain continuity of operations. Glaskowsky cited a report released last year which called on IT pandemic preparedness plans to be in place by the last quarter of 2007. However a recent article finds little movement.
July 31 '07: According to the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy, a new survey taken showed European and Asian communities imposing pandemic mitigation tactics and a change of lifestyle if a large-scale disease were to infect large populations. The survey was published in the July 20 edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
July 30 '07: Local officials in Barnstable, Massachusetts told the Barnstable Patriot that lessons-learned from Hurricane Katrina have taught them to look for emergency preparedness and response within the community. Police Chief Craig Tamash said, "For a lot of years, the onus was on the government to take care of people. What we know from Katrina is that's not going to happen."
July 26 '07: In Duval County, Florida, a new emergency alert system has been installed that will target specific areas of Jacksonville and the surrounding community in the event of an emergency with up to 60,000 telephone calls an hour, the Jacksonville Business Journal reported. The technology used, CodeRed is preloaded with the targeted community's phone numbers while businesses can be added.
July 23 '07: On August 6 and 7 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, first responders will gather with the academic and scientific community to collaborate on ways to improve disaster response after a terrorist attack, natural disaster or a pandemic. The Continental Divide Disaster Behavioral Health Conference is a partnership between the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and the Colorado Department of of Human Services Division of Mental Health.
July 20 '07: Some of North Carolina's top emergency officials will be on-hand for a hurricane preparedness forum in Brunswick County the Myrtle Beach Online reported. The forum's goal is to help residents, and especially new residents, learn the steps they can take to prepare their families for hurricane season. Officials told the local paper it was important to hold the forum because many residents had never weathered a hurricane.
July 19 '07: The Business Roundtable has provided a disaster response and preparedness website for companies looking to increase their response capabilities. On the website, the Roundtable has posted a page featuring best practices which have been implemented by member organizations to help their continuity of operations and resiliency.
July 17 '07: The City of Los Angeles has unveiled a new public preparedness campaign called 'Just Be Ready: Prepare Together'. The announcement of the new public preparedness campaign will coincide with public service announcements on television, radio, print and online in a dozen languages, a press release read.
July 17 '07: The City of San Francisco has been employing a new web-based emergency alert system that sends messages to residents' PDA's, cellphones, laptops and pagers, PC World reported. The service, called AlertSF, now has about 8,400 subscribers using it.
July 16 '07: The 16th annual Alarm Awards were held in the U.K. recently, highlighting those organizations which have worked to employ best practices to keep business continuity running after a disaster. The Alarm website provides information on public sector organizations and their best practices to help construct a blueprint for emergency preparedness.
July 11 '07: "Unprecedented" was the word used to describe the response in Texas after more than 45 days of flooding that left more than a dozen people dead and hundreds more stranded, NPR reported. Officials told the public radio network that the search and rescue operations were the largest the state had ever mobilized.
July 10 '07: In St. Louis, Missouri, severe weather over the last two years, both in the winter and summer seasons, have put enormous strains on the local communities as well as the economy. The St. Louis Dispatch reported that one company took lessons learned from several severe thunderstorms and turned those into ways to keep a continuity of operations for its business.
July 6 '07: The Rocky Mount Telegram in North Carolina reported that the city has received a fifth consecutive "StormReady" designation from the National Weather Service for its efforts to prepare residents, businesses and schools for the 2007 hurricane season. The StormReady program has more than 1,200 military, state, local and tribal communities working to prepare for tsunamis, hurricanes and other severe weather.
July 3 '07 The Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network is an organization which works to extend emergency preparedness best practices to the deaf and blind community in the U.S. Because of the special nature of the deaf and blind community, it is not always possible for local government officials to warn residents properly of an impending or unfolding disaster.
July 3 '07: The Red Cross will be on hand at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 5 - 8 to promote emergency preparedness and civic response and engagement campaign "Be Red Cross Ready" a press release announced. The festival is sponsored by Coca Cola.
July 2 '07: In Palm Beach County, local officials have said they are working to include residents in disaster response operations through the Cities Readiness Initiative the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. The program is part of a larger national effort directed by the Centers for Disease Control.
July 2 '07: The San Francisco Chronicle reported that along with resident evacuations and the dangerous conditions created by the wildfires in the Lake Tahoe area - emergency managers and firefighters are having to contend with "disaster tourists" - people who sneak into the disaster areas to watch the response.
June 29 '07: According to the Associated Press, the torrential rains which have killed at least 12 people in Texas and Oklahoma are projected to stay for the next couple of days, exacerbating the flood levels and pushing emergency responses. Evacuation orders for 2,00 of Parker County, Texas were issued while in San Antonio there have been 52 street closures and 43 high-water rescue calls made.
June 28 '07: The U.S. Fire Administration has released a report detailing recruitment of volunteer fire fighters and retaining them. The report comes during an active Western fire season which has been stretching responder and local services. In response to civilian preparedness issues, the administration also has released a preparedness set of guidelines.
June 27 '07: In El Paso, the Associated Press reported that an emergency response and cooperation agreement has been signed by mayors on both sides of the American and Mexican borders. The new agreement among mayors from El Paso, Sunland Park, N.M., and Juarez, Mexico will coordinated police, fire and rescue operations.
June 26 '07: Washington Technology posted a story on their website which looked into the disaster planning for corporations in light of the disasters of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina finding that many plans are now revolving around keeping information transmission and storage safe and accessible before, during and after the emergency because of the reliance on digital technology.
June 25 '07: Band-Aid has a first aid checklist for families on its website that also includes a emergency preparedness and first aid informational download. Other sections on the website include ways to help mitigate and prepare for broken bones, chemical burns, poisoning, severe wounds and exposure to severe weather.
June 25 '07: Citing a recent report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (see attached report below), Cisco Systems has said that its new communications technology will help educators and schools around the country to have instant access to information and "to help when they need it," through Cisco Unified Communications.
June 21 '07: On NPR Washington DC station WAMU 88.5 FM on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m., the Homeland Security Inside and Out program has been broadcasting from member station KAMU 90.9 FM in College Station, Texas which focuses on all issues relating to Homeland Security and emergency preparedness.
June 21 '07: The American Microchip Advisory Council for Animals has announced a new disaster preparedness manuel for veterinarians and other animal caregivers called the "An Emergency Management Guide", a press release announced. The guide "aids state animal response teams, shelters and veterinarians in their plan for responding to natural or manmade disasters."
June 20 '07: Wakulla Bank in Florida has released financial preparedness information for residents for the 2007 hurricane season. On its website, the bank said it has partnered with the American Bankers Association to provide the information after a Miami Herald story found that more than half of all Floridians are not prepared to handle the aftermath of a large disaster.
June 14 '07: The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline PLC has announced in a press release that it will donate 50 million doses of the H5N1 flu vaccine to the World Health Organization to help build a pandemic vaccine stockpile for the poorest countries.
June 12 '07: The Weather Channel has released a new location-sensitive personalized severe weather alert service that can release information about weather emergencies via SMS texting, or email, a press release announced.
June 6 '07: Officials in New Orleans have announced a new community hurricane response and emergency alert system according to a press release. The program, called NOLA Ready will work to help distribute "important information about evacuation, threatening levee breaches, power outages, and communication disruptions."
June 4 '07: Home improvement stores in Florida told the Tallahassee Democrat that they have prepared for this year's hurricane season by stocking up on essential preparedness and rebuilding supplies as well as stocking centralized depot points to help with any reconstruction efforts after large storms.
May 29 '07: Financial sector officials have announced a flu pandemic response and preparedness exercise to be help in cooperation with the federal government, FinExtra.com reported. The exercise will take place later in the year and it will last several weeks to help simulate a "full pandemic wave".
May 28 '07: Local officials along Alaska's coast are struggling to cope with changes in the local weather systems that are causing the melting of the permafrost, collapsed buildings, sinking roads and which are helping rising coastal waters inundate sea communities, the International Herald Tribune reported.
May 23: North Carolina Governor Mike Easly told the News & Observer that his state was ready for the 2007 hurricane season, which forecasters have said will be very active with already one tropical storm on the books. Despite the state's readiness, Easly also said that manpower and equipment was down because of Iraq deployments.
May 21 '07: A Government Accountability Office report looked at the role of the federal government in providing funding for school emergency management programs on the state and local level. The report found that funding on the federal level to elementary and high schools would help to increase the amount of preparedness and response in light of the recent school shootings at Virginia Tech.
May 16 '07: Maintaining business continuity after disasters is essential on the road to recovery. To help businesses and financial institutions along the Gulf Coast, the FDIC has been working to compile best practices and business continuity plans which can serve as templates for other members of the community.
May 15 '07: According to a poll released by the USA Today and Gallup found that local communities in the U.S. are seen as being prepared for a potential disaster while little confidence was placed on the ability for the federal government to adequately respond the Associated Press reported. The poll was released Monday and comes just a few weeks before the start of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season.
May 14: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has released a new website designed to provide valuable information about hazardous chemicals and proper response techniques for first responders, Government Technology reported. The site, called Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) Chemicals, is an addition to the original information suite developed over the last twenty years.
May 11 '07: President Bush has signed a new national security directive effectively establishing a national policy to promote the "continuity of Federal Government structures and operations" under the National Continuity Coordinator. The NCC will also oversee state, local, tribal government operations and will provide information to the private sector to help keep continuity of operations before, during and after disasters.
May 7 '07: In New York City, a grassroots-level, fringe organization called Aftershock Action Alliance is working to establish and build community-level, decentralized response networks with an anarchist slant. According to the organization's website, the main goal is to create an effectual community preparedness level to balance out what it sees as an inadequate federal machine.
May 7 '07: Local residents in Greensburg, Kansas are beginning to return and rebuild after a tornado flattened the town on Friday, CNN reported. However, efforts are hampered by a lack of resources and several incidents of looting in the aftermath, local news sources reported.
May 3 '07: In Texas City, Texas, town officials told KHOU that a new phone, email and text message emergency alert and warning warning system has been installed and is now ready to go live. The system will work much like a reverse-911 call system and will contact all residents of the town in case of an emergency.
April 30 '07: According to the On Deadline blog at USA Today, more than 700 firefighters in Southern Georgia were working to put out wildfires which have consumed more than 100 square miles of swampland. The Associated Press reported that by Monday, about 70 percent of the blazes had been contained.
April 27 '07: The Navy has announced new information resources for families of servicemen through Operation Prepare the Navy Newsstand reported. Operation Prepare was developed by the Commander, Navy Installations Command.
April 27 '07: Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and faculty from the University of California, Davis will sponsor a town hall meeting for the REAL ID program which seeks to standardize states' license requirements for identification. According to Government Technology, the town hall meeting will be the only open forum in the country on the federal program.
April 25 '07: According to the American Red Cross press announcement, a series of four Community Relations Liaison trainings will work "to build a more culturally competent organization" helping to increase community outreach.
April 24 '07: In May 2005, an English first responder Bob Brotchie devised the In Case of Emergency program which would tag certain phone numbers on peoples' cell phones so that in an emergency, those on the scene could contact the victims' family or friends. The program later caught on globally and is now in the U.S..
April 24 '07: William and Mary University has announced a new campus emergency alert system the Daily Press reported. Pending the finalization of the contract, the university's system will "provide the kind of service that college officials believe could make gaps in disaster communication a thing of the past," by using text, cell phone and landline messaging to faculty, staff and students.
April 23 '07: With the summer months coming, many local towns in the U.S. are worried that high summer temperatures will equate to continued power outages seen last year in Missouri, New York and California. The Associated Press reported that many towns are looking to renewable and local energy production as a way to reduce dependence on a national grid increasingly seen as overworked and unreliable.
April 23 '07: Valdosta State University in Georgia has announced a new campus-wide emergency alert system to help inform faculty and students at the onset of an emergency, a press release from the school read. The VSU Campus Alert system would rely on text and phone messaging using an automated system using the Connect-ED communications service.
April 18 '07: The National Crime Prevention Council said that the recent tragic school shootings at Virginia Tech where 32 people were killed, highlights the imperative for "all higher education campuses [to] continually update and rehearse emergency plans and emphasize a campus community-wide crime prevention strategy," a press release announced.
April 17 '07: In the wake of the fatal shootings at Virginia Tech University on Monday, the campus security response and the spread of that information to the student body and faculty prompted San Diego State University and other academic institutions around the country to address concerns over response and campus security and safety.
April 17 '07: Students, faculty and residents in Roanoke, Virginia said that as the news of the fatal school shootings began to creep out of the Virginia Tech campus, cell phone lines were completely shut down by the sheer volume of demand and that email was incredibly slow or not working the Roanoke Times reported. While cell phones lines struggled to remain open, information via the Internet became the single source of news.
April 17 '07: On Monday, 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech after a gunman stormed a dormitory and the engineering school, killing many students execution-style the Roanoke Times reported. Response to the shootings has been under question after email notifications about the first shooting came nearly two hours later according to local and regional officials who have asked whether more could have been done to save the lives of students and faculty, the Times reported.
April 13 '07: Broadcast companies working in the Gulf Coast region will begin to prepare for the upcoming 2007 hurricane season by implementing a new emergency alert messaging platform called ALERT FM a press release announced. The new system will be showcased during the National Association of Broadcasters 2007 Show, in Las Vegas April 14 - 19.
April 12 '07: The second full week in April is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The week, honoring those in the emergency response industry who are instrumental in sending the right and timely information to those in the field, was mandated by Congress in 1994 after several states, prompted by California, began to recognize the responders' efforts.
April 9 '07: The 911 system in many parts of the country is facing difficulties as state and local governments try to upgrade the systems to handle new technologies such as cell phones and text messaging, the New York Times reported according to state, local and regional officials.
April 6 '07: To help the City of Los Angeles learn about pandemic preparedness, Town Hall Los Angeles and the President and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Roche, George Abercrombie, will hold a pandemic preparedness event later in April, a press release from Town Hall Los Angeles announced.
April 4 '07: The state of California has announced a new community preparedness website which will provide valuable emergency preparedness and disaster response information in more than 12 languages, a local CBS affiliate in San Francisco reported.
April 3 '07: Hawaiian state officials and emergency management officers have said that tsunami preparedness is essential for all those living on the islands. The Star Bulletin reported recently that during Tsunami Preparedness Month information and public tsunami response exercises will work to increase the level of preparedness and awareness for the state's residents.
April 2 '07: The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate has created a new technology oversight project called the TechSolutions Program to help deliver new and emerging technologies to first responders. DHS Undersecretary for S&T Jay Cohen said the goal was to develop a forum where first responders could take their ideas about technological best practices and apply them to research and development.
March 29 '07: A new emergency alert system for the city of Trenton, New Jersey was announced by Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, NJ.com reported. If any disaster should strike, reverse 9-1-1 calls and emails will be sent to residents with a detailed message from the mayor about the nature of the emergency and what actions are to be taken.
March 28 '07: During Severe Weather Awareness Week, Ohio officials announced they have encouraged residents to participate in a statewide tornado emergency response drill, the Salem News reported. According to a press release from the state, with the onset of tornado season, every resident should prepare themselves and families for the threat of the powerful storms.
In the event of ANY disaster, stadiums can serve an important function. They have large outdoor and indoor open spaces. They have high ground (stands and press box facilities). They have community identification. They have route access to other emergency support. They have the potential of emergency power (generator) lighting. They have existing medical rooms and equipment. They have locker room and restroom facilities. They lend themselves to the potential of pre-planned distribution (concession areas, parking lot) for water, medical aid, batteries, sandbags, diapers/clothing, food). They can serve well as assembly points and communication coordination (press box areas) for National Guardsmen or police.
March 26 '07: The Department of Health and Senior Services in Missouri released new resources for disaster preparedness and response for the state's adult care centers, MaxHealth reported. The ABC's of Emergency Preparedness were designed to "support collaboration among facilities, local emergency response planners, health care systems, and others involved in emergency planning and response efforts."
March 22 '07: A three-year study by the University of Georgia has found that the U.S. is not ready to respond to a nuclear attack, a press release read. The study, which has called "the most advanced and detailed simulation published in open scientific literature," found that surge capacity inadequacies and a breakdown in response services would result from a large nuclear attack in a major American city.
March 19 '07: A disaster, all-weather blanket designed by the Polymer Group based in Charleston, S.C. is being used all over the world by disaster recovery groups because it is so versatile, the Associated Press reported. Called the "All Day, Every Day" blanket, company officials said it is "warmer than traditional blankets woven of cotton or wool," and can repel water as well as being resistant to diseases.
March 16 '07: In Nashville, Tennessee, the Local Emergency Planning Committee will host the second annual Community Emergency Preparedness Fair, the Tennessean reported. Participants will include the Vanderbilt Medical Center Life Flight helicopter crew, the Air Evac medical helicopter, area first responders, police, fire fighters, emergency management agencies from across the state and the Montgomery County Bomb Squad.
March 13 '07: IBM has developed a business disaster response and preparedness plan, the company's website reported. The Business Continuity Self-Assessment Tool was developed to tackle three main areas of disaster mitigation: business, data, and event driven threats.
March 12 '07: A new report released by the First Response Coalition looked at the nation's best practices regarding interoperable communications and information-sharing and found three key points to furthering interoperable programs.
March 8 '07:" More than 1,800 firefighters, police, EMS, emergency management operators and others will participate in the New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association's ninth annual conference to enhance "the abilities of police, fire and medical response units," New Jersey.com reported.
March 2 '07: About 80 search and rescue team members from the Texas Task Force are planning a simulated earthquake response exercise at the Disaster City facility in College Station a press release announced recently.
March 1 '07: Seattle's Mayor Greg Nickels announced recently that there would changes to his city's emergency management and response systems after recent storms hit causing power outages and widespread damage, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.
February 22 '07: The Salem News in Ohio reported that as Community Emergency Response Training programs have been offered by the local Emergency Management Agency residents in the community have been signing up for the training. Officials told the Salem News that the diverse backgrounds of the volunteers have provided well-needed experience to help team cooperation during an emergency.
February 21 '07: In Georgia and Florida, state lawmakers and governors are urging residents to stay prepared and vigilant for all types of natural disasters during Severe Weather Awareness Week. The Courier Herald in Georgia and a press release from Florida Governor Charlie Crist's office both announced plans to include the public in safety and response preparedness initiatives statewide.
February 21 '07: In Florida, communities hit by recent tornados are getting recovery help from Native American tribal volunteers through the Tribal Civilian Community Corps, an organization begun and modeled after the National Civilian Community Corps.
February 14 '07: The American Red Cross in Greater New York recently sponsored an international conference of Red Cross emergency managers from the U.S., Great Britain and Spain, Voice of America reported. The gathering's goal was to share information about lessons learned during the terrorist attacks in London, Madrid and New York in the last five years.
February 7 '07: Small and large corporations and businesses around the U.S. are planning on ways to make sure if an influenza pandemic were to strike, operations would be able to continue, Reuters reported. To help businesses plan for pandemic response and preparedness, the U.S. Department of Occupational Health and Safety Administration released a series of guidelines designed to maintain such vital business operations as food supply distribution and electricity production.
February 7 '07: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta issued new pandemic guidelines last week, the New York Times reported. The guidelines came after state and local government and health officials asked the federal government for suggestions on how to prepare and respond to a pandemic such as bird flu.
February 6 '07: The Miami Herald reported recently that emergency managers from several Florida communities participated in a four-day class designed to teach large animal emergency response. The class included "water rescue, mud rescue, trailer accident simulations, and search and rescue," the Herald reported.
February 5 '07: The National Weather Service has begun a tsunami preparedness program for communities on the East Coast, the Associated Press reported. In all, about nine local communities which have been licensed as tsunami-prepared, are participating in the program which was begun after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed more than 200,000 people.
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