Index > Citizen & Community Sector: Public/Private Partnerships
January 2012: (Hat tip to PolicyMic. A recent report out from Reuters outlined the current ongoing program at the Department of Homeland Security to monitor social networks with the intention of collecting "information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture". The networks include Twitter, Facebook, Hulu, Wikileaks as well as sites like Drudge Report, Huffington Post and others.
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.
July 2010: Seattle's Local Food Action Initiative (LFAI) has been working to improve the city's local food system to "advance the City of Seattle's interrelated goals of race and social justice, environmental sustainability, economic development, and emergency preparedness." Begun in 2008, Resolution 31019 was implemented after the city passed Resolution 30990 a "Zero Waste Strategy". LFAI's goals include increase support of local agriculture in the surrounding rural areas as well as in inner-city locations; reduce the carbon footprint of the city's food system; to support strategies to connect major institutions like hospitals, jails and schools to local food sourcing; and to "Build community through developing community gardens, promoting farmers' markets," and involving immigrant communities.
July 2010: In southern Alabama many shrimping communities along the Gulf Coast are populated by Vietnamese immigrants who do not speak English. Local officials have been working with BP and federal and state authorities to "connect emergency managers with Asian community leaders so they could get to know each other - and each other's needs," Daily Yonder reported. To help, BP recruited Mike Dillabler, "an expert in emergency management and a project director with the Community Foundation of Southern Alabama." Dillaber helped to pair Vietnamese translators with communities who spoke the same dialect so BP "could quickly begin interviewing and training local residents for work related to the spill."
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.
June 6 '08: During the ReadyCommunities Partnership Buffalo Symposium and planning session, members of the city, local and regional governments partnered with their business and community counterparts to plan and design a pilot project to help the community respond and recover from a disaster in the first 72 hours of a crisis. Through leveraging community resources, attendees developed several key points during the symposium which was opened by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
June 4 '08: First responders, local officials and community stakeholders will gather in Buffalo, New York today to discuss the upcoming Buffalo pilot program during a planning session and symposium with the ReadyCommunities Partnership working with symposium co-chairman Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Building on the Niagara's key location for commerce and security for both American and Canadian governments, RCP and Mayor Brown's office will work to design a pilot project planned for later this year.
May 20 '08: The Community and Regional Resilience Initiative (CARRI) is a federally-funded program under the Southeast Region Research Initiative and led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory which seeks to build partnerships among stakeholders to increase resiliency in all sectors so that in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, a community will have the necessary means to respond and recover quickly. Currently, CARRI organizers have worked with three communities in the Southeast to "enrich the knowledge bases available to other communities," according to Corporate Research Fellow Thomas J. Wilbanks from Oak Ridge.
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.
March 19 '08: The Naples Daily News reported that local emergency response officials recently employed the help of local high school students at a nearby college when conducting an emergency response exercise simulating a crash. "The exercise," the Naples Daily News reported, "are also giving ... Lee County School District's three comprehensive high schools - a front row sear to the careers they've been training for in their schools' career academies."
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 15 '08: Hope Coalition America is an organization working to help mitigate the economic damages caused to families and organizations after a disaster happens. On their website, the organization said it also "serves as a resource network of companies, including banking, financial services, and insurance as well as government social service and emergency relief organizations that mobilize to respond to disasters."
January 9 '08: In a press release Kentucky state officials announced a public/private partnership which would join members of the retail and pharmacy industries to help promote disaster and emergency preparedness education through brochure distribution. About 250,000 brochures were sent out to families with accompanying information at the state's family preparedness website.
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 In December, the New York Times ran a story covering companies and organizations' participation in working to help communities respond to disasters in the immediate aftermath. At the heart, experts told the Times that "managers and executives need to collaborate with outsiders like local officials and charities, ideally on a continuing basis, and not only in the midst of a crisis."
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).
December 17 '07: U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will deliver the keynote address at next week’s National Congress for Secure Communities, a two-day forum dedicated to leveraging public/private partnerships for disaster preparedness and response at the community level.
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.
November 29 '07: In a press release, the Small Business Administration and Nationwide Insurance have announced a new set of disaster preparedness guides which will be available to small business owners. The announcement will be made next week in Washington D.C., the press release said. Officials from both organizations said that the guides will be in digital and physical form.
November 14 '07: According to Science Daily, a new report released by the peer-reviewed International Journal of Emergency Management, has said that "an increase in the complexity of disasters [has made] it more difficult to manage a response" between local and state communities and the private sector. The report found, "It will be the responsibility of citizens and local government officials to work together to adapt the programmes [sic] to their communities' preparedness needs."
November 1 '07: According to Government Technology, a new set of two multi-language preparedness guides in New York are working to elevate the level of children's preparedness in the city through a partnership between New York's local government organizations and the city's department of education, a press release read.
October 31 '07: WTAE TV 4 in Pittsburgh has reported that the University of Pittsburgh's Center for National Preparedness has been working on a new online information and resource collaborative tool called the Dynamic Discrete Disaster Decision Simulation System much like the Essential Public Network, although Pitt's resource is targeted toward the local community.
October 17 '07: According to a press release, the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission (MERC) with the Red Cross' Oregon Trail Chapter to develop a first-of-its-kind mega-shleter "agreement of its kind in Oregon that provides response and coordination of services and operations during major emergency and disaster relief efforts."
October 1 '07: Volunteers, members of the Lehigh County Emergency Response Team and the Allentown Health Bureau in Allentown, Pennsylvania were on-hand at the local Wegmans Food Markets over the weekend, passing out emergency preparedness information and locally-produced emergency preparedness DVD's, the Morning Call reported.
September 24 '07: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported over the weekend that Drexel University, the National Resource Center Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities, and the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have partnered to release a new report looking at minority populations' preparedness and the ways in which those communities can become more involved in their larger state, regional and national preparedness programs.
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 17 '07: The Press Telegram in Long Beach, California reported that the Red Cross has partnered with local business leaders to promote greater business preparedness - specifically earthquake preparedness.
September 14 '07: In Walnut Creek, California local city officials are partnering with the Red Cross and the Church of Latter Day Saints to hold an emergency preparedness fair at the Heather Farm Community Center, the Contra Costa Times reported. The fair was being held this week to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11.
September 13 '07: In Elmira Township, Michigan a local amateur radio group is hosting emergency preparedness classes and expos to help educate the local community on ways to prepare and develop strategies to mitigate disasters, the Gaylord Herald Times reported. The radio group, called the Northern Michigan Amateur Radio Emergency Services Group will host the classes for free.
September 13 '07: At Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois,, an emergency preparedness expo, hosted by the McCormick Tribune Foundation will work to help raise emergency preparedness issues for the local community, the Hindsdale, IL Suburban News reported. About 13 booths will display demonstrations and information on how to protect and prepare families.
September 11 '07: In New York City, on the six anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Washington D.C., New York the crashed Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, area hospitals and health organizations are working to incorporate best practices and lessons learned through collaborative symposia and conferences, the New York Sun reported. Among those held, the New York Downtown Hospital is holding its fifth annual emergency preparedness symposium.
September 10 '07: In Louisiana, state and local emergency officials have additional help during disasters through a partnership between veterinarians, university health representatives and first responders. The Louisiana State Animal Response Team has published an emergency preparedness manual for pet owners and has held summits focusing on best practices for the veterinarian community.
September 4 '07: A Department of Homeland Security press release announced the beginning of the fourth annual National Preparedness Month. More than 1,700 federal, state and local governments and private organizations, businesses and religious groups are participating in the month-long campaign.
August 22 '07: Inhabitat reported that in the aftermath of the 2007 Peru Earthquake which has already claimed 500 people, the architecture group Architecture for Humanity has begun to look for donations to help response and recovery efforts for more stable and safer buildings in the affected communities.
August 14 '07: The Mid Hudson News reported that a group of four New York State colleges, Ulster, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Community College have partnered to form the Hudson Valley Domestic Preparedness Community College Consortium which will allow for collaborative learning for people looking to receive an education in emergency planning, fire protection technology, emergency management and medical services among other disciplines.
August 13 '07: On August 14 at the Middle Country Public Library on Long Island, New York, the Contingency Planning Exchange will host the Catastrophe Readiness Fair. The event seeks to help teach businesses how to respond and prepare for disasters. The fair anticipates September's National Preparedness Month the Long Island Business News reported.
August 8 '07: August 7 was National Night Out and the Henry Daily Herald in Georgia reported local law enforcement efforts to engage the community "to learn how they can take a more active role in keeping their communities safe, while developing better relationships with the law enforcement community."
August 7 '07: A local radio station in Santa Clara, California reported on a partnership that the school district is forming to prepare students for emergencies as they begin to head back to school. Through a press release, the district announced the creation of the 12 Months of Preparedness which will focus each month on a different disaster and the ways to prepare for it.
August 6 '07: When the I-35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis last week, regular citizens at the scene began taking videos and photos of the disaster and then posting that information and media to internet sharing sites, blogs and community groups. The Boston Herald reported that emergency officials in Minneapolis have taken that information and are using it - actively cooperating with citizens who recorded the media.
August 1 '07: Texas businesses and state/local governments are working together to help bolster overall preparedness efforts since Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005. Under direction from the state's Division of Emergency Management, response officers from retailers and government officials are "conducting mock drills alongside" each other, the Houston Chronicle's story appearing in My San Antonio.com reported.
July 31 '07: In Florida, a new state response center's grand opening was coupled with calls from Governor Charles Crist to the community to be prepared for emergencies, the Insurance Journal reported. The "Get a Plan Day" program focuses on ways families can prepare for emergencies by making kits complete with water, batteries, first aid supplies and disaster planning guidelines.
July 25 '07: The Grand Island News Independent in Nebraska reported that the surrounding community will be host to an emergency preparedness forum delivered by Sam's Club through a program the company has begun to raise awareness about community preparedness.
July 19 '07: After more than a year of planning, the "nation's critical infrastructure sectors still fall short on providing incentives to private owners to assess vulnerabilities and risks," Washington Technology reported according to a new GAO report (see report link below at bottom of article). The report encourages public/private partnerships to help develop security measures for the country's critical infrastructure as a way of speeding-up the process.
July 16 '07: The Rutland Herald in Vermont reported that to help senior citizens after a disaster the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) has been holding community hearings built around providing information about disaster preparedness after a state-wide storm in April which left about 50,000 without power.
July 13 '07: The Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance website was begun as a cooperative effort between the National Endowment for the Humanities and a database resource called Hypatia to help museums, libraries, historical societies and archives prepare for disasters.
July 12 '07: As the world's populations move toward urban areas, more than 60 percent of all people by 2030 will live in cities, the Rockefeller Foundation reported. To build more sustainable and prepared cities, the foundation sponsored the Urban Summit along with the Center for Sustainable Urban Development, and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Issues discussed included ways to increase the health and response mechanisms inside urban areas to help people face challenges such as droughts, disasters and emergencies, and changes to climate.
July 6 '07: SavannahNow.com reported that the Minor League Baseball team the Savannah Sand Gnats are partnering with the Department of Homeland Security and the Boy Scouts of America for the fourth annual "Ready Night" to teach emergency preparedness in the community.
July 3 '07: In East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, members of the local community have partnered with the Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness and the Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inc. to help deaf and blind residents with emergency preparedness through a training event, the The Advocate reported.
June 29 '07: The Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness is hosting the in Toronto, Ontario in July which will bring representatives from the private and public sectors from around the world to exhibit and display best practices, new technologies, preparedness services and disaster management solutions, a press release read.
June 20 '07: A press release from the National Emergency Number Association announced a partnership designed to help maintain hearing impaired technology. The new partnership will target populations with emergency call services using the 9-1-1 centers equipped with the Positron Public Safety Systems technology.
June 19 '07: In the Seattle metro area at the end of the week, telecom Qwest will partner with National Emergency Number Association for the Connect for Safety Initiative to help raise 9-1-1 call service awareness and best practices for families in the area, a press release announced.
June 18 '07: The Corporation for National & Community Service has announced that it will increase its disaster response and preparedness efforts in the Gulf Coast area as well as other parts of the country through greater cooperation with state and local governments. In its press release, the agency said it will "develop common objectives and measurable targets to make the national service enterprise even more effective in its disaster preparedness and response work."
June 4 '07: Government Technology News reported that New York Governor Elliot Spitzer has announced the creation of two new web-based emergency alert systems for residents of his state. One of the systems, NY-DELIVER, will leverage public/private assets and operations while NY-ALERT will work to handle weather related emergencies, a New York State Emergency Management Office press release read.
June 1 '07: New American Media, which focuses on minotiry-based issues in the U.S., reported that California electric company Pacific Gas & Electric recently partnered with the ethnic journalist community in San Francisco to hold a roundtable discussion about ways to increase the public education on energy conservation, climate change and the ways in which it will affect those communities' first response.
May 31 '07: If a terrorist group were to strike the Los Angeles metro area, about half of the residents in the city would not follow mandatory evacuation orders issued by local officials, the Los Angeles Times reported. The findings were based on a poll conducted by the city's Department of Health Services and it was to be released on May 31.
May 21 '07: Community Emergency Response Teams have been forming in the Manatee area in Florida to prepare for the summer heat, fire season and hurricane season, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune report via LexisNexis. Art Wessan, a CERT volunteer in University Park told the paper the members of his community "are the firs responders in the event of a cataclysmic event that has 911 overwhelmed like a (Hurricane) Katrina situation."
May 15 '07: World mayors gathered in New York City for a climate change conference focusing on ways that world's largest cities could work to prepare and respond to rising global temperatures, the Associated Press reported. The conference was hosted by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
May 10 '07: About one-third of Americans are not ready to respond to a disaster according to a new poll released by the American Public Health Association, the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy reported. In the poll most said that they knew they were not prepared enough.
April 27 '07: Kentucky Department of Homeland Security officials have partnered with Wolf Creek Dam construction engineers in the southern part of the state to install a warning system to alert the 17,500 residents in the four counties under the dam in case of an accidental water release from Lake Cumberland due to construction, ComputerWorld reported.
April 26 '07: Seismologists, state and local officials and other officials in California are considering a new plan for short earthquake alert systems which would send out a warning 10 to 20 seconds after the epicenter releases its first wave to outlying areas, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
April 25 '07: The Huntsville Stars baseball team will partner with the Boy Scouts of American and the Department of Homeland Security on May 19, to help spread information about community involvement and preparedness.
April 25 '07: CNET reported that the Federal Communications Commission will announce rules for a new spectrum auction soon so that guidelines can be issued to help rural locales, and small businesses gain access to the available broadband spectrum. The spectrum's availability comes as the federal government moves television from analogue into digital.
April 23 '07: Washington DC's Neighborhood Corps has announced a new training academy for community preparedness the District Chronicle reported. The academy will be established by the District's Citizen Corps and it will be held at the Fire Training Academy.
April 20 '07: Government Technology reported that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Fritz Institute will partner to coalesce public and private sector leaders' skills to increase the city's emergency preparedness and response capabilities through the Bay Area Preparedness Initiative.
April 16 '07: A new community-based elementary school preparedness program, developed by Symetra Financial and the National Brokerage Consortium with help from the Department of Homeland Security's National Office of Citizen Corps, will be launched with the goal of helping elementary school students, faculty and administrators a press release announced.
April 13 '07: Severe weather experts, state and local government officials and emergency response personnel were on-hand in Baltimore for the 22nd Annual Severe Storms Awareness Conference, a local NBC affiliate, WBAL reported.
April 12 '07: In East Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the Post Gazette reported that local Quaker Valley school nurse Darcy Yeloushan has been working with here counterparts on the state level to prepare the school and the surrounding area for a flu pandemic by developing a response plan.
April 11 '07: Members of the University of Massachusetts' Medical Response Corps will participate in an emergency response drill with the cooperation of community and local health and government leaders, the Daily Collegian reported. The exercises will coincide with other similar drills in Western Massachusetts.
April 10 '07: The National Fire Protection Association has released a new guide to help disabled persons safely evacuate an area in case of a fire. The NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide "was developed with input from the disability community to provide general information," to help during a fire emergency.
April 5 '07: In Maryland this month, more than 50 organizations have participated in emergency preparedness training sessions designed to raise awareness about the special needs community and how families of members of those communities can prepare for disasters. A Center for Disability and Special Needs Preparedness press release announced.
April 4 '07: A federally-funded report compiled by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Biodiversity found that a local Pennsylvania community-based civic engagement plan designed to prepare the community for pandemic response was the most effective route to mitigating an outbreak of disease, the Tribune Review reported.
April 2 '07: According to a new report released by the Government Accountability Office, the Emergency Alert System's primary actors - the media and the federal government - need to find a way to improve and integrate the system to help it become more effective in alerting the public during times of national emergency.
March 19 '07: The state of Michigan and the federal government are cooperating in an exercise to test the state's ability to mobilize volunteers "in the event of a federal public heath emergency," a press release from the Michigan Department of Community Health. Among those participating in the exercise: the Office of Public Health Preparedness and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
March 12 '07: The office of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell issued a press release announcing the week of March 11 - 17 as "Weather Emergency Preparedness Week," to help state, local, and county officials "test plans and procedure for response to severe weather conditions."
March 6 '07: Arizona lawmakers voted recently to create a citizen responder corps much like the National Guard, but with the mission to help local and state first responders during a natural or man-made disaster, the Yuma Sun reported.
March 5 '07: School officials at the University of California at Berkley have announced a new disaster communications system called the People Locator to help inform students, faculty and employees of the university The Daily Californian reported.
February 27 '07: The Brandenton Herald reported recent efforts in the Lakewood Ranch area near Sarasota to organize community members to be prepared for disasters. Joan Robbins, a retired nurse who moved to the area in 2004 with her husband, has been credited with organizing the community's emergency preparedness committee and for mobilizing the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
February 21 '07: In Burton, Michigan, students at Faith High School are working with local firefighters to train for the Student Emergency Response Team certificate in the hopes that they will be able to help first responders in the event of a disaster that affects their schools, the Flint Journal reported via LexisNexis.
February 19 '07: In Bothell, Washington, the city council has announced a community-wide plan that will target every household to develop a broad foundational level of emergency response a press release announced. The plan, called "Operation: Every House Prepared," will begin March 3 with the city delivering 15,000 emergency preparedness informational packets to citizens in the City of Bothell, and the Snohomish County Fire Protection District #10 households.
February 19 '07: 14 students from Smithsburg High School in Washington County, Maryland participated in a Community Emergency Response Team training seminar sponsored by the local volunteer fire department, the Herald-Mail reported. In addition to the high school students, members of a local Boy Scout troop participated.
February 19 '07: According to federal guidelines issued earlier this month, the focus of pandemic response should rely on the local level with state and local community organizations working to install a chain of command and communication to help keep communities running. The Episcopal Church announced their pandemic preparedness and response plans for all dioceses and parishes recently.
February 8 '07: In Nevada, several 4-H groups have developed a pilot plan that helps to train community children in emergency preparedness, the Nevada Appeal News reported. The program, called the Community Readiness Network, was begun in several western states through the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security and 4-H.
February 7 '07: A new Internet emergency preparedness and response information clearinghouse has been developed for school administrators and educators with a focus on school safety, eSchool News reported. The New School Actions for Emergencies Center (SAFE) is a joint project of the eSchool News publication and the International Society for Technology in Education.
January 31 '07: From 1811 to 1812, three massive earthquakes struck along the New Madrid Seismic Zone in Missouri causing massive damage to villages and towns in an area hundreds of miles in diameter. To raise earthquake awareness in the area on the upcoming anniversary of the quakes on February 7, Disaster News reported local and state emergency management agencies and seismologists urging people to prepare themselves for another large temblor.
January 29 '07: Working with school administrators, faculty, students, the local police departments, campus law enforcement and emergency response experts, Humboldt State University ran a mock disaster scenario to test the community's and school's disaster preparedness, the Times Standard reported. The day-long exercise was overseen by former FEMA Director James Lee Witt's disaster preparedness organization.
January 24 '07: In Gary, Indiana, first responders are working with local medical, utility and government officials to develop a resource guide which would serve as an important reference to help the local Gary community stay prepared and ready for a disaster for the first 72 hours the Post-Tribune reported.
January 23 '07: Members of the local community, government officials, disaster responders, and private organizations gathered from the Atmore and Escambia counties in Alabama recently to hold a disaster preparedness and response town hall-type meeting, the local Atmore Advance reported. The focus of the meeting was to plan a community-wide disaster drill "to test the response of emergency workers, public and private."
January 15: Local residents in Amherst, New York will be able to attend a series of classes over a four-week period that will focus on community disaster response and preparedness, the Amherst Record reported. The classes, 20 hours in total, will work with the local Amherst Department of Emergency Services and Safety with the sponsorship of the Department of Homeland Security's Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT).
January 5 '07: Wal-Mart is considering a move to solar power for its retail stores in an effort to reduce the company's carbon footprint. The move also will increase the retailer's ability to become less power grid-reliant which will improve the company's energy preparedness, CNET news reported.
December 12 '06: Oklahoma homeland security officials and members of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets are cooperating on public service announcements urging residents in the state to be prepared and have a family emergency plan in case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack a OK Homeland Security press release announced recently.
December 6 '06: Pennsylvania officials have been working to reduce the amount of identity theft in their state by giving citizens the tools to protect their financial and personal information. A new community-based website has been launched that will provide information "on how identity theft occurs, prevention tips, steps to take if you become a victim, statistics, and information for law enforcement agencies that investigate these types of crimes," a press release read Monday.
December 1 '06: On Thursday, November 30, about 250 local government officials, first responders, medical response personnel, fire and law enforcement officials and members of academia gathered in Charleston, South Carolina's Gaillard Auditorium to discuss ways to develop a National Blueprint of best practices and private public partnerships. The NCORP Advisory Council was a joint-hosted event including members of the City of Charleston, Charleston County Emergency Preparedness, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The College of Charleston's Department of Geology and the Santee Cooper GIS laboratory are in discussions with Charleston County to formalize the College's ability to aid in post-disaster response in the Charleston region. The College currently has a fleet of 38 laptops and over 900 gigabytesof mobile driver space that can be used immediately following a disaster. Coordinated through Dr. Norman Levine, the mobile lab can allow each disaster response Command Center, and the field units, to have adequate access to GIS data, aerial photographs, and mapping services to aid in immediate response.
November 27 '06: Churches and other religious organizations play a vital role in their communities during emergency situations because of their intimate knowledge of the community and their outreach. To help build on that relationship and response ability, the Centers for Disease Control and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department in Missouri are partnering to work with faith-based organizations in the local area to help improve emergency preparedness and response capabilities.
November 22 '06: A local CBS affiliate in Austin has reported the city launching a new communications strategy to link building owners and managers with emergency management officials and first responders using two-way radios. The radios will provide real-time communication abilities for the city emergency management officials and building owners and managers to help with logistics during an emergency.
November 20 '06: More than 300 colleges now are offering some type of homeland security-related major since the attacks on September 11, 2001 the Associated Press reported Sunday. The federal government will spend about $50 million in grants that will go to universities and colleges for research, scholarships and curricula development.
November 17 '06: More than 600 fire, police, medical, and state and local leaders from around the country gathered in Washington DC for the inaugural meeting of the ReadyAmerica Initiative sponsored by the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness.
November 8 '06: Six new colleges and universities will receive federal grants to help with intelligence and information-sharing programs with amounts of up to $750,000, a press release from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced.
October 23 '06: Local community governments, first responders and the academic community are cooperating in the Toledo, Ohio area to train citizens to become part of Community Emergency Response Teams, a local ABC news affiliate reported Sunday. Meanwhile in Jackson, Mississippi religious community organizations are working to improve emergency response and preparedness.
October 18 '06: The University of Tennessee has received more than $2 million in federal homeland security money to help build an Agriculture and Food Security Preparedness Center, WVLT, a local CBS affiliate reported this week. The center will act as a clearing house for information and training to help farmers and the food industry "learn how to protect themselves from a bioterrorism attack."
October 13 '06: The Associated Press reported Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is pushing a new pandemic quarantine plan using "primitive infection-control" measures to mitigate the impact of a large-scale infection from bird flu or another disease while vaccines and drugs are being developed.
October 12 '06: The nation's CEO's are working with government officials in Homeland Security and on the federal, state and local levels to boost community response and preparedness as well as help supply chain response in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, USA Today reported Thursday.
October 11 '06: In case of an emergency, natural disaster, or terrorist strike, the cities of Louisville, Cincinnati and Indianapolis have agreed to share resources through a mutual-aid pact, USA Today reported Monday.
October 10 '06: Several regional and state-wide emergency preparedness exercises and cooperative programs are underway around the US this week. The cooperation between state and local governments and the private sector, religious groups and school systems shows what one organizer in Minnesota calls an effort "to be self-reliant in case of an emergency, even if you never experience one personally."
September 28 '06: New York City officials and their emergency management counterparts have launched a city-wide citizen preparedness campaign during September which is National Preparedness Month, the city's Office of Emergency Management announced recently.
September 22 '06: The Associated Press reported Friday that a $1 million grant from the federal government will be given to the St. Mary's University Center for Terrorism Law for independent research. A statement from the university said however, that the final proposal has still to be submitted "before funds can be received or awarded by" the Department of Defense and the Air Force.
September 7 '06: A cooperative effort by the Department of Homeland Security with several non-profit and community service organizations is working to help the elderly and those with disabilities in preparing for national emergencies - both natural and man-made, a DHS press release read.
September 5 '06: September will be the third annual National Preparedness Month according to the Department of Homeland Security. After the department's announcement of the updated Ready.gov site, a departmental press release said that more than 200 national, regional, state and local governments and organizations were cooperating in the September preparedness campaign.
August 10 '06: A new guide for local governments helping to identify the best ways to respond to an emergency situation involving people with disabilities has been published, a Justice Department press release announced Tuesday.
July 20 '06: Ohio officials announced the completion of the nation's first statewide voice and data communications system for first responders, and emergency management officials according to Government Technology's Public CIO last week. The system, the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS), "enables police, fire and emergency management crews throughout the state to coordinate with each other more effectively to effective serve and respond to Ohioans during everyday operations and in the event of an emergency."
July 11 '06: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs is working with several Baltimore-area organizations to promote citizen preparedness through a campaign called Ready? Set? Good, the Johns Hopkins Gazette reported Monday. Using public service announcements on TV, radio and print ads, "the campaign will urge everyone to have an emergency supply kit on hand with a radio, flashlight and water (one gallon per person per day for three days)." James Williams, the associate director at the CCP said, "Having these supplies on hand will help them better cope during the first three days, while the first responders are busy addressing other aspects of a crisis."
July 10 '06: Maryland officials are working with the state's private sector to help coordinate critical infrastructure information during a crisis through a system of business volunteers "from 17 critical infrastructures sectors to expedite office access to proprietary information likely needed during a national or regional emergency," the Examiner reported Monday. A liaison for the state office of domestic preparedness and law enforcement told the Examiner, "The structure [of the overall task force] is to work alongside the federal Department of Homeland Security to protect [the state's] critical infrastructure, which has many components."
June 20 '06: The first 72 hours of a crisis are the most important times for a community to be prepared until federal, state and local emergency response operations can begin to help those residents in need. That was the message at the National Press Club on Tuesday when officials from local first responders and leaders of the private sector and academia gathered to discuss the creation and organization of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness. Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore said, "We need to have a plan for the first 72 hours," and that, "NCORP can push forward on individual initiative and not wait for anyone else to do it for us. ... We can't wait any longer. We cannot expect the federal government to help us in the first 72 hours. There is no 'they'."
June 20 '06: New York State officials have announced a formal gathering of first responders and state and local leaders who have been invited to attend a meeting on the creation of a Statewide Wireless Network which will link communications throughout the state and eliminate "dead spots" to improve communication and interoperability standards. Construction of the network began last September and was the first "comprehensive upgrade to many of the state's emergency radio systems in more than 30 years." New York State Chief Information Officer James T. Dillon said, "Reliable, timely communication is often cited as the number one factor for first responders to effectively answer the call to an emergency. ... I encourage all local governments to explore the benefits that partnership in this essential project can bring."
June 19 '06: A large hurricane strikes a coastal region, a terrorist uses a bomb to blow himself up in a subway at the same time releasing chemical agents, or a tornado destroys a community. All these scenarios require communication among first responders, medical personnel and federal, state, local and tribal officials. Sometimes that communication can be difficult because power lines have been cut, cell phone networks are jammed and communications equipment is not interoperable. Those scenarios are some of the problems ham radio operators try to solve during an annual "field day" in which more than 30,000 amateur radio operators, using only generators, batteries or solar power, from across the country participate work through scenarios testing their ability to communicate during an emergency.
June 14 '06: During a recent gathering of state chief information officers, many of the country's leading information leaders said the country was not prepared any better for a national or natural emergency, even after last year's hurricane season, Washington Technology reported Monday. Attendees at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers "said they believe the federal government is no better prepared today than it was pre-Katrina. Only 21 percent agreed that the federal government is better prepared." Though there were exceptions - Washington DC and Utah were salient examples - many state CIO's believed that lack of federal funding to help state-based interoperability programs and coordination among the federal, state, local and tribal with the private sector were to blame.
June 8 '06: City officials in Los Angeles voted on Monday to develop an emergency preparedness plan in the event of a large natural disaster or terrorist strike, a local CBS News affiliate reported. The announcement came as the White House planned to release a report on advancements of city councils around the country regarding emergency management and disaster preparedness, National Public Radio broadcast earlier. Part of the money needed to increase the city's disaster preparedness plans will come from federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security which announced new grant allocations this week.
June 7 '06: Preparedness through government programs in cooperation with the private sector in airports, sea ports and along the border are all ways that federal officials and their state and local counterparts say is one way to help keep the nation prepared for a major natural disaster or terror attack. But a new pilot program, to keep schools prepared in case of an emergency, is being adopted by schools across the country. In Wisconsin, students at the Chippewa Falls public schools are participating in the Student Emergency Response Team program (SERT). "It's a program for kids from 13 to 18 years old. They're getting a three-day lesson in everything from putting fires out to dealing with a mass-casualty terrorist disaster," a local ABC affiliate reported Tuesday.
June 5 '06: Miami-Dade County Homeland Security officials held an instructional meeting with residents last week to help raise community awareness regarding spotting suspicious activity the Miami Herald reported recently. Under a new program begun in coordination with federal efforts nationally, local homeland security officials said that it was important residents become able to spot suspicious activity and that they report that activity. "The officers gave a run-down of the bureau's job, which is to gather, investigate and disseminate intelligence to avoid or quickly react to local attacks," the Herald reported.
May 26 '06: A $6.5 million decontamination facility is being built at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC to help children who would become victims of a biological, chemical or radiological attack, Global Security Newswire reported.
May 24 '06: The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday the creation of the Ready Business Mentoring Initiative, a program designed "to help owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare for emergencies."
May 19 '06: Emergency management officials along with state and local authorities are holding Family Preparedness Day in New Orleans this coming Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website announced Friday. The event's goal is to help families plan "for the uncertainty of the upcoming hurricane season."
May 8 '06: Students from the Baltimore area participated in community preparedness drills as well as programs designed "to promote awareness of the community's safety needs and encourage people to become involved in local public safety, disaster and emergency preparedness projects," the Baltimore Sun reported recently.
May 4 '06: The effort to coordinate businesses with the public sector to help prepare for emergencies is a continual process which has been slow to materialize according to officials who told the Washington Post that more could be done.
May 3 '06: Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore, Chairman of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, addressed over 300 police chiefs, responders and members of the private and community sector at the Midwest Summit 2006 (www.midwestsummit2006) , stressing that the state and local responder community in cooperation with the federal government and the private sector is the most important tool in the fight to stay prepared against natural and national emergencies.
April 10 '06: Federal grants from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and others have been spurring growth in universities around the country when it comes to national preparedness and counter-terrorism programs.
April 5 '06: National Public Radio reported Wednesday that the Red Cross is revamping its organization in preparation of the 2006 hurricane season.
April 3 '06: The ability to assess risks, harden targets, prepare for responses, respond to emergencies as needed and learn from past mistakes are the most valuable tools the first responder community has, according to three days of lectures, talks and breakout sessions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass. In cooperation with the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, the school worked with national, state and local leaders as well as executives from the private sector to help "clarify" ways in which response to national and natural emergencies can be improved, and strengthened through greater communication, awareness and efficiency.
April 3 '06: The first 72 hours are the most important moments for any emergency and those responding to it. Along with that idea, representatives from responder communities and state and local leadership from around the country gathered at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts for three days to discuss how to assess risks, harden targets, prepare for responses, respond appropriately to crises during the Northeast regional meeting of the Advisory Committee to the National Task Force on Community Preparedness and Response. "Ready America: The First 72 Hours" was designed "to develop a national template of the best practices for community preparedness and response leading up to and during the first hours of crisis."
March 17 '06: The Christian Science Monitor reported Friday that as many as 10,000 college students from around the United States are spending their spring breaks helping recovery and cleanup efforts in New Orleans.
February 27 '06: A website dedicated to disseminating information regarding avian bird flu is enlisting the help of medical professionals around the world and in the US, the Associated Press reported this weekend.
February 22 '06: The Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council will unveil the Muslim-American Homeland Security Congress "to consolidate, expand and publicize Islamic efforts against terrorism," the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
February 3 '06: The Department of Homeland Security has announced the launch of Ready Kids - a program designed to teach children 8-12 years old about being prepared for national and natural disasters, USA Today reported Friday.
December 28 '06: A public/private partnership of technology incubators and government agencies has been developed to push forward homeland security-related technologies and to help small technology companies gain access to government-led projects. The partnership includes companies in seven states with another 10 states joining this year, Georgia Tech's news room reported.
December 21 '06: Consumer Reports has released a personal preparedness info sheet on their website to help families and individuals prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. The goal of the website is to teach people "the needed steps to take, practice with your family, create a communications plan, stock supplies, and be ready to act."
December 19 '06: Preparing for a pandemic must include the community, private sector and state and local government all working together, Utah officials told the Associated Press recently.
December 15 '06: 300 educators, police, firefighters and educators gathered in Missouri at the Lindenwood University in St. Charles for an organized summit to develop ways of creating preparedness plans addressing disaster, school safety, gang violence prevention and safe havens for school children, the St. Louis Dispatch reported Friday.
December 14 '05: Two former homeland security and response officials have begun a new organization designed to help coordinate and assemble federal, state and local leaders and first responders to the threats to the population in California, according to the group's press release.
Currently, the College of Charleston is part of the Charleston County Disaster mitigation and preparedness plan, and is in the process of developing a college-wide disaster mitigation and response plan. The plan is being developed by the Hazards Working Group in the Geology Department, in conjunction with the administration, C of C Physical Plant, and C of C Public Safety Department. According to Dr. Briget Doyle, the current college goals for 2006-2007 include more fully preparing a robust, college-centered hazard mitigation plan, raising hazard awareness on campus, and developing more ties to local, regional, state and federal authorities for disaster mitigation and response.
November 28 '05: Coloradans and others in the US are taking homeland security into their own hands, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Citizen Corps, a federal program begun in 2002 under an executive order, was designed to help American citizens understand and prepare their communities for response and recovery in the event of a large emergency or disaster.
January 20 '05: Information collection companies "that sold credit data to the insurance industry," have been changing with times to help the private sector adapt to a post-9/11 world. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that one particular company, Georgia-based ChoicePoint Inc. has adapted by providing information to over 50,000 clients while the company stock value has "...ballooned to $4.1 billion."
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