January 2012: Last Year, Broadcast Engineering reported that the FCC had "approved a proposal that will require LTE technology to be used for public safety mobile broadband networks used by first responders." The technology, commonly called 4G, is now being tested by emergency responders, technology companies and other groups for its interoperability capabilities. In Florida, for instance, Verizon Wireless has rolled out a $205 million 4G LTE wireless network in 14 markets.
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.
January 2011: Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 the public and private sectors have been working together to find new ways of securing the country's critical infrastructure through federal action like the Homeland Security Act and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7). There have been other - private sector-driven steps taken as well, but it is with the cooperation of the federal government that industry can improve optimally on its preparedness, resiliency and response operations.
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."
June 2010: On Monday, June 28 dozens of TED (Technology, Education and Design Conference) speakers were "proposing solutions to the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico," National Geographic News Watch wrote on its blog. Called TEDxOilSpill, the conference gathered TED Talk speakers together to "tackle the tough questions raised by the recent and ongoing environmental catastrophe." Among those speaking in Washington on Monday was Frances Beland of the X Prize Foundation who said anyone who could invent a solution to help clean up the Gulf Coast would win close to $3 million, CNN reported.
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.
November 10 '08: Researchers working on disaster response communication technologies have announced new advancements in understanding how radio frequencies behave in difficult areas such as collapsed buildings, mine shafts and tunnels, CNN reported. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology told the cable news channel that a "sweet spot" frequency has been found which allows radio communication to travel the farthest.
November 3 '08: According to Washington Technology, the federal government is making preparations for the release of updated information sharing guidelines for state and local governments to help "achieve baseline capabilities necessary to share terrorism and law enforcement data." The guideline suggestions, which include increased partnership and participation with the private sector, will be published in a report titled "Baseline Capabilities for State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers."
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 29 '08: State and local officials in Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states have begun to make preparations for Hurricane Gustav as it begins to strengthen into a hurricane. In New Orleans, city officials have begun to make evacuation preparations on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Associated Press reported. And in Louisiana, the Getagameplan.org website, the product of a partnership between the United Way, the American Red Cross, the State of Louisiana and the Governor's Office of Louisiana, is live with up-to-date information for those preparing for the storm.
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.
August 15 '08: Late in July, the Department of Homeland Security signed an agreement with the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), based in Milwaukee, "to establish and oversee the development and implementation of the accreditation and certification requirements" for the private sector to strengthen its preparedness and resilience, the Suburban Emergency Management Project reported (courtesy of HSDL). Accreditation guidelines have not been announced yet, but participation is voluntary and will be driven by the marketplace.
August 8 '08: The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced recently the creation of a new radio communications technology that can extend the range of radio communications for first responders working in buildings, underground and in other similarly difficult areas. The mesh network and breadcrumb system, Computer World reported, uses "relay devices [which] run software that can notify emergency crews when they need to place another of the breadcrumbs along their route to extend the range of communications down a hallway or tunnel."
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 22 '08: In a press release from the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal government announced a new report which examines the health, settlement dynamics and impacts of climate change on communities in the United States - broken down into regions. The report covers areas ranging from population redistribution to local, state, regional and national disaster recovery in the face of increasingly severe weather. Many of the findings suggest increased economic, infrastructural, and societal pressures.
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.
July 11 '08: A new partnership among medical industry stakeholders, federal health agencies and nonprofit organizations have developed the Rx Response program which seeks to continue delivering medicines to patients on the regional, state and local levels during an emergency. The partnership works by partnering with biotechnology manufacturing and distribution companies as well as hospitals and community-located pharmacies to help solve supply chain problems caused by natural or man-made disasters.
July 1 '08: In Japan, architect Shuhei Endo has been working on fusing disaster response and recovery capabilities into the design to stadiums, Architectural Record reported in the June 2008 edition. Endo's design incorporates curved lines and open spaces to maximize the space available for large response operations to move into an area also used by sports teams, AR reviewed. Local communities in the US such as Charleston, S.C. have been using stadiums to house displaced people after disasters. Similar uses have been put into place during Hurricane Katrina and during the Southern California wildfires in 2007.
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 5 '08: In a press release telecommunications company Verizon announced a new public awareness and preparedness push targeting residents in Georgia for the 2008 hurricane season in addition to the company's efforts at strengthening its communications infrastructure. So far in 2008, the company reported more than $80 million in Georgia "to strengthen and enhance its wireless network".
June 4 '08: In New York City, the New York Times reported a new federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration which will fund "a team of medical experts and bioethicists ... looking to expand the city's donor pool by deploying a 'rapid organ-recovery ambulance' to collect and preserve the organs of people who die of cardiac arrest." If successful, the new program could add as many as 22,000 people to the nation's donor pool.
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 28 '08: HLSWatch, while talking about federal officials encouraging a do-it-yourself approach to hurricane preparedness and building on personal preparedness wrote that federal officials are working to alert communities and the private sector through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
May 28 '08: Following a disaster which destroys the infrastructure, public/private partnerships should work to rebuild improved, sustainable and resilient solutions, a Matthew Wacman wrote in an article featured in World Changing. "The planning policy would focus on finding sustainable solutions to broken or destroyed systems ... Safety measures and the making of resilient urban systems are very important, yet the scope of disaster-planning could be expanded to include a focus on implementing new solutions that provoke a change in the game entirely."
May 27 '08: Reuters has reported Chinese officials rushing to evacuate more than 100,000 people who could be in danger of drowning if more than 35 'quake lakes' caused by landslides after the recent earthquake burst. Chinese state-run news agnecy Xinhua reported a possible evacuation of up to 1.3 million people.
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 21 '08: When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, company officials at vacuum cleaner company Oreck rushed quickly to respond in order to make sure that company employees would be safe while maintaining continuity of operations. The Denver Post reported that to help restore business operations the company set up a "backup computer system and a call center on the high ground of Colorado. With these communications centers," Oreck was able to restore its operations quickly.
May 20 '08: According to PC World dependence on the telecommunications infrastructure in the developing world is growing and that after the recent natural disasters in Myanmar and in China groups like Telecoms Sans Frontiers are rushing to rebuild the communications infrastructure to help with response and recovery operations.
May 20 '08: Wired's blog reported Google's announcement of its online personal health information service Google Health. The Associated Press reported that the service seeks to give "users instant electronic access to their health histories ... the service lets users link information from a handful of pharmacies and care providers."
May 15 '08: VMware has announced two new management and automation products "designed to streamline disaster recovery and curb virtual server sprawl," NetworkWorld reported. "The bundles," NetworkWorld continued, "include several previously released products built on top of VMware's virtualization software."
May 14 '08: Xcel Energy has announced a first-of-its-kind project in Boulder, Colorado to build a Smart Grid City power infrastructure. Planners of the $100 million project said their goal was to create a resilient and flexible power system designed to evolve to daily power needs. Creating smart grids is a next step for federal, state and local officials and infrastructure stakeholders who see a smart, flexible system as a way to build preparedness, resiliency and sustainable best practices into communities.
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 9 '08: The Katrina Environmental Research and Restoration Network (KERRN) was created to help research ways to prepare for and respond to major environmental disasters. The organization is hosted by Tulane/Xavier Universities' Center for Bioevironmental Research and was begun after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005.
May 08 '08: According to the New York Times a partnership of telecomm and technology companies have announced a new nationwide wireless Internet network which will provide high-speed data accessibility for laptops and mobile phones using the WiMax platform. The Associated Press reported that network will come after the merger of Sprint/Nextel and Clearwire.
May 08 '08: Five days after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar, international aid organizations are trying to reach those most affected by the storm while a lack of fuel supplies and local resources is creating another potential problem as the dead begin to pile up, CNN reported. Shortages of relief supplies and resources continues to grow while the military junta in control of the government is restricting access to parts of the country by foreigners, the cable news channel reported.
May 07 '08: The Twin Cities Security Partnership (TCSP), was a partnership Target founded with the FBI in 2004. The TCSP brings together community safety agencies at all levels including police, sheriffs, the ATF and even the Secret Service with major employers in the area to build relationships, receive training and share information on potential community security issues.
May 07 '08: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, environmental experts together with federal, state and local government officials worried about the potential devastating environmental effects of the storm which could unleash chemicals, sewage and other pollutants into the flood waters released by the broken levees. The CDC released an announcement saying partnerships were being formed to help prevent widespread damage. Buffalo, NY-based Ecology and Environment, Inc., works to help their federal, state and local partners respond and recovery from such disasters and their impacts on the environment.
May 06 '08: Relief aid agencies heading to the affected region's of Myanmar's Irrawady Delta are facing challenges due to the remote location of many villages and the destruction caused by Cyclone Nargis, the New York Times reported. "Bad roads, a lack of cooperation from the country's military government and a breakdown in telecommunications are factors that could hamper relief efforts," the Times reported.
May 6 '08: Reuters has reported nearly 22,500 people dead after a massive cyclone hit the Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar. The New York Times reported that international aid groups and first responders are moving to help send relief supplies to the affected areas as officials in the capital city Yangon have said the death toll is expected to rise.
May 5 '08: According to the Associated Press, a new report outlines treatment priorities during a pandemic. The findings in the report were compiled by a partnership of federal and state officials along with experts from the medical and academic communities. "The proposed guidelines are designed to be a blueprint for hospitals" the AP reported.
May 2 '08: To help federal, state and local officials respond to emergencies on the water, Resolve Marine Group has developed a national network of professional responders who can handle chemical spills, on-board fires, and natural disasters. In recent past, the group helped local officials in San Francisco when an oil tanker spilled several tens of thousands of gallons into the San Francisco Bay.
May 2 '08: Though many businesses and organizations have disaster response and continuity plans in place, there is no national certification standard for those plans, the Conference Board recently announced. However, using statistics gathered from a DHS-funded study, three-quarters of the 302 senior corporate executives surveyed said they had an emergency preparedness plan in place, the group found.
May 1 '08: Wired Mag previewed several products which seek to help emergency and disaster response professionals using up-to-date technology. Among the most notable were the portable water filtration devices, and the disaster-reconnaissance trailer. Both technologies are now available on the market for immediate use.
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 30 '08: Members of US and Mexican federal, state and local emergency response agencies and government officials have announced a partnership targeting cross-border disaster preparedness training and response. The disaster training is conducted through the US-Mexiao Border 2012 Program which has joined multiple US and Mexican federal agencies together.
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 Federal Food Safety and Inspection Service's Food Defense & Emergency Response program under the purview of the USDA has released a new food defense plan for warehouses and food distribution centers in the event that the nation's food supply comes under attack from a terrorist or other man-made threat.
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 25 '08: The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program has released its new 2008 earthquake reduction program that "outlines a cooperative program of earthquake monitoring, research, implementation, education, and outreach activities performed by the NEHRP," the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security reported.
April 24 '08: The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium, an international non-profit which works to integrate existing open standards communications frameworks around the globe, recently announced a new study and key findings of its Network-enabled Emergency Response project. The NEER project had two-key assertions: that every response organization should migrate all communications to IP capability; and that there should be a nation-wide "map-defined electronic registry of all emergency response organizations, their responsibilities and their information routing information."
April 23 '08: Honeywell announced in a press release that it would be partnering with Butler University to deploy Honeywell's Instant Alert© emergency notification system. The emergency alert service was announced last summer.
April 23 '08: The Quake Catcher Network, a group of seismologists in California, have formed to employ the use of personal laptops connected to the Internet to help monitor seismic activity in the San Francisco Bay and Greater Los Angeles Basin areas, MIT's Technology Review reported. Essentially, the network uses potentially hundreds of connected laptops' built-in motion sensors to measure minute movements over a large area.
April 22 '08: In a press release the Institute for Business & Home Safety announced the creation of a new research initiative and facility to test the damage done to personal property and homes cause by natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. The new center will test scenarios on full-scale model homes and construction components using high wind and high water situations.
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 21 '08: Wired reported on a new project partnership between Purdue University, the US Department of Energy and NASA called Project Vulcan which takes carbon emission data and overlays it onto a map of the country. The partnership, which uses the Google Earth and Google Maps technologies presents a way for infrastructure and energy industries to build real-time and situational awareness capabilities into mapping.
April 16 '08: Duos Technology has announced a new contract which would increase security and surveillance operations for the Amtrak and CSX Rail System running through Washington DC. In the press release, Duos said the $1 million contract would "expand its existing intelligent video and security sensor system along a segment" of train track running through the capital.
April 16 '08: Pennsylvania officials said in a press release in 2007 that photovoltaic solar panels would be used to help provide 4.8 kilowatt hours of power to be used for critical government systems "that protect public health and safety". The solar cells were installed through a partnership with BP's US solar branch and represent a large statewide sustainability campaign spearheaded by Governor Ed Rendell.
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 15 '08: The University of New Hampshire has partnered with the state's Department of Safety with the support of the US Department of Justice to develop Project54. The stated goal of Project54 is to help integrate communications technology which was developed without extensibility or integration in mind. Project54's CATlab has out-rigged more than 913 police cruisers in New Hampshire and helped to demonstrate a new digital television communications capability in Las Vegas with Harris Corporation and LG.
April 15 '08: In a press release, a partnership was announced between LG USA and the Harris Corporation to deliver the MPH "in-band mobile" digital technology solution which will allow information to be sent to first responders and the general public through the digital spectrum and even when users are traveling at high speeds and using hand-held PDAs.
April 14 '08: In a press release, a new wireless radio network for first responders in the City of San Jose was announced by Harris Stratex. The new $9.1 million radio network will integrate emergency response communications for the city interoperably among fire, police, EMS and other agencies and it will be available for 31 agencies in the Santa Clara County area.
April 14 '08: The Associated Press reported earlier that the FCC has released guidelines which outline a national emergency alert system using text messaging. Washington Technology reported that the new plan lacks a federal sponsor and FEMA has declined as well.
April 11 '08: 3M has developed a series of technology solutions for the first responder, and homeland security communities. Specifically, 3M has developed nine products which "address the problems that are confronted by local government First Responders on a daily basis and to help prepare these agencies in the event of a catastrophe in their community."
April 9 '08: In a press release, Proactive Communications Inc. and Digital Consulting Services announced the completion of a new satellite-based communications network which was built for the Florida National Guard. Officials said the new network would be online for the 2008 hurricane season.
April 9 '08: The Safe America Foundation announced late last year that it had merged the American Fire & Rescue and EMS Organization into the Safe America First Responders (SAFR).
April 9 '08: In a press release, Baxter Healthcare announced a series of new grants targeting communities in crisis in the US and globally. The donations, totaling $53 million are "focused on increasing access to healthcare, helping developing nations and countries in crisis, and addressing another critical community needs."
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.
April 1 '08: In a press release, Northeast Utility announced it would begin to use the RecoverGuard disaster management and recovery software and database build by Continuity Software. Officials at Northeast Utility said they were looking to incorporate a solution which could link databases using Unix and Windows servers with databases ranging from Oracle, Microsoft SQL and Sybase.q
March 31 '08: This year's FIRST Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia in June will focus on how businesses, government, organizations and communities can begin to address the challenges and security implications of an ever-interconnected world through the Internet. In a conference PDF, organizers said the event would target "making security a global issues with responsibilities shared globally [with] a proactive global response" to "asymmetric threats" such as terrorism and computer hacking.
March 31 '08: In a press release, AT&T announced it has jointed a global consortium of telecommunications companies to help build a new high bandwidth fiber optic submarine cable called the Trans-Pacific Express to deliver Internet, voice and data communications to the United States, South Korea, Japan and China.
March 31 '08: The Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon and the Financial Services Technology Consortium have announced the release of the CERT (R) Resiliency Engineering Framework a press release announced. The software provides a roadmap for organizations and businesses "to establish, manage and evaluate operational resiliency which encompasses both security and business continuity."
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 27 '08: National Public Radio reported on one Colorado town's water emergency after medical officials found the drinking supply to be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Alamosa City officials are now responding to the emergency by flushing pipes with chlorine the Los Angeles Times reported. Officials said that it might take weeks to clean the water.
March 26 '08: In a press release, Envisage has announced that it will partner with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy to provide the company's Acadis Readiness Suite to help automate the statewide management of the academy's training, certification, employment and officer records.
March 26 '08: Innovative Biosensors has announced a new bio-monitoring technology partnership with Universal Detection Technology to develop a new early-warning monitoring which will "protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats," a press release reported.
March 24 '08: In a press release the American Chemistry Council's Chemical Information Technology Center (ChemITC) said it had "facilitated the participation of 10 chemical companies" during the Cyber Storm II cyber security response drill. According to officials, the industry IT group helped to coordinate existing response and recovery plans as well as technology resiliency communications processes.
March 24 '08: The Star Bulletin reported a partnership of 12 hospitals across Hawaii which participated in a mock bioterror response drill. The exercise, conducted in partnership by the state's Department of Health and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii simulated exposure to anthrax and was meant to simulate the activation of the Strategic National Stockpile, a press release read. (Additional reading here, and here.)
March 20 '08: Continuity Central reported on a new study produced by Ernst & Young in collaboration with Oxford Analytica which interviewed more than 70 insurance industry analysts globally "to identify emerging trends and uncertainties driving the performance of the global insurance sector over the next five years."
March 19 '08: The Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota (CIDRAP), reported that a recent pandemic response exercise conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta was the fourth in a series of similar exercises begun in January 2007.
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: The Department of Transportation has released a first phase report researching the effects climate change on the Gulf Coast's infrastructure, Environmental News Network reported. The multi-year study and its subsequent findings is a collaboration between the DoT's Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting and the US Geological Survey.
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 14 '08: The medical technology provider Welch Allyn announced recently it had developed a new wireless bedside data solution to transfer electronic medical records to a central database a press release announced. The new solution allows medical personnel to transfer records remotely and quickly and gives other personnel immediate access to that information.
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: Information Week has reported new recovery management software upgrades from CA. Some of those new upgrades include disaster recovery products as well.
March 12 '08: To help respond to oil and chemical pollution disasters, two Canadian companies have created a new partnership which will establish emergency response equipment depots around the world as well as allow personnel access to pre-existing training centers, a press release announced. The Swire Group and Lamor Corporation partnership will be able to handle Tier I - Tier III oil spills.
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 11 '08: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced the completion of the Tsunami Warning System after the deployment of the last two tsunami detection buoys in the South Pacific.
March 11 '08: In a press release, the plastic company Konarka has announced the development of a new solar cell energy technology which is applied using an inkjet printer. Inhabitat.com reported that the technology is as flexible and is inexpensive.
March 11 '08: The technical and management services company Proxtronics, based in Springfield, VA has developed a Mobile Transportation Radiation Monitoring System (MOTRAMS) which measures and establishes baseline radiation levels along roadways, railways, waterways and within communities.
March 10 '08: Texas A&M University's Home Station blog which covers topics related to homeland security (HLS) reported that San Diego County has released an after action report covering the 2007 wildfires.
March 10 '08: The Chicago Sun-Times reported a new program begun by Mayor Richard Daley to link the city's public schools' 4500 surveillance cameras into a network which can be accessed by police and first responders. The addition of the public schools' cameras will augment the existing 10,000 public and private cameras already being monitored by the city's law enforcement agencies.
March 7 '08: A new water-cleaning technology has been developed by the Vestergaard Frandsen Group, Scientific American reported. The LifeStraw is about the size of a regular straw and has the capability to kill nearly 100 percent of all bacteria and viruses using a halogenated resin.
March 7 '08: The Navy has partnered with Northrop Grumman to build the Law Enforcement Information Exchange, also known as LInx, the Washington Post reported. The system currently joins more than 400 law enforcement agencies together. Linx is also used by 100 police agencies in the National Capital Region.
March 7 '08: Law enforcement agencies across the country are beginning to share and exchange information and data through a new federal network called the National Data Exchange System, the Washington Post reported. N-Dex, as the system is called, is a way for local and state law enforcement agencies to share information with their federal counterparts and remove many of the "top-down" roadblocks facing earlier attempts to share information and communicate, PoliceOne.com reported.
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.
March 6 '08: In a press release, a new partnership has been announced between Honeywell and Baltimore Gas & Electric which will work toward helping the utility company respond to peak energy demands during the summer months and to help reduce the risk of rolling blackouts. Through the Demand Response Infrastructure, customers are given the option to have programmable thermostats or air conditioner load control switches installed in their homes to reduce "energy consumption and costs."
March 5, 2008: The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University will be hosting an online emergency evacuation seminar with a focus on major cities in the country March 5. At the webinar will be several emergency managers - the event will be moderated by the Kennedy School's Program on Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management.
March 4 '08: HSDailyWire.com reported that new trends in security and biometric technology will help to push greater expediency at airports in the future with "Automatic biometric systems [that] will eventually replace the often laborious system of repeated manual passport and security checks." According to Atlanta, Georgia-based airline IT solutions provider SITA, "trusted" travelers who have their biometric information inside a database maintained by security "will simply pass through an automated gate which will instantly verify their identity and security risk," HSDaily wrote.
March 3 '08: Wi4Net has announced a new partnership with the City of Milwaukee to install wireless surveillance cameras and a network monitoring facility, a press release announced. Along with the partnership is Pivot3 Inc., makers of high capacity and high definition digital storage.
March 3 '08: Washington Technology reported that L-3 subsidiary MPRI Inc. will partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help train federal agency "with preparedness training and simulation exercises to cope with a wide range of hazards, including acts of bioterrorism and pandemic outbreaks," WashTech reported.
February 29 '08: Continuity Central has reported a new development from IBM that allows a 3-D virtualization of a business environment. According to the company's press release the new solution can bring in "real-time data from different facilities into a 3-D environment to visualize hot spots, data flow, server utilization and more to better monitor and manage the entire IT platform."
February 29 '08: The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved legislation recently which would create "standby groups of civilian specialists with diverse skills" who would be called upon to help respond to domestic and international crises, a press release from the Friends Committee on National Legislation announced.
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 28 '08: Reuters has reported the formation of a new coalition of several major US city water utilities who are working "to improve research into the impacts of climate change on water utilities, develop strategies for adapting to climate change," and to help conserve water consumption, the coalition's press release said. The Water Utility Climate Alliance was formed by the Cities of New York, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Denver, the San Diego County Water Authority, Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California which combined serve more than 36 million people.
February 27 '08: Core77.com's Design Blog has posted a new handheld windpower generation device which also has solar power functionality. The HYmini by Miniwiz can store enough energy to power PDAs, cellphones, iPods, digital cameras, or any other device which uses a 5 volt powering.
February 27 '08: The Miami Herald reported that a major power outage which hit Southern Florida "disrupted life in nearly every imaginable way," after what the Sun-Sentinel reported was a nuclear power plant shutdown which triggered a chain reaction that left more than 1 million people without power.
February 27 '08: ContinuityCentral.com reported that virtualization software company VMWare has developed a new disaster recovery solution for businesses called the Site Recovery Manager. The SRM will enable organizations "to deliver centralized management of recovery plans, automate the recovery process and enable dramatically improved testing of recovery plans."
February 26 '08: The Washington Post reported that DHS will be working with two area companies to make sure the federal agency itself is prepared to handle a disaster and to ensure a continuity of operations. The companies, ICF International and its partner Lockstep Consulting "will help the department identify its mission-critical functions. The plan also will incorporate daily business functions," the Post reported.
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 26 '08: During the 2007 hurricane season wireless telecomm companies operating in the Gulf Coast deployed communications resiliency solutions to ensure a sustainable information infrastructure. Sprint was no different and has employed a variety of solutions through their Emergency Response Team to make sure that first responders and community stakeholders are able to share information before, during and after an event.
February 22 '08: The City of Yuma, Arizona activated the Regional Communication System (YRCS) in 2007 as a way to "develop a shared public safety radio environment." The YRCS is a partnership that uses a P25 700/800 MHz trunked radio system with about 1,200 current users who include the Cocopah Indian Tribe, the US Army Yuma Proving Ground, and the local county and regional law enforcement, fire and EMS services.
February 22 '08: A new nanotechnology application which coasts pure silica with an active material could be used to purify water, Nanowerk reported according to a new report out in the recent International Journal of Nanotechnology.
February 21 '08: United Press International reported that Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems has developed and will deploy an SUV-mounted radiation detection system that will be used by the Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, a press release read.
February 21 '08: The Associated Press reported that Google has partnered with the Cleveland Clinic in a pilot project to create a patients' medical records profile which can be accessed online by doctors looking to view persons' medical history.
February 21 '08: Reuters reported that a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that many states in the are more prepared for a public health emergency or biological attack "but still lacked trained staff and specialized facilities."
February 20 '08: In the Financial Times, John Podesta from the Center for American Progress wrote that the US military will have five "key areas" to confront when facing the challenges posed by climate change. In many cases, Podesta wrote, the Pentagon will be the world's most capable first responder when helping affected communities afflicted by disasters.
February 20 '08: A new report has been released by ESRI which outlines the dynamics of pushing geographically-based information to a user during a crisis. Parting from the traditional pull of information, having incoming data allows "the user to make better and more informed decisions."
February 19 '08: Sprint's Nextel Direct Connect push-to-talk service customers can now communicate using Motorola's MOTOBRIDGE IP solution, Washington Technology reported. "The new connectivity means that now any of the 20 million Direct Connect users can communicate with users of other radio systems, either on a day-to-day basis or during an emergency," WashTech reported.
February 19 '08: In a press release the Harris Corporation announced a new land mobile radio that provides interoperable communications capability for federal agencies needing to talk to first responders on a secure link. The new multiband radios can provide "multi-agency communications across multiple frequency bands," including VHF and UHF.
February 19 '08: Wyoming officials have announced a new statewide interoperable communications system which will link first responders, emergency management and government officials together, the Torrington Telegram Online reported. The system is called Wyolink and it will be 80 to 85 percent complete by March this year. Eventually, officials said the system will be linked to other states' systems.
February 15 '08: The American Chemistry Council has published the Responsible Care Management System which outlines the ways in which railroad companies can work to cover "community awareness and emergency response, security, distribution, employee health and safety, pollution prevention, process safety and product stewardship," Earth 911 reported.
February 14 '08: Georgia Tech has partnered with Austin, Texas-based company Stellar Micro Devices to develop a new anthrax-killing technology which is able to effectively kill the spores in hours, as opposed to the 26 months is took to clean the Brentwood postal facility outside of Washington D.C. in 2001 at a total coast of $130 million, a GATech news story reported.
February 14 '08: HSDailyWire.com reported that Ahura Scientific has released a new handheld chemical ID device which "allows first responders to analyze" compounds in the field. The device, called the TruDefender FT is three pounds and uses Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, the company's press release said.
February 14 '08: Corporate Lodging Consultants provides first responders a place to stay when a disaster strikes by working with local, state and federal emergency management officials. Through its Emergency Lodging Assistance program, the company can provide "lodging reimbursement for pre-qualified individuals from designated disaster areas," the company's website said. The ELA program is funded through FEMA and administered by CLC.
February 13 '08: Several community-based avian flu pandemic preparedness sites have partnered to form a new family-targeted avian pandemic preparedness website called GetPandemicReady.org. The GetPandemicReady site was begun by the Get Pandemic Ready Team (GPR Team) and the website is hosted byNez Perce County in Idaho.
February 13 '08: International IT consulting and resource management company EDS has been participating in several case studies involving the cities of Anaheim, California and Montreal, Quebec among others. Specifically, EDS helped the municipalities to increase their ability to respond to disasters, streamline information sharing among stakeholders, and to integrate computer aided dispatch systems and launch virtual emergency management solutions.
February 13 '08: In Miami-Dade County, Florida emergency management officials told Government Computer News back in 2004 that they were operating their response operations based on 25-year-old technology. To help the county with a more modernized telecommunications solution, Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Avaya helped install a voice over IP community response solution.
February 12 '08: Seven Seas Water, based in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands has developed a specialized water delivery and desalinization process for the tropics in addition to donating $20 million to finding ways of making clean water cheaper and more available to areas which typically have little water to use.
February 12 '08: GreenTechMedia.com reported that eSolar has developed a competitive, renewable and scalable power generation technology by using solar thermal mirrors which can be portable, easy to set up and are resistant to earthquakes and other natural disasters.
February 12 '08: Purdue University and the state of Indiana have partnered to develop a radiation detection technology which could be put into regular cell phones. In a press release, the university said that the technology would "use a network of cell phones to detect and track radiation to help prevent terrorist attacks with radiological 'dirty bombs' and nuclear weapons."
February 11 '08: Miami Dade College will join the local Miami wireless emergency network system (WENS) Campus Technology reported. The Miami-Dade County network's capability is provided by Inspiron Logistics and it will allow officials to use a multi-media platform to release information, announcements and alerts to students, faculty and staff at the college.
February 7 '08: RAE Systems was selected to deploy a wireless AreaRAE toxic gas and radiation sensor network during the TOPOFF 4 exercises held in Guam and Oregon last October, a press release announced.
February 7 '08: The Economist has reported on new capacitor technology which can allow security and military personnel to store more energy for longer amounts of time without the use of conventional batteries. The new technology has also been demonstrated in cars giving one prototype 150 mph fuel efficiency.
February 7 '08: In the Kansas City Star Deborah Smithey, the President of the Missouri Midwives Association said that communities should incorporate midwives into local emergency response plans because of their specific training "in homes and out-of-hospital settings."
February 6 '08: On its official blog, Google has announced a series of five initiatives, including one that will locate and respond to areas around the globe where infectious disease and pandemic have arisen. The Predict and Prevent program will work to pinpoint locations of disease as well as identify resources, manpower, information and data which can respond, mitigate current or prevent additional outbreaks.
February 6 '08: A press release announced by the American Society of Civil Engineers has outlined a new partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers through a memorandum of cooperation to address the nation's infrastructure security challenges in light of last year's I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis which killed thirteen people.
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 5 '08: Announced in a press release, state and local government information and disaster officials will be able to attend a webinar hosted by CIBER that will teach "how to effectively coordinate emergency management activities across multiple government agencies." On hand to deliver the webinar will be AJ Briding, Certified Emergency Manager and Jerry Snees, USMC (Ret.), Office of Emergency Preparedness for the City of New Orleans.
February 5 '08: Entrepreneur.com hosted a piece by Visa Senior Vice President of Commercial Solutions Darren Parslow who wrote, "Purchasing cards help enable city, county, and state agencies to procure emergency supplies and services not only quickly, but under conditions when even basic infrastructure such as power grids, telecommunications networks, and banking systems are disrupted and suppliers are without power or have been destroyed."
February 4 '08: The Sacramento Bee reported a consortium of technologies companies who have partnered with the City of Sacramento to install a wireless Internet infrastructure. Construction will begin will be done by May and includes a consortium of Azulstar (formally Ottawa Wireless), Cisco Systems, Intel and SeaKay, wireless industry publication Unstrung.com reported.
February 4 '08: The Chesapeake Innovation Center in Anne Arundel County, Maryland has been helping businesses develop strategic homeland security-related models and focus. Recently two new companies, MGB Ltd. Spearhead Innovations which develops handheld container inspection devices and in-container detection technology, and OnLine LinkUp which builds "affinity networking websites" have joined.
February 4 '08: A press release from December '07 announced a new partnership between UTC Power and Windham Community Memorial Hospital in Windham, Connecticut to install an "ultra clean, on-site power, cooling and heating" system which can operate at 90 percent efficiency.
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: A collaborative project is practicing professional health care providers in South Carolina "for bioterrorism and public health emergency event recognition and response." The group is called the Disaster Preparedness and Response Training Network and it is funded through a $3.5 million federal grant from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the Department of Health and Human Services.
January 31 '08: For the upcoming Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona, Allied Defense Group Inc. will be providing the surveillance solution through its subsidiary, NS Microwave, a press release announced.
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 30 '08: Spacenet has announced a new Emergency Communications Vehicle (ECV) "for disaster recovery and first responder organizations," the press release said. Spacenet's ECV "can typically be deployed in ten minutes or less and provides converged data, voice and video communications." The ECV vehicle is based on a HUMMER 2 and can be connected to Spacenet's Connexstar satellite service - the same technology used in the EPIC interoperable solution.
January 30 '08: A white paper has been released by First Water Inc., which outlines a plan to deliver potable water to counties affected by a disaster. The company said its water purification technology, "will augment current options and enhance the County's ability to respond to any type of disaster where water quality or availability is comprised," rather than replacing current bottled water delivery systems.
January 30 '08: The Washington Post reported Montgomery County, Maryland police officials who have partnered with Crimereports.com, a website run by Public Engines Inc. who are based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Crimereports.com provides an online mashup of location-based criminal reporting and in recent past has worked with the San Jose Police Department.
January 29 '08: In San Francisco last October, the city announced a new secure web-based information-sharing portal for first responders and community stakeholders, a press release announced. Working with Collaborative Fusion, a consulting, technology, first response and homeland security firm, the city has developed the www.HelpBayArea.org.
January 29 '08: EMS scholarship grants have been awarded to 33 recipients around the country, medical distribution company Bound Tree Medical announced. The biannual scholarship was developed by the company "to reduce the financial burden of individuals that are focused on starting or furthering their education in the EMS field," the company said on its website.
January 29 '08: In a press release, 3N (The National Notification Network) announced a new partnership to install an emergency notification network at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. The company said it plans to install the InstaCom mass notification system to act as a "virtual operations center," during a crisis.
January 28 '08: Global Security and Engineering Solutions, a division of L3 Communications has developed a wireless communication safety system which can be installed in mines. The Deseret Morning News reported that 900 megahertz network can "provide a high level of reliable, clear and audible communication throughout all areas of a mine, even around corners deep in a mine."
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: The Maritime Association of South Carolina/Port of Charleston (MAPCHA) is working to bring together community members under one organization while serving as a conduit for communication to ports and its stakeholders. During the ReadyCommunities's Charleston Pilot, MAPCHA helped to coalesce resources and manpower from many sectors by using and supervising the Essential Public Network.
January 24 '08: Hospitality Net reported earlier last year, just before hurricane season, that the American Hotel & Lodging Association was partnering with Response, a recovery, cleanup, renovation and remediation company. The company has had a history with renovation and disaster remediation services for hotels on a national and regional level following the Katrina and Charlie hurricanes. The AH&LA will use Response's First Response Program.
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: Avaya's Mobile Communications System was announced in 2006 and allows businesses and emergency management personnel the ability to establish remote communications capabilities using "self-contained communications units specifically designed for use in mobile or temporary locations." In January of 2007, Raytheon's JPS Communications said that its two-way radio communication technology ACU-2000 IP was MCS compliant - giving more range to the overall communications system.
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 23 '08: Contingency Planning & Outsourcing Inc., has developed a disaster recovery planing and management software (CPOTracker System) solution which provides a "series of templates ... [for] quick, effective and viable" recovery and planning. The software was developed to help companies navigate managing resources, government licensing and compliance issues as well as reporting on incidents, readiness, response and outreach.
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 22 '08: Security Solutions.com reported that Cox Enterprises has launched a new crisis management site for its employees and business partners. On the site, the company has provided emergency readiness, preparedness and response information including pamphlets for families on such topics as national emergencies, pandemics and school safety. However, according to the site, "much of the current content ... focuses on what to do in preparation for" a global outbreak of avian flu.
January 22 '08: Regional school officials in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho said last summer that they would begin to use the Prepared Response Inc.,'s Rapid Response© crisis management system. Rapid Response© has been used in other parts of the country such as South Carolina.
January 18 '08: A white paper released by Neutral Tandem, has proposed the introduction of an "independent tandem infrastructure" - what Barron's Online reported to be a solution to "fixing interconnection problems among wireless, wireline, cable, Internet and other telecom carriers."
January 18 '08: In a press release, the CompuDyne Corp. subsidiary Tiburon Inc., announced a new partnership with Anne Arundel County, Maryland to build "an integrated public safety system" which will use a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system like the one recently installed last spring in Minneapolis.
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: Core Street announced a partnership with the Los Angles Urban Area Security Initiative in 2006 to use the company's PIVMAN System credential verification technology. The PIVMAN System was selected by SuperCom, now known as Vuance.
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 17 '08: Skyhook Wireless has developed a geographically-based location technology for devices such as personal computers, PDAs and smartphones which allows users to find their location without needing GPS technology. CNET News reported that Skyhook also has partnered with Google and Apple to incorporate the technology into the iPhone.
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 16 '08: Sun-Mar toilets are composting units, rather than the traditional water-dependent toilets. In many emergency situations when water is not available, or the infrastructure is damaged, having composting toilets allows for easy transportation and quick set up for emergency sheltering as well as response and recovery operations.
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 15 '08: Commonwealth Edison electric company - also called ComEd - received an award from the Edison Electric Institute for its efforts in recovering from the "Storm of the Decade", which hit Chicago August 2007, a press release read.
January 14 '08: Enivsage has announced a new collaboration with the Army at Fort Gordon & Signal Center to manage the training of soldiers. Using the company's Acadis Readiness Suite Envisage will be able reduce the time and amount of resources necessary to build complex training and education scenarios.
January 14 '08: The University of Arkansas has released an announcement about a new study (Download here - large file though!) looking into the nation's rural transportation networks' security. In the press release, the University said that more than 83 percent of the country's "infrastructure is not urban," and that since 9/11, much of the focus on homeland security had been looking at the state of more populated areas.
January 14 '08: Networks like Verizon have been working to prepare their networks in the event of a large-scale disaster like a hurricane. Similarly, AT&T's Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) has been developed to recover voice and data services quickly in the affected area of a disaster.
January 11 '08: Vocera Communications has built a wireless communications device which uses WiFi, VoIP and speech recognition to connect doctors, nurses and EMS personnel working in hospitals. The technology operates over a wireless LAN (802.11) and is controlled by a small talking device which can be worn on the sleeve of scrubs or a jacket.
January 11 '08: Food Navigator USA reported an on-site biofuels production facility to go online at a meat packing plant in Nebraska by the end of the fourth quarter of this year. The new plant, to be managed and built by Micrology, a subsidiary of Environmental Power, will provide about 235,000 MMBtu per year, about 25 percent of the plant's total energy needs which equals about 1.7 million gallons of oil.
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: In a press release, Bank of American said late last fall it had worked to help provide financial services for those affected by the Southern California wildfires. The services included a series of loan extensions, credit increases, assistance for existing loans, a toll-free bilingual telephone number for assistance and donations made though the Bank of American Charitable Foundation.
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 10 '08: Law enforcement agencies in Missouri are pooling their federal money, instead of focusing on regional programs, to fund a state-wide information-sharing program, Congressional Quarterly reported. Of note in this partnership is that local officials have said that by combining their resources, they are able to increase the breadth and scope of their abilities to take advantage of the Missouri Data Exchange project. The agencies will be using the COPLINK information and database suite, a press release announced. The technology was designed by Knowledge Computing Corp.
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 9 '08: Government Technology reported in California that the state's 911 enhanced calling systems will get additional funding around $2 million so that local communities can upgrade their systems. E911 systems as they are sometimes called, were used during the California wildfires after the San Diego City government decided to use the reverse-calling system.
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: In a press release, the STIHL chainsaw company's USA headquarters announced the Hearts of STIHL program - a bifurcated initiative to pre-position chainsaws in hurricane-prone areas during Hurricane Katrina and to help local emergency response funding for communities by matching grant money.
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 7 '08: In New Jersey, NorthJersey.com reported that local EMS, fire and police officials will begin to train for hazardous driving conditions using a computer program developed by New York-based Doron Precision Systems. The simulators will be installed later this year at the Law & Public Safety Institute in Mahwah, NJ.
January 7 '08: The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Motorola will begin the final steps in building an interoperable communications network for the metro area. The MetroSafe program was begun in 2005 and will link the Louisville emergency responders, police, fire and EMS into one communications network.
January 4 '08: The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel reported that the State Bar of Arizona will host an emergency preparedness and response seminar later this month. The seminar will focus on business community management issues and the legal implications which could arise from disasters such as pandemics, man-made disasters, or natural emergencies.
January 4 '08: Raytheon began a pilot program in early 2007 among six communities in the Quad City area in the Midwest. The Public Safety Communications Pilot program's goals were to increase interoperability, deliver broadband access for first responders to remote areas, and to introduce new services and applications which would enhance the response process.
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: Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar Company helped the City of San Diego by providing electricity for up to 11,000 homes during last fall's wildfires.
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.
January 2 '08 The Daily Press in Norfolk, Virginia reported that Hampton Roads port officials are finishing new installations of radiation detectors for outgoing trucking shipments in order to increase safety measures and expedite the security processes. The $2.5 million upgrade was a partnership between the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Virginia Port Authority.
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 27 '07: The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a new website focusing on preparedness and environmental issues in collaboration with Mexico called the U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program Border 2012. The program "is a results-oriented program that takes a 'bottom-up' approach to addressing the environmental and public health needs of the border region."
December 21 '07: Reuters reported that a new 2007 report on America's national preparedness capabilities has found that there are gaps in overall preparedness programs ranging from "biological attacks to a flu pandemic, and funding for preparedness is falling." The new report, released by Trust for America's Health was preceded by a similar report released last year.
December 21 '07: The New York Times reported that the first major test of New York State's statewide interoperable first responder network "has failed its first major test, prompting concerns from some state officials and causing the state's second largest city, Buffalo, to opt out of the system."
December 20 '07: The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the rental container company PODS has developed a PODS Rapid Response Team to help provide shipping and emergency shelter capabilities to those affected by disasters. The containers can be air conditioned and are able to "be used to transport food, water and medical supplies to impacted areas or as a storage container for household items and assets of homeowners and businesses," as well as temporary shelters, the company's website read.
December 20 '07: In a press release, the grain and energy cooperative CHS Inc., has announced a new emergency notification system which they will implement to "act as a fundamental component of the CHS emergency preparedness and continuity plan."
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 13 '07: In a press release, the Culpeper Regional Hospital in Virginia has announced the deployment of a visual imaging and information-shairng technology designed to help medical and health officials prepare for pandemic diseases and biological terrorism.
December 12 '07: In a press release, the RAND Corporation announced a new study which "gives rail security planners and policymakers a framework to develop cost-effective plans to secure their rail systems from terrorist attacks." The authors cite terrorist attacks in London and Madrid as highlighting the "vulnerability of rail travel and the importance of rail security for passengers."
December 12 '07: Seismologists in California are testing new technologies and systems designed to detect and predict earthquakes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Testing of the new lattice-work systems will last into 2009, but more monitoring stations are needed, scientists said. If effective the new technology "being tested could provide seconds or even minutes of early notification that a dangerous quake has struck."
December 12 '07: Government Executive reported that the Coast Guard is expanding its coverage and use of the Rescue 211 system - a digital disaster and emergency response communications framework which will replace the National Distress Response System. The new wireless "command-and-control system" is being built by General Dynamics C4 Systems based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
December 11 '07: The Associated Press reported that in several western states, oil and gas companies are providing ambulance service for workers in the natural gas fields. In Sublette County, Wyoming, Shell, EnCana, Ultra and BP have "contributed $900,000 toward the new ambulance and a place to house it." Meanwhile county officials have given $500,000 for the ambulance service.
December 7 '07: Earlier this summer, members of the public and private sectors gathered in Monroe County, Michigan to test their response and communications abilities to an emergency situation, the Monroe News reported. The emergency response exercise, called Operation Safeguard, a partner with the National Congress, hosted representatives from the local, state and federal governments, railroad companies, the American Red Cross, the National Guard, the Department of Agriculture, police enforcement agencies, EMS responders and other responder agencies.
December 7 '07: A Fox News affiliate in Portland, Oregon reported that while the recent storms knocked out power and some basic cell and phone services for thousands of residents, local amateur ham radio operators were hailed as essential components in the response and recovery.
December 6 '07: EWeek.com reported a new voluntary locally-targeted pilot project in New York called Notify NYC being launched December 10 which will "give New Yorkers in the pilot communities' access to [emergency alert] information while serving as a proving ground for different technologies," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. New York-based Send Word Now will provide the digital messaging service.
December 6 '07: Consumerist.com reported Monday that after severe flooding in the Pacific Northwest, the T-Mobile customer care center and certain business centers were were offline. In a press release, the company said the "Severe flooding stemming from a powerful storm has affected a facility in Western Washington that houses some T-Mobile business systems."
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.
December 4 '07: BLU-MED Response Systems, a Washington State-based partner with the National Congress, has announced two new contracts to help communities in Idaho's District Four and Suffolk County, New York increase their hospital surge capacity capabilities. In a press release, the company said it would provide two types of deployable medical shelters which could handle a full-scale medical emergency.
December 4 '07: The airline industry should begin to share information about past medical emergencies while in the air to help companies, crew members and first responders learn how to adapt better methods of in-flight medical response, experts said during a conference in London recently, FlightGlobal.com reported. Speaking at the Royal Society of Medicine, Dr. James Ferguson, from TheFirstCall and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary said that current practices are about 20 to 30 years-old and that airline medical equipment and medication should be updated.
December 3 '07: The Huntsville Times in Alabama reported that local responders are using the Google Earth web-based location technology to help analyze, track and map emergency situations. The technology's ability was shown during a news conference with representatives from the Alabama State Department of Homeland Security, Google Earth technicians, and Governor Bob Riley.
November 28 '07: A recent press release announced that Dallas County, Texas' Office of Security and Emergency Management and the Dallas Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) will use NC4's E Team solution for situational awareness and information management.
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 26 '07: Computerworld reported that a public safety communications group will get a license for 10MHz of wireless spectrum from the FCC "in anticipation of the spectrum being used to build out a nationwide emergency communications network." The announcement comes as other groups work to wrangle the spectrum for interoperable communications.
November 21 '07: Officer.com reported that during the holiday season with record numbers of travelers, federal, state and local officials urge safety using the National Unified Goal for Traffic Incident Management. Use of the system will help increase public safety awareness in addition to creating a more "unified" approach to making travel more safe, officials said.
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 20 '07: When the I-35W Bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in August, residents near the crash sent cell phone pictures to responder officials; posted them onto Fickr sites and exchanged them over the city's wireless network. Officials used the open-sharing of data using private networks and existing private sector resources to help with response operations - something that Frontline Wireless wants to try and harness.
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: An online collaborative tool designed for businesses to hold meetings over the Internet has been deployed in the field to help first responders share information real-time. In a press release from Citrix Online's GoToMeeting, a public/private partnership designed to test communities' abilities to respond to fire emergencies in multicultural settings, an emergency response operation was conducted through funding provided by the Department of Homeland Security and with the cooperation of FIRE 20/20, a research and education non-profit organization which is working to integrate fire preparedness and response into the business world.
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 14 '07: When a child is abducted in a community, residents and authorities sometimes only have a few critical hours in the beginning to ensure the safety of the child. Through the AMBER Alert system, a partnership of federal, state and local governments cooperating with community and private sector leaders, urgent bulletins can be issued to spread information about the stolen or lost child. Tech company Syniverse was selected to provide the platform upon which the communications and messaging are built.
November 13 '07: In August of this year, Blu-Med Response Systems was able to assemble a 30,000 square-foot Mobile Field Hospital, which is similar to a Combat Support Hospital. According to the press release, the 200-bed MFH was assembled 12 hours ahead of schedule during the California Rough & Ready 2007 Exercise.
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 12 '07: NetworkWorld reported last week that NASA has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to help track and monitor the spread of diseases using a network of 14 orbital satellites. Through the Applied Sciences Program "data [are] collected daily to monitor environmental changes. That information is then passed on to agencies," like the CDC.
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 8 '07: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered a review of Southern California's response to the recent wildfires which burned more than 2,000 homes, the NBC affiliate in San Diego reported. Gov. Schwarzenegger has said a task force will look into ways that response efforts could be tweaked to produce better results for the future.
November 8 '07 Planning and communications gaps still exist among healthcare providers and "private physicians often are left out of heath care disaster plans that focus on hospitals and public health workers," a new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers has found according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Released at the end of October, the report also found federal funding for disaster preparedness in decline.
November 6 '07: Two geospatial technology companies have partnered to provide responders in California with detailed images of last month's wildfires, GISUSer.com reported recently. The companies, TerraGo Technologies and GeoEye took the large file images, each totaling about 19 gigs each, and compressed them into pictures only 600 mb each so that the pictures could distributed more easily.
November 6 '07: Washington Technology has reported that the Federal Communication Commission "is endorsing adoption of the common alerting protocol technical standard for the nation's next-generation emergency alert system," which was developed by over 130 emergency managers and technology experts working under the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards in 2004. The new standard would help to solve interoperable communications hurdles facing different responder agencies using various frequencies, languages and practices.
November 5 '07: Emergency management and local government officials in Huntsville, Alabama have reopened their fallout shelters to help with response operations in the event of a large emergency or radiological disaster, Physicians for Civil Defense wrote. The program was designed by local officials to help buffer the impact of potentially hundreds or even thousands of people displaced by a nuclear or radiological disaster and who would seek a safe haven.
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.
November 1 '07: In California, an overdue fault line triggered a 5.6-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday October 30 in the San Francisco Bay Area, causing many residents to check their earthquake preparedness status, Bloomberg news reported. Scientists said the small temblor signaled a imminent larger seismic shift although they could not say when that shift would happen.
October 29 '07: The New York Times reported that the fires in Southern California are giving federal disaster response officials an opportunity to review their recovery operations - a first since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. According to the Times, part of the disaster response operations include making sure that federal relief funds are given to those who need them and avoid fraudulent claims.
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: In a press release emergency response coordination and technology company ENVISAGE announced their charter membership with the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association to help build upon the Essential Public Network. ENVISAGE officials said they hoped to help CCORA with technology, interoperability and data standards within the EPN to boost the network's capability.
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: Neighborhood America, the organization which provides sponsorship for the National Blueprint, has announced a new enterprise social network solution for businesses, governments and organizations which can help with emergency preparedness and response. The networking technology uses Software as a Service which can help build secure and targeted social networks much like the Essential Public Network.
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 4 '07: Every day, the Department of Homeland Security sends out an open-source, non-classified security update detailing news and media stories on infrastructure, homeland security issues and other relevant information. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that an error in the system caused a "reply-all" email caused a cascade of more than 2.2 million email messages which flooded the servers of the email recipients on the list.
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 3 '07: According to Agence France-Presse, a new report from the Pediatrics journal has found that in a disaster the most vulnerable population will be the children.
October 3 '07: The New York Times reported that fire fighters responding to the Deutsche Bank fire in New York City on August 18 were not aware of a special sealed staircase designated for emergency response. "The stairwells were sealed with heavy plywood and plastic to prevent toxic materials from escaping and hinged trap doors were put in the plywood slabs, yet the escape plan was never brought to the attention of firefighters assigned to respond."
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 28 '07: In the aftermath of disasters and emergencies, many communities must find ways to recover without the help of state or federal assistance for the first 72 hours. To support response operations, businesses within that community can provide valuable assistance - with existing resources in the location of the recovery process - through cooperation with local, state and federal emergency responders and first responders. One of the ways to help coordinate such resources and information is through a network much like the Essential Public Network, launched today by the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association.
September 28 '07: In the aftermath of disasters and emergencies, many communities must find ways to recover without the help of state or federal assistance for the first 72 hours. To support response operations, businesses within that community can provide valuable assistance - with existing resources in the location of the recovery process - through cooperation with local, state and federal emergency responders and first responders. One of the ways to help coordinate such resources and information is through a network much like the Essential Public Network, launched today by the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association.
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 27 '07: On the ESRI homepage a press release announced a new emergency vehicle tracking and situational awareness technology which has been installed on Charleston, South Carolina's EMS fleet. The new geographic information system (GIS) was first installed earlier this year and has since been approved to put into use in selected emergency response vehicles.
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 25 '07: Using new research originally developed to help find new ways of producing human stem cells, one researcher at the University of Georgia has announced a new way to detect chemical agents in the field. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that researcher Steve Stice said his neural cell research could "create a portable chemical weapons detection system that could be used for homeland security."
September 24 '07:The New York Academy of Medicine's Redefining Readiness Workgroup, a consortium of public health experts and medical officials sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has released a new report focusing on "sheltering-in-place" - the practice of staying in one place during a disaster to seek refuge, such as in a home, church, school, office or any other structure. The report, released last week, found that many people would not be able to shelter-in-place, creating additional hazards for those helping to respond to the disaster and those affected by it.
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 19 '07: Alaska Airlines has said that it will partner with airline wireless Internet service provider Row 44 to install WiFi networks on its commercial flights to be ready by 2008. In a press release the airline company said that the service would service both entertainment and business interests.
September 17 '07: Ten Native Nations will cooperate with the Department of Justice in a pilot program to help expand the AMBER Alert program, a press release read. Federal organizers said they hoped the ten initiatives would help strengthen information sharing among law enforcement agencies between the community, tribal, state and federal authorities.
September 14 '07: September is National Preparedness Month and the Department of Homeland Security is urging state and local communities, religious communities, organizations and businesses to take steps to prepare for possible disasters. In Chicago, on September 25 and 26, several major corporations in the U.S. and from abroad will gather at the Corporate Climate Response Conference to discuss the ways in which climate change will affect businesses, both through legislation and in the real world.
September 13 '07: As the ninth tropical depression of the 2007 hurricane season forms off the coast of Texas and Louisiana, local and state governments are gearing up for the heavy rains and high winds. To keep communications operations before, during and after the storm and to help raise awareness about how to maintain contact with family members, AT&T has posted its best practices and preparedness plan for the company and for communities.
September 11 '07: An article in Underground Construction recently looked at how utility companies work to respond to the logistical hurdles faced immediately after a disaster strikes. Many times, the companies are charged with restoring essential services so that other recovery efforts can progress.
September 6 '07: The Washington Post reported that according to a newly-released report to Congress by the Government Accountability Office, several hurdles, including a lack of funding, unclear priorities and continuing reorganizations hamper the Department of Homeland Security's ability "to achieve its mission of preventing and responding to terrorist attacks or natural disasters."
September 6 '07: Responders in South Florida are learning to use a new national location system to train for disasters, Naples Daily News reported. Using the National Grid System, the Southwest Florida Urban Search and Rescue learned how to send information about the location of disasters and their victims.
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 29 '07: Lockheed Martin has developed a new wearable technology which allows soldiers or first responders in the field to record information in real-time, a press release announced. The technology - called Wearable Intelligent Reporting Environment (WIRE) is a "spoken-language-understanding system".
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: Environmental News Network reported that California state officials unveiled three new mobile civilian emergency medical response shelters - the largest of their kind - during a demonstration in Los Alamitos. The shelters can contain up to 200 beds along with "other new medical assets".
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 24 '07: A new type of technology platform is now available to first responders which would allow changes to communications equipment to be done through software upgrades instead of having to replace hardware, Emerging Technology reported. The technology, called software-defined-radio will be able to change frequency capabilities using a program that can be changed on -the-fly.
August 24 '07: Changes to the Earth's climate will also mean that countries will face greater and diverse security challenges, officials in Norway said recently. Reuters reported that John Ashton, British climate change ambassador told a conference of 13 nations that global warming "should be recast as a security issue, such as the war on terrorism, to help mobilize support for tougher global action to cut emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels."
August 24 '07: The San Jose Mercury News reported recently that a new video game/virtual reality training program has been developed by scientists at the Sandia National Laboratories. The game is called "Ground Truth" and it simulates various scenarios.
August 23 '07: San Francisco city officials have begun a $22 million area-wide initiative to prepare the city for a disaster by improving communication and response plans through the Bay Area Super-Urban Area Initiative.
August 23 '07: USA Today reported recently that a partnership between the City of Atlanta, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Emory University called the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival program, uses an Internet-based database approach to combine several formats and medical records data to help create EMS performance reports and has improved survival rates for heart attack victims.
August 23 '07: Virginia Tech officials announced they have concluded a series of three internal reviews which looked into the April 16 shooting which killed 32 people. In the announcement Tech President Charles Steger said the goal was "to look at strengths and weaknesses of our existing systems/infrastructure and how they may be improved or augmented to address emergency situations that might arise in the future."
August 22 '07: Earlier last week when initial forecasts had predicted a possible Texas landfall for Hurricane Dean, Texas officials immediately began to plan their response and evacuation scenarios. The Houston Chronicle reported that Governor Rick Perry and state emergency officials would have worked under the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to coordinate a broad-base of operational management and cooperation.
August 22 '07: A planned emergency response exercise in Salinas, California will partner the Monterey Sheriff's Office, the Salinas Police Explorer Volunteers and the Girl Scouts of Monterey Bay at the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and it will simulate a bio-emergency response using the Portable Isolation Containment System.
August 21 '07: The Chemical Safety Board released a report earlier in July which outlined several missteps in corporate emergency preparedness which led to a faulty response and one death at the Synthron chemical plant in Morgantown, North Carolina.
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 20 '07: Officials in the energy industry have been preparing for Hurricane Dean as it heads toward the Yucatan Peninsula and Mexico, the Houston Chronicle reported. The storm, expected to become a Category 5 and could damage oil and natural gas rigs, however Dean's projected path shows the storm heading into mainland Mexico after passing the Yucatan.
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 10 '07: United Press International reported in Philadelphia a new emergency communication system which has gone online. The announcement was made by officials working with the Emergency Management and Public Safety Office in the Southeastern Counter Terrorism Task Force. The system was built by Roam Secure and its Roam Secure Alert Network services.
August 10 '07: Government Technology reported that the City of Tallahassee has been recognized by the Public Technology Institute for its Public Safety Project, a city-wide interoperable communications network.
August 10 '07: The Edmond Sun reported local hospitals are taking steps to integrate security and preparedness operations into their programs to help staff become more prepared. The Edmond Medical Center and Mercy Health Center train their staff through the first receivers certification course, and the hospital systems will now be linked via wireless Internet.
August 9 '07: Thousands of people were without power and city subway's were completely shut down on Wednesday morning after a series of intense thunderstorms hit the New York Metropolitan area, the New York Times reported.
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 7 '07: Using a computer-generated model of the United States, tech experts and the Department of Homeland Security are studying the ways in which a potential terrorist attack, natural disaster or infrastructure collapse might affect the nation's cities and communities, Bloomberg reported. The simulation programs are being run through a partnership with the Sandia National Laboratories, DHS and Los Alamos Laboratory.
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 3 '07: The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis, which has claimed at least five people, has been blamed on a weakened or "functionally obsolete" infrastructure, CNN reported. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that rescue and response efforts are being slowed by dangerous river conditions.
August 2 '07 MojoPac has released new software which lets the user carry their vital applications and information with them - allowing them to boot up into any PC. According to the company's website, the MojoPac software "virtualizes the Windows operating system ... [while] installed applications and application configuration are all encapsulated ... so that they can be moved from one physical machine to another without dependency on the hardware or the Windows operating system."
August 2 '07: The Associated Press reported that federal homeland security grants have been given to the Texas Radio Coalition to help improve statewide interoperable communications. In a press release, state officials said the improved system would allow all levels of emergency management "to communicate using a unified wireless radio system during natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and other critical incidents."
August 2 '07: The Associated Press reported Minneapolis police officials have said at least seven people died when a bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed during rush-hour traffic. Authorities have not said what caused the crash, though they did rule out foul play. Reuters said the eight-lane bridge served as a major artery for the city and that the collapse happened while the bridge was under renovations.
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 31 '07: Local officials in San Ramon Valley are considering partnering with a medical information distribution service which would compile residents' information that could then be used to build smart lists of special needs during emergencies, the Contra Costa Times reported. Some of the obstacles facing the implementation of the plan include pricing, privacy and security.
July 30 '07: The Times Picayune in New Orleans reported over the weekend that Army Corps of Engineers officials have downgraded their levee designs "for long-term flood control projects" from a Category 5 preparedness level to a "Katrina-like event". The announcement came during a National Research Council committee briefing, the Picayune reported.
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 27 '07: At a press conference in Los Angeles, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff outlined steps the federal government would take to help private sector businesses and organizations rebound in the event of a large disaster or terrorist attack, the LA Times reported. The plan was unveiled in the 130-page Strategy to Enhance International Supply Chain Security.
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 26 '07: The Wall Street Journal reported that medical schools and emergency response programs have added wilderness-medicine to their curricula. Medical officials say as more people enjoy outdoor activities and with an increase in disasters in remote locations, it is important that response operations are able to incorporate wilderness scenarios.
July 25 '07: Medical News Today reported that last week the Department of Health and Human Services released a new location-based medical and health preparedness and response guidebook to help "communities identify the healthcare facilities (hospitals and nursing homes) that could be available and prepared to provide assistance under emergency conditions in their communities."
July 24 '07: A new survey released by Juniper has found that teleworking for government employees is a best practice which strengthens continuity of operations in the event of an emergency. The results were announced in a press release on Monday. Charles Church, the chief information officer for the Department of Homeland Security's National Protection and Programs Directorate said, "the survey shows that we are moving in the right direction for emergency preparedness ... that teleworking is a 'must have' for effective COOP planning."
July 24 '07: The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been working on disaster recovery and response credentials for private sector organizations which help to repair and maintain critical infrastructure, Federal Computer Week reported late last week.
July 23 '07: The Harvard Post reported that the town has been planning on working to mobilize some of the 6,000 residents to help respond in the event of a bio-terror attack or a pandemic outbreak. "Ken Gikas, of the Region II Emergency Preparedness Coaltion, said he will work with the (Board of Health) to identify and seek out members of the community who are willing to support emergency and bioterrorism preparedness efforts," the Post wrote.
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: Firefighting officials in the Western states have raised the fire alert and preparedness level to its highest, the Associated Press reported. The hot summer weather, coupled with drought conditions and high winds have created "perfect conditions" for the blazes, CNN reported. Additionally, firefighter manpower resources are low, so officials have said there is a chance of international recruitment from Canada and Australia.
July 20 '07: The American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association have released a new report (see link below to download the report), which calls for repairing "gaping holes in the U.S. disaster response system," the Government Health IT website reported.
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 19 '07: One person was killed and about 30 were injured when an underground steam pipe in Midtown Manhattan exploded sending a jet of hot water several stories high and shaking the nearby city streets, the New York Times reported. Among those injured were several responders, the New York paper continued.
July 18 '07: The Open Architecture Network is an online community forum dedicated to helping "to work together to address shelter needs after disaster, in informal settlements and in our own communities." The website allows users to post their ideas about portable, sustainable, and immediate shelters using recycled, reused or refurbished materials.
July 18 '07: In California, the eight-day training exercise Golden Phoenix has gathered more than 60 law enforcement and response agencies to simulate a magnitude-7.9 earthquake, the Wittier Daily News reported. Organizers hope to test the communications abilities of those participating in the event.
July 17 '07: Shelter Architecture has developed a portable, energy independent, and "small scale, self contained ecosystem," called The Hub which can provide shelter to first responders and disaster victims during emergencies.
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 12 '07: The Times-Picayune reported in June that the Louisiana Recovery Authority has authorized the New Orleans' city-wide recovery plan which will "release $117 million in federal grants for infrastructure repairs."
July 12 '07: A new post on Continuity Central by Dr. Jim Kennedy, NCE, MRP, MBCI, CBRM, Business Continuity Services Practice Lead and Consulting Member of Technical Staff for Lucent Technologies has illustrated alternatives for establishing emergency communications systems after a disaster. Dr. Kennedy wrote that relying on traditional lines of communication such as land-lines and cell phone networks hinders a company, organization, or government's ability to relay critical information in a timely manner.
July 11 '07: In a press release, Honeywell announced a new web-based notification system for the healthcare industry and academia. Instant Alert© Plus can send 100,000 30-second phone calls about disasters, terrorist attacks, or other emergencies to cell phones, pagers, email, PDS's or regular land-line phones.
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 11 '07: ITWorld Canada reported that many companies around the Toronto, Ontario area have learned business continuity best practices after the city was besieged by a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002. Those best practices were discussed during the World Conference on Disaster Management held this week.
July 10 '07: Kershaw County school system in South Carolina announced recently that it has installed an emergency and crisis management system for the 2007-2008 school year according to GIS User.com article posted by the network's company, Prepared Response Inc..
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 10 '07: Government Health IT reported that a new website has been launched by the National Health Information Network's agencies last week "to provide tools, information and resources for companies and public organizations." The website will be the "starting" point for obtaining information for medical first responders and health officials, GovHealthIT reported.
July 9 '07: New York City officials announced recently that they would begin a video surveillance network in Downtown Manhattan similar to the Ring of Steel network in London, the New York Times reported. The $90 million network will include license plate readers, about 3,000 public and private cameras as well as license plate readers.
July 9 '07: In Dearborn, Michigan city officials are working on a new emergency vehicle alert system which will be installed on city street intersections to alert drivers about oncoming response vehicles, the Associated Press reported. Three intersections will have the alert system installed to test its viability.
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 5 '07: Information Week reported that a national nonprofit emergency responder group is lobbying for radio over Internet Protocol to help with interoperable communications. The group, Comcare, "promotes emergency systems, procedures, tools, and training," Information Week wrote.
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 Jacksonville Financial News and Daily Record railroad company CSX has said it is working to make sure that its operational infrastructure and its employees are prepared for a disaster. John Hawkins, the director of Corporate Communications told the Jacksonville paper, the company "has detailed plans for disasters. ... We have to be able to find a way to satisfy our customers while protecting our assets."
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: A survey published by Cisco networks found that new mobile and remote-location technologies are being used by the federal government "as agency executives strive to integrate secure, collaborative business processes and applications into their communications infrastructure," and that "unified communications" will help with federal disaster recovery operations.
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: A new peer-reviewed "Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness" journal has been created by the American Medical Association which will focus on public-health issues and the emergency management behind it, a press release announced. The publication will be published twice in 2007 and then become a quarterly in 2008.
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: The FDA has announced a new web-based technology designed to help assess food supply safety. The technology, and acronym spelling CARVER was originally designed by the military "to identify areas that may be vulnerable to an attacker," the press release announced.
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 19 '07: The Associated Press reported that a huge blaze at a furniture warehouse in Charleston, S.C. has killed nine firefighters who responded to the inferno. While nine died, two warehouse employees were rescued according to City Mayor Joseph P. Riley during a morning news conference.
June 18 '07: Citizens for Rail Safety recently partnered with Penn State to release a new report which looks at current security measures in place to protect the nation's railroads and ways to highlight "glaring holes" so that they can avert the threat of a terrorist attack.
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 14 '07: Two global communications and network companies have partnered to create a mobile emergency response command center which can be used for field operational management for the 2007 hurricane season, a press release announced. The companies, PacStar and SpaceNet will design the Emergency Preparedness Integrated Communications system.
June 13 '07: Two years ago in 2005, ChoicePoint had more than 163,000 consumer records' hacked by criminals who were posing as legitimate customers. Now, the CIO of the company has told PC World that the company has used the lessons-learned to provide best practices for other similar companies.
June 13 '07: A $1 million project, funded by Oregon State University, is studying the impacts of repeated tsunamis on a replica model of the town of Seaside in the hopes that researchers will be able to help develop more effective evacuation and warning systems in case of a killer wave, the Gazette-Times reported.
June 13 '07: The Department of Homeland Security has announced a new section for their Lessons Learned Information-Sharing website for special needs populations. The new section will host information about response and recovery operations for disabled and impaired populations. The section also represents a growing focus on those who depend upon the community to respond and prepare for disasters.
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 11 '07: Computer World reported gaps in business emergency response and continuity planning according to a new study released by AT&T. The study's findings, announced in a press release revealed that 30 percent of those business polled were not prepared for a worst-case scenario. Businesses in New York ranked first, while Cleveland came in last.
June 11 '07: In Fort Wayne, Indiana a local internet service provider and storage company is now offering backup services for companies so that they can restore their computer systems after a disaster, the Journal Gazette reported. The company, called the Indiana Data Center partnered with New York Binomial to provide the technology.
June 7 '07: A new website has been launched which compiles medical patients' prescription information such as drug interaction, patient clinical alerts and therapeutic duplication warnings, GovernmentHealthIT reported. The In Case of Emergency Prescription Database or ICERx.org was developed after thousands of prescription medical records were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.
June 7 '07: According to officials in Louisiana, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the single largest hurdle to response and rescue operations was the complete breakdown of communication among all levels of government, first responding agencies and emergency management operations. The Times Picayune reported that a new $32 million emergency communications system was installed which will allow officials from multiple parishes communicate with each other.
June 6 '07: The Payson Roundup in Arizona reported that the telemedicine group Humanitarian Emergency Logistics and Preparedness, or HELP is in discussion with several large technology companies to develop ways to increase telemedicine's reach into remote areas to provide medical response and relief.
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 5 '07: According to Washington Technology, the Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate has released a notice and request for public comments on its TechSolutions program.
June 5 '07: Education, planning, personal empowerment, response and support services are essential for any community to respond to a disaster or pandemic, according to a post by Georges Benjamin, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E.P. (Emeritus) and former head of the American Public Health Association and Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
June 5 '07: Existing plans to evacuate downtown Pittsburgh in the event of a large-scale disaster are untested and inadequate, city officials told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Ray DeMichiei, the deputy director of the city's emergency management agency said, "We did a few things to the plans post-9/11, but we still aren't satisfied." DeMichiei's comments came a day after a bomb scare closed three tunnels into the city, halting traffic for hours, the Tribune-Review reported.
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.
June 1 '07: Over the last week, a 31-year old Atlanta man infected with a rare strain of tuberculosis resistant to almost all forms of medication traveled from the U.S. to Europe and back again potentially infecting dozens of people with the deadly virus while American and European health officials failed to share critical information about his whereabouts, and exposed gaps in international pandemic response and preparendess the International Herald Tribune and other news sources reported.
May 30 '07: Center for Disease Control officials have quarantined an airline traveler who has been diagnosed with a fatal drug-resistant form of tuberculosis CNN reported. The man, who flew from the U.S. to France and who returned to the U.S. by car via Toronto, was the first person to be ordered under such guidelines since 1963.
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 29 '07: Hurricane season officially begins June 1. Last week, the National Portable Storage Association released an announcement urging residents and businesses along the Gulf Coast to prepare for an active season by reserving ahead of time, portable storage devices in case of damage to houses.
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 25 '07: City officials in Chicago have said that recent emergency response exercises have increased their capability to act quickly, a local NBC affiliate reported. Cortez Trotter, the Chicago chief emergency officer told the station results from an earlier massive emergency drill which included the evacuation of 3,000 people from 4 city buildings "were positive."
May 25 '07: A new cellphone startup, Sonopia, is offering its customers the ability to create their own cellphone networks. The Associated Press reported that the company is targeting non-profits such as the National Wildlife Federation and the National Parks Conservation Association and offers each community the ability to share information, media and other content through their phones.
May 24 '07: In Arizona, Maricopa County officials have announced that they will work with their local immigrant population, both legal and illegal, in an effort to establish trust between the local government and its residents for bioterror preparedness, the Arizona Republic reported.
May 24 '07: According to Reuters forecasters have urged the oil industry to move their stockpiles away from the Gulf Coast before the start of the 2007 hurricane season to protect U.S. supplies. The suggestion was made after weather predictions for this year's summer storm season harbinged an active cycle with some saying it is "almost certain there is going to be significant production disruption in the Gulf of Mexico this year."
May 24 '07: In a press release, Verizon announced it is readying its networks for the 2007 hurricane season to make sure that service continues in the event of a disaster. Much of the preparation is through the development of "smart" networks which can re-route communications when damages occur and through extensive inventory cataloguing to help send supplies to repair damaged communications infrastructure.
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 23 '07: In a departmental release, Homeland Security officials announced the completion of an infrastructure protection set of guidelines designed to support the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. The NIPP was designed to identify, classify and define the nation's critical infrastructure and to help find ways to securing it against natural and man-made threats.
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 17 '07: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said on Monday that gas stations along the state's hurricane evacuation routes must install emergency backup generators, NBC 6 and the Associated Press reported. However, Crist sent a letter to about 254 of the gas stations which have not installed the mandatory generators, the NBC affiliate reported.
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: Several large fires around the country are burning while firefighters and local residents work to contain the blazes, the Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, CNN has provided a national map showing the wildfires.
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 8 '07: The Department of Homeland Security must coordinate and support the 17 information-sharing networks better according to a Government Accountability Office report released recently. The report recommended that to improve coordination among the information networks, DHS officials must "implement coordination and collaboration practices, and ensure its efforts are consistent."
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 4 '07: Two California counties are joining their radio response networks to improve communication and information-sharing, the Contra Costa Times reported. The new joined system would be digital and would "allow public safety agencies in both counties to communicate directly with each other via radio."
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.
May 2 '07: Security experts told the San Francisco Chronicle that a recent tanker crash, which spewed thousands of gallons of fuel causing a massive fire and the subsequent collapse of a busy overpass in the San Francisco metro area, highlights the dangers posed by potential terrorists who would use similar tactics by employing tankers as weapons.
May 1 '07: According to a press release from the U.S. Northern Command, the U.S., and Canadian governments will cooperate with state and local authorities in Alaska, Indiana and Rhode Island, among other northern East Coast states during the response exercise called Ardent Sentry-Nothern Edge 07. The exercise will be the largest NORTHCOM has organize and will be held from April 30 to May 18.
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 30 '07: A 17-foot stretch of a major overpass on the Bay Area freeway collapsed this weekend after a gas tanker crashed, causing intense heat and flames reaching almost 200 feet, the LA Times reported. The collapses of the overpass caused heavy traffic on Monday morning as commuters headed to work and it prompted a declaration of emergency from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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 26 '07: Officials from the Food and Drug Administration told the Associated Press recently that the recent pet food recalls earlier in the month show a gap in the security apparatus put into place to ensure the safety of imported food. FDA inspectors, the AP reported, are totally overwhelmed with the rising total of imports with many shipments being found to be "filthy or otherwise contaminated."
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.
The Southeast Regional Meeting of the NCORP Advisory Council was held in Charleston, South Carolina on November 30, 2006. Hosts include the City of Charleston, Charleston County Emergency Preparedness, the Medical University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
This Southeast Regional meeting of the NCORP Advisory Committee was attended by 250 members of the business community, responders, academicians, faith-based and relief-based organizations.
April 20 '07: According to a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, the federal agency has released new guidelines designed to help develop and purchase "countermeasures against" chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.
April 19 '07: California National Guard troops and Los Angeles first responders are participating in a major emergency response exercise code named "Operation Vector", the Los Angeles Times reported. The three-day training exercise will include "a Hollywood-style convergence of" and earthquake coupled with a bioterror attack.
April 19 '07: Responders in Jennings County, Indiana will practice a simulated response to a nuclear threat at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center the Associated Press reported. More than 1,000 National Guard troops are expected to attend the exercise which will be held May 10 - 18.
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 18 '07: The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently sent a letter to Congress saying that its revisions to the National Response Plan might not be able to hit the June 1 deadline, the Associated Press reported.
April 18 '07: Food safety experts recently told the Associated Press that more than 97 percent of all food imported into the United States is not checked and inspected. Of the 1.3 percent of all fish, vegetables, fruit and prepared foods that are inspected, health officials say much of the food is unfit for human consumption.
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 16 '07: A computer aided-dispatch (CAD) 911 call system in Minneapolis is helping law enforcement, fire and medical personnel respond to emergency calls in the city, a press release announced. The system was built over the course of two years and came online in March 2007.
April 16 '07: The Toledo Free Press reported that with money from the Department of Homeland Security and the state of Ohio, the Owens Community College has built a 110-acre, $20.5 million emergency preparedness training facility for first responders near the Toledo area.
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: More than a half-dozen counties in Iowa will participate in emergency preparedness drills simulating a pandemic, Radio Iowa reported. The exercises also will include a full-scale exercise with law enforcement and EMT's as well as county and local health officials.
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 10 '07: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new federal grants which will target telemedicine programs and distance learning projects to help connect rural communities to necessary resources, a departmental release announced. More than $62 million will be available to rural communities.
April 10 '07: A bipartisan bill being proposed in the Senate would require the U.S.' security agencies to assess the national security impacts of global climate change, the Boston Globe reported. Under the proposed bill, the director of national intelligence would be required to conduct a "national intelligence estimate" on climate change.
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 5 '07: Virginia first responders in the City of Alexandria and in Arlington County are the first in the country to receive First Responder Authentication Credentials for quick field identification and response, WTOP reported. The FRAC cards, as they are called, are encoded with vital biographical and technical information and can be read by a wireless device.
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 3 '07: The World Health Organization and members of response communities in Japan and Southeast Asia participated in a simulated bird flu pandemic response exercise, Agence France-Presse reported. More than 1,000 experts and responders were involved in the exercises in Manila, Philippines.
April 3 '07: A new report released by the Government Accountability Office has found that federal coordination and oversight of state-run interoperable communications upgrades and programs lacked a strategy to integrate the various plans being put into place around the country. More than $2 billion in federal was given between 2003 and 2005 but there was no national plan "to coordinate investments across states."
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: The Associated Press reported that James Lee Witt, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has released a new report detailing the Pennsylvanian state government's response to the Valentine's Day winter storm. In the independent report, commissioned by Gov. Ed Rendell, Witt said that an inexperienced staff, miscommunication and lack of resources were to blame.
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.
March 28 '07: About 150 North Dakotan first responders and members of area schools, police, fire, public health agencies, airport personnel, and public schools will participate in a nighttime emergency response exercise at the Bismark Municipal Airport, the Bismark Tribune reported. The nighttime exercise was chosen because of the logistical difficulties it presents, organizers said.
March 27 '07: Rhode Island health officials have announced a new web-based service which will allow medical officials in the state's hospital system to share real-time information including video and imaging as well as data to help increase awareness about the status of hospitals the Kent County Daily Times reported.
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 26 '07: A new early warning system designed for municipal water systems called GuardianBlue™ has been developed for the Department of Homeland Security, a press release from the Hach Company announced. The system will help city managers detect any possible security breach in the water supply from a possible terrorist attack or a natural disaster.
March 22 '07: A new report released at a recent communications technology conference has found that collaborative applications in the field could help first responders close the "knowledge gap" which exists between emergency management directors and responders at the scene, the State College Local News reported.
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 21 '07: The insurance and financial services company AIG has announced that it has developed new services targeted at helping businesses mitigate the risks posed by natural disasters and terrorism and to help them recover in the aftermath, a press release announced recently.
March 20 '07: To help businesses keep their continuity of operations, personnel and resources on track and to mitigate a disaster's impact, IBM and Cisco have announced a new all-in-one package called the Crisis Management Services for Crisis Response, a press release announced recently.
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: Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington have said that the blogging community can be utilized to help situational awareness and information-sharing among first responders during an emergency, a press release announced. After looking at the available information on the blogosphere during Hurricane Katrina, university officials said the potential is great if there can be a way to harness that information.
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 15 07: First responders in Virginia will be the first in the nation to be issued credentials for the field, a news release announced. More than 1,400 First Responder Authentication Credentials (FRAC) will be sent out through a joint venture sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in the National Capital Region, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
March 14 '07: Recently Alabama Homeland Security officials installed an $18 million radio communications system to boost capabilities for the state's first responders, EMS and police and fire officials. However, the Associated Press reported that during a recent severe weather disaster responders had difficulty talking with one another.
March 14 '07: Members of the Oregon National Guard trained recently with local firefighters during a two-day training exercise designed to boost cooperation between state and local responders with the National Guard, Guard Experience reported. Officials at the training exercise said it was important to "enhance the capabilities of those first on the scene" of a disaster. Officials said they thought of the mutual training exercise after their experience with Hurricane Katrina.
March 13 '07: Alabama state officials and their federal counterparts have announced the creation of the National Computer Forensics Institute to be supervised by the Department of Homeland Security, InformationWeek reported. "The new center is focused on being an aid in the field of computer forensics and digital evidence analysis," the technology publication found according to a homeland security news release.
March 13 '07: A recent news release from the North Central Texas Council of Governments announced the creation of a new information-sharing network to help law state, regional and local law enforcement officials share resources to help fight crime.
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 12 '07: FBI Special Agent Warren T. Bamford told the Boston Globe that if a terror cell were to plan an attack on U.S. soil, local and state police would be on the front line of response. "If we're going to stop a terrorist attack, the person it's going to be stopped by is a police officer of citizen."
March 9 '07: In San Diego, local first responders paired with regional emergency services personnel, police officials and members of the California Department of Forestry to test communications equipment reliability, News10 in San Diego reported. The exercise simulated a terrorist attack on the Alvarado Water Treatment Facility.
March 9 '07: First responders, members of the private sector and government officials have been testing new credentialling technology designed to increase field and situational awareness during a response to a disaster in the National Capital Region, a press release announced. During the "Winter Storm" exercise in February, officials worked to implement the "test to verify the integration and interoperability of credential system attributes such as qualifications, authorizations, certifications and privileges."
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 8 '07: A new report released at a recent communications technology conference has found that collaborative applications in the field could help first responders close the "knowledge gap" which exists between emergency management directors and responders at the scene, the State College Local News reported.
March 7 '07: According to a web release emergency management officials in Pennsylvania are planning to test a new emergency field management technology designed to increase field situational awareness. Members of South Central Regional Counter Terrorism Task Force will test the Incident Collaborator technology later this year.
March 6 '07: A two-part exercise in Hampton Roads, VA will gather emergency management officials, and federal, state and military officials to test emergency response operations simulating a simultaneous terrorist attack and hurricane along the East Coast, the Virginia Pilot reported.
March 5 '07: Members of Florida's emergency response community, in cooperation with local coastal towns and the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard will participate in a two-day exercise designed to test responding to a large influx of Caribbean immigrants similar to the Mariel boatlift 1980 "or the Haitian exodus and Cuban rafter crises in 1994," the Palm Beach Post 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 2 '07: A new E911 call center in the Town of Lockport, New York in Niagra County has given emergency management officials a leg-up in situational awareness and communications capabilities, the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online reported. The multi-million dollar facility allows 911 operators locate and track emergency response equipment, vehicles, manpower and increases the center's ability to handle distress calls.
March 1 '07: A new federal intelligence coordinating group has been established to provide state, local and tribal government officials and emergency management operations with information related to terrorism threats, disasters and other related topics which will be specifically targeted based on individual needs, FCW.com reported.
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 28: During the week of February 19 through the 23, health officials, university professors, government employees, first responders, members of the fire, police, and EMS communities as well as experts in homeland security and preparedness gathered in Washington DC for the Public Health Preparedness Summit, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security among other private sector organizations and federal agencies.
February 26 '07: Top level White House officials ran an emergency response exercise to test the Bush administration's ability to communicate and respond to a roadside bomb attack in the U.S., the Associated Press reported. The three-hour exercise was supervised by White House homeland security advisor Frances Townsend - President Bush did not participate in the exercise however.
February 23 '07: The Times Argus reported in Vermont that state and local police are practicing their coordination and response to a school shooting and how the various levels of law enforcement communicate with each other during the emergency. Drills in Rutland County were attended by about 50 officers, the Times Argus 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 20 '07: The Associated Press reported that grocery store chains have been readying themselves for the potentialities of an avian flu pandemic. "Unlike other critical infrastructure sectors like water, energy and health care, the food industry isn't getting much help from state and federal governments when it comes to disaster planning."
February 15 '07: In Ventura County, California, a new emergency call center has incorporated technology and operations into one location designed specifically for 911 emergency services, the Ventura County Star reported via LexisNexis.
February 15 '07: The severe winter storm that moved across the Midwest and into the Mid Atlantic and Northeast this week dumped ice and snow causing more than a dozen fatalities and slowing air and highway traffic. In Indiana, coordination among state and local responder agencies along with the Department of Homeland Security and the Red Cross helped to reduce the impact of the storm, responder officials told the South Bend Tribune.
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.
The following contains presentations, and abstracts of the key points within these presentations, outlining the evacuation and community coordination models that are foundational to the success of Galveston's community approach to preparedness, response and recovery. This does not reflect the complete emergency planning and coordination schema in place for Galveston, but is intended as a template for other communities to study and adapt for their own use.
Well, thank you, Jim (Frierson). I really appreciate the opportunity to present this to everyone here and to the nation. And to be a part of the drafting of a Blueprint for response. And just to start off I want to say that I’m quite proud of Galveston. I’m quite proud of our team and certainly as the Mayor said, she couldn’t do it without all of us. And I certainly couldn’t do it without all of you.
Following is a point-by-point summary of the Galveston Evacuation model and the best practices required to develop, train and execute the model.
Thank you. It really is a pleasure to be here this morning to talk about UTMB’s successful evacuation of its patients. First I want to thank the Governor for giving us the opportunity to be recognized as a city who responded flawlessly almost. And the Mayor who gave us that opportunity locally to be recognized across the world that we knew how to take care of people. And I’m here then to talk about how UTMB served its patients and its employees well during this time.
Earlier the Mayor mentioned, and I think Steve did, that we had town hall meetings at various places in our community after Hurricane Katrina and before we had our Rita evacuation. At the end of one of the meetings there was a young woman who asked a question. And she said, "Well, can't we have a fire drill?" And everyone in there nearly broke up laughing about that. But you know, she was right on. We had a fire drill last year. And we learned so much from it. It was amazing. I think we can proudly say that we passed the fire drill test.
Following is an abstract of the presentation by Sharon Strain, Executive Director of the Galveston Housing Authority, given during the Southwestern Regional Meeting on January 18, 2007 on the Galveston evacuation and recovery model.
Blazyk: Thank you. Jim and I are going to share the podium. And basically we've divided our remarks this morning into two segments. First we're going to go back over actually the events that occurred at the time of the Rita evacuation. Because it's really a very remarkable story. And I think it in itself has some lessons that would be applicable to other cities.
Following is an abstract of the resentation by Stan Blazyk and Jim Hale, Co-Chairs of the Mayor’s Citizen Response Team for Special Needs Evacuees, given at the Southeastern Regional Meeting: Readiness for Recovery highlighting the Galveston Evacuation Model, January 18, 2007
Hurricane preparedness is a year-round activity in Galveston County, and for good reason: coastal counties cannot wait for a catastrophic hurricane to strike before developing and exercising their plans. Galveston County has made emergency management a top priority. The county and municipalities work very closely together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, and it is this cooperative spirit that enabled our successful countywide evacuation when Hurricane Rita threatened the Upper Texas Gulf Coast in September 2005.
Yarbrough: Thank you. I don’t know if it was by accident that they put Sjostrom on one side of the room and me on the other. Kind of a balance (laughter). If I’d known I was going to be on the screen, I’d of done something better with my hair. But anyway I do appreciate very much the opportunity to be a part of this afternoon’s luncheon discussion. You know, the success that the City of Galveston and that Galveston County enjoyed during the Rita environment absolutely comes as no surprise. I would expect nothing less. In this particular cycle of events the City of Galveston and the Mayor stepped up and provided the leadership and did what it took to take care of the people they serve. Had the event happened in Texas City or League City or Friendswood or Santa Fe, I am equally confident that the leadership in those communities would have done the same thing.
Following is an abstract of the presentation by the Honorable James J. Yarbrough, County Judge, County of Galveston, given during the Southwestern Regional Meeting on January 18, 2007 on the Galveston evacuation and recovery model.
Following is an abstract of the presentation by Steven M. Cernak, Director of the Port of Galveston, given during the Southwestern Regional Meeting on January 18, 2007 on the Galveston evacuation and recovery model.
Following are abstracts of the presentation by Dr. Joan Richardson of UTMB during the Southeastern Regional Meeting in Galveston to hightlight how county and community sector leaders have developed a preparedness and response plan, including a mass evacuation of the UTMB hospital requiring establishing agreements between institutions, governments and the private sector.
Kempner: Jeff and I together could not fit at the same podium. So we’ll do it one at a time. I’m told that what we’re doing is quite unusual. You just heard it from Jim. So a little bit about how we got there. It really sort of began in the fall of 2005(sic) when we were all inundated by pictures and stories of the ongoing problems of Katrina; that Katrina caused and Rita caused in Louisiana and in Mississippi. And we were quivering here and remembering 1900 because of our near miss from Rita.
Following is an abstract of the joint presentation of Harris L. Kempner, Jr., President of Kempner Capital Management Ltd, and Jeffrey G. Sjostrom, President of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership during the Southwestern Regional meeting on January 18, 2007 in Galveston, Texas.
February 13 '07: With the rise of hybrid vehicles on the road, emergency responders on the scene of an accident are faced with new electrical and airbag systems, and batteries in the cars that could create hazards after an accident. The Oberly Monitor Index reported that a new program has begun to train Missourian first responders on hybrid vehicles with the cooperation with Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.
February 13 '07: Emergency management and city officials in New York have announced new plans to incorporate picture imaging capabilities for the 911 and 311 services, the Associated Press reported. During an emergency, formally would-be callers soon will be able to send pictures from their mobile phones or cameras to call centers. There are similar projects being developed as well in Indiana, Vermont and Tennessee.
February 9 '07: The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have announced the creation of a National Advisory Council that will be comprised of federal, state and local emergency management directors, non profit organizers, and private sector businesses and organizations who will work to redesign FEMA, a DHS press release announced.
February 9 '07: The Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is supervising a new technology installation around the city of New York which would help city and state officials detect radiological and nuclear material used in making dirty bombs, the New York Times reported.
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: In West Virginia, members of the Wheeling medical community, state, county and local emergency management officials as well as fire chiefs, and physicians are scheduled to gather at a symposium designed so that they can discuss ways in which hospitals and the medical community can prepare and respond to a bioterror attack, the Wheeling Intelligencer reported.
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: Real-time information sharing, situational awareness and established communications lines have helped Navajo emergency officials prepare for a possible flu pandemic, Government Computer News reported. That kind of preparedness allowed tribal health officials to vaccinate more than 24,000 in one day - the largest in the U.S..
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.
February 2 '07: To link first responders through a seamless interoperable communications network, Arizona Senator John McCain (R) has proposed a broadband network, a press release announced. The new national network would link responders and allow data sharing over the 700 MHz spectrum which would allow for real-time data transmission.
February 1 '07: In Clayton County, Georgia, more than 300 responders, police and fire officials participated in a fake disaster exercise which simulated a terrorist strike, using bombs and biological weapons. The Henry Herald Daily reported. The event was organized by an independent contractor Emergency Response Training Systems.
February 1 '07: In Bellingham, Washington medical first responders and about 250 participants from area police, fire and emergency response agencies participated in a mock car bomb attack that threw poisonous radioactive material over the downtown area. Organizers told the Bellingham Herald they found the exercise helpful because it showed the community's level of preparedness.
January 30 '07: Kansan officials have announced plans to train new Incident Management Teams to help provide assistance to regional first responders who could be quickly overwhelmed during a large emergency or disaster. According to a local CBS affiliate, channel 13, the teams would have 20 members who would be trained in several skills and one team would be deployed to six of the seven Homeland Security regions in the state.
January 29 '07: Baltimore-area hospitals have entered into an information-sharing agreement that would help hospital officials and medical responders, "share information about resources and staffing" to mitigate the impact of a large disaster, Baltimore's City Health Department Commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein said, the Examiner reported.
January 29 '07: To connect local Phoenix schools with law enforcement officials, the Phoenixville News reported that schools will now be equipped with a "panic button" that can alert police officials to a disaster. Local officials said the button was a "100 percent" improvement over current real-time information sharing.
January 26 '07: The Washington Times reported recently that Maryland's first responders will be issued electronic ID cards which will "help reduce confusion and delays during major emergencies in which multiple agencies respond." To fund the program, the state was awarded a $1 million federal homeland security grant which will be administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation.
January 23 '07: Local emergency response officials in Illinois are hoping to train about 20 citizens in disaster response to help local first responders in the event of a disaster, the Daily Herald reported. The Citizen Emergency Response Teams (CERT) would be training for the Mundelein area, near Chicago.
January 22 '07: Emergency management officials near Richmond, Kentucky have constructed a backup operations center to support the local Berea area in case of a disaster. The new EOC, officials told the Richmond Register has "all the necessary components for an efficient emergency response." Funds from state and federal governments and the Army helped to install the EOC.
January 19 '07: As Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas accepted a Best Practices Award given by the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, the emotional mayor said her city's efforts to evacuate all citizens during Hurricane Rita in 2005 came after close examination of Galveston's history with past disasters, KHOU in Houston reported.
January 19 '07: In the late summer of 2005 as Hurricane Rita bore down on the Gulf Coast region, city emergency management planners in Galveston, under the direction of Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas worked out an emergency evacuation plan that proved so effective, all 60,000 residents and 3,200 disabled citizens were evacuated from the island community safely before the storm hit.
January 19 '07: Participating members of the public and private sectors as well as community response leaders gathered in Galveston, Texas this week to laud the city's efforts at emergency preparedness. Specifically, the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness presented a Best Practices Award for disaster planning to the city's Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas the Houston Chronicle reported.
The Galveston Working Group working document is in draft form, created as notes during the presentations. These notes will be reviewed and compiled with the actual transcript in order to capture all key elements.
January 18 '07: Delegates from the United States Conference of Mayors met with newly-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) to discuss homeland security grants and other "critical issues", a press release announced this week. The meeting on Capitol Hill focused on a 10-point plan called the "Strong Cities, Strong Families for a Strong America." The plan will be presented to the mayors' annual winter meeting in Washington D.C..
January 17 '07: In San Juan County, New Mexico, local first responders and emergency management officials participated in an annual show-and-tell seminar with the public and area oil and chemical industry leaders, the Daily Times reported. The goal of the event was to educate public and industry leaders about the advances in technology and training acquired through federal grant purchases.
January 17 '07: Local New Jersey first responders and emergency management officials cooperated with Army National Guard Civil Support Teams from Fort Dix during a simulated chemical attack in a court room located in a municipal building, New Jersey.com's Express Times reported. The drill was managed by officials from Center for National Response.
January 10: A final report issued by Hawaii officials following last October's earthquakes, which cut power and communications to thousands of people found, "in the interest of maximizing public safety, it is vital to continue updating the emergency communications plan in response to changing conditions and technological advancements," to help to "assure that government agencies and the news media do the best job possible of reaching out to the public during times of crisis with potentially lifesaving information."
January 9: The Bangor Daily News reported recently that emergency communications exercises in Maine were slowed by faulty technology, poor connection between communications lines and a contingency plan which was "suboptimal" according to the exercise's officials.
January 8: The Richmond Times Dispatch reported recently that Virginia commonwealth officials are urging residents to be resolved in their families' ability to be prepared for a disaster and the first 72 hours after a disaster. The "Resolve to be Ready" campaign was begun in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security's larger national Ready Campaign.
January 4, '07: During Hurricane Katrina, Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT's) sent to help with the large numbers of injured victims being treated at the Superdome had to contend with scant resources, a growing frustration among those affected by the storm, and rising violence, the Contra Costa Times reported.
January 4: In the U.S. the farming and agriculture industry has been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a livestock tracking system that would help government officials trace and locate sources of disease - if a zoonotic or biological disaster were to occur. One of the ways government officials have been cooperating with state and local communities and farms is through the National Animal ID System.
January 3: A draft portion of a preparedness report - obtained by the Associated Press found that six major metropolitan areas in the U.S. out of 75 "won the highest grades for their emergency agencies' ability to communicate during a disaster." The cities listed included Washington D.C.; San Diego; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Columbus, Ohio; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Laramie County, Wyo.
January 3: Vermont is the first state to announce its 911 system will be totally converted to use internet protocol to support the emergency call system. The Times Argus reported that the enhanced 911 system (E911) "will have access to all kinds of information about a caller ... [and that] the call centers are potentially mobile."
January 3, '07: Communities along Delaware's shoreline have been developing emergency plans in case a hurricane, large-scale disaster or terrorist attack forces massive evacuations in a short period of time. The News Journal reported that community emergency management leaders are using tourist-season scenarios as examples for how to develop evacuation routes.
January 2 '07: The Washington Post reported over the weekend that state and local law enforcement agencies are increasingly moving toward creating domestic intelligence fusion centers which link federal, state and local government agencies with law enforcement and the FBI to share information to help fight the war on terror.
December 29 '06: Researchers at the University of Buffalo, New York have received a $30,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the area's response to the "October Surprise" snow storm this year which dumped more than 2 feet of snow and cut power to thousands the university's news center reported.
December 28: A report released by the Government Accountability Office in December found that state and local government emergency evacuation plans were insufficient in taking into consideration evacuations for populations without readily-available transportation.
To download the report click here: GAO Report
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December 27 '06: According to the Des Moines Register state lawmakers are floating plans which address ways to keep the state government running in the event of a large-scale disaster, pandemic or terrorist attack.
December 27 '06: A new report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlines cooperative measures being put into place by federal officials to cooperate with domestic and international agencies to help medical and government officials as well as first responders prepare for an influenza pandemic, Government Health IT reported.
December 26 '06: West Virginia first responders, police and firefighters will be equipped with new interoperable digital communications technology through a state-wide program called the Interoperable Radio Project, the Charleston Gazette reported late last week. Within a month's time, all county public safety agency will have at least one digital radio.
December 22 '06: New regulations being issued Friday by the Department of Homeland Security will focus on ways to protect the chemical industry from a terrorist attack by mandating that chemical companies submit plans on security upgrades, improvements and current operations to homeland security officials, Bloomberg> reported.
December 22 '06: Officials from the Northern Command told FCW.com that in order to be prepared to respond to a natural disaster, the military must adopt a "collaboration and communications" for emergency planning with the private sector and NGO's.
December 21 '06: In Scotland, government officials and the private sector have partnered to create a system of "virtual" power facilities which act as standby depots in case national power demand exceeds current production, as is the case during emergencies.
December 20 '06: Security upgrades and measures put into place in Oklahoma since 2002 to increase the level of protection for the state's power grid and infrastructure could provide a helpful example of best practices used in creating a secure and robust electrical and power system, officials said according to Utility Automation & Engineering T&D.
December 20 '06: A panel of government officials and business leaders from the shipping and ports industry told the White House recently that increased funding and cooperative security programs driven by federal homeland security grant money would help to increase the level of protection of goods coming into-and-out-of-the U.S. as well as protecting American citizens against a terrorist attack, Reuters AlertNet reported.
December 20 '06: Illinois Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich announced recently the creation of a School Guidance During an Influenza Pandemic reference wesbite and guide for the state's school system administrators to help them understand how to prepare and handle students during a flu outbreak a news release said.
December 19 '06: A joint non-profit/federal government effort to promote and assess citizen preparedness in the U.S. has found most Americans having little or no preparedness plans and there is little many Americans have done to educate themselves about disaster readiness, USA Today reported Monday. Based on a scale of one-to-ten, the average "readiness quotient" was a 3.31.
December 15 '06: The New York Times reported Friday that the Department of Homeland Security was planning to announce new railroad security measures which would increase the surveillance and protection given to hazardous material rail cars as well as "clarify how government workers inspect tank cars and railyards for compliance."
December 15 '06: The U.S. Fire Administration has released a new pandemic flu best practices set of guidelines for first responders, and all other service agencies such as police, EMS and public works to help them prepare, the administration's website announced earlier this month.
December 14 '06: Federal Times reported this week that the 109th Congress passed legislation creating a new federal agency designed to combat the threat of bioterror. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act was pushed by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) and it included language to create the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
December 14 '06: Local school officials partnered with emergency managers and first responders to conduct school evacuation exercises in North Carolina, the StarNewsOnline reported earlier this week. The area's preparedness drills were the first of their kind in the region, and school officials said that the 3,600 students and faculty performed well.
December 13 '06: An annual report released by the Trust for America's Health has found that many states are "nowhere near as prepared as we should be for bioterrorism, bird flu and other health disasters," Jeff Levi, the director of the trust told USA Today. All 50 states were scored on a 10-point system based on emergency medical response and preparedness.
December 13 '06: Medical officials have worried about surge capacity in the nation's hospitals during a crisis such as Hurricane Katrina or the attacks on September 11, 2001. Johns Hopkins University Medicine reported recently that one plan proposed by leading health experts would call for hospitals to "begin with a strategy to empty their beds of relatively healthier patients."
December 13 '06: State officials in Kansas have said they are working to try and protect the cattle industry against the threat of a terrorist attack or other biological hazard which could cripple the US beef supply. The Hutchinson News reported on Wednesday that measures are being put into place which help to monitor the livestock as the cattle pass through Kansas.
December 12: A survey sponsored and conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 88 percent of all accredited hospitals in the US have put into place training measures designed to help hospital nurses respond to terrorist-related conditions.
December 12 '06: Efforts are underway to construct a Nationwide Health Information Network that would link medical officials, first responders and EMS allowing them to share multi-media information in real-time, a Health and Human Services departmental release announced. Officials hope the NHIN will become a "network of networks" to help with the flow of interoperable information and communication.
December 11 '06: In order to assess the nation's interoperable communications for first responders, and addressing the need for a definition of baseline communications abilities, the Department of Homeland Security released its National Baseline Survey on Interoperability a departmental release reported recently.
December 11 '06: After the attacks on September 11, 2001 the New York City Police Department revamped its counterterrorism and intelligence operations as well as the way police officials conduct their day-to-day operations by pulling together a list of "best practices' from other law enforcement agencies worldwide, McClatchy News reported late last week.
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December 8 '06: More than 300 federal, state and local first responders, medical personnel, law enforcement officials and government officials participated in a simulated nuclear disaster outside the Tuscon area, the Arizona Daily Star reported earlier this week.
December 8 '06: A Department of Homeland Security press release Thursday announced the beginning of a new port security initiative which will focus on cooperative efforts between US homeland security officials and foreign ports in an effort to place an emphasis on securing cargo shipments at the point of origin.
December 8 '06: Homeland Security officials in Washington DC are developing a rail security pilot program that would set up real-time video feeds along an eight-mile section of track to provide officials with quick data in case of a security breach or disaster, Security Info Watch reported recently.
December 7 '06: Initiatives in Virginia to link first responders into a statewide interoperable network are being met with commendation the Richmond Times Dispatch reported this week.
December 7 '06: Residents in an Arizonan county will begin to receive disaster information kits that will provide vital information about contacts, phone numbers, web sites and radio stations, the Eastern Arizona Courier reported Wednesday.
December 6 '06: More than seventy-five percent of all counties in the US have established an emergency management agency and have begun to implement a host of other preparedness-related initiatives according to a survey of counties released by the National Association of Counties and the National Center for the Study of Counties at the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
December 6 '06: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was joined by other city officials, first responders and fire and law enforcement officials on Tuesday to unveil the new New York City Office of Emergency Management built to replace the one destroyed during the 9/11 at the World Trade Center. According to a press release, the federally funded $50 million center will serve as a "central point of coordination for major emergencies and special events."
December 5 '06: The Canadian government has developed a pandemic plan that addresses the first triage stages in the event of an influenza outbreak, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota reported. The plans were first published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and they include other types of triage plans "such as severity scoring systems."
December 5 '06: Emergency responders in Maine are working with animal care specialists to train for a new program called Large Animal Emergency Rescue, the Morning Sentinel reported Monday. The program's focus will train local fire departments to respond to animal emergency situations involving horses, cattle and other large farm animals.
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.
December 1 '06: Earlier this year, the US Department of Agriculture released a series of guidelines designed to help farmers and their employees work towards securing against the threat of a terrorist attack on the nation's food supply. According to the USDA "Improving awareness through enhanced outreach and communications is a key element of USDA's homeland security efforts."
November 30 '06: When it comes to homeland preparedness and first response, recovery operations and exercises are only as valuable as the lessons learned from them, GovExec.com was told recently by industry experts and government officials. Part of the dilemma facing emergency response lies in understanding the complexity of large-scale disasters experts said.
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 29 '06: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Tuesday that his agency will work to help all highest-risk urban areas comply with an interoperable mandate to make all agencies able to communicate with each other, GovExec reported Tuesday. DHS wants complete interoperability for 2008.
November 28 '06: In Washington DC, 18 regional first responders will now be able to communicate with each other and members of federal, regional, state and local governments during an emergency through a new Unified Communications Center Washington Technology reported Monday.
November 27 '06: In many communities around the country there is a growing Spanish-speaking population. During emergencies or domestic situations, responders, 911 dispatchers and law enforcement officials sometimes have a hard time communicating with those who are affected or displaced.
The Galveston, Tx. county emergency management center is the first in the nation to combine a National Weather Service office with an emergency management department of local government. The 23,500-square-foot building has been designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane (winds in excess of 155 mph) and will house the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, Galveston County 9-1-1 District and members of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
The City of Charleston Neighborhood Councils, some 97 strong and growing, provide a system of communication and a substantial base for providing training and preparation for disaster readiness for city residents. City staff regularly meet with neighborhoods and provide basic training for the neighborhoods as they understand that there is a period of time when the city and its citizens must be able to operate and function without outside help. Neighborhoods are encouraged to send representatives for CERT Training from the Charleston County Emergency Preparedness Division. CERT trained volunteers are prepared to be first responders in their neighborhoods. These volunteers and other neighborhood members offer a front line response for the individual neighborhoods in the City.
November 22 '06: The Center for Disease and Research Policy at the University of Minnesota has reported that the Department of Health and Human Services has released new community-based plans guiding federal, state, local and institutional officials on how to mitigate and respond during a pandemic.
November 22 '06: The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Rhode Island Amtrak stations will be beefing up security using undercover federal agents from the Transportation Security Administration, bomb-sniffing dogs and uniformed officers according to federal officials.
November 21 '06: Dallas law enforcement officials, medical first responders, firefighters and aviation agencies will have access to a fully interoperable communications service which will allow video, radio, and data services to be linked via an interoperable network, Government Technology's Public CIO reported recently.
November 20 '06: The Washington Post reported over the weekend that a new plan to streamline information-sharing among federal, state and local government officials will "reduce more than 100 restrictive and confusing categories of 'sensitive' federal information ... so local-level officials can better understand what they are told."
November 17 '06: To facilitate communication between Virginia's first responders, Governor Tim Kaine (D) has announced that all day-to-day operations and mutual aid operations will be conducted using common language instead of the traditional 10-codes used by responders in the field, Government Technology reported.
November 16 '06: The Monterey County Board of Supervisors in California have announced a "Winter Storm Preparedness Week", a local CBS affiliate reported Monday. The program's goal is to urge county residents to "develop emergency plans and gather emergency supplies" during the winter months.
November 16 '06: Alaskan state officials are using more than $50 million in federal Department of Homeland Security funding to build a state-wide interoperable radio system that will link first responders, police officials and state and local governments, the Associated Press reported Monday.
November 15 '06: Responders in Tennessee are using dogs to help rescue and recovery efforts, Firehouse.com reported Tuesday. The Tennessee Task Force One is only just one of 28 emergency response groups trained in the US using dogs to help locate victims of terrorist attacks or natural disasters.
November 14 '06: Seattle state and local officials are floating an idea to help spread valuable medicines in the event of a bioterror attack by using mailmen and mailwomen as couriers of vaccines, the Seattle Times reported last Friday. Over the weekend, more than 38,000 households were used as testing sites for the distribution test.
November 13 '06: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have announced that they will not release their report findings surrounding the response to Hurricane Katrina, although lessons learned have been taken into consideration for a reconfiguration of prevention, and response efforts during disasters, the CDC's website announced recently.
November 13 '06: Local officials in Montana have announced the completion of the first phase of a new digital communications system designed to link area and state responders, the Independent Record in Helena reported. Another similar project is underway near the northern border of the state with Canada which will link the entire state under a digital communications system.
November 9 '06: Working with prison inmates, guards, and prison officials, the federal government is hoping to curb the threat of prison-grown American terrorism, USA Today reported this week.
November 8 '06: Navajo tribal leaders have signed an agreement with US federal officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief and response operations, a FEMA press release announced recently. The agreement is the first of its kind to amalgamate federal and tribal response operations in the area.
November 7 '06: In recent statements made to police officials, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said federal efforts to build more than 20 fusion centers by the end of the fiscal year would help to trade and synthesize information between all levels of law enforcement, Washington Technology reported.
November 6 '06: US intelligence agencies are taking a cue from the online world and are beginning to use blogs, chat, and wikis for content and information-sharing as well as advanced, intelligence search engines that help funnel appropriate information to analysts, US News & World Report wrote last week.
October 31 '06: Red Cross officials have voted to change their governing structure after more than 60 years under the same model, an organizational press release announced Monday.
October 27 '06: The mental health of first responders during a disaster can be significantly damaged, like the victims of the disaster who the responders are trying to help, Homeland Response reported this week. According to mental health experts and first responder organizations, the stress of response can pose serious mental health risks.
October 26 '06: Should a Category 5 hurricane strike the Florida coast, federal officials working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are developing a plan to help state officials prepare for mitigation or response in the even that Miami is hit or that elderly and weakened levees on Lake Okeechobee break, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.
October 25 '06: Federal, state, local and tribal officials from all over the US will gather in New Mexico for a three-day homeland security conference in Albuquerque that will focus on responding to and preparing for a terrorist attack the New Mexico Business Weekly reported Tuesday.
October 25 '06: State officials in Tennessee have voted to begin construction on an infrastructure modernization plan which would digitally connect the state's 911 and responder emergency systems into a centralized network, the Associated Press reported this week.
October 20 '06: During the 113th annual conference of the International Association of Police Chiefs, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said information-sharing and cooperation between law enforcement agencies on all levels during the recent plane crash in New York was "a great example of the kind of coordination and information-sharing which is increasingly the hallmark of our relationship with local police."
October 19 '06: The Department of Justice has released a new report focusing on the role of law enforcement during an emergency. In the report, the Department suggests that though medical response provides a critical foundation for emergency response and preparedness, "law enforcement will need to quickly coordinate its response with public health and medical officials, many of whom they may not have worked with previously."
October 18 '06: Local responder officials, private sector crisis management chiefs and members of private organizations and the religious community gathered in Indiana to discuss emergency response, preparedness and management during a Crisis Response Summit co-hosted by the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness and Manchester College in Indiana on Monday.
October 18 '06: Many state and local homeland security agencies and emergency management offices are now spending federal homeland security money for "information-sharing, geospatial capabilities, intelligence fusion centers, biometrics and situational awareness applications," Washington Technology reported Monday.
October 16 '06: Local officials in the Helena, Montana area are planning a community emergency response training seminar, the Independent Record reported recently. The training will be held October 19th through the 21st and will cover disaster preparedness, fire and hazardous material safety, emergency medical operations, light search and rescue, organization, disaster psychology, terrorism and earthquake preparedness.
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: USA Today reported Thursday morning that a new report just released by the American Highway Users Alliance has given most major US cities failing grades for evacuation routes and plans in the event of a large-scale disaster.
October 11 '06: The Navy is working to create a wireless Internet blanket over the world's oceans to help track commercial and military sea vessels in an effort to help boost communication and sea lane and port security, NetDefense reported this week.
October 9 '06: To help mitigate any economic damage to the New York Stock Exchange in the event of a large-scale disaster or terrorist attack, state officials in Pennsylvania, led by Governor Ed Rendell, have proposed a "Wall Street West" that would serve as a backup to the NYSE "so that markets can recover quickly in the event of another terrorist strike on New York," the Associated Press reported Monday.
October 9 '06: Grants to firefighters around the country from homeland security funds will total close to $485 million in the 2006 fiscal year, according to Department of Homeland Security press releases and announcements. The grants are a part of a larger DHS-led program called the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program that is working to coordinate the national level of preparedness and response of firefighters.
October 5 '06: The Government Accountability Office has released a new report on the National Capital Region's emergency preparedness plan which coordinates the responder agencies, and federal, state and local governments surrounding Washington DC.
October 3 '06: West Virginia state officials have said federal homeland security grants for interoperable communications between first responder agencies, law enforcement and medical responders will be given to local governments, the Huntington Herald-Dispatch reported Tuesday.
October 2 '06: To help Arizona state residents prepare for natural and man-made disasters, Governor Janet Napolitano has announced the creation of the Just in Case Arizona!" campaign, a Government Technology news release reported recently.
September 29 '06: According to the Washington Post Thursday, during congressional testimony on Wednesday, medical officials said the nation's emergency rooms and hospitals are at "the breaking point" and currently suffer from understaffing, slow response and overcrowding.
September 28 '06: An evaluation of the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System by the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has appeared in brief on the Metropolitan Medical Response System's website, an agency under the Department of Homeland Security.
September 26 '06: Recent violent thunderstorms in the midwestern and southern states over the weekend were followed by an announcement that all public schools in the country, as well as tribal and territorial schools will receive emergency warning radios, the New York Daily News and the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
September 26 '06: The Federal Communications Commission announced recently that it has created a Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau in order to help with homeland security operations in cooperation with federal, state and local governments' communications, Radio Ink reported Tuesday.
September 21 '06: Tribal leaders in St. Regis Mohawk Reservation are working on a pandemic flu plan that coordinates with their adjoining reservation in Canada, Indian Times reported Wednesday.
September 20 '06: As Hurricane Rita bore down on the Gulf Coast last year, medical responders in the area had to use inventive and varied ways to make sure patients and those injured by the storm were cared for even when supplies and basic necessities were low or non existent. An editorial originally published in August of this year in the Annals of Internal Medicine details some of the methods used by medical responders in the field during the storm.
September 19 '06: First responders and regional homeland security officials in Kansas City, Missouri participated in a training drill to evaluate the region's Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP), which was designed to coordinate the area's first responders, government officials, private sector business leaders and emergency preparedness managers, Kansas City InfoZine reported.
September 19 '06: A Department of Homeland Security-led, interagency program called CyberStorm revealed gaps in inter-agency communications and a lack of a clear understanding of the larger picture, a new report found recently.
September 18 '06: The Fairfax County regional government in Virginia has released a 112-page report detailing a response plan in the event that avian flu should break out, the Washington Post reported over the weekend. The report "depicts a grim scene of sick or at-risk people in widespread isolation or quarantine, at home or in hospital beds," the Post continued.
September 15 '06: In Texas, the nation's first fully interoperable communications network has been unveiled and will allow federal, state and local government agencies, first responders and the private sector communicate with each other "over their existing networks and equipment," according to a press release on Thursday.
September 14 '06: Washington DC area government officials, first responders and emergency management operators have approved a strategic homeland security plan the Washington Post reported Thursday. The two-year effort was finalized in a 118-page plan that includes responses from "everything from decontaminating victims of a chemical attack to providing for stranded pets."
September 12 '06: Five years after the attacks on September 11, 2001 New York City firefighters are still facing challenges in communicating with other first responders, and upgrading and improving their response capabilities and technologies, Government Computer News reported, chronicling an interview with Michael Pena, a top lieutenant with New York City's Rescue Company 1.
September 12 '06: In a new initiative just released by the Department of Homeland Security, a new intelligence program will use data-mining and other new technologies to track terror threats against the US, Washington Technology reported this week.
September 5 '06: As President Bush announced his administration's new National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security began the month-long National Preparedness Month. The Washington Post reported Tuesday the president's goal, on the heels of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks would be to incorporate "our increased understanding of the enemy and sets the course for winning the War on Terror," a White House press release read.
September 1 '06: The US is unprepared to respond to a nuclear threat, a new report released by the Physicians for Social Responsibility found. ABC News reported that the organization, which has won a Nobel Prize, studied three scenarios involving a nuclear, radiological threat or an attack on a nuclear power plant.
August 30 '06: After ten years of construction, the Alaska Land Mobile Radio System is ready to be used by more than 8,000 first responders while additions for state troopers, police and emergency responders is being incorporated, Government Computer News reported Tuesday.
August 29 '06: Massachusetts state officials, first responders, the medical community and every level of law enforcement in the state will cooperate in the region's largest disaster response exercise about one week after the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, the Boston Globe reported Tuesday.
August 28 '06: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina can be learned and translated into emergency preparedness and response for officials and communities on the West Coast the San Jose Mercury News reported over the weekend.
August 24 '06: Most of the time, state and local first responders are able to handle emergency situations in the first 72 hours while federal resources are pooled and deployed. During the terrorist attacks in 1993 in Oklahoma City and in 2001 in New York and Virginia, state and local emergency responders were able to effectively respond the the crises.
August 23 '06: An emergency response requires multiple disciplines - everything from water treatment experts to nurses, cyber security specialists, firefighters, police, medical personnel and private sector power company employees. Having proper identification to organize all the various responders is essential for maintaining organization and efficiency during a time of crisis officials in homeland security have said.
August 16 '06: Federal, state and local first responders will have the ability to share and integrate information and resources using a new open-source database management tool, a Federal Emergency Management Agency press release said Tuesday.
August 10 '06: A new study released by the Brookings Institution has found that rebuilding efforts in New Orleans are progressing since Hurricane Katrina, though "a lack of healthcare and other services and a dearth of affordable housing could stymie a full recovery," the Associated Press found in the report.
August 9 '06: First responders should be able to access information about victims using a standardized electronic information records, a federally chartered IT advisory group recommended at the beginning of the month Washington Technology reported last week. The aim is to create a common platform to allow for quick and easy access of victims' medical records while officials respond to an emergency.
August 8 '06: A new national standard for the collection, packaging, and subsequent testing of potentially dangerous powders like the anthrax virus has been created according to officials, Science Daily reported Monday. The new standard will allow first responders and federal authorities to test the powders in the field for forensic analysis.
August 7 '06: Security has been tight at the Sears Tower and other large buildings in Chicago since the attacks on September 11, 2001. Security officials at the Sears Tower in Chicago told Crain's that though terrorism threats are not an everyday occurrence, "We do have incidents everyday."
August 4 '06: The National Council on Disability released a report on Thursday entitled "The Impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on People with Disabilities: A look Back and Remaining Challenges" a press release issued by NCD announced. The report focuses on ways to "guide" the president, Congress and state and local emergency planners develop and improve evacuation and response plans.
August 2 '06: Public demand for 9-11 footage has caused a cyber-gridlock on the government site hosting the information and videos according to the Richmond Times Dispatch in Virginia. Following the release of exhibits shown during the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, videos showing sometimes grizzly footage of the attacks would take close to 20 minutes to download, but the gridlock has caused the servers to clog denying people access to the information.
July 28 '06: In an effort to combine emergency preparedness and counterterrorism efforts on the federal, state and local levels, officials at the Department of Homeland Security have announced new plans to strengthen intelligence sharing at fusion centers in several large metro areas around the country. The fusion centers will help "to facilitate the two-way flow of timely, accurate, actionable information on all types of hazards," the department's press release said.
July 20 '06: State and local emergency management officials have set up operations at the Baltimore Washington International Airport to help the incoming evacuees from Lebanon proceed through repatriation and processing services the Baltimore Sun reported Thursday. As the violence in the Middle East intensifies, Israeli and Hezbolline forces continue to launch rocket attacks at each other causing thousands of people to flee Lebanon. On Thursday, US marines were sent into Beirut to help evacuate the more than 8,000 of the total 25,000 Americans in the country.
July 20 '06: State and local governments and their communities should move toward efforts at local preparedness and improve pandemic disease planning according to the National Governors Association's new "best practices"report, "Preparing for a Pandemic Influenza: A Primer for Governors and Senior State Officials." In the report, the NGA urged state and local governments that they "must be prepared to manage their responsibilities independently, without relying on the outside assistance that would be available for natural disasters or other localized incidents."
July 19 '06: Timely and quick dissemination of information following a large earthquake which could trigger a tsunami is difference between life and death according to a Government Accountability Office report released in June. The GAO's findings were reinforced on Monday when a killer wave struck the coast of Java killing more than 500 people. Indonesian scientists told the BBC they were not able to warn residents on the island coast of Java about an impending tsunami following a large earthquake Monday because of a slow warning system. The inability of scientists to process the incoming information and relay it to those in harm's way caused more than 500 deaths while officials have said the country is in the process of building an improved public warning apparatus.
July 17 '06: Emergency response and management officials in Rhode Island told the Providence Journal changes in the state's communications system are a step-by-step process on the road to interoperable communication. Currently, "There's a spider web of communications systems throughout the state for public safety and government officials." However, in several areas, interoperable radio technology, a new Emergency Operations Center, laptops to help connect to the internet and coordination with amateur radio operators "to relay messages for state and local officials" are making inroads in the state's emergency response preparedness.
July 13: A new report released by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general Richard L. Skinner found that the central database used to define and rank the nation's critical infrastructure is faulty and inaccurate in judging vulnerabilities, the Associated Press reported earlier this week. The report was compiled and finished before recent announcements that some major US cities would receive federal spending cuts to help secure critical landmarks, "But the report, which was released Tuesday, affirmed the fury of those two cities (New York and Washington DC) - the two targets of the September 11, 2001 attacks - which claimed the department did not accurately assess their risks."
July 12 '06: Washington DC police practiced emergency evacuation drills using the crowds departing the city after the Fourth of July celebrations this year, the Washington Post reported last week. "This is the second year that officials tested their ability to move people out of the city in a hurry. They kept traffic lights on green, used police officers at intersections and coordinated the flow with Maryland and Virginia officials."
July 12 '06: The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a new digital national emergency warning system built by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management System will be up and running by next year. Aaron Walker, a spokesman for DHS told the AP, "Anything that can receive a text message will receive the alert. ... We find that the new digital system is more secure, it's faster and it enables us to reach a wide array of citizens and alert them to pending disasters."
July 11 '06: The Department of Homeland Security will begin a pilot security screening program at New Jersey's PATH stations starting Thursday, the New York Times reported. "Starting at 10:00 am Thursday, riders may be electronically searched by handheld devices that look like cameras, told to step in front of machines that resemble phone booths or subjected to tests involving radar, infrared sensors and other technology" according to federal sources. The pilot program will last three weeks and comes on the heels of recent announcements from New York City officials and federal homeland security officials that a terrorist plot to blow up commuter tunnels into the city was uncovered.
July 5 '06: In an emergency, phone text messaging might prove the most effective method of communication according to the Times Picayune in New Orleans. During Hurricane Katrina, one student trapped in his dorm by the rising flood waters used his cell phone to text his family who in turn alerted rescuers. Because text messaging systems are not wired to a 9-1-1 system, those in need cannot send a message alerting a positioning system of their whereabouts.
July 3 '06: The Department of Homeland Security announced the completion of a report focusing on critical infrastructure and key resource protection (CR/KR) called the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). Completion of the report "represents an unprecedented initiative ... that integrates critical infrastructure security efforts, sets protection goals and supporting objectives, and focuses resources according to risk," FCW.com reported according to DHS officials. Government Technology reported that completion of the report "fulfills requirements in [the] Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 7 and the Homeland Security Act of 2002."
June 29 '06: Last week, Washington Technology reported that the Department of Homeland Security would increase their participation in regional response following a natural or man-made disaster by deploying regional field officials. The move would be under the guidelines of the National Response Plan, that would create "multi agency coordination centers" which could be used to integrate a federal, state and local response. This week, following the heavy rains and flooding from a stalled storm system over the Mid Atlantic, DHS announced it would set up a Regional Response Coordination Center in Philadelphia using those new plans.
June 28 '06: The Frederick News-Post reported Tuesday that a new National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center is being built in Frederick, Maryland. The building will be the first of its kind to house biodefense operations for the Department of Homeland Security - currently, there are several operational-but-separate locations working on biodefense. "The laboratory's mission," the News-Post wrote, "is to understand current and future biological threats; assess threat vulnerabilities and potential consequences; and conduct forensic analysis of evidence from terrorism and biological crimes." The center is expected to open June 2008.
June 27 '06: Government Computer News continues its special reporting on current goings-on in the Department of Homeland Security this week. GCN released a series of articles last week which covered a large range of security, policy and technological issues, challenges and programs which included efforts at technology management and agency performance; the role of the Secret Service in money laundering cases; border security issues; biometrics and better screening practices; improving the state of FEMA; and port security. This week, the stories cover IT issues; the SBInet's development; biometrics and RFID; and other interoperable and cross-agency agendas.
June 26: A recent review of the nation's cybersecurity status found that US homeland security operations and the economy would suffer a "significant impact" if a terrorist or hacker were to inflict an attack on the US, BetaNews reported late last week. The report was issued by the Business Roundtable, a group of top business leaders in the US who represent more than $4.5 trillion in annual revenues. Causes for concern, according to the group, include an ambiguity in response and a lack of coordination between the private and public sectors. Additionally, there are no early warning systems "to monitor cyber attacks, and whether or not they are spreading rapidly," as well as the availability of money to push research and development of programs designed to mitigate or eliminate the possibility of an attack.
June 26 '06: The annual TOPOFF exercises were completed last week according to the Department of Homeland Security. The exercises, designed to have several federal agencies working together to simulate a terrorist attack or natural disaster, operate within the guidelines of the National Response Plan (NRP) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). DHS Undersecretary for Preparedness George Foresman said the the fourth TOPOFF exercise "provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen the nation's capacity for effective, coordinated action to address terrorist threats and major disasters."
June 21 '06: A report released by the RAND Corporation which was compiled for the US Department of Health and Human Services found that response to a medical emergency stemming from a natural disaster or a biological, chemical, nuclear or other terrorist attack would "largely depend" on the existing medical response structure and that, depending on how those responder and public agencies are organized, would affect the response. The report, compiled in 2004 and 2005, was prepared for the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and was released this year.
June 16 '06: States along the Pacific Coast could see a drop in federal funding because of changes in homeland security and disaster funds while a report released has found an over-emphasis on technology rather than educational programs according to the Seattle Times. "Much of the $35 million in extra money appropriated after the disastrous Indonesian tsunami is being spent on detection and warning systems that will be of little benefit to people on the Pacific Coast," the Times found in a report released by the Government Accountability Office.
June 16 '06: The Associated Press reported Friday morning on a report it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security which reviewed the status of the nation's state and city emergency response plans. In the report, the department reviewed 131 state and city emergency plans around the country and found cause "for significant national concern," because of antiquated and uncoordinated programs. "Although emergency plans appear to be stronger in 18 states along the nation's 'Hurricane Belt', the analysis cited preparedness gaps ... Planning for evacuations also remain 'an area of profound concern," the AP wrote.
June 15 '06: According to the National Public Radio show "Talk of the Nation," Wednesday, a new report released by the Institute of Medicine looked at the current state of the nation's hospital emergency rooms and found that overall, the national emergency medical system is "overburdened, underfunded, and highly fragmented." In some cases, those seeking medical attention in crowded hospitals are forced to wait up to 48 hours before they receive medical help. Furthermore, first responder medical personnel, and EMS services "do not effectively coordinate EMS services with ED's (Emergency Departments) and trauma center. As a result, regional flow of patients is poorly managed, leaving some ED's empty and other crowded," the report read.
June 13 '06: A local Virginia NBC affiliate reported that a joint Coast Guard, Navy, FBI and Department of Homeland Security exercise off the coast of North Carolina, called Frontier Sentinel, will focus on cooperation among federal agencies in the event of a terrorist attack or national/natural emergency. The Virginia-Pilot reported Monday that the agencies involved are participating in a "layered defense" exercise which would "allow the Navy to turn over forces to the Coast Guard for specific operations. The Coast Guard always has been able to send forces to the Navy. ... Sharing forces will allow the two services to respond together, ensure jurisdictional requirements are met and evidence and forensics are protected."
June 12 '06: A new report released by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal program which includes the AmericCorps and Senior Corps agencies, has found that volunteer participation in the United States is experiencing a "renaissance of civil engagement," the Associated Press reported Monday. The report "tracked volunteer efforts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia," the AP wrote. Additionally, the report "said that more than 65.4 million Americans performed service of some kind in 2005 alone, compared to 59.8 million in 2002."
June 9 '06: A new report prepared for the Department of Transportation by the Batelle corporation examines the relationship of state and local officials communicating to those being evacuated from an area during an emergency. The crux of the report "is intended to illustrate how agencies need to interface with each other and what data and information need to be shared to effectively manage and deliver traveler information during disasters." Additionally, the report looks at "what information needs to be communicated to evacuees and other travelers under disaster conditions and how the advanced traveler information system (ATIS)," and other systems work with each other.
June 8 '06: Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt announced Thursday new federal funding to states, territories and major urban areas to help with bioterrorism research and prevention. The funding, which will total close to $1.2 billion will be used "to improve infectious disease surveillance and investigation, enhance the preparedness of hospitals and the health care system to deal with large numbers of casualties, expand public health laboratory and communications capacities and improve connectivity between hospitals, and city, local and state health departments to enhance disease reporting," a press release announced. The new funding will be awarded through a cooperative effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta which will move funds toward a national, city-wide initiative designed to inoculate those living in urban areas to stop the spread of a pandemic disease.
June 7 '06: The Transportation Security Administration reported Monday that five new airport screening machines which are smaller, more portable and cheaper than conventional screening machines were sent to be used at Kansas City International Airport. The Reveal CT-80 machines were designed "to address requirements at smaller and medium-sized airports," according to Richard Curasi, the TSA's Federal Security Director in Kansas City. According to the Kansas City Star, "KCI is one of 22 airports that have or are about to have the machines. Others include John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and Newark Liberty Airport," in New Jersey.
June 6 '06: Virginia homeland security officials are floating a plan to build an $8 million fusion center in Chester County which would have at its core an information management and dissemination system "that would allow state and local officials, as well as the public ... share information that could prevent a terrorist attack or other criminal enterprise," the Richmond Times Dispatch reported Tuesday. The system at the core of the new fusion center would be called the Virginia Information Intelligence Management System, but lawmakers are worried at the cost because of a decline in federal homeland security grants and other programs and projects already underway.
June 6: National Public Radio reported Monday morning that a national review by the White House of major cities' emergency plans will be released as early as this week and it will look at the ability for cities to respond to a natural or national threat. In the report, government officials and experts said more steps need to be taken "to handle another huge disaster". And last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that "serious gaps" exist in the ability for emergency management departments in some of the country's largest cities, to handle large disasters or crises like hurricanes, earthquakes, or terrorist attacks.
June 5 '06: A federal lawsuit in New York, on behalf of more than 8,000 firefighters, police and private workers who responded to the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, is focusing on the potential health effects of the dust cloud released when the towers fell the New York Times reported Monday. "From legal documents presented in the case, a tale emerges of heroic but ineffective efforts to protect workers, with botched opportunities, confused policies and contradictions that failed to ensure their safety," the Times reported.
June 2 '06: A new report released by the Government Accountability Office last week found that many government agencies will not be able to meet federally mandated regulations surrounding the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, Government Computer News reported Thursday. GCN found in the report that "there are no simples solutions or alternatives to providing quick and secure access at US land border ports," and that GAO "urged the agencies to expedite their decision-making process if they are to meet Congress' January 2008 deadline."
June 1 '06: The nation's governors are creating the Homeland Security Advisors Council to help create a common voice among states when it comes to helping the nation prepare for national disasters and terrorists threats, the Associated Press reported Thursday. A focus of the new organization will be to help clarify the relationship between the federal and state governments and the problems between them "that predate the 2002 creation of the US Department of Homeland Security, from intelligence to funding to sharing National Guard resources," the AP continued.
May 31 '06: The New York Times reported Wednesday that emergency and preparedness officials along the Gulf Coast are using a combination of nervy public service announcements along with worst-case-scenarios to spur residents into action to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Much of the emphasis of the public service announcements and the message being sent by state and local officials is a greater importance placed on personal resilience and preparedness. "This save-yourselves approach comes after government agencies were overwhelmed by pleas for help after last year's storms," the Times reported.
May 31: The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story by the Associated Press chronicling the duties of New Jersey's director of homeland security since the position was elevated in the state to the governor's cabinet. Director Richard Canas "has moved to address key concerns, such as chemical plant safety, communications, and, perhaps most important, accountability - making sure New Jersey's far-flung and sometimes competitive agencies and first responders know exactly who is in charge of what," the AP reported. Canas told the AP, "The hardest part of this thing is that it's moving so fast that I'm afraid I'm going to miss something. ... It's a very broad mandate."
May 30 '06: New machines being installed at Denver International Airport will test passengers' clothes for explosives residue by sending puffs of air over the travelers' clothes and then taking an analysis the Denver Post reported Tuesday. "In 20 seconds or less, the device collects the air sample and analyses it for explosives residue," the Post was told by federal aviation security officials. "Passengers selected for the the new screening will be directed to stand in the unit, and a glass door will be closed in front of them." In addition to Denver, the Transportation Security Administration has begun other similar programs around the country to detect chemical traces on passengers that could alert security officials to possible weapons being carried onto commercial aircraft.
May 29 '06: Last Friday, New York City emergency officials along with federal Forest Service and city Fire Department authorities participated in an exercise that simulated an "All Risk" scenario of a Category 3 hurricane hitting New York City, a NYFD press release announced.
May 29 '06: Potential new changes in the structure of the Department of Homeland Security would mean that the National Disaster Medical System would not longer be under the control of the Department, Congress Daily reported last week.
May 25 '06: A government-wide card identification system which will allow all agencies to use the technology is being put into place according to Government Computer News. Personal Identification Verification (PIV) Cards "contain integrated circuit chips, as well as biometric and cryptographic data and will be interoperable between agencies."
May 25 '06: The Associated Press reported that a practice emergency drill, run by New Orleans officials on Wednesday, revealed problems in the city's communications systems but there were improvements in supply-line delivery channels to allow food, water, ice and medical supplies to reach victims.
May 23 '06: The Baltimore Business Journal reported earlier in the month that Maryland officials working with the Transportation Security Administration have begun a pilot program along Baltimore's commuter train lines to use canine units to search for bombs and explosives.
May 22 '06: State and local governments around the country are coordinating their emergency preparedness efforts to discuss issues such as avian flu and other national or natural disasters. The Contra Costa Times reported Monday in California that local responder organizations are looking to improve radio communications systems among first responders.
May 19 '06: Inside the Pentagon reported Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security expects to have a national network of bio-sensors up and running by 2009 that would be "capable of detecting dangerous airborne biological agents in major US cities," according to a Homeland Security official.
May 18 '06: A letter sent in January from the Department of Health and Human Services to Native tribal leaders around the country summarized the importance of coordination of health and emergency services with state and local leaders in the event of a pandemic caused by the H5N1 avian flu virus.
May 18 '06: Government Computer News found Wednesday that a report released by the Government Accountability Office titled "DHS Should Take Steps to Encourage More Widespread Use of its Program to Protect and Share Critical Infrastructure Information," elucidates ways in which the Department of Homeland Security can use available information from private sector entities working in sensitive national infrastructure industries to protect those resources.
May 17 '06: The Transportation Security Administration has published a report detailing terror attack mitigation measures, Reuters reported Wednesday. "In late April, DHS implemented the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, which included name-based background checks on nearly 400,000 port workers in the United States," which was then "followed by a 275-page proposal detailing the program designed to deter people who pose a security threat from entering US ports."
May 17 '06: The first extensive test of the international Tsunami Warning System was tested on Wednesday according to the Associated Press that found more than 30 countries participating in a drill which would signal an imaginary 9.2-magnitude earthquake rocking the coast of Chile.
May 16 '06: The Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that it was launching a new program designed to test the communications interoperability of law enforcement, first responders and the medical services, Fire Chief reported.
May 12 '06: Officials at the Department of Justice told Government Computer News that a new network designed to create a "card catalogue"-type system will be installed to allow federal, state and local law enforcement to collect and disseminate information on criminal activity.
May 9 '06: The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Tuesday that a three day, multi-state tsunami exercise will be held in the Pacific Northwest later in May. "Pacific Peril" will "consist of a 'training day' presenting earthquake and tsunami hazards and response plans, a full day Command Post Exercise (CPX) and a final table top review," the FEMA website read.
May 5 '06: The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that it will begin a series of regional "table-top exercises" in the Gulf Coast, Mid Atlantic, New England and Southern states as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to help coordinate local, state and regional response and recovery officials in preparation of the upcoming 2006 hurricane season.
May 3 '06: A Chicago ABC affiliate reported Wednesday that state and local emergency management officials, first responders and homeland security officials will practice exercise drills designed to simulate two types of emergencies.
May 3 '06: In preparation for the 2006 hurricane season, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has announced new plans for evacuation and emergency response in the event another large hurricane hits his city, the BBC reported Wednesday.
April 27 '06: State and local authorities in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC areas have integrated a standardized communications frequency so that first responders will be able to communication to each other during an emergency, Government Computer News reported Wednesday.
April 27 '06: The Senate released a report Thursday on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response during Hurricane Katrina, CNN reported. In the report, lawmakers said the agency needs to be dismantled and reassembled and that the Department of Homeland Security should "create a National Preparedness and Response Authority within DHS to fuse the department's emergency management, preparedness and critical infrastructure assets 'into a powerful new organization that can confront the challenges of natural and manmade catastrophes,'" the cable news channel reported.
April 21 '06: A federal report released two days ago but published back in March by the Inspector General's Office at the Department of Homeland Security found that the standardization of communications for the first responder community in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security "has appropriately centralized the standards adoption process within S&T (Science and Technology Directorate), and has effectively partnered with Standards and Development Organizations (SDOs) and other external organizations to fulfill its standards adoption mission."
April 20 '06: A new Congressional report released last week found that open-source information is critical in the fight against terrorism, Washington Technology reported. "While the intelligence community traditionally has relied on signals, imagery and human intelligence," Wash. Tech. reported, "there is now a growing interest in open-source intelligence (OSINT) as well as in measurement and signatures analyses intelligence (MASINT)." Open-source information is defined as any information available to the public.
April 19 '06: Government Computer News reported Tuesday that the General Services Administration will begin to test several "products for interoperability under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 and Federal Information Processing Standard 201," which will help the Department of Homeland Security to strengthen communications abilities using cross-platform technologies.
April 14 '06: Homeland Security Watch has posted an article about a new Swiss report outlining critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity policies. The International publication focuses on "national governmental efforts to protect critical infrastructure" and was written by the Center for Security Studies in Zurich, Switzerland.
April 14 '06: 14 different law enforcement agencies cooperated in a joint terrorism drill on the University of Arizona campus on Thursday. A local NBC affiliate station reported that volunteer students "acted as victims as emergency crews treated them as if they had been exposed to an unknown chemical," while many students and some local fire fighters were not told of the drill so that "everything was as real as possible," KVOA reported in Tucson.
April 13 '06: A new program begun by the Department of Homeland Security is looking to help frequent border crossers move across the border into the US from Mexico and Canada. The People Access Security Service card, also called PASS would work with "frequent border crossers with existing trusted traveler programs for Canadians, Mexicans, and truck drivers," Government Computer News reported this week.
April 13 '06: Several governmental agencies are cooperating to create the Integrated Wireless Network, which "replaces stovepipe stand alone component systems, and supports law enforcement, first responder, and homeland security requirements with integrated communications services," a Department of Justice release read.
April 13 '06: The New York Times reported Thursday that federal guidelines for rebuilding homes in New Orleans were announced "allowing tens of thousands of homeowners to return to their neighborhoods at costs far less than they had feared."
April 12 '06: Officials in the Department of Homeland Security are revamping efforts and logistics "to deliver fast aid and supplies to victims during the looming hurricane season," the Associated Press reported this week. So far, 13 states will receive federal disaster responders in a larger effort to reorganize the response from the government following a major disaster.
April 11 '06: In a recent survey compiled and aggregated by the report released by the National Governors Association, intelligence fusion centers are a top priority in homeland security preparations, according to Government Computer News.
April 7 '06: A report released by the National Governors Association this week looks into state homeland security directors' tasks at coordinating preparedness and communications practices.
April 6 '06: Farmers and residents of North Dakota and Minnesota have been battling heavy spring rains and rising flood waters, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
April 5 '06: The Bush administration is nearing completion of a new counterterrorism plan, Reuters reported Wednesday. The information released Tuesday by the administration is in a "effort to bring greater integration and coordination to the counterterrorism activities of different agencies and departments including the CIA, FBI, Treasury Department, Pentagon and State Department," the news service reported.
March 28 '06: A federal report released Monday detailed two undercover government investigators who were able to cross the border into the United States from both the northern and southern borders smuggling enough radioactive material to make at least two dirty bombs - weapons containing radioactive material which is sent into the air as a poisonous cloud after an explosion, CNN reported Tuesday. "The investigators purchased a 'small quantity' of radioactive material from a commercial source," the cable news channel reported. The findings were reported in a Government Accountability Office report which was prepared for the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations GOP Chairman Norm Coleman from Minnesota.
March 21 '06: The Washington Post reported last week that the Federal Communications Commission "voted to create a public safety and homeland security bureau within the agency to help it respond faster to natural disasters and terrorist attacks, and to better prepare for emergencies."
March 20 '06: Montgomery County officials in Maryland have a unique take on homeland security according to the Washington Post Sunday. The homeland security department in the county "is the only such agency to maintain uniformed officers apart from its local police force.
March 20 '06: At a gathering of state and local leaders last week, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff talked about the development of local and municipal efforts to organize emergency response and law enforcement under a single "team effort".
March 17 '06: A Government Accountability Office report released this week found several instances where dummy bomb materials made their way past airport screening personnel, ABC News reported Friday.
March 15 '06: In many of the nation's largest ports, most of the containers coming in on ships with goods ranging from cars to food are not being checked according to USA Today which reported Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security "has only 69 mobile gamma ray trucks and enough drive-through radiation detectors to check just 37% of the millions of cargo containers that arrive at the ports each year.
March 13 '06: There is an emerging tool in the war on terror which has been in development for the last ten years in colleges and universities. The New York Times reported over the weekend that "Network Theory" was developed by mathematicians, physicists and sociologists to help researchers paint pictures on human interaction, relationship and movement but is now beginning to be used by American intelligence agencies to help comb the internet and the voluminous amounts of data coming in to look for terrorists. "By mapping ... connections, network scientists try to expose patterns that might no otherwise be apparent," the Times reported.
March 7 '06: American and Mexican officials have reached an agreement to curb violence and improve security along the two countries' borders according to an action plan released by the Department of Homeland Security.
March 1 '06: A report finished in January but released on Monday by the Government Accountability Office has found the US chemical industry vulnerable to terrorist attacks while the industry has done little to improve the security status of its plants, Marketwatch reported this week.
March 1: During the National Governors Association's annual meeting this week, state leaders from across the United States talked about a variety of issues ranging from healthcare to National Guard troop levels and funding. The Christian Science Monitor reported Wednesday that some of the requests made by those attending the conference asked President Bush to "drop plans to cut the National Guard, to review the decision to turn over management of six US ports to a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and to pick up more of the tab for securing the nation's borders."
February 28 '06: The Mississippi Department of Homeland Security has contracted a company in the state to build an alert system which "broadcasts a digital message through FM frequencies to emergency responders during times of crisis," a press release read.
February 27: The National Security Agency has been working on ways to use new technologies to help gather information much in the same way marketing companies have amalgamated personal information about their customers' habits using data mining, the New York Times reported over the weekend.
February 24 '06: Information sharing through a centralized network which can deliver intelligence and data to the satellite agencies under the guidance of Department of Homeland Security is essential Government Computer News reported this week.
February 23 '06: A report being released on Thursday by the White House's Domestic Security Advisor Frances Fragos Townsend has said the United States must change its response systems regarding national, natural and terrorist emergencies, the New York Times reported. In the report, Townsend "does not advocate removing the Federal Emergency Management Agency from the Department of Homeland Security, which some members of Congress have urged," but the report does "call for many other changes in how federal agencies respond to disasters, including asking the Department of Housing and Urban Developement to play a more central role in finding temporary housing for victims."
February 20 '06: About 1,500 people have been living and eating for free on ships contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
February 17 '06: A report released by the Government Accountability Office has found sluggishness in the Department of Homeland Security to be factor in the success of the US VISIT program, Government Computer News reported this week.
February 15 '06: There is no difference between preparing for a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or a nuclear bomb attack from al-Qaeda. That is the message Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff relayed Monday.
February 13 '06: Homeland Security officials and experts from the private-sector participated in a war game on Friday which was designed to simulate a "significant cyber disruption" - an attack on the United States' cyber-infrastructure by terrorists, "anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers," the Associated Press reported Monday.
February 9: The federal government is designing a computer network and supporting programs to gather information through the internet and then synthesize that information to find potential terrorist groups, plots or sleeper cells, the Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday.
February 6 '06: One of the major factors in being prepared in the event of a national or natural disaster is information sharing and coordination of rescue and recovery efforts - two essential factors that one homeland security official has said the Department of Homeland Security needs to work on in 2006.
February 1 '06: Interoperability and communications are the keywords at a Nebraska conference of emergency and first responders, the North Platte Telegraph News reported from Nebraska on Wednesday. During the keynote speech, Neb. Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy said communications among first responder communities was a "high priority" and that state grant money will help target "deficiencies as regional projects are implemented across the state."
February 1 '06: A nonpartisan Government Accountability Office report just released says that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Brown should have been the "central focal point," of the federal response effort during Hurricane Katrina, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
January 31 '06: Providing a wireless network over a thinly populated area is tough for companies and local governments because of the costs involved with building the necessary infrastructure. Forbes ran a story by the Associated Press on Monday which found former Governor Ed. Schafer of North Dakota backing a plan that would create a wireless network in his state using balloons. The balloons would carry the network repeaters in a small, toaster-sized boxes, and would relay the network signals.
January 30: Changes to a federal homeland security fund formula using the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant program have caused many state and local governments to voice their concern that there will not be enough money to keep their communities safe.
January 26 '06: Two representatives from New York are pushing legislation in Congress for appointment of a federal health inspector to lead the treatment and testing of those workers who helped clear the rubble from the Twin Towers after their collapse on September 11, 2001.
January 24 '06: A large, category 3 hurricane forms in the Atlantic and heads into the Gulf of Mexico. Its destination is New Orleans and it hits with high winds and more than 20 inches of rain while spawning 14 tornadoes. That storm was not Hurricane Katrina, but a "tabletop" hurricane named Pam and was part of a plan by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to address preparedness in the event that a storm should hit.
January 18 '06: The nation's emergency medical teams, which respond to national and natural disasters, are lacking the necessary funding, logistics, staff and money needed to stay prepared, USA Today reported according to accounts given by Congress, industry experts and former Bush administration officials.
January 17 '06: Homeland Security funds and expenses usually are reported in the millions of dollars, but sometimes, smaller amounts of money make larger impacts on communities trying to stay prepared and ready for emergency situations. In Algonquin, Illinois, the Cary-Grove Countryside, a subsidiary of Pioneer Press reported that grants given over the past two years to the local fire department has helped to get radio equipment and vehicle exhaust removal systems for two fire stations. In 2005, the county received $160,000.
January 12 '06: The Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration have issued a series of new programs and security initiatives in the last several months which are designed to help personal and private information stay secure and at the same time allowing the government to be able to access to critical information to help in background checks and also to allow the government to keep up with the pace of technological advance, a department release read.
January 11 '06: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced early in January changes to the Secure Border Initiative in the Department of Homeland Security. The creation of new Border Enforcement and Security Task Forces would consist of "nationally-integrated teams with federal, state and local representation specifically directed at cross-border criminal activity," a department release read. "These new task forces," Chertoff said, "will take a comprehensive approach to dismantling criminal organizations that exploit our border."
January 6 '06: Biometrics, personal identifiers like iris patterns of fingerprints, have been used by governments and security personnel because of their personal nature. Wireless tools like radio tag identification are also used in security and identification. Banking institutions are now beginning to use both technologies in the way that will allow for the transfer of goods and services - swipe-less debit and credit cards will begin to replace old ones with worn out magnetic strips - and someone's fingerprint will one day be just as good a currency as a one dollar bill, USA Today reported.
January 5 '06: A report compiled by the inspector general, Richard Skinner, in the Department of Homeland Security has found that it is essential for "participating responders as well as coordinating departments and agencies to have a common operation picture, which is essential to an efficient and effective command-and-control structure," during the biennial TOPOFF exercises, Government Computer News reported.
January 3 '06: In addition to the human and poultry threat the asian bird flu poses, pig farming in the US could be greatly affected according to health experts, Reuters has reported.
December 30 '05: Under a new bill being proposed in the Senate, first responders, local law enforcement, medical personnel and state government officials involved in emergency response would be able to enroll in an academy designed to "cross-train experts in other areas of expertise so they have a dull understanding of incident response," the Bristol Press has reported.
December 21 '05: The potential for a killer tsunami, much like the one which struck the the Indian Ocean last Boxing Day, to hit the US presents a risk those living along the Northwest Coast. That's according to scientists and government officials who told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer it was only a matter of time before a tsunami would hit the US - an eventuality that has propelled a new warning system which will monitor the Pacific Ocean.
December 20 '05: Government Computer News reported Monday that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a public comment on its interoperability measures to "coordinate public safety communications and interoperability, known as SAFECOM."
November 30 '05: Medical officials in states along the Gulf Coast ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma have said that lingering health and emotional problems have mixed with environmental concerns which have caused increasing amounts of strain and stress to the victims of the hurricanes.
November 30 '05: Maine emergency management officials have met for a third time to discuss interoperability and communications in their state among first responders, and state and local officials.
November 29 '05: The Bush administration and Congress have not provided adequate goals and measurements of success in the war on terror according to a new Congressional report.
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 29 '05: Miami city police officials have announced new proposed security tactics designed to increase police presence on the streets while having an "in your face" approach to deter possible terrorist surveillance and attacks, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
November 28 '05: As the world becomes interconnected, and access to goods increases, the risks and possibilities of would-be terrorists hiding dangerous materials and weapons of mass destruction inside cargo containers has spurred the Department of Homeland Security and the US Customs and Border Patrol to find ways to secure the cargo being shipped into the US.
November 16 '05: A new report released by the Government Accountability Office has said the nearly six billion pounds of air cargo shipped into the US each year on commercial airlines needs to be more securely monitored by the Transportation Security Administration, Reuters news service reported Wednesday.
November 16 '05: Training is the key word when it comes to homeland security operations and communication according to newly released information concerning state and local grants to governments from the Department of Homeland Security.
November 14 '05: An "intelligent" network that can self-organize and allow first responders to communicate during a crisis is part of a project by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology which will issue a final report "on the first phase of the project by the end of the year," GovExec.com reported last week. "The goal of the project is to create standards language that could be understood by all official groups that respond to emergencies."
November 14 '05: Poultry farmers in the US will prove to be on the front lines of defense in the event that the avian flu virus find its way into the country. USA Today reported Monday that many of the health regulations which have been in place for years to protect domestic flocks against disease keep domestic birds out of site and out of range of their wild counterparts.
November 11 '05: Bomb sniffing dogs will be added to the security roster at local train stations and metro lines in cities across the US after several major metropolitan areas complete a training course which will familiarize officials with handling the dogs and search techniques.
November 10 '05: A new repository of public information will made available to intelligence agencies for analysis, research, training and IT management and in the hopes that government agencies will be able to coordinate that information to help fight the war on terror. Government Computer News reported this week that the Open Source Center will be created through the office of the Director of National Intelligence but that it will be "based at the CIA."
October 27 '05: The Department of Homeland Security announced a new program in collaboration with the Departments of Defense and State called the National Strategy for Maritime Security which will help protect the nation's waterways and ports from terrorist attacks.
September 29 '05: Congressional leaders on the Hill and the Bush administration are engaged in a debate with the Department of Defense about the role of the National Guard and the military in times of national emergencies. After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, federal efforts to evacuate people from New Orleans and other stricken areas left little room for error and resources were stretched thin while state and local officials called on Washington for greater help.
September 26 '05: In Massachusetts, an information and intelligence gathering clearinghouse is being developed by state officials along with their local counterparts to help in the fight against terrorism according to a report on Monday by the Boston Globe.
September 21 '05: State and local officials have said they have learned much about responding to large disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Knight Ridder news services reported Wednesday. Officials also told the news service that "they're better prepared than they were when Katrina hit three weeks ago."
September 8 '05: The federal response to Hurricane Katrina has demanded the most comprehensive and largest recovery effort the United States has ever seen. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, acting under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security is coordinating the recovery effort which includes organizing more than a dozen government agencies.
September 6 '05: Another challenge facing cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast is the potentially enormous environmental disaster from flood waters lying in New Orleans which have become a cesspool of chemicals, human and animal fecal matter, human and animal remains and a breading ground for mosquitos and other water-born illnesses.
August 26 '05: The Department of Homeland Security will release a new first responder identification system in the Washington DC area, also known as the National Capital Region (NCR). The new system will part of a "credentialing effort. ... designed as a model for other regions to enhance cooperation and efficiency between state and local first responders and their federal counterparts."
August 22 '05: Cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security has been undergoing several changes over the last two years and a recent announcement of a critical infrastructure R&D plan has included measures to push further development. The importance of keeping computer systems up-to-date and secure was underscored last week when a virus infected several computer systems used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at seven major US international airports.
August 18 '05: Federal officials have said more money will be given to researchers to help find better ways to update and secure the US power grid. According the Associated Press on Thursday, a new computer network is being designed following "the largest blackout in US history, which left millions of people in the Northeast and southern Canada without power in August 2003."
July 25 '05: The job of protecting the nation's cities and small towns against the threat of a terrorist attack is an essential step in the war on terror. Recently, an article in the New Yorker Magazine highlighted the efforts by the New York City Police Department's commissioner Ray Kelly to strengthen his city's defenses against the threat of another attack in the light of this month's attacks in London and Egypt.
June 21 '05: During the moments after the attacks on 9/11, lawmakers took efforts to show the country that they were still working and that government and Congress was still functioning. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security announced further efforts to test the ability and functionality of Congress under a national emergency.
June 9 '05: Large ports in the US have to tackle the problem of allowing for the relatively free-flow of goods in and out of their docks, while at the same time making sure the cargo is not harmful. The Department of Homeland Security announced that new plans to have monitoring systems built in country's two busiest seaports will be finished by the end of the year.
May 18 '05: An added bill slipped into legislation providing additional funding for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq would create federal requirements for Americans wanting to obtain a driver's license. The REAL ID act, as it is called, would require people to produce "an authentic copy of their birth certificate to apply for a new driver's license or renew an old one. The certificates must be verified at the counter by a Department of Motor Vehicles agent, along with other identification, such as Social Security numbers and utility bills," the Washington Post reported last week.
May 16 '05: The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new spending requirements for states and their first responder programs, adjusting an older formula that gave some rural states more funding per capita than others. The Associated Press reported last week that acting on recommendations from the 9/11 commission, the House voted 409-10 in favor of what Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) called and end to wasteful spending.
May 12 '05: Officials at the Orlando International Airport have begun a 90-day biometric screening program designed to scan people's irises in an effort to tighten security. Local 6 News an affiliate of the Internet Broadcasting Services company reported on Wednesday that the new program will be in addition to other security measures put into place after the attacks on 9/11.
April 12 '05: The Department of Homeland Security finished its mock terrorist attack exercise called TOPOFF 3 last week in New Jersey and Connecticut and the exercise was the largest of its kind in the country - using 275 federal departments and agencies, several countries' antiterrorist departments, the private sector and many other international contingencies looking on while the exercise unfolded. At the end of the exercise, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said the "Herculean" effort provided many lessons for DHS and that a "very robust participation from the private sector, and actually very aggressive participation on the part of the government of Canada in its emergency management and counterterrorism functions," helped make the exercise work well.
April 11: Under a new anti-terror law being considered in Congress, banks and other financial institutions would have to allow the government greater access to people's account information in an attempt to help the Department of Homeland Security find terrorists and their financiers, the New York Times reported over the weekend. The BBC reported Monday that the focus of the bill would be in "seeking access to logs of international wires to try to track terror funding. ... Electronic transfers were used to send more than $130,000 to the 11 September 2001 hijackers."
April 7 '05: Nuclear material that is being stored in pools of water to protect people from radiation could be a target for terrorists according to a panel of scientists, MSNBC reported late on Wednesday. The panel was called upon by the National Academy of Sciences to examine each nuclear plant in the country and to examine the security risks and the possibility that a terrorist attack could compromise the security precautions installed at those plants.
March 31 '05: America's spy agencies were "dead wrong" when it came to information that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, a presidential commission said on Thursday. The report also said the United States knew "disturbingly little" about many of the people, organizations or groups who wanted to do harm to the country, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. The "scathing report," the AP wrote, "recommended dozens of organizational changes."
March 16 '05: A commission created by a presidential directive to assess the possible dangers which face the United States has been completed. The report addresses risks which the nation faces, as well as how the federal government can communicate with state and local governments to help prevent widespread casualties in the event of a terrorist attack or a large natural disaster. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security "has been working for a year on a National Planning Scenarios plan that outlines a number of plausible attacks - including by nerve gas, anthrax, pneumonic plague and truck bomb."
February 24 '05: In a modern-day, post 9/11 version of the Monroe Doctrine, the Department of Homeland Security has stepped up its efforts at protecting the Western Hemisphere against the threat of terror. DHS has announced an additional $1.6 million to "expand counter-terrorism coordination ... bringing the total US contribution to $5 million since the 9/11 attacks."
February 10 '05: A previously undisclosed government report, now declassified, has revealed there were 52 detailed warnings made to the Federal Aviation Administration before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The warnings, the Associated Press reported Thursday, "said five security warnings mentioned al-Qaeda's training for hijackings and two reports concerned suicide operations not connected to aviation."
November 21 '04: As international governments and the world medical community race to counter what many see as an inevitable avian flu pandemic, in the US the president has asked Congress to set aside more than $7 billion in federal funds to help research and produce medicines that will be effective against the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus.
November 4 '04: New quarantine stations will be created at Boston's Logan International Airport to give airport screeners and health officials a chance to "evaluate" travelers coming into the US who may be sick, the Associated Press reported Friday.
November 1 '04: In a recent interview with the Associated Press Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said family, community and individual preparedness was a "civic duty" while businesses and the private sector also must prepare for large natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
October 21 '04: The Department of Homeland Security has announced it will begin a new program designed to train first responders across the country. The program, Cooperative Training Outreach Program, will encourage the training of first responders by "permitting states to identify and approve institutions within their states, territories, or tribal entities that can adopt and deliver the Department's standardized training courses."
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