Index > Communications & Public Information: Best Practices
January 2011: Australian government authorities are working overtime to try and help the communities of Queensland in the midst of epic flooding, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. More than 9,000 homes in Brisbane, the country's third largest city, are expected to be impacted by flood waters, while the city's downtown central business center cut it's electricity, the BBC reported.
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."
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.
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.
July 28 '08: The Naval Academy's Center for Homeland Defense and Security blog (HSDL) announced a new report released by two immigrant communities-focused think tanks looking at the impacts of disaster preparedness in communities where English is not the primary language. In the press release, the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and the AsianPacific American Legal Center of Southern California wrote that recent disasters in Southern California have shown that "in order to improve disaster awareness among immigrant community members and to help emergency response personnel better serve limited English speaking populations," education and outreach operations must be increased.
July 24 '08: Last year, organizers from America's Emergency Network (AEN) announced a new public/private partnership providing a suite of communications technologies for the general public and state, local and federal emergency response officials and government agencies. AEN provides a website containing video feeds and bulletins issued by OEMs and other government agencies in addition to AEN-TV (for emergency response and government agencies) as well the radio based AlertFM warning system.
July 18 '08: The Disaster Zone blog reported on a new Internet technology which allows blind persons access the web without the expensive technology typically needed. The WebAnywhere alpha release is an open source project which was developed by researchers at the University of Washington.
June 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".
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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: 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 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).
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 9 '08: A new report has been released by the Local Governments for Sustainability addressing the challenges facing communities due to the changing climate. Among the issues addressed, the ICLEI featured pandemic, drought, severe storms mitigation tactics while response, preparedness and cooperative programs were examined. More than 250 American cities, communities and towns are a part of the organization with the cooperation of almost all major American mayors.
January 8 '08: Matching customers' donations during the California wildfires were met up to a total of $50,000 by Lowe's the company said in a press release. In addition to the donations, the home improvement store also provided bottled water and other emergency response relief products to those fighting the blazes.
January 8 '08: The makers of the Hexayurt, a portable and quick-setup emergency shelter have been working on the Disastr.org emergency evacuation plan for cities and communities using a peer-to-peer resource allocation process which would provide sheltering for potentially hundreds of thousands of people. The value of having portable emergency shelters using scant resources was evident when the company participated in the 2006 Strong Angel III exercise, the New York Times reported.
January 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: Workforce training and positioning company Manpower Inc., has developed an economic response program to help communities affected by a disaster rebuild their economies sustainably. The company already works to partner with businesses, governments, and non-profits to provide workforce opportunities to "the un-employed and under-employed with the skills, competencies and relevant work experience" to match job demands.
January 2 '08 The New York City's Office of Emergency Management has begun an online community business resource tool to help during a response to a disaster. The Private Asset and Logistics Management System (PALMS) is a private sector registry resource designed to enhance the Citywide Asset and Logistics Management System (CALMS).
January 2 '08 The University of Southern Mississippi's Spectator Sports Security Management program has announced the beginning of the first CENTER for Spectator Sports Security Management which focuses on interdisciplinary work related to the research, education, outreach and protection of stadiums during events. The new program helps to close a gap in collegiate sport event security according to Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson (D), the New York Times reported.
December 28 '07: The Rocky Mount Telegram in North Carolina reported that the local emergency services management has been working on consolidating its ambulance groups in Nash County which has resulted "in good employees, standardizing training and equipment."
December 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 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 5 '07: The Medical University of South Carolina, a National Congress partner, announced in a press release earlier this fall, that they would begin a five-year study on the effects of disasters on mental health through a federal grant totaling $3.89 million from the National Institutes of Health. The study would coincide with the creation of the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research with the cooperation of Dartmouth Medical School, the University of Michigan, Yale University and the University of Oklahoma.
November 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 19 '07: In Santa Rosa, California a group of residents has formed the community-based response organization Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies. The COPE organization works in partnership with the city's fire department and the Red Cross "to help train and prepare their neighbors, so that we can all COPE a little better with disasters that may disrupt our lives."
November 16 '07: A recent partnership designed to test communities' abilities to respond to fire emergencies in multicultural settings using the GoToMeeting online collaborative meeting tool was aided by a group which is seeking to build better relationships between fire departments and their communities. The group, Fire 20/20 works to highlight and support best practices among the fire fighting and EMS community.
November 15 '07: In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, part of the recovery process was the ability for the housing market to begin to assess the damage done by the storm. Similar to families and individuals taking stock of their possessions and the damage caused by the hurricane, the mortgage and housing industry were faced with the challenge of understanding the severity and extent of the damage and ways in which they could begin to recover. Ohio-based Safeguard Properties, helped the industry and home-owners by inspecting the damage while pulling the mortgage industry's resources and assets together to help communities begin to cleanup and rebuild.
November 13 '07: In Stockton, California, the Record reported that community leaders are working with the University of the Pacific and the Port of Stockton to develop and execute the Golden Guardian 2007 emergency response exercise which will begin on Wednesday.
November 9 '07: The Associated Press reported that a 58,000-gallon oil spill in San Francisco Bay has prompted a cleanup and response effort from local residents and environmental groups working to contain the slick which has spread at least 15 miles out into the Pacific Ocean. To help with the cleanup and response efforts, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that local residents are aiding emergency crews who have established remote and mobile operations units along the beaches.
November 6 '07: Reuters reported Monday that a new report released by the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the Center for a New American Security entitled "The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change" has found that domestic and international security concerns will begin to grow as the earth's climate changes and heats up.
November 2 '07: Disaster News Network reported a gathering of local and state California officials with community church groups, relief organizations and church leaders "to bring local churches together in order to better coordinate their response efforts," during the recent devastating wildfires.
October 25 '07: For the next National League of Cities' Congress of Cities and Exposition in New Orleans, mayors, public and city officials, and other members of the private sector will look at ways to increase communities' emergency preparedness, sustainability and green power initiatives, public safety and first response a press release announced.
October 24 '07: In Southern California, as wildfires continue to burn, close to 1 million people have been evacuated while President Bush declared a state of emergency allowing for federal aid and resources to be sent to the state. Officials have said they have learned from Hurricane Katrina, the LA Times reported.
October 22 '07: The Los Angeles Times has reported that local communities in Southern California are rushing to respond to the intense wildfires sweeping through at least seven counties. More than 30,000 reverse 9-1-1 calls were made to residents urging them to evacuate from the "unrestrained fires." Local emergency officials also have partnered with area businesses to organize an effective response, the Times found.
October 15 '07: A new online community has been launched to help train virtually first responders for a pandemic. Through the SecondLife platform, participants cant visit virtual hospitals to triage and treat victims of a pandemic using the Play2Train Open Content Alliance, according to Idaho's Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program, a project run by Idaho State University.
October 11 '07: Reuters reported that the United Nations has called on disaster response organizations to increase their preparedness levels to confront increasing environmental disasters. U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told the international wire news service that "Climate Change is already driving an increase in the frequency and the intensity of heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. We believe that more needs to be done to contain these natural disasters at the outset."
October 9 '07: Buffalo News reported area businesses working to develop disaster response and continuity of operations plans which will help them "cope with the loss of a major portion of staff, how to contain (a pandemic) disease, how to keep operations running, and how to serve customers. ... From insurers and banks to grocery store chains like Wegmans, companies large and small ... are developing contingency plans."
October 9 '07: Chicago Marathon officials activated their emergency response contingency plan on Sunday after soaring temperatures hospitalized hundreds of people and caused organizers to cancel the race - a first for the city, the Chicago Tribune reported.
October 5 '07: Virginia officials have announced a new Spanish-language emergency preparedness website to help the Latino community prepare for disasters, CBS 6 in Richmond reported. The site, called ListoVirginia.gov "is an important step to reaching out to all Virginians," Michael M. Cline, the state coordinator for the Department of Emergency Management said.
October 5 '07: In New York, the Mid Hudson News reported on a partnership which is working to put response and preparedness skills directly into the hands of the communities' residents. The Red Cross has partnered with Elant Inc., a non-profit group working to help seniors, to develop the Ready When the Time Comes program for Greater New York an Elant Inc. press release read.
October 3 '07: The Home Safety Council and the battery maker Duracell have partnered to raise home fire safety and prevention through the Power to Protect program, a press release announced.
October 2 '07: In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the annual National Emergency Managers Association conference attendants said they focused on recent lessons-learned after heavy snowfalls this past winter and vernal torrential rains flooded the state activating record response measures. The Norman Transcript reported "Networking and sharing experiences were the messages" of the conference.
October 1 '07: Savannah State University will be the first school in Georgia to offer its students a degree in homeland security, the Savannah Morning News reported. Nine students have signed up for the major which will be "housed" in the Department of Political Science, Public Administration, and Urban Studies, a press release from the University announced.
September 26 '07: Earlier this year, state and local leaders from Louisiana and New Orleans, as well as first responders, members of the media, academia, corporations and other organizations met to discuss ways in which communities could learn to meet the the challenges of long-term, post-disaster recovery operations on the local level during the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's, Restoration 2007 event in New Orleans.
September 24 '07: The Red Cross and the Business Roundtable have announced a new partnership to help increase the nation's corporate emergency preparedness, a Red Cross press release announced.
September 21 '07: At Delaware State University early this morning, two people were shot, one critically, other other stable, in what is the first campus shooting since the Virginia Tech massacre in April earlier this year. The New York Times reported in its Lede Blog, "the incident looks to be the first major test of college and university leaders' resolve ... to act more quickly and to communicate better and faster," with the campus community.
September 21 '07: Congressional Quarterly reported several pilot programs developed and organized by the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association - a partner with the National Congress for Secure Communities - which are using existing relationships between businesses to help federal, state and local governments respond to disasters.
September 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 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 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.
August 29 '07: In Bella Vista, Arkansas, a local emergency preparedness expo focused on the potential dangers facing community families with the idea that some dangers are not as present as others. The Northwest Arkansas' News Source reported the event was hosted by the Institute for Corporate and Public Safety at the Northwest Arkansas Community College.
August 28 '07: The International Bottled Water Association has announced a federal, state and local emergency response directory for its industry members to use to help distribute supplies for recovery operations. The new directory's availability comes in preparation of September's National Preparedness Month.
August 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 21 '07: CNN has a new section on its website called Impact Your World which was designed to offer disaster resource outlets to all its customers "to take action on the news you witness and to impact your world." The site's goal is to allow viewers an opportunity to learn how to send monetary, logistical aid or resources to areas affected by natural or man-made disasters.
August 20 '07: In Fairfield, Ohio, Fire Chief Don Bennet has created the Clergy Crisis Response Team "in an attempt to support the citizens which encounter traumatic events within the community."
August 20 '07: Georgia Tech has a new emergency notification system portal which will send out time-sensitve messaging through email, voice, and SMS, a press release on the school's website announced. The system is open to anyone who has access to the school's PASSPORT portal.
August 16 '07: A new one-stop hurricane preparedness site, advised and developed by hurricane and response officials is working to raise coastal communities' preparedness, Disaster News Network reported. The OneStorm.org site offers tips, information, planning scenarios, and other content designed to give the most information about hurricane response and preparedness to families and communities.
August 14 '07: In Hawaii, residents and responder officials are bracing for Hurricane Flossie while a 5.3 earthquake struck the Big Island under a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning, CNN reported. To help residents stay informed about the impending storm - which has been downgraded to a Category 3 and is not expected to hit the islands directly - the Honolulu Advertiser has posted a disaster preparedness page on its website.
August 9 '07: A partnership between King Soopers Groceries, City Market Food Stores, El Dorado Spring Water, Health One and Denver area Hospitals, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will launch a state-wide competition based on a reality-TV format to put residents in a house to see which ones would be able to survive a disaster. The program is called "What If Colorado". The winner of the competition will receive $2,500. Organizers said they hope the competition will raise disaster preparedness and response awareness.
August 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 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 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: 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 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 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 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 6 '07: The Rocky Mount Telegram in North Carolina reported that the city has received a fifth consecutive "StormReady" designation from the National Weather Service for its efforts to prepare residents, businesses and schools for the 2007 hurricane season. The StormReady program has more than 1,200 military, state, local and tribal communities working to prepare for tsunamis, hurricanes and other severe weather.
July 3 '07 The Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network is an organization which works to extend emergency preparedness best practices to the deaf and blind community in the U.S. Because of the special nature of the deaf and blind community, it is not always possible for local government officials to warn residents properly of an impending or unfolding disaster.
July 3 '07: The Red Cross will be on hand at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 5 - 8 to promote emergency preparedness and civic response and engagement campaign "Be Red Cross Ready" a press release announced. The festival is sponsored by Coca Cola.
July 2 '07: In Palm Beach County, local officials have said they are working to include residents in disaster response operations through the Cities Readiness Initiative the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. The program is part of a larger national effort directed by the Centers for Disease Control.
July 2 '07: The San Francisco Chronicle reported that along with resident evacuations and the dangerous conditions created by the wildfires in the Lake Tahoe area - emergency managers and firefighters are having to contend with "disaster tourists" - people who sneak into the disaster areas to watch the response.
June 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: Citing a recent report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (see attached report below), Cisco Systems has said that its new communications technology will help educators and schools around the country to have instant access to information and "to help when they need it," through Cisco Unified Communications.
June 21 '07: On NPR Washington DC station WAMU 88.5 FM on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m., the Homeland Security Inside and Out program has been broadcasting from member station KAMU 90.9 FM in College Station, Texas which focuses on all issues relating to Homeland Security and emergency preparedness.
June 21 '07: The American Microchip Advisory Council for Animals has announced a new disaster preparedness manuel for veterinarians and other animal caregivers called the "An Emergency Management Guide", a press release announced. The guide "aids state animal response teams, shelters and veterinarians in their plan for responding to natural or manmade disasters."
June 20 '07: Wakulla Bank in Florida has released financial preparedness information for residents for the 2007 hurricane season. On its website, the bank said it has partnered with the American Bankers Association to provide the information after a Miami Herald story found that more than half of all Floridians are not prepared to handle the aftermath of a large disaster.
June 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 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 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 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: 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.
May 29 '07: Financial sector officials have announced a flu pandemic response and preparedness exercise to be help in cooperation with the federal government, FinExtra.com reported. The exercise will take place later in the year and it will last several weeks to help simulate a "full pandemic wave".
May 28 '07: Local officials along Alaska's coast are struggling to cope with changes in the local weather systems that are causing the melting of the permafrost, collapsed buildings, sinking roads and which are helping rising coastal waters inundate sea communities, the International Herald Tribune reported.
May 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 21 '07: A Government Accountability Office report looked at the role of the federal government in providing funding for school emergency management programs on the state and local level. The report found that funding on the federal level to elementary and high schools would help to increase the amount of preparedness and response in light of the recent school shootings at Virginia Tech.
May 16 '07: Maintaining business continuity after disasters is essential on the road to recovery. To help businesses and financial institutions along the Gulf Coast, the FDIC has been working to compile best practices and business continuity plans which can serve as templates for other members of the community.
May 15 '07: According to a poll released by the USA Today and Gallup found that local communities in the U.S. are seen as being prepared for a potential disaster while little confidence was placed on the ability for the federal government to adequately respond the Associated Press reported. The poll was released Monday and comes just a few weeks before the start of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season.
May 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 3 '07: In Texas City, Texas, town officials told KHOU that a new phone, email and text message emergency alert and warning warning system has been installed and is now ready to go live. The system will work much like a reverse-911 call system and will contact all residents of the town in case of an emergency.
April 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 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: Valdosta State University in Georgia has announced a new campus-wide emergency alert system to help inform faculty and students at the onset of an emergency, a press release from the school read. The VSU Campus Alert system would rely on text and phone messaging using an automated system using the Connect-ED communications service.
April 18 '07: The National Crime Prevention Council said that the recent tragic school shootings at Virginia Tech where 32 people were killed, highlights the imperative for "all higher education campuses [to] continually update and rehearse emergency plans and emphasize a campus community-wide crime prevention strategy," a press release announced.
April 17 '07: In the wake of the fatal shootings at Virginia Tech University on Monday, the campus security response and the spread of that information to the student body and faculty prompted San Diego State University and other academic institutions around the country to address concerns over response and campus security and safety.
April 17 '07: Students, faculty and residents in Roanoke, Virginia said that as the news of the fatal school shootings began to creep out of the Virginia Tech campus, cell phone lines were completely shut down by the sheer volume of demand and that email was incredibly slow or not working the Roanoke Times reported. While cell phones lines struggled to remain open, information via the Internet became the single source of news.
April 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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."
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 '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 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 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 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.
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