Index > Economic & Infrastructure: Best Practices
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.
February 11, 2011: Investment in infrastructure to meet the challenges posed by global climate change may spur economic growth and promote stability, a group of British engineering firms said recently. According to the BBC a new report found that communities will need "an infrastructure system that is more resilient to climate change. This will require Government, the public and private sectors and professional sectors such as engineers to come together and proactively meet the challenge of creating a climate resilient infrastructure system for the country."
February 11, 2011: With the global climate shifting, national, state and local governments and communities are beginning to feel the effects of catastrophic weather (Australia's flooding and the rise of global food prices). In 2009, the University of Oregon released a study looking at the cost of environmental change to the communities in state of Washington. The report found that "If nothing is done to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Washington is likely to experience some $3.8 billion in associated annual costs -- including $1.3 billion in health related costs alone."
February 11, 2011: Early last year, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced new plans for a state-run program which helps policy makers and citizens accurately measure Maryland's standard of living. The Genuine Progress Indicator, an online tool, uses the health of the environment and society as indicators with traditional economic calculations to find an overall grade. "Just as the elements of our natural world must be balanced to ensure a healthy ecosystem," O'Mally said, "so too must be the elements of how we judge our success as a State. A strong economy, a clean environment and a healthy citizenry go hand in hand; none can be a true measure of success without supporting the other two."
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.
July 2010: As NPR has reported, a high-pressure system which settled over the East Coast over the week has brought triple-digit temperatures to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states testing the region's electrical grid resiliency. The heat wave has prompted local government officials to take responsive measures to help keep power and water usage down while making sure sensitive groups like the very young and very old, stay cool.
July 2010: **NB** Thanks to InCaseofEmergency and Recovery Diva for the links and the original stories.
The Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University has published a paper for communities who are working to "prepare for surprises." Community Resilience: A function of resources and adaptability works to tackle the problem of preparing communities for responses to disasters and challenges - man-made and environmental - through policy change, programs and systems "that help local communities cope with a wide range of threats."
November 17 '08: As wildfires destroy homes in Southern California, social networking sites have been used by community first responders and citizens to spread important information, updates and maps in real-time. The fires have burned more than 1,000 homes, forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate and have claimed over 20,000 acres in the past four days, Reuters reported. CNN reported Monday that at least one of the fires has been linked to human activity.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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: 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 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 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.
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 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 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: 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 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: 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: 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 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 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: 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.
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 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 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: 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 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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 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 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 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: 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 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 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 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 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 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 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: 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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."
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 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: 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: 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 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: 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 13 '07: Victorinox, the maker of the Swiss Army Knife, has developed a new first responder tool especially designed to help emergency response with capabilities to cut car windshields, break windows and cut seat belts.
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 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: 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 post in Computer World by IT professional Peter N. Glaskowsky outlined recent exhortations in his industry to take steps to prepare for disasters and pandemics to maintain continuity of operations. Glaskowsky cited a report released last year which called on IT pandemic preparedness plans to be in place by the last quarter of 2007. However a recent article finds little movement.
July 31 '07: According to the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy, a new survey taken showed European and Asian communities imposing pandemic mitigation tactics and a change of lifestyle if a large-scale disease were to infect large populations. The survey was published in the July 20 edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
July 30 '07: 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 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 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 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 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: 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: 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.