January 2012: (Hat tip to PolicyMic. A recent report out from Reuters outlined the current ongoing program at the Department of Homeland Security to monitor social networks with the intention of collecting "information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture". The networks include Twitter, Facebook, Hulu, Wikileaks as well as sites like Drudge Report, Huffington Post and others.
January 2012: Almost one year ago exactly, the Obama administration signed into law the "Local Community Radio Act" which allowed smaller community radio stations the ability to broadcast to their communities. At the forefront of the push to give greater radio access to communities is the Prometheus Radio Project. Their efforts help to create local communities of radio broadcasters which could help to disseminate information quickly in the event of a disaster.
January 2011: Australian government authorities are working overtime to try and help the communities of Queensland in the midst of epic flooding, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. More than 9,000 homes in Brisbane, the country's third largest city, are expected to be impacted by flood waters, while the city's downtown central business center cut it's electricity, the BBC reported.
January 2011: Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 the public and private sectors have been working together to find new ways of securing the country's critical infrastructure through federal action like the Homeland Security Act and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7). There have been other - private sector-driven steps taken as well, but it is with the cooperation of the federal government that industry can improve optimally on its preparedness, resiliency and response operations.
We were very saddened by the passing of our friend John Solomon last November. John was a friend and a great resource for inspiration through his blog In Case of Emergency, Read Blog. Throughout the years, his work provided the germination of many of the stories that I have used to work on community preparedness and resilience in the face of natural and man-made disasters. I also will remember warmly our wonderful and productive email exchanges. His stories and blog posts proved insightful and I will remember him fondly. Below are a few examples of the helpful work of John's we used to write about how our country is working toward sustainability, resiliency and preparedness during an emergency or crisis. John's obituary can be read here. Thanks John, we'll miss you.
July 2010: The Department of Homeland Security has announced the first phase of a national program called "See Something Say Something" in a partnership with Amtrak through the nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting initiative. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in the press release, "Implementing a national suspicious activity reporting partnership with Amtrak and expanding the 'See Something Say Something' campaign strengthens our ability to guard against terrorism and crime."
July 2010: Seattle's Local Food Action Initiative (LFAI) has been working to improve the city's local food system to "advance the City of Seattle's interrelated goals of race and social justice, environmental sustainability, economic development, and emergency preparedness." Begun in 2008, Resolution 31019 was implemented after the city passed Resolution 30990 a "Zero Waste Strategy". LFAI's goals include increase support of local agriculture in the surrounding rural areas as well as in inner-city locations; reduce the carbon footprint of the city's food system; to support strategies to connect major institutions like hospitals, jails and schools to local food sourcing; and to "Build community through developing community gardens, promoting farmers' markets," and involving immigrant communities.
July 2010: In southern Alabama many shrimping communities along the Gulf Coast are populated by Vietnamese immigrants who do not speak English. Local officials have been working with BP and federal and state authorities to "connect emergency managers with Asian community leaders so they could get to know each other - and each other's needs," Daily Yonder reported. To help, BP recruited Mike Dillabler, "an expert in emergency management and a project director with the Community Foundation of Southern Alabama." Dillaber helped to pair Vietnamese translators with communities who spoke the same dialect so BP "could quickly begin interviewing and training local residents for work related to the spill."
June 2010: The Department of Homeland Security announced new voluntary accreditation and certification measures program to help the private sector coordinate with DHS in the event of an emergency a press release announced. DHS called the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep) a "major milestone" in working with the private sector to achieve one of the goals outlined by the 9/11 Commission. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said "These new standards will provide our private sector partners with the tools they need to enhance the readiness and resiliency of our nation."
June 2010: According to the Baltimore Sun though there are initial response plans for cooperation, currently, there is no specific emergency response system for the Chesapeake Bay should there be an accident from an oil spill. William C. Boicourt from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point told the Sun, "There is no functioning [emergency response] system on the Bay in the terms of what we can call operational." Officials with the Coast Guard did tell the Sun there are contingency efforts in coordination with federal, state and local officials to work with the "party responsible" for the accident who is ultimately in charge of cleanup efforts.
October 14 '08: Last week, October 8, the United Nations observed the International Day for Disaster Reduction. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said recent disasters such as Cyclone Nargis and the Wenchuan Earthquake have pushed highlighted the imperative for international disaster response initiatives and partnership for local, state and international communities and governments.
September 5 '08: As Tropical Storm Hanna heads toward the East Coast, federal emergency officials have announced a new partnership to spread information to the more web-focused populations who could be affected by severe weather. Agence France-Presse reported that officials at the Department of Homeland Security have partnered with the creators of Myspace to develop a widget that can link users to information about hurricanes, flooding, severe weather or other emergency alerts.
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.
July 24 '08: Last year, organizers from America's Emergency Network (AEN) announced a new public/private partnership providing a suite of communications technologies for the general public and state, local and federal emergency response officials and government agencies. AEN provides a website containing video feeds and bulletins issued by OEMs and other government agencies in addition to AEN-TV (for emergency response and government agencies) as well the radio based AlertFM warning system.
June 6 '08: During the ReadyCommunities Partnership Buffalo Symposium and planning session, members of the city, local and regional governments partnered with their business and community counterparts to plan and design a pilot project to help the community respond and recover from a disaster in the first 72 hours of a crisis. Through leveraging community resources, attendees developed several key points during the symposium which was opened by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
June 4 '08: First responders, local officials and community stakeholders will gather in Buffalo, New York today to discuss the upcoming Buffalo pilot program during a planning session and symposium with the ReadyCommunities Partnership working with symposium co-chairman Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Building on the Niagara's key location for commerce and security for both American and Canadian governments, RCP and Mayor Brown's office will work to design a pilot project planned for later this year.
May 20 '08: The Community and Regional Resilience Initiative (CARRI) is a federally-funded program under the Southeast Region Research Initiative and led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory which seeks to build partnerships among stakeholders to increase resiliency in all sectors so that in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, a community will have the necessary means to respond and recover quickly. Currently, CARRI organizers have worked with three communities in the Southeast to "enrich the knowledge bases available to other communities," according to Corporate Research Fellow Thomas J. Wilbanks from Oak Ridge.
May 15 '08: The House Committee on Homeland Security recently held a hearing to discuss partnerships with the private sector to improve disaster response, and infrastructure resiliency, Homeland Security Watch wrote. The hearing, entitled "Partnering with the Private Sector to Secure Critical Infrastructure: Has the Department of Homeland Security Abandoned the Resiliency-based Approach?" is part of a month-long series of hearings dedicated to resiliency.
April 30 '08: The Associated Press reported federal officials from the US Coast Guard asking private boat owners for their participation in helping to prevent a terrorist attack from small boats, similar to the 2000 attacks in Yemen. According to the National Marine Manufactures Association, there are currently 18 million small boats in US waters, the AP reported.
April 30 '08: Members of US and Mexican federal, state and local emergency response agencies and government officials have announced a partnership targeting cross-border disaster preparedness training and response. The disaster training is conducted through the US-Mexiao Border 2012 Program which has joined multiple US and Mexican federal agencies together.
April 22 '08: The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security has posted the new 2008 - 2013 FEMA Strategic Plans which were announced recently. The five-year plan outlines the goals and missions of the federal agency in working with federal, state, local and private sector stakeholders and officials to respond, prepare and recover from national, natural and man-made emergencies through five state goals.
April 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: A new report released by the American Water Works Association in partnership with DHS focuses on the best practices which will help to secure the nation's critical water infrastructure, Washington Technology reported.
March 28 '08: In a press release the DC Safetyautomobile emergency preparedness kit company has announced a new partnership with luxury auto maker DiMora Motorcar to provide first aid and emergency response mobile kits for the Natalia SLS 2 sedan.
March 24 '08: The Star Bulletin reported a partnership of 12 hospitals across Hawaii which participated in a mock bioterror response drill. The exercise, conducted in partnership by the state's Department of Health and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii simulated exposure to anthrax and was meant to simulate the activation of the Strategic National Stockpile, a press release read. (Additional reading here, and here.)
March 19 '08: The Naples Daily News reported that local emergency response officials recently employed the help of local high school students at a nearby college when conducting an emergency response exercise simulating a crash. "The exercise," the Naples Daily News reported, "are also giving ... Lee County School District's three comprehensive high schools - a front row sear to the careers they've been training for in their schools' career academies."
March 13 '08 Duos Technologies announced in February that it had partnered with Baptist Health Enterprises to upgrade the hospital system's security and surveillance network, a press release announced. Baptist Health is the largest non-proft healthcare provider in the state.
March 10 '08: The Homeland Security Watch blog has reported that the National Cyber Security Division of DHS is planning a second national cyber exercise called Cyber Storm II which will partner public, private and international agencies and organizations.
March 10 '08: The Chicago Sun-Times reported a new program begun by Mayor Richard Daley to link the city's public schools' 4500 surveillance cameras into a network which can be accessed by police and first responders. The addition of the public schools' cameras will augment the existing 10,000 public and private cameras already being monitored by the city's law enforcement agencies.
March 7 '08: The Navy has partnered with Northrop Grumman to build the Law Enforcement Information Exchange, also known as LInx, the Washington Post reported. The system currently joins more than 400 law enforcement agencies together. Linx is also used by 100 police agencies in the National Capital Region.
March 6 '08: The Washington Post reported local law enforcement agencies around the country are linking their resources together through an online database allowing them to partner and share information. The technology, called Coplink was developed by Knowledge Computing Corporation and has been used by law enforcement agencies in Missouri who decided to pool their resources and federal grants to use the information-sharing network.
March 4 '08: A new technology has been developed by an Australian company which derives energy from ceramic cells that can also double as mini-power stations, Reuters reported. The company, Ceramic Fuel Cells Unlimited has just signed a large contract with the Dutch energy firm Nuon to install the cells into Dutch homes by the end of 2009.
March 3 '08: Wi4Net has announced a new partnership with the City of Milwaukee to install wireless surveillance cameras and a network monitoring facility, a press release announced. Along with the partnership is Pivot3 Inc., makers of high capacity and high definition digital storage.
March 3 '08: Washington Technology reported that L-3 subsidiary MPRI Inc. will partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help train federal agency "with preparedness training and simulation exercises to cope with a wide range of hazards, including acts of bioterrorism and pandemic outbreaks," WashTech reported.
February 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 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: The InfraGard public/private partnership was developed by the FBI and it pairs private sector infrastructure stakeholders with federal officials to share information and protect the nation's resources. InfraGard "is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prvent hostile acts against the United States," the website said.
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.
January 31 '08: A collaborative project is practicing professional health care providers in South Carolina "for bioterrorism and public health emergency event recognition and response." The group is called the Disaster Preparedness and Response Training Network and it is funded through a $3.5 million federal grant from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the Department of Health and Human Services.
January 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 18 '08: The New York Interfaith Disaster Services was established in 2003 after the attacks on 9/11. The 501(c)(3)'s mission is to provide "disaster readiness, response and recovery services for New York City." NYDIS' mission in disaster recovery includes "all phases of a disaster life cycle, including sustained advocacy, mitigation education, preparedness training, disaster planning, and recovery programs."
January 15 '08: Hope Coalition America is an organization working to help mitigate the economic damages caused to families and organizations after a disaster happens. On their website, the organization said it also "serves as a resource network of companies, including banking, financial services, and insurance as well as government social service and emergency relief organizations that mobilize to respond to disasters."
January 9 '08: In a press release Kentucky state officials announced a public/private partnership which would join members of the retail and pharmacy industries to help promote disaster and emergency preparedness education through brochure distribution. About 250,000 brochures were sent out to families with accompanying information at the state's family preparedness website.
January 8 '08: The makers of the Hexayurt, a portable and quick-setup emergency shelter have been working on the Disastr.org emergency evacuation plan for cities and communities using a peer-to-peer resource allocation process which would provide sheltering for potentially hundreds of thousands of people. The value of having portable emergency shelters using scant resources was evident when the company participated in the 2006 Strong Angel III exercise, the New York Times reported.
January 3 '08 In December, the New York Times ran a story covering companies and organizations' participation in working to help communities respond to disasters in the immediate aftermath. At the heart, experts told the Times that "managers and executives need to collaborate with outsiders like local officials and charities, ideally on a continuing basis, and not only in the midst of a crisis."
January 2 '08 The New York City's Office of Emergency Management has begun an online community business resource tool to help during a response to a disaster. The Private Asset and Logistics Management System (PALMS) is a private sector registry resource designed to enhance the Citywide Asset and Logistics Management System (CALMS).
December 17 '07: U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will deliver the keynote address at next week’s National Congress for Secure Communities, a two-day forum dedicated to leveraging public/private partnerships for disaster preparedness and response at the community level.
December 10 '07: A partnership of response and technology organizations has announced a new initiative to "improve interoperable, inter-organizational communications and information sharing for emergency preparedness, response and recovery," a press release announced. The Core Services Initiative is being pushed by the COMCARE Emergency Response Alliance, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.,, the National Emergency Number Association, and the National Association of State Fire Marshals. COMCARE Director Steve Cooper said the initiative would work to develop "Core Services" of "shared information technology services 'in the middle'".
December 10 '07: iBerkshires.com reported that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has announced a new Statewide Communications and Interoperability Plan to link first responders. The program was developed by state officials working with interoperable public safety company Science Applications International Corp.. More than 200 participants from state and local agencies helped to identify key areas for development during 22 focus groups.
December 5 '07: The Medical University of South Carolina, a National Congress partner, announced in a press release earlier this fall, that they would begin a five-year study on the effects of disasters on mental health through a federal grant totaling $3.89 million from the National Institutes of Health. The study would coincide with the creation of the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research with the cooperation of Dartmouth Medical School, the University of Michigan, Yale University and the University of Oklahoma.
November 29 '07: In a press release, the Small Business Administration and Nationwide Insurance have announced a new set of disaster preparedness guides which will be available to small business owners. The announcement will be made next week in Washington D.C., the press release said. Officials from both organizations said that the guides will be in digital and physical form.
November 16 '07: The Federal Communications Commission has announced a new push to link rural hospitals to urban doctors through the Internet, WBBM AM 780 reported. "Speaking in Chicago, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin outlined the $400 million Rural Health Care pilot program which he says will link 6,000 hospitals, clinics and research facilities in 43 states."
November 14 '07: According to Science Daily, a new report released by the peer-reviewed International Journal of Emergency Management, has said that "an increase in the complexity of disasters [has made] it more difficult to manage a response" between local and state communities and the private sector. The report found, "It will be the responsibility of citizens and local government officials to work together to adapt the programmes [sic] to their communities' preparedness needs."
November 12, 2007 In a press release from Princeton University, computer scientists have announced a new architecture "that enables the secure transmission of crucial rescue information to first responders during events such as natural disasters, fires or terrorist attacks." According to a story in NetworkWorld, the new framework allows first responders to exchange sensitive information on a "as-needed basis".
November 9 '07: Local police officers in Athens County, Ohio and the City of Columbus will begin to train for real-life response situations using virtual technology developed by Ohio University's School of Telecommunications and Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID), the Athens News reported. The new virtual training technology was developed through local homeland security grants totaling $702,000.
November 8 '07: In Los Lunas, New Mexico, first responders will begin to use WiFi to communicate interoperably using the one of the largest wireless communications system of its type in North America, a press release has announced. The network was established by Vivato Networks which was recently acquired byCatcher Holdings Inc.. Responders will use laptop and mobile devices developed by Catcher.
November 1 '07: According to Government Technology, a new set of two multi-language preparedness guides in New York are working to elevate the level of children's preparedness in the city through a partnership between New York's local government organizations and the city's department of education, a press release read.
October 31 '07: WTAE TV 4 in Pittsburgh has reported that the University of Pittsburgh's Center for National Preparedness has been working on a new online information and resource collaborative tool called the Dynamic Discrete Disaster Decision Simulation System much like the Essential Public Network, although Pitt's resource is targeted toward the local community.
October 26 '07: Last year the United Nations established the "United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response" (UN SPIDER) to facilitate international response to disasters using satellite technology. In a press release, UN officials said that using satellite technology, developing nations and communities in remote areas would have greater access to sensitive real-time information while international relief organizations would have greater situational awareness.
October 24 '07: Information sharing and situational awareness company, NC4 has announced, a new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to provide "a trusted secure platform for the rapid dissemination of intelligence data at the (Controlled Unclassified Information) CUI level to 10,000 users" which will include public and private sector recipients on the federal, state, local and tribal levels.
October 17 '07: According to a press release, the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission (MERC) with the Red Cross' Oregon Trail Chapter to develop a first-of-its-kind mega-shleter "agreement of its kind in Oregon that provides response and coordination of services and operations during major emergency and disaster relief efforts."
October 16 '07: In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, one of the salient problems facing those residents along the Gulf Coast was their ability to prove who they were to be able to receive the necessary services for recovery after the storm. Identity theft was rampant, and today is a growing problem for many people and corporations. In a press release today, a new initiative has been launched which partners industry, government, and academic organizations together "to develop and promote standards for identity credentials."
October 10 '07: The White House released a fact sheet on Tuesday detailing the new National Strategy for Homeland Security. The NSHS provides a "national" and not a "federal" outline for how state, local and tribal communities should prepare for and respond to national emergencies. This new version of the NSHS is an update to 2002 version and "complements both the National Security Strategy ... and the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism," the Bush administration said.
October 2 '07: In Vermont, the Rutherland Herald ran a story from the Associated Press about a new satellite phone system which is being planned for the rural parts of the state to help emergency response officials. The $1 billion system is expected to go online next year and will help "fill in the gaps in radio and cell phone communications."
October 1 '07: Volunteers, members of the Lehigh County Emergency Response Team and the Allentown Health Bureau in Allentown, Pennsylvania were on-hand at the local Wegmans Food Markets over the weekend, passing out emergency preparedness information and locally-produced emergency preparedness DVD's, the Morning Call reported.
September 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 26 '07: The Associated Press reported that more than 2,700 financial institutions will participate in a cyber pandemic preparedness drill under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The drill, which began at the beginning of the week, "is scheduled to run for three weeks," and will cover topics such as absenteeism, the transfer of money and the economic infrastructure's security during a bird flu outbreak.
September 25 '07: A new report released by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's administration has outlined several steps the state can take to improve its homeland security operations, and response and recovery outreach to local business and residential communities the Boston Herald reported.
September 24 '07: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported over the weekend that Drexel University, the National Resource Center Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities, and the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have partnered to release a new report looking at minority populations' preparedness and the ways in which those communities can become more involved in their larger state, regional and national preparedness programs.
September 21 '07: Congressional Quarterly reported several pilot programs developed and organized by the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association - a partner with the National Congress for Secure Communities - which are using existing relationships between businesses to help federal, state and local governments respond to disasters.
September 19 '07: Government Technology News reported a partnership in San Jose, California which is partnering the local police department with an Internet map mashup startup to provide maps for community residents so they know if crimes have occurred in their area.
September 17 '07: The Press Telegram in Long Beach, California reported that the Red Cross has partnered with local business leaders to promote greater business preparedness - specifically earthquake preparedness.
September 14 '07: In Walnut Creek, California local city officials are partnering with the Red Cross and the Church of Latter Day Saints to hold an emergency preparedness fair at the Heather Farm Community Center, the Contra Costa Times reported. The fair was being held this week to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11.
September 13 '07: In Elmira Township, Michigan a local amateur radio group is hosting emergency preparedness classes and expos to help educate the local community on ways to prepare and develop strategies to mitigate disasters, the Gaylord Herald Times reported. The radio group, called the Northern Michigan Amateur Radio Emergency Services Group will host the classes for free.
September 13 '07: At Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois,, an emergency preparedness expo, hosted by the McCormick Tribune Foundation will work to help raise emergency preparedness issues for the local community, the Hindsdale, IL Suburban News reported. About 13 booths will display demonstrations and information on how to protect and prepare families.
September 12 '07: PC World reported that several Internet tech firms have partnered with computer users to search for the missing adventurer Steve Fossett, who disappeared last week when scouting speed trial locations in the Nevadan desert last week. The companies cooperating to look for Fossett are Google Earth, Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk and GeoEye.
September 12 '07: More than 35 federal, state and local agencies and 200 to 300 officials, responders and community volunteers participated in a mock train derailment/chemical spill disaster exercise in Portage, Wisconsin in cooperation with Canadian Pacific Railroad the Portage Daily Register reported.
September 11 '07: PC World reported that a new consortium of security vendors "is trying to make it easier for emergency personnel to identify themselves at the scene of the disaster." The group, called Tiers of Trust, first will focus on local and state response offices, with the hopes of creating a "nationwide ID system that will prevent the logistical snafus that first responders experienced during" the attacks on 9/11.
September 11 '07: In New York City, on the six anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Washington D.C., New York the crashed Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, area hospitals and health organizations are working to incorporate best practices and lessons learned through collaborative symposia and conferences, the New York Sun reported. Among those held, the New York Downtown Hospital is holding its fifth annual emergency preparedness symposium.
September 10 '07: In Louisiana, state and local emergency officials have additional help during disasters through a partnership between veterinarians, university health representatives and first responders. The Louisiana State Animal Response Team has published an emergency preparedness manual for pet owners and has held summits focusing on best practices for the veterinarian community.
September 5 '07: In late August when Hurricane Dean plowed through the Caribbean Sea, response officials in the Cayman Islands worked with the Red Cross and telecomm company WestTel to provide communications capabilities before, during and after the storm, Cayman Net News reported.
September 4 '07: A Department of Homeland Security press release announced the beginning of the fourth annual National Preparedness Month. More than 1,700 federal, state and local governments and private organizations, businesses and religious groups are participating in the month-long campaign.
August 30 '07: The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a consortium of the nation's largest financial services designed to share timely information about emergencies and disasters, has chosen Message One's AlertFind notification system to help spread alert messaging, ByteandSwtich.com reported.
August 29 '07: In a press release, chemical and railroad industry experts announced training programs for California first responders through a partnership called Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response. TRANSCAER, started in 1986, is a partnership designed to teach best practices to those responding to chemical and railroad disasters.
August 28 '07: The New York Times reported one insurance company helping to protect its clients' assets from wildfires in Western states by deploying fire prevention crews to spray houses with retardant. AIG Insurance "has deployed a crew to Idaho as part of its Wildfire Protection Unit for high-end clients who are willing to pay what the company says is an average of $10,000 annually for homeowner's insurance."
August 22 '07: Inhabitat reported that in the aftermath of the 2007 Peru Earthquake which has already claimed 500 people, the architecture group Architecture for Humanity has begun to look for donations to help response and recovery efforts for more stable and safer buildings in the affected communities.
August 16 '07: In a press release some of the largest healthcare organizations in the U.S. announced the formation of a new cooperative effort and partnership to help "the continued delivery of medicines during a severe public health emergency." The new partnership is called RxResponse and represents cooperation among private sector organizations and the federal government's Health and Human Services Department.
August 15 '07: In a press release, Jewish Hospital officials in Louisville, KY announced and internal preparedness exercise in July which "was able to integrate multiple software platforms," to help create an overall efficient situational awareness and response. The Operation Rapid Response "demonstrated synergies in advanced technologies," like the iMapData software from ChoicePoint and Tridium's Niagara Framework©.
August 14 '07: The Mid Hudson News reported that a group of four New York State colleges, Ulster, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Community College have partnered to form the Hudson Valley Domestic Preparedness Community College Consortium which will allow for collaborative learning for people looking to receive an education in emergency planning, fire protection technology, emergency management and medical services among other disciplines.
August 13 '07: On August 14 at the Middle Country Public Library on Long Island, New York, the Contingency Planning Exchange will host the Catastrophe Readiness Fair. The event seeks to help teach businesses how to respond and prepare for disasters. The fair anticipates September's National Preparedness Month the Long Island Business News reported.
August 9 '07: The U.S. Coast Guard will participate in a mock emergency exercise on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I with Norwegian Cruise Lines today the Coast Guard News reported. The one-day exercise is a full-scale operation officials said.
August 8 '07: August 7 was National Night Out and the Henry Daily Herald in Georgia reported local law enforcement efforts to engage the community "to learn how they can take a more active role in keeping their communities safe, while developing better relationships with the law enforcement community."
August 7 '07: A local radio station in Santa Clara, California reported on a partnership that the school district is forming to prepare students for emergencies as they begin to head back to school. Through a press release, the district announced the creation of the 12 Months of Preparedness which will focus each month on a different disaster and the ways to prepare for it.
August 6 '07: When the I-35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis last week, regular citizens at the scene began taking videos and photos of the disaster and then posting that information and media to internet sharing sites, blogs and community groups. The Boston Herald reported that emergency officials in Minneapolis have taken that information and are using it - actively cooperating with citizens who recorded the media.
August 1 '07: Texas businesses and state/local governments are working together to help bolster overall preparedness efforts since Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005. Under direction from the state's Division of Emergency Management, response officers from retailers and government officials are "conducting mock drills alongside" each other, the Houston Chronicle's story appearing in My San Antonio.com reported.
July 31 '07: In Florida, a new state response center's grand opening was coupled with calls from Governor Charles Crist to the community to be prepared for emergencies, the Insurance Journal reported. The "Get a Plan Day" program focuses on ways families can prepare for emergencies by making kits complete with water, batteries, first aid supplies and disaster planning guidelines.
July 27 '07: In Kentucky, the Jewish Hospital Medical Center South in Built County has been working with tech company FacilityOne© to develop situational awareness software to help resource and man-power management during a disaster, the Courier Journal in Louisville reported.
July 25 '07: The Grand Island News Independent in Nebraska reported that the surrounding community will be host to an emergency preparedness forum delivered by Sam's Club through a program the company has begun to raise awareness about community preparedness.
July 25 '07: In the United Kingdom, a partnership between academia, the scientific community and local emergency response organizations is working to "explore the interface between physical and social science approaches to managing disaster risk and uncertainty." The partnership, called the Science and POlice Interfaces for Disaster Reduction, or SPIDER Network, was founded in 2006 and is primarily focused on disaster mitigation research.
July 19 '07: After more than a year of planning, the "nation's critical infrastructure sectors still fall short on providing incentives to private owners to assess vulnerabilities and risks," Washington Technology reported according to a new GAO report (see report link below at bottom of article). The report encourages public/private partnerships to help develop security measures for the country's critical infrastructure as a way of speeding-up the process.
July 16 '07: The Rutland Herald in Vermont reported that to help senior citizens after a disaster the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) has been holding community hearings built around providing information about disaster preparedness after a state-wide storm in April which left about 50,000 without power.
July 13 '07: The Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance website was begun as a cooperative effort between the National Endowment for the Humanities and a database resource called Hypatia to help museums, libraries, historical societies and archives prepare for disasters.
July 12 '07: As the world's populations move toward urban areas, more than 60 percent of all people by 2030 will live in cities, the Rockefeller Foundation reported. To build more sustainable and prepared cities, the foundation sponsored the Urban Summit along with the Center for Sustainable Urban Development, and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Issues discussed included ways to increase the health and response mechanisms inside urban areas to help people face challenges such as droughts, disasters and emergencies, and changes to climate.
July 6 '07: SavannahNow.com reported that the Minor League Baseball team the Savannah Sand Gnats are partnering with the Department of Homeland Security and the Boy Scouts of America for the fourth annual "Ready Night" to teach emergency preparedness in the community.
July 3 '07: In East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, members of the local community have partnered with the Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness and the Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inc. to help deaf and blind residents with emergency preparedness through a training event, the The Advocate reported.
June 29 '07: The Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness is hosting the in Toronto, Ontario in July which will bring representatives from the private and public sectors from around the world to exhibit and display best practices, new technologies, preparedness services and disaster management solutions, a press release read.
June 28 '07: In El Paso, Texas, on June 28 a partnership between the city's mayor office, academia and the business community is partnering to hold an emergency preparedness seminar designed to help small businesses in the area, develop business continuity plans, the El Paso Times reported.
June 27 '07: In Central Florida, a federal Homeland Security grant totaling almost $1 million will go toward training the LYNX busline employees to help train them to spot potential terrorists and criminals, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
June 27 '07: When hurricanes threaten Texas coastal communities, evacuations are slowed when motorists run out of gas, only to find that fuel supplies are limited along the designated evacuation routes. To help mitigate gas shortages, Texas Governor Rick Perry implemented a Task Force on Evacuation, Transportation, and Logistics which was developed with the partnership of oil companies Shell, Citgo, Chevron, Valero, ConocoPhilips, Exxon Mobil and Marathon, the Associated Press reported.
June 25 07: The IndyStar.com website reported that a suburb of Indianapolis, Beech Grove, has been working to build a city-wide WiFi network which will have a public safety portal and a public access network. The new network will be the second to be installed in the Indianapolis metro area, IndyStar reported.
June 20 '07: A press release from the National Emergency Number Association announced a partnership designed to help maintain hearing impaired technology. The new partnership will target populations with emergency call services using the 9-1-1 centers equipped with the Positron Public Safety Systems technology.
June 19 '07: A large partnership of federal, state governments, public health officials in Hawaii, Yale University's School of Medicine, and the University of Hawaii Manoa have announced a continual medical education course for public health officials online, the Honolulu Advertiser reported. The course, Pacific Emergency Management, Preparedness and Response Information Network and Training Services is the first of its kind in the U.S.
June 19 '07: In the Seattle metro area at the end of the week, telecom Qwest will partner with National Emergency Number Association for the Connect for Safety Initiative to help raise 9-1-1 call service awareness and best practices for families in the area, a press release announced.
June 18 '07: The Corporation for National & Community Service has announced that it will increase its disaster response and preparedness efforts in the Gulf Coast area as well as other parts of the country through greater cooperation with state and local governments. In its press release, the agency said it will "develop common objectives and measurable targets to make the national service enterprise even more effective in its disaster preparedness and response work."
June 12 '07: Members of the private sector, local and state governments, and medical officials and experts are gathered in Washington DC for the Healthier America Summit. According to a press release in addition to general health issues, participants are working to find ways to increase community pandemic preparedness.
June 8 '07: Reuters reported that IBM has released pandemic prediction software which will be donated to public health officials to help predict and mitigate any possible international health emergency. The software, called Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler or STEM will be available to more than 20 health agencies worldwide.
June 4 '07: In what is a first of its kind, Boeing has announced a partnership with the FBI to place staff analysts at a Seattle FBI Fusion Center intelligence sharing office "to set an example of how private owners of critical infrastructure can get involved in such centers to generate and receive criminal and anti-terrorism intelligence," Washington Technology News reported.
June 4 '07: Government Technology News reported that New York Governor Elliot Spitzer has announced the creation of two new web-based emergency alert systems for residents of his state. One of the systems, NY-DELIVER, will leverage public/private assets and operations while NY-ALERT will work to handle weather related emergencies, a New York State Emergency Management Office press release read.
June 1 '07: New American Media, which focuses on minotiry-based issues in the U.S., reported that California electric company Pacific Gas & Electric recently partnered with the ethnic journalist community in San Francisco to hold a roundtable discussion about ways to increase the public education on energy conservation, climate change and the ways in which it will affect those communities' first response.
May 31 '07: The Homeland Security Watch blog has posted an article about the public/private partnership between the Canadian Defense Department's R&D agency and Battelle "to produce a schematic illustrating a 'preliminary analysis on the economic impact of a nuclear weapon event in Vancouver.'"
May 31 '07: If a terrorist group were to strike the Los Angeles metro area, about half of the residents in the city would not follow mandatory evacuation orders issued by local officials, the Los Angeles Times reported. The findings were based on a poll conducted by the city's Department of Health Services and it was to be released on May 31.
May 30 '07: The main information-sharing network for the Department of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security Information Network, needs more focus and cooperation from the private sector if it is to success as an efficient and reliable source of intelligence, security experts told Washington Technology reported.
May 25 '07: In Philadelphia, city officials said they are hoping a public/private partnership to introduce a city-wide wireless internet network is one step closer to realization with the approval of a 15-square mile testing zone, Information Week reported. If the testing zone is successful, city officials will begin working to construct the larger 135-square mile WiFi network.
May 22 '07: Dartmouth College has announced the release of a new virtual training tool for first responders which focuses on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive emergencies. The new computer-based tool has more than 16 hours of training material and is the first course in the college's Interactive Media Laboratory's Virtual Terrorism Response Academy.
May 22 '07: Consolidated Edison Inc. and the Department of Homeland Security will partner in a $39.3 million federally funded project dubbed "Project Hydra" to increase the resiliency of New York City's electric grid by installing new superconducter power lines to help prevent blackouts caused by power surges, the Associated Press reported.
May 21 '07: Community Emergency Response Teams have been forming in the Manatee area in Florida to prepare for the summer heat, fire season and hurricane season, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune report via LexisNexis. Art Wessan, a CERT volunteer in University Park told the paper the members of his community "are the firs responders in the event of a cataclysmic event that has 911 overwhelmed like a (Hurricane) Katrina situation."
May 21 '07: On Tuesday, May 22 the Ford Motor Company and Michigan State University will participate in a disaster preparedness and response competition to test the car company's ability to address emergency situations, an MSU press release announced.
May 15 '07: World mayors gathered in New York City for a climate change conference focusing on ways that world's largest cities could work to prepare and respond to rising global temperatures, the Associated Press reported. The conference was hosted by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
May 10 '07: About one-third of Americans are not ready to respond to a disaster according to a new poll released by the American Public Health Association, the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy reported. In the poll most said that they knew they were not prepared enough.
May 8 '07: The Associated Press reported that after the recent tanker crash in California which destroyed a major overpass in the San Francisco metro area, online mapping engineers quickly worked to revise their software to re-route people away from the site of the accident - a move toward quicker updating that could also help first responders and emergency personnel.
May 3 '07: South Carolina Department of Health officials, along with Catawba Indian Nation tribal officials and Logical Images have partnered to introduce new telemedicine technology which will help 65 rural state hospitals as well as urban area medical centers, share visual information through a system called VisualDx, designed for remote information sharing and diagnosis, a press release announced.
May 3 '07: In Terre Haute, Indiana, local city, medical, hospital and state officials have partnered to underwrite and film a pandemic preparedness video which will be put into DVD format for circulation throughout the state, the Tribune Star reported. Officials told the Star that after several discussions, a pandemic preparedness film would be the best way to reach a large audience.
May 2 '07: Northrop Grumman Corp. and the Fire Department of New York participated in a wireless communications network exercise at 7 World Trade Center recently to test new information-sharing technologies, the Associated Press reported. During the exercise, officials tested their ability to send video surveillance to remote locations for situational awareness and real-time field evaluations.
May 1 '07: Federal officials from the U.S. Department of Personnel Management are working with Geospatial Experts to map critical infrastructure through the Critical Infrastructure Protection Seminar.
April 27 '07: Kentucky Department of Homeland Security officials have partnered with Wolf Creek Dam construction engineers in the southern part of the state to install a warning system to alert the 17,500 residents in the four counties under the dam in case of an accidental water release from Lake Cumberland due to construction, ComputerWorld reported.
April 26 '07: Seismologists, state and local officials and other officials in California are considering a new plan for short earthquake alert systems which would send out a warning 10 to 20 seconds after the epicenter releases its first wave to outlying areas, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
April 25 '07: The Huntsville Stars baseball team will partner with the Boy Scouts of American and the Department of Homeland Security on May 19, to help spread information about community involvement and preparedness.
April 25 '07: CNET reported that the Federal Communications Commission will announce rules for a new spectrum auction soon so that guidelines can be issued to help rural locales, and small businesses gain access to the available broadband spectrum. The spectrum's availability comes as the federal government moves television from analogue into digital.
April 20 '07: Government Technology reported that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Fritz Institute will partner to coalesce public and private sector leaders' skills to increase the city's emergency preparedness and response capabilities through the Bay Area Preparedness Initiative.
April 16 '07: A new community-based elementary school preparedness program, developed by Symetra Financial and the National Brokerage Consortium with help from the Department of Homeland Security's National Office of Citizen Corps, will be launched with the goal of helping elementary school students, faculty and administrators a press release announced.
April 13 '07: Severe weather experts, state and local government officials and emergency response personnel were on-hand in Baltimore for the 22nd Annual Severe Storms Awareness Conference, a local NBC affiliate, WBAL reported.
April 12 '07: In East Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the Post Gazette reported that local Quaker Valley school nurse Darcy Yeloushan has been working with here counterparts on the state level to prepare the school and the surrounding area for a flu pandemic by developing a response plan.
April 11 '07: Members of the University of Massachusetts' Medical Response Corps will participate in an emergency response drill with the cooperation of community and local health and government leaders, the Daily Collegian reported. The exercises will coincide with other similar drills in Western Massachusetts.
April 11 '07: WiFi-Planet reported that in Richmond, Virginia emergency response service officials have been working with the communications technology company InMotion to create seamless wireless communications and data-transfer networks to help with response operations.
April 10 '07: The National Fire Protection Association has released a new guide to help disabled persons safely evacuate an area in case of a fire. The NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide "was developed with input from the disability community to provide general information," to help during a fire emergency.
April 5 '07: In Maryland this month, more than 50 organizations have participated in emergency preparedness training sessions designed to raise awareness about the special needs community and how families of members of those communities can prepare for disasters. A Center for Disability and Special Needs Preparedness press release announced.
April 4 '07: A federally-funded report compiled by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Biodiversity found that a local Pennsylvania community-based civic engagement plan designed to prepare the community for pandemic response was the most effective route to mitigating an outbreak of disease, the Tribune Review reported.
April 2 '07: According to a new report released by the Government Accountability Office, the Emergency Alert System's primary actors - the media and the federal government - need to find a way to improve and integrate the system to help it become more effective in alerting the public during times of national emergency.
March 30 '07: The nation's first state health information network soon will go online in Delaware, Government Health IT reported. The network will link the state's health and hospital officials together so that they can share data, toxicology results, X-rays, and other health-related information.
March 30 '07: Funding from the National Science Foundation will go to help a joint project designed to simulate the spread of infectious diseases through the use of the TeraGrid, Carolina Newswire reported. The grid, the world's largest cyber-infrastructure, will be monitored by RTI International and the Virginia Biometrics Institute at Virginia Tech.
March 27 '07: Colorado officials said they have recently begun to use several types of visual mapping technology along with web-based location tracking software to create a "mashup" application which can locate specific events and also give accurate weather forecasts for the area to help responders adequately adjust, FCW.com reported.
March 23 '07: The Associated Press reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have partnered withe General Motor Corp.'s OnStar service to help improve response times to automobile accidents. On Wednesday, General Motors announced "a partnership with federal health officials to create guidelines ... for the use of real-time crash data to help emergency services."
March 21 '07: Medical specialists at the Johns Hopkins University have developed new free medical disaster response software for hospital officials to help calculate "the impact of such crises as a flu epidemic, bioterrorist attack, flood or plane crash," the JHU Gazette reported.
March 20 '07: The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Port of New Orleans have entered into an agreement whose goal would be to mitigate the impact of any future hurricane along the Gulf Coast, a FEMA press release announced. About $50,000 in federal funding was earmarked for the project.
March 19 '07: The state of Michigan and the federal government are cooperating in an exercise to test the state's ability to mobilize volunteers "in the event of a federal public heath emergency," a press release from the Michigan Department of Community Health. Among those participating in the exercise: the Office of Public Health Preparedness and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
March 16 '07: IBM and Brownville, Texas have announced a partnership to employ new wireless communications technology to boost the city agencies' capabilities, Telecommunications Magazine reported. The $4 million agreement will target the development of WiMax-WiFi capabilities.
March 12 '07: The office of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell issued a press release announcing the week of March 11 - 17 as "Weather Emergency Preparedness Week," to help state, local, and county officials "test plans and procedure for response to severe weather conditions."
March 6 '07: Arizona lawmakers voted recently to create a citizen responder corps much like the National Guard, but with the mission to help local and state first responders during a natural or man-made disaster, the Yuma Sun reported.
March 5 '07: Tribal members from the Confederated Salish-Kootenai and Blackfoot tribes have been taking an 18-month course to train for hazmat disaster response, the Daily Interlake reported. The 24-member crew, called the Hazardous Action Workers Keeping Safe (HAWKS) "will be specialists on how to handle hazardous materials and what to do in the event of "agro-terrorism", the Daily reported.
March 5 '07: School officials at the University of California at Berkley have announced a new disaster communications system called the People Locator to help inform students, faculty and employees of the university The Daily Californian reported.
February 27 '07: The Brandenton Herald reported recent efforts in the Lakewood Ranch area near Sarasota to organize community members to be prepared for disasters. Joan Robbins, a retired nurse who moved to the area in 2004 with her husband, has been credited with organizing the community's emergency preparedness committee and for mobilizing the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
February 22 '07: During a national or regional emergency, power will remain unavailable to residents for long periods of time. In addition to no electricity, general services such as telephone services would prevent people from calling emergency management officials. Cell phones would work only as long as they can hold a charge and so American Legion members in Palisades, California have volunteered to set up an amateur radio station to help with disaster communications for the community, the Palisadean Post reported.
February 21 '07: In Burton, Michigan, students at Faith High School are working with local firefighters to train for the Student Emergency Response Team certificate in the hopes that they will be able to help first responders in the event of a disaster that affects their schools, the Flint Journal reported via LexisNexis.
February 19 '07: In Bothell, Washington, the city council has announced a community-wide plan that will target every household to develop a broad foundational level of emergency response a press release announced. The plan, called "Operation: Every House Prepared," will begin March 3 with the city delivering 15,000 emergency preparedness informational packets to citizens in the City of Bothell, and the Snohomish County Fire Protection District #10 households.
February 19 '07: 14 students from Smithsburg High School in Washington County, Maryland participated in a Community Emergency Response Team training seminar sponsored by the local volunteer fire department, the Herald-Mail reported. In addition to the high school students, members of a local Boy Scout troop participated.
February 19 '07: According to federal guidelines issued earlier this month, the focus of pandemic response should rely on the local level with state and local community organizations working to install a chain of command and communication to help keep communities running. The Episcopal Church announced their pandemic preparedness and response plans for all dioceses and parishes recently.
February 15 '07: In Palm Beach County, Florida, a group of hospitals, medical responder agencies and non profit organizations have been working to share information, training experience and resources to help prepare for a medical, natural or man made disaster, the Palm Beach Post reported.
February 14 '07: In 2006 about 115 organizations, government agencies and members of the private sector participated in Cyber Storm which tested the government and industry's ability to respond and communicate during a simulated cyberterrorist attack. InfoWorld reported that a new Cyber Storm is being planned for 2008 and will include outside industries such as the chemical and nuclear energy industries.
February 8 '07: In Nevada, several 4-H groups have developed a pilot plan that helps to train community children in emergency preparedness, the Nevada Appeal News reported. The program, called the Community Readiness Network, was begun in several western states through the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security and 4-H.
February 7 '07: A new Internet emergency preparedness and response information clearinghouse has been developed for school administrators and educators with a focus on school safety, eSchool News reported. The New School Actions for Emergencies Center (SAFE) is a joint project of the eSchool News publication and the International Society for Technology in Education.
February 5 '07: A Dallas Morning News story reported in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services via LexisNexis found high school students in the Dallas area were helping first responders by learning to use and operate ham radios. The amateur radio club begun at Rowlett High School pairs the students with adult sponsors who teach the kids about the technology, how to communicate and the uses of the radios.
January 31 '07: From 1811 to 1812, three massive earthquakes struck along the New Madrid Seismic Zone in Missouri causing massive damage to villages and towns in an area hundreds of miles in diameter. To raise earthquake awareness in the area on the upcoming anniversary of the quakes on February 7, Disaster News reported local and state emergency management agencies and seismologists urging people to prepare themselves for another large temblor.
January 29 '07: Working with school administrators, faculty, students, the local police departments, campus law enforcement and emergency response experts, Humboldt State University ran a mock disaster scenario to test the community's and school's disaster preparedness, the Times Standard reported. The day-long exercise was overseen by former FEMA Director James Lee Witt's disaster preparedness organization.
January 26 '07: Researchers at the Louisiana State Medical Society Educational and Research Foundation have received a grant totaling $254,000 from the Physician's Foundation for Health Systems Excellence to conduct a study analyzing state and local emergency evacuation and preparation plans during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Shreveport Times reported.
January 24 '07: In South Dakota, responders participating in a terrorism response exercise said experience was the best teacher, reported. The recent statewide exercise sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Health gave responders and government leaders valuable lessons-learned for future events officials said.
January 24 '07: In Gary, Indiana, first responders are working with local medical, utility and government officials to develop a resource guide which would serve as an important reference to help the local Gary community stay prepared and ready for a disaster for the first 72 hours the Post-Tribune reported.
January 23 '07: Members of the local community, government officials, disaster responders, and private organizations gathered from the Atmore and Escambia counties in Alabama recently to hold a disaster preparedness and response town hall-type meeting, the local Atmore Advance reported. The focus of the meeting was to plan a community-wide disaster drill "to test the response of emergency workers, public and private."
January 16: Federal, state and local law enforcement officials are working with college professors in Vermont to help detect and reduce cyber crime according to a news release posted on the GovernmentTechnology website. A federal grant totaling $650,000 will go to fund the operations based at the Champlain College Center for Digital Investigation.
January 15: Local residents in Amherst, New York will be able to attend a series of classes over a four-week period that will focus on community disaster response and preparedness, the Amherst Record reported. The classes, 20 hours in total, will work with the local Amherst Department of Emergency Services and Safety with the sponsorship of the Department of Homeland Security's Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT).
January 12: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new research grants aimed at funding information-sharing programs between healthcare providers and medical responders, a press release announced. Overall, the goal of the grants will be to create a foundation upon which a national, digital information-sharing and surveillance network is established, officials said.
January 11: Business leaders and the public officials will participate in a meeting designed to unite the two groups under the umbrella of emergency preparedness "so companies and organizations can implement disaster response plans during 2007," a Town Hall Los Angeles press release reported. The Town Hall group's focus and mission, according to Town Hall President Jon Gordon, "is to promote civic participation and awareness by hosting events on issues critical to our region."
January 11: During a disaster, Washington D.C.-area hospitals are left out in the cold when it comes to critical field information thus many hospital officials rely on media reports to know the current state of affairs, the Washington Times reported Thursday.
January 11: Three technology firms have partnered with local mine operating companies in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Alabama to create a wireless communications system to connect miners with the outside world. The new technology allows calls to be placed during a disaster in the hopes that 2006 mine disasters will not be repeated, InformationWeek reported.
January 9 '07: Using existing electrical lines built into a building's walls the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration has partnered with technology companies to design broadband communications networks which would provide a wireless intranet system at the nation's airports, InformationWeek reported in its January 8 issue.
January 8 '07: Recently, the Washington D.C. metro area received high marks for its first responders' ability to communicate and efficiently share information regarding a disaster. A press release detailed some of the reasons for the area's ability to become more flexible in sharing information citing low training thresholds and the ease with which the communications equipment can be obtained and distributed.
January 5 '07: Wal-Mart is considering a move to solar power for its retail stores in an effort to reduce the company's carbon footprint. The move also will increase the retailer's ability to become less power grid-reliant which will improve the company's energy preparedness, CNET news reported.
January 4 '07: The Department of Homeland Security has announced its first annual University Network Summit on Research and Education that will join members of the private sector, academia and the public sector to promote the development of new ideas to protect the U.S. against the threat of terrorism and to prepare communities for disaster response.
December 21 '06: The BBC reported Thursday that the Federal Communications Commission has announced its plans to build a broadband national wireless network which will interoperably link first responders to help bolster communication abilities during national disasters.
December 19 '06: Through a collaborative effort to develop open-source software for the privacy, medical and security industries, seven universities and IBM are working to eliminate many of the legal boundaries experts say are hurting research and development as well as cooperative relationships.
December 18 '06: 13 critical infrastructure organizations have partnered with the Department of Homeland Security for a year-long program to address cybersecurity for the oil and gas industry Government Computer News reported. The project is called "Linking the Oil and Gas Industry to Improve Cybersecurity (LOGIIC)" and it is a joint partnership between DHS and security vendors, research labs, and industry officials.
December 18 '06: Addressing the problem of emergency 911 call services for people using internet phone services (VoIP), Vonage has announced a new initiative that has covered 93 percent of its customer base under new federal public safety answering service regulations. Vnunet.com reported more than 170 local emergency call centers have been equipped with the technology to locate internet phone users.
December 12 '06: Oklahoma homeland security officials and members of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets are cooperating on public service announcements urging residents in the state to be prepared and have a family emergency plan in case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack a OK Homeland Security press release announced recently.
December 11 '06: A new federal grant program will target cooperative efforts between the Department of Transportation and universities in West Virginia to facilitate working toward securing and safely managing the pipeline supply infrastructure, the Huntington News reported.
December 7 '06: Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, their European counterparts, IT vendors, domestic and international privacy advocates gathered in Washington DC recently to discuss the uses and implications of biometric information collection, Washington Technology reported.
December 6 '06: Pennsylvania officials have been working to reduce the amount of identity theft in their state by giving citizens the tools to protect their financial and personal information. A new community-based website has been launched that will provide information "on how identity theft occurs, prevention tips, steps to take if you become a victim, statistics, and information for law enforcement agencies that investigate these types of crimes," a press release read Monday.
December 1 '06: On Thursday, November 30, about 250 local government officials, first responders, medical response personnel, fire and law enforcement officials and members of academia gathered in Charleston, South Carolina's Gaillard Auditorium to discuss ways to develop a National Blueprint of best practices and private public partnerships. The NCORP Advisory Council was a joint-hosted event including members of the City of Charleston, Charleston County Emergency Preparedness, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The College of Charleston's Department of Geology and the Santee Cooper GIS laboratory are in discussions with Charleston County to formalize the College's ability to aid in post-disaster response in the Charleston region. The College currently has a fleet of 38 laptops and over 900 gigabytesof mobile driver space that can be used immediately following a disaster. Coordinated through Dr. Norman Levine, the mobile lab can allow each disaster response Command Center, and the field units, to have adequate access to GIS data, aerial photographs, and mapping services to aid in immediate response.
November 28 '06: When the Department of Commerce began to auction off analog radio frequencies, the proceeds were collected and then used to supply first responder and homeland security grants to state and local agencies that needed the money to boost their own interoperable and communications abilities. In Arizona, according to Nogales International, the first $1 billion went to help projects like the Collaborative Border Regional Alliance.
November 27 '06: Churches and other religious organizations play a vital role in their communities during emergency situations because of their intimate knowledge of the community and their outreach. To help build on that relationship and response ability, the Centers for Disease Control and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department in Missouri are partnering to work with faith-based organizations in the local area to help improve emergency preparedness and response capabilities.
November 22 '06: A local CBS affiliate in Austin has reported the city launching a new communications strategy to link building owners and managers with emergency management officials and first responders using two-way radios. The radios will provide real-time communication abilities for the city emergency management officials and building owners and managers to help with logistics during an emergency.
November 21 '06: Dallas law enforcement officials, medical first responders, firefighters and aviation agencies will have access to a fully interoperable communications service which will allow video, radio, and data services to be linked via an interoperable network, Government Technology's Public CIO reported recently.
November 20 '06: More than 300 colleges now are offering some type of homeland security-related major since the attacks on September 11, 2001 the Associated Press reported Sunday. The federal government will spend about $50 million in grants that will go to universities and colleges for research, scholarships and curricula development.
November 17 '06: More than 600 fire, police, medical, and state and local leaders from around the country gathered in Washington DC for the inaugural meeting of the ReadyAmerica Initiative sponsored by the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness.
November 15 '06: Responders in Tennessee are using dogs to help rescue and recovery efforts, Firehouse.com reported Tuesday. The Tennessee Task Force One is only just one of 28 emergency response groups trained in the US using dogs to help locate victims of terrorist attacks or natural disasters.
November 15 '06: The Joint Task Force Civil Support is developing a wireless network technology that could have potential first responder application to help establish wireless networks in short amounts of time to help federal responder forces work with state and local emergency services during a chemical, nuclear, radiological, or nuclear attack, FCW.com reported this week.
November 8 '06: Six new colleges and universities will receive federal grants to help with intelligence and information-sharing programs with amounts of up to $750,000, a press release from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced.
October 31 '06: A new report on global climate change has found that severe weather causing droughts, flooding and rising sea levels could endanger coastal communities while putting severe strains on local economies, first responder organizations, business and government the BBC reported Tuesday.
October 27 '06: The mental health of first responders during a disaster can be significantly damaged, like the victims of the disaster who the responders are trying to help, Homeland Response reported this week. According to mental health experts and first responder organizations, the stress of response can pose serious mental health risks.
October 26 '06: Should a Category 5 hurricane strike the Florida coast, federal officials working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are developing a plan to help state officials prepare for mitigation or response in the even that Miami is hit or that elderly and weakened levees on Lake Okeechobee break, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.
October 25 '06: Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush has said that one of the most important ways to help fight the growing threat of militant Islam and terrorism is to cut off the money supply that those planning attacks so desperately need.
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 23 '06: Local community governments, first responders and the academic community are cooperating in the Toledo, Ohio area to train citizens to become part of Community Emergency Response Teams, a local ABC news affiliate reported Sunday. Meanwhile in Jackson, Mississippi religious community organizations are working to improve emergency response and preparedness.
October 20 '06: Doctors in Michigan will begin to use a robot which is connected to a centralized network aid doctors in emergency rooms with stroke victims. The Associated Press reported Friday that telemedicine program is a joint-venture sponsored by the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, (SJMO) the American Stroke Association and InTouch Technologies.
October 18 '06: Local responder officials, private sector crisis management chiefs and members of private organizations and the religious community gathered in Indiana to discuss emergency response, preparedness and management during a Crisis Response Summit co-hosted by the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness and Manchester College in Indiana on Monday.
October 18 '06: The University of Tennessee has received more than $2 million in federal homeland security money to help build an Agriculture and Food Security Preparedness Center, WVLT, a local CBS affiliate reported this week. The center will act as a clearing house for information and training to help farmers and the food industry "learn how to protect themselves from a bioterrorism attack."
October 17 '06: A new study released by the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Human Performance and Recreation found that among security practices at sports stadiums in the US, it is "extremely critical" for communication and cooperation of stadium security along with local, state, regional and federal authorities as well as in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.
October 13 '06: The Associated Press reported Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is pushing a new pandemic quarantine plan using "primitive infection-control" measures to mitigate the impact of a large-scale infection from bird flu or another disease while vaccines and drugs are being developed.
October 12 '06: The nation's CEO's are working with government officials in Homeland Security and on the federal, state and local levels to boost community response and preparedness as well as help supply chain response in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, USA Today reported Thursday.
October 11 '06: In case of an emergency, natural disaster, or terrorist strike, the cities of Louisville, Cincinnati and Indianapolis have agreed to share resources through a mutual-aid pact, USA Today reported Monday.
October 10 '06: Several regional and state-wide emergency preparedness exercises and cooperative programs are underway around the US this week. The cooperation between state and local governments and the private sector, religious groups and school systems shows what one organizer in Minnesota calls an effort "to be self-reliant in case of an emergency, even if you never experience one personally."
October 9 '06: To help mitigate any economic damage to the New York Stock Exchange in the event of a large-scale disaster or terrorist attack, state officials in Pennsylvania, led by Governor Ed Rendell, have proposed a "Wall Street West" that would serve as a backup to the NYSE "so that markets can recover quickly in the event of another terrorist strike on New York," the Associated Press reported Monday.
October 9 '06: Grants to firefighters around the country from homeland security funds will total close to $485 million in the 2006 fiscal year, according to Department of Homeland Security press releases and announcements. The grants are a part of a larger DHS-led program called the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program that is working to coordinate the national level of preparedness and response of firefighters.
September 28 '06: New York City officials and their emergency management counterparts have launched a city-wide citizen preparedness campaign during September which is National Preparedness Month, the city's Office of Emergency Management announced recently.
September 22 '06: The Associated Press reported Friday that a $1 million grant from the federal government will be given to the St. Mary's University Center for Terrorism Law for independent research. A statement from the university said however, that the final proposal has still to be submitted "before funds can be received or awarded by" the Department of Defense and the Air Force.
September 21 '06: Teachers and school administrators in California's San Ramon Valley school district are learning basic fire-fighting, triage and wound treatment skills so that faculty will be able to effectively respond to an emergency situation, the Contra Costa Times reported earlier this month.
September 15 '06: The Department of Homeland Security announced new federal grants of more than $1.35 billion to build security measures at the nation's ports to detect nuclear weapons being smuggled into the US. The new system, called the Cargo Advanced Automated Radiography System will also be able to detect drugs and high explosives.
September 15 '06: In Texas, the nation's first fully interoperable communications network has been unveiled and will allow federal, state and local government agencies, first responders and the private sector communicate with each other "over their existing networks and equipment," according to a press release on Thursday.
September 13 '06: A new report released by the RAND Corporation looks into the national security risks the US government faces in pandemic diseases and their spread in an increasingly globalized world. "Indeed, the US State Department considers disease a potential war trigger," the RAND report reads.
September 11 '06: At a regional workshop for medical first responders and emergency officials, the Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral John Agwunobi said the US has a "long way to go before we can say we are prepared for any and every hazard," a Utah NBC affiliate, KSL reported.
September 7 '06: A cooperative effort by the Department of Homeland Security with several non-profit and community service organizations is working to help the elderly and those with disabilities in preparing for national emergencies - both natural and man-made, a DHS press release read.
September 5 '06: September will be the third annual National Preparedness Month according to the Department of Homeland Security. After the department's announcement of the updated Ready.gov site, a departmental press release said that more than 200 national, regional, state and local governments and organizations were cooperating in the September preparedness campaign.
August 31 '06: Disaster response crews and military personnel are relying more on robotic assistance in the field despite some drawbacks. Using new technology and increased dexterity, the machines "are being tested for use in military situations and civilian catastrophes," McClatchey News Services reported Wednesday. However many say that humans and dogs are still the best tools to use in recovery, response and emergency situations.
August 31 '06: Upper-level coordination of relief agencies during an emergency is essential for response and recovery operations immediately after a disaster, a new report from the Aspen Institute found. Big Medicine quoted the report this week saying that, "Hurricane Katrina showed that there is no central disaster planning and coordination entity that connects the local to the national."
August 30 '06: Government officials and first responders organized a five-day simulation in California that "meant to showcase and test a new set of digital tools in responding to a disaster," the New York Times reported this week. During the simulation, a global pandemic was "compounded by a wave of cyberterror attacks that cut off power, phones and Internet access."
August 23 '06: A group of private inventors in San Francisco were able to design and build a radiation detection device for $12,000 which can be used in ports to search for possible smuggled nuclear materials, Wired reported Tuesday.
August 18 '06: A new medical bracelet being designed by IBM will be used by first responders in the St. Louis area to help improve disaster-site medical response and victim triage, a press release announced this week.
August 10 '06: A new guide for local governments helping to identify the best ways to respond to an emergency situation involving people with disabilities has been published, a Justice Department press release announced Tuesday.
August 9 '06: A new collaborative effort is underway in Louisiana to repair and restructure the healthcare system to help medical officials and responders develop more flexible ways to handle disaster and emergency situations as well as surge capacity mitigation.
August 7 '06: During a terrorist attack or a natural emergency, as government officials manage the crisis and first responders rush to the scene of the disaster, business owners are responding as well, taking stock of their employees' health and the safety of others around the immediate area. CIO detailed the disaster response of a business immediately following the attacks on July 7, 2005 when suicide bombers killed 52 people and critically injured more than 700.
July 27 '06: State and local law enforcement officials in California have announced a partnership to create the Joint Regional Intelligence Center - a clearinghouse for state and local officials to access and share information about potential terrorist attacks in the region, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
July 21 '06: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a new report, published by the International Association of Assembly Managers seeks to find best practices and coordinated efforts at helping to improve emergency conditions for "mega-shelters".
July 20 '06: Ohio officials announced the completion of the nation's first statewide voice and data communications system for first responders, and emergency management officials according to Government Technology's Public CIO last week. The system, the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS), "enables police, fire and emergency management crews throughout the state to coordinate with each other more effectively to effective serve and respond to Ohioans during everyday operations and in the event of an emergency."
July 19 '06: Emergency communication and coordination by the federal government has yielded little progress since the September 11, 2001 attacks according to a new article released by the Heritage Foundation over the weekend. Instead of emergency communication management, the article said, the federal government should focus on the cooperation of the public and private sectors in supporting a joint response and recovery process which "would include adhering to a set of policies that promote effective public-private sharing" of emergency management communications standards to be applied to a network that could coordinate federal, state and local "leadership for emergency response communications."
July 18 '06: A new article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found the greatest benefit to pandemic flu preparedness is an "effective coordination among state and local public health authorities and individual health care providers." The article, the result of work compiled by the American College of Physicians, looked at the responsibilities set forth in federal plans to plan, prevent and address the threat of a flu pandemic, should it hit the United States. In the article, eight recommendations were given to help address better practices and methods of confronting pandemic response.
July 18 '06: New advances in chip technology have the potential to increase personal and supply chain information security - both of which have far reaching implications for homeland security and responder preparedness issues according to recent announcements. Information Week reported Monday that a new computer chip designed by Hewlett Packer called the "Memory Spot", is about the size of a half of a grain of rice and can hold up to four megabits of information. The implications, the designers of the chip say, could mean that biometric information and supply chain data currently both supported by radio frequency identification chips could become more secure and have a faster transfer rate.
July 11 '06: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs is working with several Baltimore-area organizations to promote citizen preparedness through a campaign called Ready? Set? Good, the Johns Hopkins Gazette reported Monday. Using public service announcements on TV, radio and print ads, "the campaign will urge everyone to have an emergency supply kit on hand with a radio, flashlight and water (one gallon per person per day for three days)." James Williams, the associate director at the CCP said, "Having these supplies on hand will help them better cope during the first three days, while the first responders are busy addressing other aspects of a crisis."
July 10 '06: Maryland officials are working with the state's private sector to help coordinate critical infrastructure information during a crisis through a system of business volunteers "from 17 critical infrastructures sectors to expedite office access to proprietary information likely needed during a national or regional emergency," the Examiner reported Monday. A liaison for the state office of domestic preparedness and law enforcement told the Examiner, "The structure [of the overall task force] is to work alongside the federal Department of Homeland Security to protect [the state's] critical infrastructure, which has many components."
July 7 '06: Across the country, there are magnet schools help high school students hone their skills in math, science, the arts and other technical fields. The Baltimore Sun reported that now there will be a magnet school in Harford County which will focus on homeland security for "preparing high school students for careers in disaster response, high-level computer science and law enforcement." The curriculum is expected to be ready for the fall 2007 year and students will be given "limited security clearances" so that they can apply for internships at the nearby Aberdeen Proving Ground, a military test site for conventional and biological weapons.
July 6 '06: A new internet-based tool designed to help triage emergency management and medical response during an emergency was unveiled by the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday. The tool was created to access and use public health information about victims of a disaster, elderly and disabled people, and it will work within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 19996 (HIPPA) Privacy Rule to help coordinate information so that federal, state and local medical responders can make decisions quickly, HHS officials said in a press release.
July 5 '06: The use of mobile tracking technology can be helpful for emergency management coordination and for tracking terrorists, proponents of radio frequency identification say. Government Computer News reported Monday that according to a report released by the Public Policy Institute of California, RFID tracking on shipping containers would help "to enhance the efficiency of the global containerized supply chain may do more to prevent terrorist groups from using container shipping as a conveyor of weapons."
July 4 '06: A huge earthquake strikes the West Coast causing massive damage and the potential for a destructive tsunami while putting thousands of lives at risk. That is the scenario which involved more than 330 emergency management officials and first responders from more than 150 organizations simulated in California during the Blue Cascades III exercise, the program's press release read. The two-day event, sponsored by the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region hoped to "prepare and examine mitigation, response, restoration, and long-term recovery activities for potential large-scale natural or man-made disasters such as an earthquake, terrorist attack, or tsunami."
July 3: The Digital Collegian, a newspaper published by University of Pennsylvania students, reported Monday that a newly created on-campus center dedicated to counterterrorism will hold a conference in October "that will delve into the psychology behind terrorism." The International Center for the Study of Terrorism, which opened its doors in May of this year, will host "leading psychology professors from all over the world" who will discuss "their knowledge of the psychology behind terrorism during the October conference."
June 29 '06: A new report released by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found the economic impact of a terrorist attack potentially the most damaging to the nation because of a lack of coordination, response and failing security measures Knight Ridder News Wire reported Tuesday. "Inadequate federal funding and staffing has lowered or stalled a raft of security initiatives that lawmakers scurried to create after the threat of the nation's 361 ports came into focus," following the attacks on September 11, 2001 KRT Wire continued. A greater focus should be placed on the economic recovery following a terrorist attack, the report concluded.
June 23 '06: A new standard has been ratified by the Organization of the Advancement of Structured Information Standards which will allow federal, state and local governments, as well as a myriad of private organizations and non-governmental organizations to share information, Government Computer News reported. "The Emergency Data Exchange Language Distribution Element (EDXL-DE) Version 1.0 has been designated a standard by Oasis, which serves as the de facto international standards body," and it will allow emergency information to be transfered across jurisdictions. The creation of the standard was in part, with the help of the Department of Homeland Security.
June 20 '06: The first 72 hours of a crisis are the most important times for a community to be prepared until federal, state and local emergency response operations can begin to help those residents in need. That was the message at the National Press Club on Tuesday when officials from local first responders and leaders of the private sector and academia gathered to discuss the creation and organization of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness. Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore said, "We need to have a plan for the first 72 hours," and that, "NCORP can push forward on individual initiative and not wait for anyone else to do it for us. ... We can't wait any longer. We cannot expect the federal government to help us in the first 72 hours. There is no 'they'."
June 20 '06: New York State officials have announced a formal gathering of first responders and state and local leaders who have been invited to attend a meeting on the creation of a Statewide Wireless Network which will link communications throughout the state and eliminate "dead spots" to improve communication and interoperability standards. Construction of the network began last September and was the first "comprehensive upgrade to many of the state's emergency radio systems in more than 30 years." New York State Chief Information Officer James T. Dillon said, "Reliable, timely communication is often cited as the number one factor for first responders to effectively answer the call to an emergency. ... I encourage all local governments to explore the benefits that partnership in this essential project can bring."
June 20 '06: New legislation in the House would look into securing the more than 5 million shipments of cargo made every day on the nation's interstate system using tractor trailers in the hopes of preventing terrorists from using the trucks as a means to ship weapons of mass destruction, or other harmful substances according to a press release from Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. During a hearing last week, lawmakers held an Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cyber Security subcommittee hearing to discuss the Screening Applied Fairly and Equitably to Truckers Act of 2006 (SAFE). The legislation's goal would be to "reform current, inefficient hazmat program at (Transportation Security Administration) TSA, which screens every trucker," for hazardous materials, regardless of the material they are hauling.
June 19 '06: A large hurricane strikes a coastal region, a terrorist uses a bomb to blow himself up in a subway at the same time releasing chemical agents, or a tornado destroys a community. All these scenarios require communication among first responders, medical personnel and federal, state, local and tribal officials. Sometimes that communication can be difficult because power lines have been cut, cell phone networks are jammed and communications equipment is not interoperable. Those scenarios are some of the problems ham radio operators try to solve during an annual "field day" in which more than 30,000 amateur radio operators, using only generators, batteries or solar power, from across the country participate work through scenarios testing their ability to communicate during an emergency.
June 14 '06: During a recent gathering of state chief information officers, many of the country's leading information leaders said the country was not prepared any better for a national or natural emergency, even after last year's hurricane season, Washington Technology reported Monday. Attendees at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers "said they believe the federal government is no better prepared today than it was pre-Katrina. Only 21 percent agreed that the federal government is better prepared." Though there were exceptions - Washington DC and Utah were salient examples - many state CIO's believed that lack of federal funding to help state-based interoperability programs and coordination among the federal, state, local and tribal with the private sector were to blame.
June 12 '06: New federal regulations promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security and the White House would give employers in the US the ability to register their workers using electronic forms for Social Security numbers in an effort to verify those working the DHS website read. On Friday last week, "the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced ... the release of two Federal regulations to help businesses comply with current legal hiring requirements intended to reduce the employment of unauthorized aliens." Government officials said the new regulations would help curb the amount of "no-match" incidents wherein the Social Security number of an employee does not match the name of the person who has registered under the number.
June 8 '06: City officials in Los Angeles voted on Monday to develop an emergency preparedness plan in the event of a large natural disaster or terrorist strike, a local CBS News affiliate reported. The announcement came as the White House planned to release a report on advancements of city councils around the country regarding emergency management and disaster preparedness, National Public Radio broadcast earlier. Part of the money needed to increase the city's disaster preparedness plans will come from federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security which announced new grant allocations this week.
June 7 '06: Preparedness through government programs in cooperation with the private sector in airports, sea ports and along the border are all ways that federal officials and their state and local counterparts say is one way to help keep the nation prepared for a major natural disaster or terror attack. But a new pilot program, to keep schools prepared in case of an emergency, is being adopted by schools across the country. In Wisconsin, students at the Chippewa Falls public schools are participating in the Student Emergency Response Team program (SERT). "It's a program for kids from 13 to 18 years old. They're getting a three-day lesson in everything from putting fires out to dealing with a mass-casualty terrorist disaster," a local ABC affiliate reported Tuesday.
June 5 '06: Miami-Dade County Homeland Security officials held an instructional meeting with residents last week to help raise community awareness regarding spotting suspicious activity the Miami Herald reported recently. Under a new program begun in coordination with federal efforts nationally, local homeland security officials said that it was important residents become able to spot suspicious activity and that they report that activity. "The officers gave a run-down of the bureau's job, which is to gather, investigate and disseminate intelligence to avoid or quickly react to local attacks," the Herald reported.
May 26 '06: A $6.5 million decontamination facility is being built at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC to help children who would become victims of a biological, chemical or radiological attack, Global Security Newswire reported.
May 24 '06: Part of defending the nation against the threat of domestic and international terrorism is making sure the food supply is safe. A cooperative, federal effort called the Strategic Partnership Program Agroterrorism (SPPA) Initiative is working to "Develop mitigation strategies to reduce the threat/prevent an attack.
May 24 '06: The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday the creation of the Ready Business Mentoring Initiative, a program designed "to help owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare for emergencies."
May 22 '06: Questions surrounding border security are being raised by the use of radio frequency identification with human identification according to technology experts and other officials in the Department of Homeland Security, Government Computer News reported over the weekend.
May 19 '06: Emergency management officials along with state and local authorities are holding Family Preparedness Day in New Orleans this coming Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website announced Friday. The event's goal is to help families plan "for the uncertainty of the upcoming hurricane season."
May 11 '06: Federal officials are preparing a massive infrastructure change on the internet by moving away from an outdated version which was built in the 1970's to a new internet protocol called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).
May 10 '06: As federal officials plan for hurricane season - discussing ways to increase responders' abilities to communicate in times of crisis - the private sector has been mirroring those preparations in communications' abilities.
May 8 '06: Students from the Baltimore area participated in community preparedness drills as well as programs designed "to promote awareness of the community's safety needs and encourage people to become involved in local public safety, disaster and emergency preparedness projects," the Baltimore Sun reported recently.
May 4 '06: The effort to coordinate businesses with the public sector to help prepare for emergencies is a continual process which has been slow to materialize according to officials who told the Washington Post that more could be done.
May 3 '06: Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore, Chairman of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, addressed over 300 police chiefs, responders and members of the private and community sector at the Midwest Summit 2006 (www.midwestsummit2006) , stressing that the state and local responder community in cooperation with the federal government and the private sector is the most important tool in the fight to stay prepared against natural and national emergencies.
May 1 '06: New plans for a satellite being designed will help weather forecasters communicate possible threats stemming from hurricanes and other severe weather to state and local responder communities and governments.
April 20 '06: Congress is considering new legislation which would involve the federal government in chemical plant security, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday. "In the Houston area, where sprawling chemical facilities along the Ship Channel are intermingled with parks and private homes," the Chronicle reported, "plant security would seem to have special relevance ... According to one congressional report, Texas is home to as many as 29 high-risk plants near population centers of 1 million or more ... and many are along the Ship Channel."
April 18 '06: Security Watch Info has reported that a cooperative effort between the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey with the company Raytheon will install a new, real-time information system called the "Perimeter Intrusion Detection System" which will be used at four New York/New Jersey international airports. The system will be designed to "integrate data from several types of sensors and funnel the data to the same control center," which will then allow security and airport officials to share information.
April 10 '06: City-wide wireless networks and alternative energy resources are some of the ways the face of critical infrastructure is changing according to several stories in the New York Times on Monday.
April 10 '06: Federal grants from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and others have been spurring growth in universities around the country when it comes to national preparedness and counter-terrorism programs.
April 5 '06: National Public Radio reported Wednesday that the Red Cross is revamping its organization in preparation of the 2006 hurricane season.
April 3 '06: The ability to assess risks, harden targets, prepare for responses, respond to emergencies as needed and learn from past mistakes are the most valuable tools the first responder community has, according to three days of lectures, talks and breakout sessions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass. In cooperation with the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, the school worked with national, state and local leaders as well as executives from the private sector to help "clarify" ways in which response to national and natural emergencies can be improved, and strengthened through greater communication, awareness and efficiency.
April 3 '06: The first 72 hours are the most important moments for any emergency and those responding to it. Along with that idea, representatives from responder communities and state and local leadership from around the country gathered at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts for three days to discuss how to assess risks, harden targets, prepare for responses, respond appropriately to crises during the Northeast regional meeting of the Advisory Committee to the National Task Force on Community Preparedness and Response. "Ready America: The First 72 Hours" was designed "to develop a national template of the best practices for community preparedness and response leading up to and during the first hours of crisis."
March 22 '06: Emergency management officials in California are marking the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake by urging residents in the state "to be aware that a major earthquake can occur at any moment - day or night - and be prepared for it when it does," a Federal Emergency Management statement read.
March 21 '06: Amid fears that lax security oversight surrounding the nation's chemical plants will allow for an opportunity for a terrorist attack, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Monday the chemical industry needs to eliminate "free riders" - chemical plants who are "counting on the fact that the industry in general has a good level of investment (in security), and they figure they'll hide among the leaves and essentially freeload on this security work done by others," the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
March 17 '06: The Christian Science Monitor reported Friday that as many as 10,000 college students from around the United States are spending their spring breaks helping recovery and cleanup efforts in New Orleans.
March 16 '06: Though governments around the world are preparing for what many fear is an inevitable bird flu outbreak among humans, the New York Times reported Thursday, businesses may be the most important part of the plan to keep vital services running around the world, and many businesses might not be prepared.
March 9 '06: Government Technology News reported that a growing number of cities and municipalities are starting to incorporate wireless networks into their cities' infrastructure. Those advocating a larger wireless internet presence say greater cooperation between government bodies and the private sector will be necessary "to create the investment required not just for hundreds, but possibly even thousands of wireless community initiatives."
March 6 '06: Health officials in the US are increasing preventative measures to help prepare the poultry industry for a possible bird flu outbreak in American poultry, Knight Ridder news services reported Monday.
February 28 '06: Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will receive $3 million from the Department of Defense to research new methods for dismantling improvised explosive devices, also called IED's, the Boston Globe reported Tuesday. Using the federal grant, students at MIT will analyze "the molecular interaction of explosive materials," with the goal of finding ways to "short-circuit them before they can cause harm."
February 27 '06: A website dedicated to disseminating information regarding avian bird flu is enlisting the help of medical professionals around the world and in the US, the Associated Press reported this weekend.
February 22 '06: The Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council will unveil the Muslim-American Homeland Security Congress "to consolidate, expand and publicize Islamic efforts against terrorism," the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
February 20 '06: The Tennessee Department of Homeland Security will implement a new phone system to be used over the internet to help develop an emergency notifications system. The Nashville Business Journal reported Monday that the system, called the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) "works through an Internet-based calling engine developed by Franklin-based DCC.
February 3 '06: Boston University has received a federal grant and approval for a new bioresearch facility in Boston's South End. The $128 million federal grant will help toward the construction of a Level 4 laboratory - diseases to be researched will be some of the most virulent known to man - diseases like Ebola, Marburg, and anthrax viruses, the Boston Globe reported Friday on its website.
February 3 '06: The Department of Homeland Security has announced the launch of Ready Kids - a program designed to teach children 8-12 years old about being prepared for national and natural disasters, USA Today reported Friday.
January 24: Moves by the Department of Homeland Security to incorporate radio frequency identification chips in drivers' licenses under the Real ID Act have been met with resistance from a coalition of privacy advocates and conservative groups, Government Computer News reported Monday.
January 23 '06: Some manufacturing companies with long histories of business in the Midwest have begun to make the switch from civilian consumers to federal contractors, the Rockford Register Star reported Monday. The Rock River Valley area paper in Illinois reported that one company has begun to produce what it calls a "Metalith" - a reinforced steel barrier which has proven to be useful in protecting against car bombs and suicide attacks. Through its usefulness in areas like Afghanistan and Iraq, the company that makes the Metalith has begun to try and expand to US federal agency buildings as well as civilian businesses.
January 23 '06: A homeland security training center being funded by a private company has bought land in Ohio from the military and local city councils and will begin to offer training courses, the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus reported Monday. National Security Associates will establish the National Security Centre of Advanced Tactical Training and Research on the 693-acre piece of land.
January 19 '06: The Department of Homeland Security will give federal grant money to Purdue University which has partnered with the Indiana University School of Medicine to help with analytical software development to disseminate information on a large scale right as a major event unfolds and while the response process is underway, the Journal and Courier, a local paper in Lafayette, Indiana reported.
January 17 '06: Department of Homeland Security funding and grants to help protect and prepare communities for national and natural disasters are also needed by educational institutions to help research, preparedness and coordination with federal, state and local resources. Bangor Daily News in Maine reported last week that some school districts in the state have been given DHS grants - money that will be used in surveillance and preparedness according to the guidelines in the grant reward.
January 2 '06: New York City officials announced recently that they will begin to equip the city's hospitals with radiation detection systems to help them prepare for surge capacity in the event of a dirty bomb attack, the Associated Press reported.
December 29 '06: A new voluntary program sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of America is designed to increase the level of security on the nation's farms a press release announced. mySecurity, as the program is called was created to allow members of the DFA to protect their families and food supply as well provide information, tools and emergency planning guidelines.
December 28 '06: A public/private partnership of technology incubators and government agencies has been developed to push forward homeland security-related technologies and to help small technology companies gain access to government-led projects. The partnership includes companies in seven states with another 10 states joining this year, Georgia Tech's news room reported.
December 28 '06: The Associated Press has reported that government officials in South Carolina are working with the state's nursing homes to develop effective evacuation plans and storm preparedness in the event a large hurricane like Rita or Katrina were to hit. Nursing home care givers have said they need help with evacuation plans to effectively help the elderly patients.
December 27 '06: The Associated Press reported Monday that nuclear industry officials are asking the federal government to require construction companies to change their reactor security construction plans so that the power plants are less vulnerable to fires, bomb attacks and terrorist strikes.
December 23 '05: New laws requiring the public to go to high definition television is proving in aiding the first responder community according to Government Computer News.
December 21 '06: Consumer Reports has released a personal preparedness info sheet on their website to help families and individuals prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. The goal of the website is to teach people "the needed steps to take, practice with your family, create a communications plan, stock supplies, and be ready to act."
December 19 '06: Preparing for a pandemic must include the community, private sector and state and local government all working together, Utah officials told the Associated Press recently.
December 15 '06: 300 educators, police, firefighters and educators gathered in Missouri at the Lindenwood University in St. Charles for an organized summit to develop ways of creating preparedness plans addressing disaster, school safety, gang violence prevention and safe havens for school children, the St. Louis Dispatch reported Friday.
December 14 '05: Two former homeland security and response officials have begun a new organization designed to help coordinate and assemble federal, state and local leaders and first responders to the threats to the population in California, according to the group's press release.
December 13 '05: A coalition of federal, state and local government leaders, along with environmental groups and others are planning on a new 15-year, $20 billion plan to help clean the Great Lakes and decrease the amount of pollution, improve drinking water and connect communities through the waterways that make up one of the largest and most important networks in the country, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Currently, the College of Charleston is part of the Charleston County Disaster mitigation and preparedness plan, and is in the process of developing a college-wide disaster mitigation and response plan. The plan is being developed by the Hazards Working Group in the Geology Department, in conjunction with the administration, C of C Physical Plant, and C of C Public Safety Department. According to Dr. Briget Doyle, the current college goals for 2006-2007 include more fully preparing a robust, college-centered hazard mitigation plan, raising hazard awareness on campus, and developing more ties to local, regional, state and federal authorities for disaster mitigation and response.
November 28 '05: Coloradans and others in the US are taking homeland security into their own hands, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Citizen Corps, a federal program begun in 2002 under an executive order, was designed to help American citizens understand and prepare their communities for response and recovery in the event of a large emergency or disaster.
November 28 '06: Two communities in Mississippi and Massachusetts are developing tracking technologies to help them protect and prepare although the goals of the tracking are very different. In Mississippi, researchers at the state's University are working to develop a tracking system to help protect inland waterways. In Massachusetts, health officials are helping community members learn to use elderly patient tracking technology.
August 7 '05: A new wireless internet network has been established in eastern Oregon to help local law enforcement and first responders in the area protect the large stockpiles of chemical weapons being stored there. Nerve and Mustard gas, along with 220,604 munitions and 7.4 million pounds chemical weapons are being kept in Hermiston and Umatilla, Oregon. The weapons are slated to be incinerated starting this summer but in the meantime, worries that an attack on the depots could send deadly nerve gas clouds into neighboring communities has encouraged the local governments to invest in creating a wireless internet communications system which connects community officials and first responders over an area of 600 square-miles.
April 7 '05: The fight in the war on terror requires research and development of the tools necessary to fight the threat of terrorism, according to Homeland Security officials who have decided to bring together 500 research scientists and engineers working throughout the government and in the private sector. A department press release on Thursday announced they would be holding a convention called "Working Together: R&D Partnerships in Homeland Security" in Boston where those attending will "present their innovative work to make the nation safer."
March 17 '05: The threat of agro-terrorism is real, according to homeland security experts who told MSNBC news that veterinarians are helping the government by being "early warning" indicators of possible attacks. MSNBC reported Thursday that there are "31 recorded cases of agro-terrorism in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Database, 10 of them directed at livestock, according to the Journal of Animal Science."
January 27 '05: Truck drivers are the life-blood of the nation and now they can also be the eyes. According to CNN, a Virginia-based trucking company is training its drivers to help in the war on terror. The all-volunteer program called "Highway Watch" was started in 1998 by the American Trucking Associations and now is funded by money from the Department of Homeland Security.
January 20 '05: Information collection companies "that sold credit data to the insurance industry," have been changing with times to help the private sector adapt to a post-9/11 world. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that one particular company, Georgia-based ChoicePoint Inc. has adapted by providing information to over 50,000 clients while the company stock value has "...ballooned to $4.1 billion."
Copyright ©2007 TheBreakingNews.com. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in part or full without prior written permission.