Private sector and government cooperative tests first responder cybertechnology capabilities
| 08.30.2006 | 06:29:38 | Views: 2894 | ID:
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."
Similar preparedness and response simulations are being practiced in other major metropolitan areas while officials in state and local governments work to coordinate a homeland response that can handle multiple scenarios.The simulation in California, called Strong Angel III gathered partners from some of the largest technology companies in the country: Google, Microsoft, Cisco Sytems and Bell Canada; while gathering more than 800 first responders, military officers and experts from the software and wireless network fields who worked with more than $35 million-worth of technology equipment. Navy surgeon Eric Rasmussen told the Times, "My view is that the value of Strong Angel is 70 percent in the social networks that will be created. ... What we do is try to bring people with disparate backgrounds together and ensure that they are forced to enter into a conversation." During the exercise, officials found that too many networks were created with too many applications competing for broadband access. In the end, the network had to be shut down and rebuilt. However there were "notable success, like the work of Google, Microsoft, ESRI, Intergraph and other companies to allow sharing a single set of digital satellite maps seamlessly and to overlay event data relayed from emergency workers throughout the San Diego area."
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