Index > Economic & Infrastructure: Public/Private Partnerships
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: Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 the public and private sectors have been working together to find new ways of securing the country's critical infrastructure through federal action like the Homeland Security Act and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7). There have been other - private sector-driven steps taken as well, but it is with the cooperation of the federal government that industry can improve optimally on its preparedness, resiliency and response operations.
July 2010: 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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."
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 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 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 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.
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 Frameworkę.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
January 31 '07: A Department of Homeland Security-led cyber security program being supervised by the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico is working to improve the gas and oil industry's ability to thwart a possible cyberterror attack. The Linking the Oil and Gas Industry to Improve Cyber Security (LOGIIC) program's focus is to prevent energy supply disruption because of a computer virus or hacker intrusion.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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: 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 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 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."
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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."
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