• Smartphones to save lives in natural disasters

    Smartphones could help save hundreds of thousands of lives in the aftermath of a disaster or humanitarian crisis; software developed by computer scientists could help quickly and accurately to locate missing people, rapidly identify those suffering from malnutrition and effectively point people towards safe zones simply by checking their phones

  • Simulations help firefighters in risky operations

    Firefighters often put their lives at risk during operations, so it would be very helpful if they had reliable tools to help them do their job safely and effectively; now, a modular simulation kit is set to help develop new information and communication technologies — and ensure they are tailored to firefighters’ needs from the outset.

  • NY counties receive money to prepare for emergencies

    The magnitude of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee posed serious communications challenges to the response and recovery efforts among many New York counties; these counties are now receiving $20 million in funding to help localities better respond to emergency situations

  • Georgia readies portable hospitals

    On Monday local health and emergency response officials from Georgia’s West Central Health District gathered to learn how to quickly set up a portable hospital in the event of an emergency

  • Measuring the effect of fire on materials

    Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are developing an infrared measuring method to analyze the thermal properties and resistance to fire of composite materials; this advance would have applications in areas where fire safety requires that the composite materials withstand high temperatures

  • Key to disaster preparedness is “training, training, training”

    Bonnie S. Michelman, CPP/CHPA, the director of police, security, and outside services at Massachusetts General Hospital, recently took the time to speak with Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene K. Chow; in their interview, Michelman highlights the recent technological security measures Massachusetts General has installed, finding the right balance between security and openness, and preventing terrorists from stealing the low-grade radioactive materials that are housed in hospitals

  • Water rescues prove dangerous for first responders

    Water rescues are particularly dangerous for first responders, and the recent attempt to rescue a man who jumped from a bridge over the Oswego River in New York last month proved to be no exception

  • Grant helps Kentucky dive team operate without sight

    Rescue and recovery divers often struggle to perform their duties in murky, muddy waters, but thanks to a $21,000 grant from Kentucky’s Homeland Security department, the city of Grayson was able to purchase a side-scan sonar and an underwater metal detector to help rescue divers complete their mission in low visibility conditions

  • New sensor system tracks, locate firefighters where GPS fails

    With support from the National Science Foundation, electrical engineers are developing a portable device called the Sentrix Tracking Unit; it straps on like a belt and consists of a suite of sensors; the sensors help locates missing firefighters— saving time and maybe lives

  • First responders learn how to deal with electric cars

    With the growing number of electric vehicles on the road, first responders are now faced with a new type of vehicle that they know little about, which could be potentially dangerous in the event of a fatal crash; to help emergency responders learn about the new technology on the road today, Tesla, a manufacturer of electric vehicles, recently held a training seminar at one of its locations in California

  • Disaster evacuation plans need to incorporate family perspectives

    A recent study sponsored by the National Science Foundation found that most respondents felt the evacuation of New Orleans residents to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina was a “failure” and this opinion has shaped their willingness to accept shelter if offered in an emergency evacuation

  • Emergency response for the disabled

    Roughly 56 million Americans have a disability and with many living without a telephone or television, communicating with them in the event of a major disaster is no easy task; to address the needs of disabled Americans during natural and manmade disasters, emergency officials recently participated in a seminar called “Planning for the Whole Community”

  • Iridium offers emergency response service on satellite phone

    Iridium offers free SOS service on its Iridium Extreme satellite phone; individuals who need emergency help can now maintain contact with an operator during the emergency rather than rely on one-way SOS alerting

  • Yellow Dot gets medical info to first responders fast

    Emergency officials in Alabama recently introduced a new program aimed at quickly providing first responders with critical information during accidents; in the event of a car accident, first responders will be able immediately to find vital medical information on victims by simply looking in their glove compartment

  • Chicago emergency officials preparing for harsh winter

    As Chicago braces for an especially brutal winter, the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is doing its best to prepare residents, emergency responders, and work crews for the worst weather in the nation