• Apps, digital tools to help cope with disasters

    The Department of Health and Human Services has posted on its Web a list of apps and digital tools which would help individual cope with disasters and the challenges disasters pose

  • Report finds Coast Guard unprepared for BP oil spill

    An internal review by the U.S. Coast Guard found that its response to the colossal Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year was hindered by its lack of preparation and reduced response capabilities; the 158 page review said that the government and private sector “demonstrated a serious deficiency in planning and preparedness for an uncontrolled release of oil from an offshore drilling operation”; in response to the review, R. J. Rapp Jr., the commandant of the Coast guard, said that his agency would pay greater attention to industry oil-spill response plans, begin preparing for future accidents, and conduct a study on the large use of chemical dispersants on the environment

  • NICE acquires Orsus

    NICE, a leading provider of security solutions, acquires Orsus, a pioneer in situational awareness, for an all-cash $22 million; critical incidents have led organizations to make massive investments in a wide range of security technologies and in corresponding manpower; trouble is, these security tools often exist in different silos, which lead to information overload, making it difficult to get the complete picture and manage critical incidents effectively; the combined NICE-Orsus solution addresses this problem

  • Cosmic entropy could be 100 times greater than previously thought

    Entropy increases as the number of ways the system can be arranged microscopically without changing the external appearance increases; new study shows that cosmic entropy is a 100 times greater than earlier estimates; the entropy of the universe must be below the maximum theoretical value or life and other complex phenomena will cease to exist; as the entropy gradually increases it will eventually approach the theoretical maximum, a state many physicists have called the heat death of the universe; the new study thus shows that our universe is closer to its death than previously thought

  • CDW-G shows Mass Notification Toolkit

    New Web site offers guidance on emergency alert system implementation, marketing, and sign-up

  • Integrated Wireless Network abandoned

    The Integrated Wireless Network was launched in 2004 to serve more than 80,000 federal agents; GAO says that the three departments working on the project — DHS, Justice, and Treasury — had different goals and failed to collaborate effectively; the three will now pursue separate departmental upgrades

  • U.K. launches dedicated network for emergency communication

    The U.K. government has contracted with BT to develop the National Resilience Extranet — which will enable the secure exchange of information in response to civil emergencies such as floods and outbreaks of agricultural diseases

  • IT security during tough economic times

    Tough economic times lead to layoffs and mergers and acquisitions; a key aspect of such transitions is the inevitable turnover and its impact on internal security

  • U.K. businesses lack understanding of threats they face

    U.K. companies invest billions in software for intrusion detection, encryption, and identity management, but are still struggling with basic security processes

  • Identifying emergency personnel

    Emergency response teams work in confusing conditions; in large disasters, emergency units from several jurisdictions may be involved; the rescuers need to able to identify each other

  • Send Word Now completes $14 million financing round

    As more attention is paid to alerting people of imminent or on-going disasters, investors pay more attention to companies producing effective, reliable alert systems; Send Word Now benefits

  • Text messaging for emergency information

    The United States is a nation with a growing number of texters — 3/4 of Americans can text message, and one-third of them do; yet, the method is not effectively used for offering detailed emergency information during disasters

  • Computer model to help in smoother hurricane evacuation

    Software developed at MIT could save lives and money by improving hurricane planning

  • New Orleans coped well with Gustav

    The planning and execution of hurricane emergency measure was far superior to what happened during Katrina, even if the challenge was not as demanding; analysts worry that with Gustav failing to live up to expectations of devastation, we may witness “evacuation fatigue” next time

  • Bureaucratic bafflegab hobbles Canada's disaster readiness, report says

    New Senate report slams the Canadian government’s disaster coordination efforts; the report suggests that past floods, ice storms, the SARs epidemic, blackouts in Canada, and the 9/11 attacks should have — but have not — served as a wake up call for various levels of government to hatch concrete plans to work together to ward off disaster