emergency response

May 1, 2013
By Arthur Allen and Zdenka Willis
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter delivers passengers from the sailing ship Bounty after the ship foundered during superstorm Sandy last October.

The synergy between operational planning and radar sensing provides enhanced search and rescue capabilities.

The U.S. Coast Guard is combining high-frequency coastal radar data with traditional oceanographic and geographic information to improve its chances of rescuing people in distress on the high seas. By merging these different sources of data, the Coast Guard enhances its search abilities while also providing better weather prediction for both its search and rescue teams and an endangered public in coastal areas.

March 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

Homeland Security Conference 2013 Show Daily, Day 3

Although many in government are moving as quickly as possible to adopt new technologies, such as cloud computing and mobile devices, individual agencies still face cultural challenges that sometimes prevent them from moving forward, according to officials speaking as part of the Chief Information Officer Council at the AFCEA Homeland Security conference in Washington, D.C.

February 28, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The recently signed executive order on cybersecurity and the presidential directive on critical infrastructure protection are not separate documents. In fact, they are part of the same overall effort to protect the nation, said Rand Beers, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Beers discussed the effort on Thursday at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

February 27, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Homeland Security Conference 2013 Show Daily, Day 2

In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the military, government and intelligence officials all agreed that federal agencies needed to be more willing and able to share critical data to better connect the dots.

February 27, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. top-down, federal government-based national security model currently used to protect the nation is not the best model for homeland security. Instead, the country should adopt a decentralized model called "network federalism" that empowers state and local agencies and encourages them to work together to resolve security issues.

February 27, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is responsible for deploying the Nationwide Public Safety Network, could learn lessons from the September 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon, during which emergency responders experienced almost no interoperability problems, according to emergency management panelists at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

February 20, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The Long Beach Police Department dive team adopts new homeland security equipment.

The Long Beach, California, police department dive team is now using a newly acquired search and recovery system to help protect the local port, shipping lanes and critical infrastructure.

February 1, 2013
By Rita Boland

Public safety personnel are standing at the beginning of a new era in communications as plans unfurl to create a nationwide broadband network dedicated to their needs. With many questions yet to be resolved, organizations must contend with making the right choices for today even as they prepare to take advantage of advanced future offerings.

December 6, 2012
By Max Cacas

To monitor the possible effects of radiation on Americans who were in Japan during the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the U.S. Army Public Health Command has launched the Operation Tomodachi Registry website. The site provides location-based radiation dose estimates for the approximately 70,000 department-affiliated adults and children who were in one of 13 mainland Japan locations at the time of the disaster, which included the release of radiation into the environment.

November 29, 2012
By Max Cacas

A newly released study on America’s electrical power transmission system strongly suggests that the government and industry take steps to safeguard it from shortcomings that make it vulnerable to things such as terrorist attack and acts of nature. Potential solutions will require not only ingenuity and technology, but investment and political decisiveness.

November 14, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The new strategic emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region poses a new set of challenges for the U.S. military, ranging from cyberspace attacks to missile defense in a large-scale conflict. Meeting these challenges will require a new approach to coalition building as well as a shift in technology procurement. And, the relationship among the United States, China and their neighbors will weigh heavily on all efforts for regional security. 

Many of these points were discussed on the first day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012, being held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 13-15. Titled “Rebalancing Toward the Asia-Pacific—Challenges and Opportunities,” the conference began with a direct focus on the key issues that define those challenges.

 

 

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

Most of the Pacific Command’s mission will focus on aiding others in need rather than warfighting efforts.

 

August 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

A predicted increase in the number and intensity of solar storms is forecast for 2013, and solar weather experts are advising both the public and private sector to make preparations.

August 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Sharing medical information among public and private entities during emergency situations is entering a new age. A consortium of partners has laid the foundation for a national center that will develop protocols and methodology necessary to enhance current capabilities for handling crisis situations.

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

The National Capital Region, comprising Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, is one of the busiest, most powerful and hence most complicated areas in the United States when it comes to security. Cathy Lanier, chief of police, District of Columbia, and James F. Schwartz, chief, Arlington County Fire Department, Virginia, emphasized that cooperation and coordination are essential no matter the size of the municipality or the threats it faces.

August 2008
By Rita Boland

Hurricanes here, manmade trouble there, disasters, disasters everywhere. Between Mother Nature running amok and human-borne disasters, Florida has its share of dangerous incidents. Fortunately, the state is putting new measures in place to protect its citizens, and sharing them with other states. A cutting-edge communications system has been developed to fill gaps in current capabilities and offer new resources to emergency responders, and it is ready to take on whatever the rest of 2008 (and beyond) decides to dish up.

July 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman

A system that began as a handheld reference device has burgeoned into a full-service emergency response aid that soon will be able to deduce the nature of hazardous substances on site. Known as the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders, or WISER, the system is capable of being installed in a personal digital assistant, a Windows Mobile device or a smart phone, and serves an individual responder without any reach-back or networking requirement.

July 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

Despite major efforts to make first responder communications interoperable across the United States, establishing and managing joint radio and data networks during a disaster or terrorist attack remain a challenge. The National Guard has recently deployed a national system designed to link its units with civilian state, local and federal agencies during an emergency. This capability uses Web-based tools, deployable communications packages, and national coordination centers to manage first responder interoperability during a crisis.

July 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

The United States’ emergency medical communications and computer networks are on life support. This is the conclusion of a recent report to Congress by a committee of experts from the telecommunications and emergency response industries. Although hospitals and first responders use many modern technologies, the document found that their communications systems are antiquated and unable to utilize the full advantages of modern network-centric information systems.

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