News & Events

HELP IMPROVE EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS. TAKE THE SAFECOM NATIONWIDE SURVEY TODAY!

Dec 12, 2017; The Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and SAFECOM are pleased to announce the launch of the SAFECOM Nationwide Survey (SNS)!
Funding decisions to support critical public safety requirements depend on valid information that reflects the needs of the community, and the SNS will provide these valuable insights on our nations’ emergency communications. The results of the survey will be used to drive the decisions for improvements to our nation’s emergency communications capabilities, programs, and funding. This is a unique opportunity for your voice to be heard!
The document below provides more information on the SNS. You can also visit www.dhs.gov/safecom/sns for more information on OEC and SAFECOM’s efforts.
If you are a member of the public safety community, we want to hear from you. Please take the survey now at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018SNS to share your organization’s perspectives and spread the word to other public safety partners!


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Does your emergency organization require Priority Telecommunication Services?

May 16, 2016: The US Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications help organizations that rely on telecommunications on a daily basis to provide public health, maintain law and order, ensure public safety, and/or provide financial or utility service should enroll in these vital priority services. READ MORE…


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Silver Alerts

May 1, 2016:A Silver Alert is a public notification system in the United States to broadcast information about missing persons – especially senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other mental disabilities – in order to aid in their being found.

Silver Alerts use a wide array of media outlets – such as commercial radio stations, television stations, and cable television – to broadcast information about missing persons. Silver Alerts also use variable-message signs on roadways to alert motorists to be on the lookout for missing seniors. In cases in which a missing person is believed to be missing on foot, Silver Alerts have used Reverse 911 or other emergency notification systems to notify nearby residents of the neighborhood surrounding the missing person’s last known location.


Daily Practice = Disaster Practice

Unless you have trained your personnel VERY well, they will default to what they do every day (e.g., registration personnel may carry out the entire registration process rather than abbreviating it to process more patients). Under stress, cognitive abilities suffer, so we tend to “fall to the level of our training” rather than “rise to the occasion.”
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Plan to keep response processes similar to daily operations and where you cannot (e.g., crisis care situation) make sure to do adequate pre-event and just-in-time education.
Read this and many more stories from this months ASPR edition: The-Exchange 2-9-2016


FEMA conducted EAS test to help improve communications across the US

Feb 24, 2016: 2:20PM EST
We originated a single message in Common Alerting Protocol format through IPAWS to radio, TV and cable operators in the targeted area.
Read the Story


UPDATE ON RECENT CYBER ATTACK ON HPMC

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Feb. 17, 2016:
The reports of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center hospital paying 9000 Bitcoins or $3.4 million are false. The amount of ransom requested was 40 Bitcoins, equivalent to approximately $17,000.

Click here for a statement from President & CEO Allen Stefanek

2016 Data Breach Guide

Significant Increase in Ransomware Extorting Businesses
For Business Owners- Read Here


Super Bowl 50 Security Operations

Feb 9, 2016 Updated DHS Press Release

Great Video on how every team prepared.

 

Feb 8, 2016: “Dozens of federal agencies and components, including multiple components of the Department of Homeland Security, contributed to security measures seen and unseen in connection with the Super Bowl,” said Secretary Johnson. “Within the Department of Homeland Security itself, TSA, CBP, ICE, Coast Guard, the Secret Service, FEMA, our Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and our National Protection and Programs Directorate contributed to the security of this event. The public has a role to play too. “If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” is more than a slogan. Public vigilance and public awareness contributes to a safe and secure event.”
Read the Full Release

 


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Recommended Training Guidelines for 9-1-1 Telecommunicators in Development

The recommended minimum training guidelines will cover the following topics:
• Telecommunicator roles and responsibilities
• 9-1-1 call processing
• Radio communications
• Emergency management
• Emergency communications technology
• Legal concepts
• Interpersonal communications
• Stress management
• Quality assurance
• On-the-job training guidelines

Instructions on how to provide comments are available in the Training Guidelines Information Sheet.

Read More:
Post From APCO International
(NENA)National Emergency Number Association


FEMA Updates the Emergency Alert System

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Jan 21, 2016:
The next IPAWS/EAS regional test will take place on Feb. 24 and it is a big one: 22 states, two territories and the District of Columbia — some 10,000 broadcast EAS participants, not counting cable operators.

The test area affected includes not only much of the populous New York/New Jersey metroplex but also “Tornado Alley” states of the mid-west and Gulf Coast hurricane states. FEMA officials have been contacting state broadcast association executives and state emergency communications committee chairs to put the word out, and plans are developing for preparatory webinars.

The Feb. 24 group is Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Virginia.

FEMA works with state broadcast and cable associations to encourage EAS participants to set their EAS devices to immediately forward an incoming NPT message. As in the past, they are planning webinars for both managers and engineers. Participation in the IPAWS test is voluntary.

Kenyon encouraged broadcasters with questions to contact him at Alfred.Kenyon@fema.dhs.gov. Radio World will report details of the webinars when available. – See more at: Press here
TV Technology Article


Amateur Radio Operators Convert to Digital Television

ham-digital-videoDec 21,2915:
A new technology that may be used in the future for emergency support.
Here is the first of a series of articles from TV Technology.
ALEXANDRIA, VA.—Radio amateurs, or “hams,” have been involved in one way or another with television practically ever since commercial entities began developmental work in the medium during the 1920s. And many TV engineers have held ham licenses and performed their own share of experimental work in their off-duty hours. Read More


Just Released: Community Resilience Planning Guide

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Thursday, October 29, 2015:
Issued on the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which killed 157 people in the United States and wreaked havoc and destruction from Maine to North Carolina, the new planning guide is aimed at community leaders in both the public and private sectors. It lays out a practical six-step process that communities can follow to develop resilience plans to help them prepare for hazards, adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruptions.


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READ FULL RELEASE


Disaster Preparedness and Response: Cross-collaboration – we are all in this together..This Webinar has Ended

October 22 at 2:00 p.m. EST, SLA will present a one-hour Webinar that addresses this and related issues. The Webinar, “Disaster Preparedness and Response: Cross-collaboration – we are all in this together,” will be led by Christine Hagar, who will draw on her current work in crisis informatics, including her research as to how public libraries can be more involved in community-wide disaster planning.
BELOW is free Webinar registration information. You do not have to be an SLA member to participate.

http://www.sla.org/webinar-to-explore-librarians-role-in-disaster-preparedness/
Click on the link at the bottom where it says, “To register for the Webinar….”

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Dr. Hagar is an assistant professor in the School of Library & Information Science at San Jose State University. Her primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of crisis information management.

Dr. Hagar has worked in public and academic libraries in the United States and the United Kingdom in a variety of positions. She has served as head of library development for INASP, an international non-government development organization, and held lecturer positions at the International Centre for Information Management Systems and Services (Poland) and the Department of Information Studies at Northumbria University (U.K.). She has played a prominent role in organizing panels and presenting at the Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) Conferences. Dr.Hagar is a member of the UK’s Disaster & Development Network.


Community Resource and Health Fair

Saturday, October 10th
ITT Technical Institute/Breckinridge School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Norwood Campus – 4750 Wesley Avenue, Norwood, Ohio 45212
View Full Press Release

America’s PrepareAthon

October 1,2015: We hope that many groups across the US had a chance to participate in the FEMA America’s PrepareAthon.
BE SMART. TAKE PART. PREPARE
During September, we promoted CERT training in many areas of the US.
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On Sept 30th, we participated in a CERT presentation to help emergency awareness, how to be better prepared and how to find and join CERT programs in your area. We were joined by the CERT Team leader – Leroy Shabozz, the city Fire & EMA – Lt. Terry Ewing, the County Emergency Management – Asst Dir. Katharine Piaskowy, and one of our newest partners, ITT Technical Institute – Michelle Drennen.
During October we will continue reaching out to communities to get people to join local CERT groups. ITT Technical Institute has agreed to help the community by starting a FALL CERT 21 hours class.

CERT is growing and growing fast in terms of communication. CERT is becoming noticed by local agencies and in doing so getting plans made with them for when disaster strikes.
They volunteer so much of their time for the greater good of others. We are all very thankful!


July 2015 CERT E-Brief

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Volume 2 / Issue 3

– West Virginia CERT Programs Team Up for Diesel Spill Response
– Newport News, VA CERT Supports Refugee Resettlement Program
– CERTCON 2015 Offers Drills, Skills, Thrills to Attendees
– The Villages CERT Performs Critical Role in Preparing Retirement Community
– 2015 Training Dates
Read Here..

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The recent tragedy in Nepal has also put us in touch with Bruce Keenan of Himalayan Children’s Charities, who was impressed with FEMAC’s technical help with open source mapping during the emergency and our vision to improve safety during disasters worldwide. Himalayan Children’s Charities are doing great work in Nepal improving young people’s lives.  Read about our recent contact with Bruce Keenan.


Hurricane season is now active.

Want to know the names for upcoming cyclones? View by your location


 

The FEMAC Personal Emergency Mobile App solves current problems like the one below in Nepal.

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS LAUNCHES SMS SERVICE FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN NEPAL

May 12, 2015
WHEN NEPAL WAS STRUCK BY TWIN EARTHQUAKES, WHATSAPP AND SMS TEXT MESSAGES CAME TO THE RESCUE.

In just over two weeks, Nepal has been hit by two catastrophic earthquakes, which have caused mass casualties and unimaginable amounts of property damage.

The chronically impoverished nation lacks the infrastructure to deal with disasters, which has multiplied the challenges involved in getting aid to the quakes’ victims. Today, the International Red Cross announced a partnership with Nepal Telecom to utilize one of the few technologies that did provide relief in the wake of the disaster: SMS text messaging. Read more…

7.9 Earthquake in Nepal

10:10AM EDT from Nama Budhathoki / HOT mapping organization
“The damage seems to be massive. Reports are coming every minute. The quake has damaged different parts of the country, not just Kathmandu. I just got access to the internet; Lots of congestion in communication.
The international community is responding rapidly. The international charter has activated. We are also coordinating with international organizations and the DHnetwork. Hundred of deaths reported after a few hours.Communications are hard at this point.
First priority established in the first hours after the Earthquake, is the road network to connect to remote areas.
Go to this link to help or find out how to contributeCLICK HERE
Wiki page for this earthquake: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/2015_Nepal_earthquake

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The Drones of 2015 National Association of Broadcasters

Flying cameras were big at NAB 2015.
The show’s dedicated aerial pavilian played host to a frequently packed audience of onlookers straining their necks skyward as drone vendors flew their wares in an enclosed cage.
Some are calling it “the drone rush.” Whatever you choose to call it, there will be plenty of air craft to choose from this year. Here are some highlights from the show.
Read the story
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Webinar: Resource Development Strategies for Your CERT Program

The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division is pleased to invite you to a webinar to learn new strategies to develop resources for your CERT Program. Title: Resource Development Strategies for Your CERT Program
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (ET)
Read more…

Healthcare Professionals with Disaster Experience Needed

March 31, 2015: ANCC invites US healthcare professionals to help develop the ANCC National Healthcare Disaster Certification.
Read how to signup…

Could you save a life?

March 23, 2015: “PulsePoint gives the ability to alert trained public near the area that someone is in cardiac distress; they can then provide CPR until emergency responders can get to the scene,”

ATSC AWARN: A Conversation with John Lawson

February 27, 2015 If all goes as planned over the next few years, Americans will be able to receive video emergency messages anytime, anywhere—even when the cellular network becomes congested or the electric grid goes down.
Read More»

The Government Found the Funds to Give Firefighters High-Speed Internet Everywhere

November 18, 2014 The federal government has raised more than enough money to build a nationwide communications network for first responders called FirstNet.gov.
Read more»
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Current Disaster Declarations for 2015

http://www.fema.gov/disasters/grid/year/2015

2014: The fewest number of Disaster Declarations and Fire Grants in More than a Decade

https://www.fema.gov/blog/2015-03-12/2014-fewest-number-disaster-declarations-and-fire-grants-more-decade


Total Disaster Declarations for 2014

http://www.fema.gov/disasters/grid/year/2014
Fact:The United States saw 56 declared natural disasters in 33 states during 2013.
Every disaster was due to natural events.
Winter storms, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and heavy rain storms and landslides all contributed to the declared disasters. Although many natural disasters came with warning, tornadoes and floods let to the most casualties in 2013.
Ref: http://www.fema.gov/disasters/grid/year/2013

 


FEMAC Marketing:

All marketing will be performed by FEMAC volunteers and/or paid staff. Marketing will also be done through the FEMAC.MOBI free personal app. Media outlets will also be very involved during emergencies as a way to gather feeds. In addition, as a non-profit organization, FEMAC can also utilize free public announcements through and national radio and television.

FEMAC can also be utilized by all media as a place to turn to during an emergency for further information. Typically “Tune to your local radio or tv station for further information” will be changed to “Tune to your local radio station, tv station or FEMAC for further emergency information.”

 


Current World Disasters/Emergencies


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GDACS provides real-time access to web‐based disaster information systems and related coordination tools.

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ReliefWeb has been the leading source for reliable and timely humanitarian information on global crises and disasters since 1996.

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