Site Map - Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management

State Homeland Security Advisors Unhappy with Federal Government

- A new report from the National Governors Association shows deep dissatisfaction with the federal government among state homeland security officials .

Strategies for Coordinating Disaster Responses

- Security professionals involved in disaster planning or response should recognize the name Thomas Drabek. For decades, he has been among the preeminent scholars in disaster management. With Drabek's upcoming retirement from the University of Denver, this may be the professor's last major publication, and it updates his thinking on how emergency managers operate.

Quick Bytes: Viruses, recovery costs increase

- Virus disasters--where 25 or more computers within an organization are infected at the same time--increased 15 percent in 2003 from the previous year, and the costs of recovering from those disasters increased 23 percent over the same time period, from about $81,000 to almost $100,000. Those are some highlights of a survey of 300 companies and government agencies in the 9th Annual ICSA Labs Virus Prevalence Survey. @ More on the survey is available through SM Online.

Scouting for Signs of Pandemic

- By pooling and analyzing information from various sources, a newly launched program can spot a disease outbreak before it becomes a crisis.

First responders

- Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced a bill (S. 2171) that would require the federal government to establish a toll-free hotline that could be used by local government and nonprofit organizations to obtain information about federal grant programs and funding available for first responders and terrorism-preparedness programs.

Pandemic Preparations

- Federal Executive Boards, which link federal and community leaders in major cities, could be a valuable asset during an influenza pandemic.

Working Wirelessly and Wisely

- The document defines public safety requirements and roles and then defines the various types of communications services, from voice to data. It then lays out a number of communications scenarios, such as the one mentioned, to give an idea of the challenges faced in improving the ability of public safety personnel to communicate among themselves and with other agencies and organizations with whom they work, as well as with the public. The paper then identifies wireless communications operational needs and gives definitions of wireless communications functional requirements. A glossary and a list of system capabilities can be found in appendices.

Working Wirelessly and Wisely

- A man suffers chest pains after a game of tennis, and his relatives call 9-1-1. The dispatch center notifies an ambulance and digitally sends to it the patient's name and address, which are displayed on a monitor in the ambulance along with a map to the house and an on-board signaling system that adjusts the traffic-light sequence to enable the ambulance to arrive faster. That system also automatically interrogates local transportation systems to make sure there are no road closures or slow traffic conditions on the way.

Did You Know That?

- A primer from the American College of Radiology offers radiological and other medical professionals a quick reference in the event of a radiation disaster. Topics covered include handling contaminated patients, gauging the health effects of radiation exposure, and counseling patients. Responders are provided with specific questions to ask about the patient and the incident. @ SM Online takes you to the report.

Did You Know That?

- The Securities and Exchange Commission is now requiring members of the NASD and NYSE to develop business continuity plans and disclose to their customers a summary of those plans. Plans must cover data backup and recovery, backup communications systems, and customer access to funds, among other key areas. @ Link to the rules at SM Online.

Medical Examiners

- Lots of agencies and departments call themselves "the last line of defense" against terrorism, but, at least with respect to biological and chemical terrorism, perhaps medical examiners and coroners have the most legitimate claim to that title. They are the last people to examine a body for signs of terrorist traces before evidence is buried or destroyed. With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has drafted a report providing coroners and medical examiners with information required to build their capacity for biological terrorism preparedness for the benefit of public health.

Information Sharing

- A new secure Department of Homeland Security Web site called Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS) is open to approved emergency response providers and homeland security officials at the local, state, and federal levels.

Responders, Private Sector Incommunicado

- If a disaster strikes, it's imperative that local first responders be able to communicate effectively, first with each other, then with neighboring responders. But they must also communicate with local companies and representatives of federal agencies. A new survey shows that the first and second areas are in good shape, but the third and fourth remain fraught with problems.

Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.