Government agencies recognize the need for coordinated critical communication.
12/23 - San Jose Mercury News - AP - SACRAMENTO—California's homeland security chief has been named acting secretary of the new California Emergency Management Agency. Read more »
When your facility has to lockdown or evacuate, how do you get the word out? E-Security finds that REACT Systems has the solution.
11/29 - E-Security newsletter highlights the REACT Systems in their monthly "Whats Hot! Emergency Notification Systems" newsletter. Read more »
Unifying critical actions in an emergency means communicating vital instructions and procedures that are part of a comprehensive emergency plan, and requires that this information is received by students and staff quickly (and in time) for individuals to react properly to the current crisis.
10/27 DailyProgress.com CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — A shooting in the heart of the University of Central Arkansas’ campus killed two students and wounded a third person, authorities said early Monday. Read more »
With large (or satellite campuses) and both on campus and off campus student residences, educational organizations are becoming more aware of the need for quick and reliable mass notification, and two-way communication systems for students and for staff.
10/22 BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Western Kentucky University was on lockdown Wednesday after someone reported seeing people with weapons in a building on a satellite campus and police later received reports that shots had been fired on the main campus, about two miles away. Read more »
The United States Secret Service and Department of Education provide valuable guides to managing threatening situations and creating safe school climates at the end of this informative article from October 2007.
10/10 MSNBC- 10 Myths About School Shootings. Read more »
Unifying critical actions in an emergency means communicating vital instructions and procedures that are part of a comprehensive emergency plan. The REACT Critical Response Notification System doesn't just send alerts -- REACT incorporates detailed instructions, procedures, and directives from your emergency plan into multi-channel notifications to thousands within seconds. Instant notification and targeted delivery ensures coordinated action by the right people in the proper locations.
10/16 ZDNet Asia - But, most organizations do not make Emergency Management plans, in my experience. EM in the private sector is the weakest link in the resilience chain. That may be because there are substantial differences between EM and BCM in scope, scale and skills. Read more »
The following article illustrates the need for REACT System's multiple channels of contact and communication (voice, email, SMS, video, digital public displays, PC screens) with instant notification and targeted delivery.
9/26 Security Info Watch ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - A study by a Georgia Tech scientist has found that alert systems adopted by many colleges and universities in the wake of last year's Virginia Tech shootings can be unreliable, slow in a crisis and could interfere with 911 communications. Read more »
Security managers are becoming increasingly more aware of the need for coordinated, unified actions during time-sensitive, emergency situations, but, “The information must be appropriate to the people who receive it or you will lose the effectiveness of the system,” says Jeremy Krinitt, vice president of marketing for React Systems.
8/22 Security Info Watch Why is it that we put so much of our effort into centralizing systems that monitor our facilities and so little focus on the technologies that could help get that vital information back out to the people who need it? Why are they called “command centers” if we have no way to command? Read more »
Week of 11.4.07
11/9 Washington Post Because Hurricanes Threaten Golf Resorts, Too - FEMA has had some bad publicity lately, but that doesn't mean its work -- often nasty, even dangerous -- doesn't continue. And of course such things as planning meetings don't have to take place in uncomfortable settings or in chilly Washington. Read more »
11/8 Wired Disaster Gets Its Own Phone Number ... Some Places - SAN DIEGO -- When your house is on fire, you phone 9-1-1. But when it's the whole city that's going up in flames, you call ... whom? Read more »
11/8 The Economist Protecting life but not yet livelihoods — THE scale of it all is difficult to imagine. At the flood's height, over four-fifths of the state of Tabasco, in Mexico's south-east, was under water, damaging the homes of nearly a million people. Villahermosa, the low-lying capital, was inundated after the Grijalva river burst its banks. Canoes hit the roofs of buildings as they evacuated residents; higher ground became disjointed islands in a lake studded with tree-tops. Hundreds of people remain huddled inside the majestic cathedral in the town's centre. Outside the state governor's residence, tens of thousands queued day and night for bags of powdered milk, cereal and drinking water. There are over a hundred shelters in Villahermosa alone, the largest of which houses 4,000 people. Read more »
11/7 Associated Press At Least 7 Dead in Finland Shooting - TUUSULA, Finland (AP) — An 18-year-old man opened fire at a high school in southern Finland on Wednesday, leaving at least seven people dead and 11 wounded, officials said. Read more »
Week of 10.7.07
10/12 The Associated Press Notices filed of possible lawsuits related to Va. Tech shootings- ROANOKE, Va. - A lawyer for families of 20 people killed or injured in the mass shootings at Virginia Tech filed a notice Friday that lawsuits may be filed against the town of Blacksburg. Read more »
10/12 USA Today Cleveland to place metal detectors, guards at all schools - As a result of this week's shooting in Cleveland, the district will install metal detectors and place guards at all city school, Superintendent Eugene Sanders has announced at a press conference. Read more »
10/11 The Associated Press Va. Tech Tests Emergency Alert System- RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Hundreds of people reported they did not receive a message sent out during a trial run of Virginia Tech's expanded emergency alert system on Wednesday, though it was not clear whether all were signed up for the service, a university spokesman said. Read more »
10/11 Newsweek- Not Yet Bulletproof Oct. 11, 2007 - A 14-year-old student wounded four people before killing himself at a high school in Cleveland on Wednesday—just the latest in a series of shooters who have helped make 2007 another disturbingly violent year at American schools. Read more »
10/8 The Associated Press Cops: Wisc. Victims Included Gunman's Ex- (AP) An off-duty sheriff's deputy who killed six young people fired 30 rounds of ammunition after he burst into a home where friends had gathered, investigators said Monday.
Week of 10.1.07
10/5 The Gaurdian Climate change disaster is upon us, warns UN- A record number of floods, droughts and storms around the world this year amount to a climate change "mega disaster", the United Nation's emergency relief coordinator, Sir John Holmes, has warned. Read more »
10/4 The Economist Some hard talk about towns- IT ISN'T just an urban myth: life in a city really is getting more dangerous, and the sources of peril are not just human ones like muggers and reckless motorists. A report by UN-Habitat, an agency responsible for human settlements, says the number of natural disasters affecting urban populations has risen four-fold since 1975. Read more »
10/2 The Associated Press President issues disaster declaration for 6 Texas counties CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas President Bush declared six Texas counties disaster areas on Tuesday because of damage from Tropical Storm Erin in August. Read more »
10/1 AFP US emergency services ill-prepared to help kids: study WASHINGTON (AFP) Emergency services in the United States are illprepared to help one of the most vulnerable population groups, children, in the event of a disaster, the results of a study published Monday showed. Read more »
Week of 9.23.07
9/28 CBS News Shots Fired At Northern Calif. High School: All District Schools On Lockdown After Student Fired Shots, Took Hostages, Then Released Them- A gunman was in custody after firing shots inside a northern California high school Friday morning, authorities said. No one was injured. Read more »
9/28 Associated Press Evacuation Lifted After Train Acid Leak- PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Authorities lifted an evacuation order several hours after a train car derailed in a Paducah rail yard and began leaking hydrochloric acid leak, emergency management officials said Friday. Read more »
9/28 eSchool News Purdue puts emergency texting to the test - Experiment aims to see how well text messaging can alert students quickly in case of emergency- With some 50 or so companies now marketing emergency text-messaging systems to schools and colleges in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings last April, campus safety officials have been deluged with promises about how well these systems are able to get the word out quickly in the event of an emergency. But there has been little independent research to corroborate these claims--until now. Read more »
9/27 The San Jose Mercury News Cupertino students prepare residents for disaster: They take safety tips door-to-door - There is a 62 percent chance that at least one magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake--which would cause widespread damage - will strike the Bay Area before 2032, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey. Read more »
9/27 The New York Time (AP) Texting, Facebook Used to Alert Students- When a masked freshman came to campus at St. John's University with what police said was a loaded rifle sticking out of a bag, the school alerted students via cell-phone text messages within 18 minutes. Read more »
9/25 The New York Time Panel to Consider Stronger Regulation of Utah Mines-SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 24 — In the shadows of the Utah mountain where six miners were entombed and three rescue workers killed last month, a new mine safety commission will convene in Huntington on Tuesday. Read more »
Week of 9.16.07
9/21 Bloomberg Delaware State Shooting Wounds Two; Student Sought- Two Delaware State University students were shot early today and two others were identified as ``persons of interest.'' The 3,600-student Dover school canceled classes and told people to stay inside. Read more »
9/21 Portland Business Journal City and county launch Voluntary Emergency Registry- Portland and Multnomah County are creating an online registry to identify and assist the elderly and people with disabilities during a disaster. Read more »
9/20 AP Uganda flooding washes away towns, lives- Uganda declared a state of emergency Thursday in the worst flood-affected areas of the country as humanitarian workers tried to reach villages that have been cut off by water. Read more »
9/19 Computerworld Blogs More signs that we're not doing a very good job preparing for a flu pandemic. This comes from "CIO/CSO Business Continuity Research, July 2007," an IDG Research Services survey of 215 CIOs, chief security officers and IT managers.Only one-third of organizations (35%) have plans in place to deal with a potential pandemic such as avian flu. Read more »
9/19 BusinessWeek Ahead of the Bell: Internet Phone 911- A House subcommittee on Wednesday will examine the effectiveness and expansion of 911 emergency service, especially for mobile and Internet-based phone callers. Read more »
9/18 CBS In Case Of Emergency- September is National Preparedness Month. A disaster can catch anyone off guard, so Erin Streeter, Acting Director of the Ready Campaign, has some tips for handling any emergency. Read more »
Week of 8.27.07
8/30 Buffalo News Local colleges to use text and e-mail messages to alert students during emergencies- In case of a campus emergency at the University at Buffalo or Buffalo State College, officials soon will be able to send text or e-mail messages directly to students' cell phones and hand-held electronic devices. Read more »
8/30 New York Times Virginia Tech Criticized for Actions in Shootings- A state panel has sharply criticized decisions made by Virginia Tech before and after last April's shooting massacre, saying university officials could have saved lives by notifying students and faculty members earlier about the killings on campus. Read more »
8/30 Deutsche Welle EU Plans Natural Disaster Response Units- The European Union is considering setting up permanent reaction teams to better deal with natural disasters like the current devastating forest fires in Greece, which have killed at least 63 people. Read more »
8/30 Forbes Bush Marks Hurricane Katrina Anniversary- President Bush marked Hurricane Katrina's deadly strike two years ago Wednesday by assuring New Orleans and Mississippi they are getting better. Many residents, still aching over the killer storm and angry their communities are only limping toward what they used to be, begged to differ. Read more »
Week of 8.20.07
8/24 Guardian Heavy Rain, Flooding Plagues Midwest- Ferocious thunderstorms, heat and humidity added to the Midwest's flooding misery Friday as thousands of people returned to damaged homes, many without electricity to run fans or pumps. Read more ».
8/24 Forbes Greek fires claim more than 15 deaths, state of emergency declared- More than 15 people have died, countless homes have been burnt, and thousands of acres have been destroyed in forest fires raging in the Peloponnesian peninsula in Greece, the fire services said. A state of emergency has been declared in two prefectures. Read more ».
8/24 The Sun News UNC panel works on emergency responses- UNC campuses should develop emergency response plans to cover all possible hazards, conduct disaster drills twice a year, beef up campus police standards and adopt goals for notifying students, faculty and staff of emergencies. Read more ».
8/23 New York Times Louisiana: Out $34 Billion to Hurricanes- Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were a roughly $100 billion blow to Louisiana buildings and infrastructure, and federal rebuilding aid and insurance payments fall about $34 billion short of making up for the losses, a state agency says. Read more »
8/22 Forbes China: Mining accident was a natural disaster- China said floods at two coal mines which had left 181 workers feared dead were a 'natural disaster'. Last week's flooding at the two mines in eastern China after a nearby river burst its banks was a natural phenomenon, rather than a result of lax safety standards, Civil Affairs Minister Li Xueju told a press conference here. Read more ».
8/22 New York Times Virginia Tech Issues Proposals for Security- Officials at Virginia Tech University issued a set of mild recommendations for campus security Wednesday, suggesting the university provide more counseling for mentally troubled students, erect Internet-based message boards across campus to alert students of emergencies and install more surveillance cameras and better internal door locks. Read more »
8/21 New York Times Bush's Talks With Neighbors Are Overshadowed by Storm- President Bush met in a wooded resort east of here on Monday with his counterparts to the north and the south - Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico - to discuss the drafting of emergency border provisions, the stalled international trade talks, and immigration. Read more »
Week of 8.13.07
8/17 CNN Strengthening hurricane pounds Caribbean- Hurricane Dean pounded Caribbean islands and pushed toward the Gulf of Mexico on Friday as forecasters warned the storm could near Category 5 intensity by Monday. Read more »
8/17 Washington Post Hundreds Dead in Peru Earthquake- Victims of Peru's deadliest earthquake in more than 35 years were pulled from the rubble of adobe huts and dust-covered buildings on Thursday, as tens of thousands of people displaced by the disaster sought shelter. Read more ».
8/17 Forbes Group: Over 300 Dead in North Korea Storm- Record downpours and flooding in North Korea have left more than 300 people dead or missing, an international aid group said Friday, as South Korea and the U.S. pledged emergency relief assistance. Read more »
8/17 FOX Future of Utah Mine Search Uncertain after Cave-in Kills 3 Rescuers- The search for six miners missing deep underground was abruptly halted after a second cave-in killed three rescue workers and injured at least six others who were trying to tunnel through rubble to reach them. Read more »
8/16 Sun Herald Louisiana emergency officials on stand-by for Hurricane Dean- State emergency officials went on standby Thursday and activated a "crisis action team" that will monitor Hurricane Dean nonstop, sending key state and local officials alerts on any changes in the storm's path or strength. Read more »
8/14 Xinhua News China sets plan to cope with disasters caused by global warming- Victims of China's increasingly frequent natural disasters will be guaranteed medical aid and relief supplies within 24 hours under a new government plan released on Tuesday. Read more »
8/13 Indianapolis Star After Va. Tech, Indiana colleges strive for mix of security, serenity- Colleges statewide are putting new measures in place to warn students quickly of shootings and other campus emergencies as they gear up to welcome their first new classes since the Virginia Tech tragedy. Read more »
Week of 8.6.07
8/10 New York Times In a Crisis, Subway Riders Get Little Guidance- Ten minutes after a suspicious package was found at a subway station in Washington on Wednesday, riders read about it on the electronic screens at all of the system's 86 stations. Read more »
8/10 Salt Lake Tribune Miners' families call for improved safety provisions- Breathable-air systems, refuge chambers, tracking devices top list- In the wake of the Crandall Canyon cave-in, families of miners who lost their lives in other disasters are calling for immediate implementation of safety provisions that could save lives and speed rescues. Read more »
8/10 USA Today TSA: Man bypassed security, made it on to flight- CHARLOTTE (AP) - Airport officials said Friday that a man who bypassed security screening likely managed to make it on a flight and leave Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Read more »
8/10 CNET Feds consider lowering passenger data requirements- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has taken a preliminary step in overhauling plans for an air traveler-screening program that has alarmed privacy advocates in the past. Read more »
8/10 MRT APCO SEEKS SEPARATE E-911 ORDERS- The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) this week reinforced its desire that the FCC rule quickly on the first half of its E-911 proceeding, which tentatively concludes that wireless carriers should meet the FCC's E-911 location accuracy standard within each PSAP territory. Read more »
8/09 New York Times AP Poll: Most See US Safety Problem- WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most people say the deadly Minneapolis bridge collapse signals a nationwide safety problem, yet they still express confidence in their own communities' spans, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll shows. Read more »