Recent events have demonstrated that no one is exempt from a disaster situation and people everywhere need to be prepared.
There are consequences for every moment that an organization is shut down or unable to function.
The best way to ensure that your organization is ready to reopen following a disaster is to create an emergency continuity plan. After identifying specific vulnerabilities, the next step is to create a plan that addresses any of those possible threats.
Additionally, it’s necessary to establish and confirm that you have an extensive business insurance plan.
Having a comprehensive emergency plan for your organization is a great start but that does not mean you are out of harm’s way. The contingency plans created by local governments, businesses, schools and hospitals are often intertwined and dependent on one another. The app, which is still under development, also creates a real-time database of Community Emergency Response Team members with special skills. Three North Texas seventh-graders have created an app that would help keep track of volunteers like CERT members. Three North Texas seventh-graders have created an app that not only would help keep track of volunteers, but also would ensure that disaster-stricken communities get the federal aid they are entitled to. The team has already won $17,000 in awards, $5,000 of which came from the Stem-In-Action grant, which eCybermission reserves for projects whose real-world implementation show the most promise. It’s important because the number of volunteer hours put into a recovery effort plays a critical role in the amount of aid FEMA decides to send. Plano hasn’t used the app in an actual crisis, but it was used in a few training exercises.
None of the teens had ever developed a mobile application, so all three of them spent their free time after school learning how to use the MIT App Inventor. The app they were building in the old software wouldn’t have been compatible with the new version, and a few weeks was not enough time to rebuild an app from the ground up. Team Protons spent the week participating in STEM enrichment activities that led up to the final judging panel on Thursday afternoon. Now that they are back from the competition, they want to get CERTPRO out of the development phase and into the hands of volunteers. The National Transportation Safety Board has identified 15 rail accidents -- in which 50 people were killed and 942 were injured -- that the technology could have prevented. New technology that could stop or slow a train before an accident -- reducing the likelihood of operator errors becoming deadly -- will be installed on all Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) trains. Such a system might have prevented the December derailment of a New York passenger train that came off the tracks as it sped too fast into a turn, killing four and injuring more than 70.
Since 2005 alone, the NTSB has identified 15 rail accidents -- in which 50 people were killed and 942 were injured -- that the technology could have prevented.
In 2008, after a head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train in California killed 25 people and injured more than 135, Congress passed a law requiring that positive train control be operational across much of the nation's rail network by 2015. Still there are miles to go before the system will be fully implemented for MARC trains and on the state's railroads as costs and other issues are expected to prevent full implementation before the 2015 deadline. Two rail lines used by MARC commuter trains are owned and operated by the freight railroad CSX. Both CSX and Amtrak are installing and testing their own vast networks of switches, signals, radio and communication equipment and operations centers associated with the technology, the companies said.
CSX is years away from completing the work and told the Federal Railroad Administration that it was not going to meet the 2015 deadline, said Ken Lewis, director of positive train control for the railroad.

The company already has begun installing new computers, interfaces and other equipment on about 2,400 of 3,600 trains, and has replaced signaling equipment on 2,400 miles out of 7,500 miles of track needed to meet the deadline.
It will begin field-testing software in a few months on tracks in the Carolinas, loading cars with ballast to test braking mechanisms associated with the system.
Amtrak has been implementing the technology since 2000, and it is already in place throughout the Northeast Corridor and operating in many sections, including in parts of Maryland, said Craig Schulz, a spokesman for the national passenger railroad. Amtrak expects to have the technology working throughout the corridor by the 2015 deadline, he said. What's not clear is whether the system installed on MARC trains will work with the Amtrak system. On Wednesday, Maryland awarded a sole-source contract to Germantown-based Wabtec Railway Electronics because it provided the system being implemented by CSX, Hovatter said. The Long Beach Fire Department's new technology helps the Public Safety Dive Team conduct quicker rescues.
The Long Beach Fire Department recently acquired the technology, called the Shark Marine Navigator, so that the city's Public Safety Dive Team can conduct even quicker rescues -- and act with sight during that 20-minute sensitive period where victims still have a chance of survival.
During rescue missions, divers steer the heavy-duty device and its laptop-size screen through the water using its metal handles. The device's display is similar to an ultrasound -- the 2D version, that is, with some depth. The city's fire department purchased its Shark Marine Navigator for $200,000, using federal Port Security Grant Program funds, Medina said.
Medina said the city's dive team, which also includes the port's salvage efforts, has focused more recently on conducting even quicker rescues -- and deploying new technology toward that aim. Although the device has not been used in a search and rescue yet, all 15 fire department divers are learning to use it during lifelike scenarios, Medina said, adding that he is in awe of how much easier the diver's job looks using the technology. For instance, divers need to float several feet above the bottom so that the device can identify more of its surroundings -- much like how a flashlight casts a wider glow when it is held away from a surface as opposed to close to it, he said.
Once the target is found, the technology can be used like Google Maps, with the diver dropping a target on the device's screen and then kicking toward that target. Though the device was originally developed for military divers to navigate the water unnoticed, Long Beach -- home to the second busiest seaport in the country as well as many bridges and waterways --will use the device in cases where vehicles are submerged or swimmers are lost, with at least a few of these cases reported per year, Medina said. The use of sonar is not new, but the dive team's old sonar device was deployed during the recovery period, and not during the rescue mission as is envisioned for the new device.
Your are receiving a simplified version of the website because you are using an out-of-date web browser. The Emergency Management Office prepares for, mitigates against, responds to and assists in the recovery from natural and man-made disasters. Fort Worth's outdoor warning system may be activated for any kind of emergency a€” not just severe weather. Learn what to do in a variety of emergency situations with these American Sign Language (ASL) preparedness videos, available with English, Spanish and Vietnamese voiceover.
The first step is to identify the organization’s greatest vulnerabilities, both internally and externally. Many of the businesses impacted by recent events did not have adequate insurance plans, and some of those organizations are still suffering. The impact of a man-made disaster isn’t limited to the specific building, company or school, and it is not limited to the city limits. The government needs the community to bounce back from disaster quickly to avoid an economic downturn, and businesses need the area safe and clear to remain open.
The community also may have missed out on some federal aid because of the lack of organization.

The competition was held by the Army Education Outreach Program to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) literacy and a foundation for innovative careers in science and engineering.
Moore and other communities that have been struck by disasters might have received more help from the federal government if they had an accurate way to organize and record the efforts of their local volunteers.
Officials like the app and would like to see it eventually become an official means of organization and communication.
A critical update for the App Inventor was scheduled for release a few weeks before their portfolio was due for the competition. It would have prevented the 1996 collision between a MARC train and an Amtrak train in Silver Spring that killed 11 people, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB), which investigates all major rail accidents.
The device illuminates up to 250 meters underwater in zero visibility, and also has the capacity to take video and photographs. Medina said the diver can see green tones, where bright green indicates something is there.
Many times, he said, they happen after hours or during Long Beach's off season when no life guard is on duty. Check out this video from Ready Houston to learn the steps you should take to survive an active shooting event. Regardless of the cause, accidental or otherwise, each of these events impacted much more than the specific victim or target. It’s essential that each of these organizations create an in-depth emergency plan for the continuity of operations. Each entity will have its own distinct weaknesses, including threats to security and data systems as well as concerns regarding hazardous materials.
Each plan should include preparations for any system malfunction, power outage or employee shortage due to lockdown.
The worst time to realize there’s a flaw in the plan or a gap in your insurance coverage is during the chaos of a disaster. Knowing a disaster can stretch beyond what’s expected, the entire surrounding community needs to be ready to work together.
All the information is stored, and can be managed and shared using the device's software, according to Shark Marine's Web site. But one of the biggest risks is to businesses; the loss of day-to-day operations can cripple a company and lead to significant revenue loss from which some may never recover. Therefore, once a plan is written, it must be tested to ensure that there are no loose ends. These recent victims of man-made disasters have experienced devastation, not only in the specific cities but also the surrounding areas. Between the bombings, fertilizer plant explosion and oil pipeline burst, these seemingly unrelated areas have jointly demonstrated that no one is exempt from a disaster situation and people everywhere need to be prepared. Family members of some crime victims took part Monday morning to kick off National Crime Victims Rights Week at the Nueces County Courthouse. A dozen wreaths were set up by various organizations in honor of victims whose lives have been lost to violence.

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