Friday, March 27, 2009

Hopefully this is not a sign of the times - McGruff gets punched by a bus driver.

According to the article, "McGruff the Crime Dog, the stern but beloved police mascot who teaches kids how to stop crime before it happens, became a victim himself this weekend when a Metro bus driver punched him in the face as a stunned group of children watched, authorities said."

The complete article, which goes into further detail and potential charges/history, can be found at:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Did you know March is Red Cross Month?

"On February 27, 2009, President Barack Obama, Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, signed a Presidential Proclamation marking March 2009 as "Red Cross Month" encouraging all Americans to support this humanitarian organization."

The proclamation can be found at the following White House website:

To get more information on how you can get involved, including training, volunteering, donations (money or blood), read the complete story at:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Besides Donating Equipment, Facilities, and Other Resources - There are Other Things

How about partnering with a non-profit, such as the American Red Cross?

The following is an example of Starbucks partnering with a local American Red Cross chapter to offer "Disaster Response Volunteer Boot Camp"

Similiar "Disaster Action Team (DAT)" boot camps are offered across the United States. While not grab a few of your co-workers and take the classes together?

Are you afraid to approach your company about this? No corporate involvement is really needed to get a group of people together to be active in your community.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Companies Partnering Together

Cisco is also a major playing in the disaster response space.

In 2008, their disaster relief efforts included snowstorms and earthquak in China, the cyclone in Myanmar, and others.

Some of the details can be found at:

Also, companies like Cisco have been partnering with companies like IBM to help provide an even better "on-demand" technology solution.

Monday, March 16, 2009

IT and Consulting Companies Such As IBM Playing a Role In Disaster Response

But response goes beyond companies like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes. It is essential for communications and technology systems to be restored. And others put in place to help with the response and recovery.

"IBM's Global Disaster Reponse: Helping people, leveraging technology, skills".

Some technology examples can be found at:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An article about Home Depot would not be fair without also showing some examples of what Lowe's has done to help the community as well.

For example, "Lowe's and Partners Aid Isabel Victims; Company Provides Community, Monetary Support"

Included in the article, available at includes FEMA representatives in local stores helping them file for federal relief.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home Depot Front and Center

Our last article discussed Walmart's role in the community during a disaster. Companies like Home Depot are also first on the ground.

"The Home Depot and its more than 300,000 associates are passionate about helping their neighbors during times of need. When disaster strikes, The Home Depot is among the first organizations on the scene to ensure its customers have the supplies, resources and support they need to rebuild their homes and communities."

Additional information on their program can be found at:!ut/p/c0/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDdwNHH0sfE3M3AzMPJ8MAHxcDKNAvyHZUBAA3rcQa/

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ever Wonder What Fortune 100 Companies Do To Help In A Disaster?

The next couple of articles will features companies such as Walmart, Home Depot and others.

The Suburban Emergency Management Project, provides some insight on Walmart activites.

“Big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart were extraordinarily successful in providing help to damaged communities in the days, weeks, and months after the storm,”

The complete article, Wal-Mart Way in Disaster Response, can be found at:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Forward and Remember Safety - Inside and Out

So you just finished going around your house and changed all the clocks. But did you change all the batteries in your smoke detectors?

Since you probably didn't, when you go through your house again, take a look at when the last time you replaced the smoke detector itself. If it has been more than 10 years, you might consider replacing them.

While walking around the house, make sure external lights are all working and your sidewalks are clear. Also check under the sink and in your garage and make sure chemicals are out of reach to children. The same is true for medications. If it is expired, why keep it?

Make sure you properly dispose of items that you no longer need.

Friday, March 6, 2009

PreventionWeb - Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters

"In support of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) the UNISDR* has launched PreventionWeb, a website for disaster risk reduction (DRR). PreventionWeb informs and connects professionals working in disaster risk reduction, and promotes an understanding of the subject by non-specialists.

PreventionWeb provides a common platform for institutions to connect, exchange experiences and share information about DRR."

Visit PreventionWeb at

The website provides:

  • Data and Statistics
  • Academic Programmes in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
  • Education Materials for DRR
  • Terminology
  • People in DRR
  • Share with the DRR Community
  • and more.
UNISDR* - UN International Stategy for Disaster Reduction.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Creating a Nationwide Wireless Broadband Network for Public Safety

Earlier in the week, we talked about wireless communication. The following directly relates:

The Public Safety Spectrum Trust - Creating a Nationwide Wireless Broadband Network for Public Safety – – Weds 3/11 – 12:00 Noon EDT is pleased to host a one hour presentation and interactive discussion March 11, 2009, beginning at 12:00 Noon Eastern time (please convert to your local time). Our topic will be the Public Safety Spectrum Trust Corporation (PSST), a non-profit corporation selected by the FCC as the Public Safety Broadband Licensee for the 10 MHz of 700 MHz public safety nationwide broadband spectrum. The PSST’s mission is to provide an organizational structure through which decisions of national public safety leadership can guide the construction and operation of an interoperable nationwide public safety-grade broadband network.

Additional information on this call can be found at:

This educational service is provided by the Emergency Information Infrastructure Project (EIIP).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not Homeless But Need Some Help From Your Neighbors

Well not everyone is out on the streets, but nonetheless, finding a job might be difficult.

The following article talks about how people are reaching out to people in a religious organization or other group to help them find a job.

It's about the network and who best to turn to? The neighbors we see on a regular basis.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Local Volunteers Making A Difference

Looking through the eyes of others, working to get back on their feet, local volunteers group together to help others.

The Fairfax Times featured an article this week about getting neighbors in our community out of the cold.

"This winter, he has been spending his days in school, working temporary jobs through Labor Ready and getting services at the Lamb Center in Fairfax. When the sun goes down, he has been able to get a hot meal and warm place to sleep each night, thanks to Fairfax County's hypothermia shelter program.

"Without the program I wouldn't be going to school. I wouldn't have a place to study," Phillips said. "I just hope they keep doing what they're doing. People need it."

The hypothermia program, now in its fifth year, was started after two men died of hypothermia in the county. Fairfax County's homeless shelters are perennially overcrowded and there can be a waiting list of 100 people or more to get into a shelter. A segment of the homeless population does not want to live in a shelter."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Volunteer to Save the Economy - New York Times

"THIS week, President Obama called upon all Americans to volunteer, to pitch in and give back. We hope that the president is serious about this challenge, because providing more opportunities for national and community service won’t just lift the nation’s spirit, it could help save the economy.


As Americans have proven in times of crisis, what we ask of ourselves matters a great deal. If we want to create the most jobs for the lowest cost with the least bureaucracy and foster the spirit of sacrifice that the president envisions, the economic recovery plan should find a place for more Americans to do good works in hard times."

The complete article, which was featured on can be found at:

Telecommunications Service Priority - What's That?

National Security/Emergency Preparedness "NS/EP telecommunication services are services used to maintain a state of readiness or to respond to and manage any event or crisis that causes or could cause injury or harm to the population or damage to or loss of property or that degrades or threatens the NS/EP posture of the United States. "

Additional information on the TSP program can be found at

The Technical Service Priority (TSP) Program has two components: provisioning and restoration.

  • "A provisioning priority is obtained to facilitate priority installation of new telecommunications services. Provisioning on a priority basis becomes necessary when a service user has an urgent requirement for a new NS/EP service that must be installed immediately (e.g., an emergency) or by a specific due date (e.g., essential) that can be met only by a shorter than standard service vendor provisioning timeframe."

  • "A restoration priority is assigned to new or existing telecommunications services to ensure restoration before non-TSP services. Priority restoration should be assigned to a new service when interruptions may have a serious, adverse effect on the supported NS/EP function. TSP restoration priorities must be requested and assigned before a service outage occurs."