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Did You Know That...

1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.

Galveston TX Hurricanes

Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years
Average Direct hit every 8.63 years

The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents
Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000

The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph
42    people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage

Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States
Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.

Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars

Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history

Nuclear Issues

Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones

Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant

How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown

Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel

Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl

In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert

Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry

Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"

More, Did You Know That


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Emergency Management: CEAS
Posted on Saturday, May 12 @ 09:19:02 PDT by admin

Business Network of Emergency Resources, Inc.’s Corporate Emergency Access System

The Business Network of Emergency Resources, Inc. (BNet) has developed the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS), a pre-event credentialing program that uses a secure identification card to give critical private sector employees access to a restricted area following an emergency. BNet has made CEAS available to businesses in several large urban areas in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

The State of New York had long searched for the best methods of incorporating the private sector into emergency response. In October 1997, the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), with a $250,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), commissioned a task force called the Joint Loss Reduction Partnership (JLRP) Committee. The forty-member committee included representatives from banks, public utilities, law enforcement, and government emergency management agencies, among others. The committee’s goal was to establish a blueprint for the improvement of corporate emergency preparedness in New York State that utilized available local resources. The study determined that rapid re-entry into the workplace and closer cooperation between the government and private sector were critical issues for businesses following an incident.
The JLRP formed BNet in 1999 to continue its work on a permanent basis. BNet is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to establishing emergency management partnerships between the public and private sector. A volunteer Board of Directors from a variety of private sector businesses and a public advisory board direct its activities. As one of its first major projects, BNet developed CEAS in 1999 for the city of Buffalo, NY. Since then, BNet has introduced CEAS programs to Boston, MA, Cambridge, MA, Nassau County, NY, New York City, and Stamford, CT.

BNet’s CEAS helps businesses mitigate damage and loss resulting from a disaster or emergency by allowing their personnel rapid access to restricted areas following incidents. These critical employees can quickly get back to work to assess damages and ensure their companies’ viability, continuity and recovery. Through CEAS, BNet hopes to facilitate concrete partnerships between local governments and their business communities to enhance the safety and security in those communities.

CEAS is a, pre-event, card-based system that allows enrolled businesses to select a percentage of their critical employees to receive a CEAS card. After an emergency, card-holding employees can show their card to site security who will grant them access to their work areas provided authorities have determined that no immediate threats exist at the incident site and have activated the system. All enrolled jurisdictions use a standard type of CEAS card, though BNet will work with jurisdictions to create alternate types of cards should they need them.
BNet works with local chief executives that are interested in adopting CEAS for their jurisdictions. Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that public safety agencies recognize the CEAS card during an incident. The authorities are also responsible for determining when to activate CEAS. Businesses within the jurisdiction determine which of their employees will receive CEAS cards.

The process of implementing CEAS is unique to each jurisdiction. Generally, BNet either engages or will be sought out by the local business community interested in strengthening its role in the community’s ability to recover from an emergency incident. BNet relies on the business community’s relationships with the local government to help it present the system to and reach an agreement with the municipality. BNet encourages its client jurisdictions to take ownership of the system once they have enrolled. Jurisdictions draft their own plans for administering for the system, including how the system will be activated and enforced.

Type of Cards
BNet offers four different types of access cards.
* Standard Card: This is the most common type of CEAS card and is available in all jurisdictions where CEAS is available. The card includes the employee’s name, picture, facility address, CEAS ID number, level of access, and terms of use. All holders of the card must go through a web-based training course.
* Flex Card: BNet only makes this card available in New York City. It is designed to allow flexible access should non-credentialed employees need to enter a restricted area on short notice. It is intended for companies where the essential work force may change regularly. It does not include a picture or name but does include all other elements found on the Standard Card. Holders must present the card with another form of corporate ID or a government issued ID.
* Tandem Card: BNet makes this card available in several jurisdictions that have requested it. It is designed for businesses with multiple locations in New York City whose critical employees may require access to more than one facility during a crisis. Companies can place up to six locations on a single Tandem Card. Holders must present the Tandem Card with either a Standard Card or a Flex Card.
* Essential Service Provider Card: Companies who have outsourced critical business or recovery functions may permit these service providers access to their facilities through the use of this card. Companies must first approve the application of the service provider and permit the allocation of cards based on the “Restrictions” outlined below.

All CEAS card-holders must undergo an online training course before they are eligible to receive a credential. The course aims to ensure that all card-holders have a basic understanding of the local emergency management system, a complete understanding of the purpose and parameters of the credential, and an exposure to common concepts for dealing with emergency situations. BNet will also work with the appropriate public safety agencies to ensure the widest possible awareness and understanding of the program among local police, fire, emergency medical service agencies, emergency management, and elected officials.

Level of Access
CEAS calls for five standard levels of access for employees during emergency incidents:
* Entry X: All access prohibited. Access to restricted area will not be dependent on CEAS cards but rather on criteria specified by local public safety officials.
* Entry D: Direct involvement only. Local authorities will only allow access to companies pre-approved by government and directly involved in mitigating the effects of the emergency. Level D represents the highest level of access in the system.
* Entry C: Essential employees, critical industries. Each participating jurisdiction will identify, prior to an incident, which sectors of business are vital the continuing economic viability of the local and national economies. Critical industries will generally include banking and financial services, building management, and fuel distribution, among others. Local authorities will permit entry to employees of companies in these industries with CEAS credentials. Level C represents the second highest level of access.
* Entry B: Basic functions, all companies. Local authorities will permit employees of all other companies with CEAS credentials access to the emergency zone.
* Entry A: All permitted, vehicular limitations. There are no restrictions on entry of personnel, but local authorities will limit vehicular entry to the emergency zone to persons possessing any CEAS credential.

BNet provides model activation protocols. While jurisdictions can determine their own activation protocols, they typically follow these steps when activating and deactivating the system:
* Recognition of the Need to Activate: Recognition of a need to activate CEAS within a specified zone may come from a variety of sources after an emergency incident has occurred. Local public safety or emergency management agencies may recommend to the local chief executive that he or she activate CEAS. Local businesses or BNet itself can also ask the local chief executive to activate CEAS. The authority to activate the system lies with the jurisdiction’s chief executive.
* Announcement of Activation: The jurisdiction will announce the activation of CEAS. To the extent practicable, jurisdictions should attempt to broadcast the activation over public safety communication systems. Jurisdictions should also attempt to use the resources of local businesses to inform the affected elements of the business community. BNet will notify via e-mail all participating businesses in jurisdiction if the local government has activated CEAS.
* Enforcement of the System: Local law enforcement agencies are required to develop written enforcement policy as a prerequisite to starting a CEAS program in a given community. Local emergency managers and public safety officials should alert police officers controlling access to the incident site that CEAS is activated and that should they have questions about the validity of a credential, they should contact their emergency operations center where officials can verify the credential’s authenticity.
* Assistance by BNet: When authorities activate CEAS, BNet will offer support to the local coordinating agency to ensure that authorities can access databases and entry protocols for the system. BNet recommends that the jurisdictions clearly define perimeters and access points to the affected area.
* System Deactivation: The local chief executive may rescind the activation of CEAS at his or her sole discretion. To the extent practicable, jurisdictions should attempt to broadcast the deactivation in the same manner as the original announcement.

Companies that wish to enroll in CEAS designate a Corporate Coordinator who will be responsible for coordination of the system within his or her company. The Corporate Coordinator completes the online program application form and submits it to BNet. BNet investigates the work-site, using data from state and local government agencies as well as local commercial organizations when available. BNet then determines the maximum amount of credentials the business can apply for.

In order for an application to be approved, participating companies are required to indemnify the local jurisdiction and BNet through a Participants Agreement as well as provide proof of insurance to levels defined in the Plan documents.

Once approved, the Corporate Coordinator can selected his or her company’s essential employees and upload to BNet through the on-line system, the names, e-mail addresses and a digitized photo of each participant, as well as a list of any critical service providers or vendors . BNet sends each participant the location and password of a training web site. After the participant has completed the training program, BNet ensures that he or she is properly entered in the CEAS central database and issue the authorized credential to the coordinator for distribution.

Program Costs
BNet charges participating businesses on a per-card basis. Businesses pay based on the number of employees they have participating in the program. The cost of a Standard Card is $50 per card. The Flex Card, available only in New York City, costs $70 per card. The Tandem Card costs $30 per card plus $20 for each additional address listed on the card. All cards are valid for a period of two years.

BNet imposes the following limits on the percentage of employees in a participating company who may receive a CEAS credential:
Number of Full Time Employees at Site Maximum Designated as “Essential”
≤20 ------------------------------------ 25%
21-100 ------------------------------ 20%
101-1,000 ---------------------------- 15%
>1,001 -------------------------------- 10%

In the case of commercial property managers the following limits apply based on square footage managed:

Building Square Footage Maximum Card Allowance*
<250,000 Square Ft. ------------------- 12
250,000 – <500,000 Square Ft. ----- 24
500,000 – <1,000,000 Sq. Ft. ------- 45
1M – <1.5M Square Ft. -------------- 50
1.5M Square Ft. or > ---------------- 55

Organizations may apply to BNet for a special exception to the above stated guidelines. BNet will grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis and increase the number of the organization’s credentials by no more than two percent.


Keys to Success

CEAS helps to foster greater cooperation between local governments and area businesses for the purpose of minimizing economic loss during emergency incidents.

CEAS’ unique ID cards enable law enforcement to quickly recognize critical employees and allow them access to restricted areas.

CEAS reduces enterprise risk by helping businesses rebound more quickly from a disaster. CEAS also promotes the resiliency of local privately owned critical infrastructure by providing a means to identify the private sector “first responders” responsible for maintaining and restoring the same.

BNet attempts to confirm the legitimacy of any company that seeks to enroll in CEAS by examining data from local and state labor agencies as well as local commercial organizations and by confirming the corporate check, credit card, and insurance documentation that a company provides as part of the enrollment procedure. However, BNet places the responsibility on the participating company to investigate its employees’ backgrounds to ensure that only appropriate employees hold a CEAS credential.

CEAS is a web-based system that requires no additional software from either businesses or local governments. BNet maintains the database of card-holders. It produces the cards to meet the physical and topographic standards set forth in FIPS 201.

Only businesses located in jurisdictions where BNet has made CEAS available can enroll in the system. CEAS is currently available in Buffalo, NY, New York City, Nassau County, NY, Boston, Cambridge, MA, and Stamford, CT. BNet plans on expanding CEAS to other jurisdictions in the near future.

Corporate Emergency Access System

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Re: CEAS (Score: 1)
by papipapi on Sunday, May 13 @ 18:23:35 PDT
(User Info | Send a Message)
good information

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