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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

AUSTIN, Texas – Reporting damage to a county emergency management agency or getting help from the American Red Cross is not the same as registering for federal disaster assistance with FEMA.

Many Texas residents affected by the May storms and flooding may have reported damage to their local, state or volunteer agencies. They may have even registered for assistance with those agencies. But that doesn’t mean they’ve applied for federal help.

Survivors can only be considered for federal help if they register with FEMA for each storm that results in a major disaster declaration. While FEMA, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and volunteer agencies often work together, their missions, programs and funding are not the same.

The disaster declaration on June 11 put in place several sources of federal funding for survivors of the May storms in 12 counties. Those counties are Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Travis, Waller and Washington.

Disaster survivors may register for assistance the following ways:

  • online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
  • phone 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

  • at a disaster recovery center. To find the nearest one, go to the Disaster Recovery Center Locator at asd.fema.gov/inter/locator.

FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.

Survivors should register even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims been settled.

For more information on the Texas recovery, visit the disaster webpage for the May storms at http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4272; or visit the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at txdps.state.tx.us/dem. Follow us on Twitter @femaregion6.

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Download fema.gov/mobile-app to locate open shelters and disaster recovery centers, receive severe weather alerts, safety tips and much more.

When it comes to cloud computing options, enterprise IT departments often focus on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). That's because, in my experience, IT professionals at large organizations think of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as something primarily catering to small- and medium-size organizations.

But SaaS indeed can, and does, offer plenty of potential for enterprise customers, as evidenced by the 10 startups we're exploring here. Our list includes SaaS applications for traditional organizational challenges, such as supply-chain, payroll, sales, recruiting, and company-wide collaboration.

If your company develops software or sells products or services online, you, too, will find SaaS startups to help you offload many IT tasks, including creating development platforms and running payment fraud protection. In addition, several startups on our list take on the latest and most complex IT services, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, and monitoring inter-cloud networks and applications.

...

http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/platform-as-a-service/10-saas-startups-every-enterprise-should-know/d/d-id/1325978

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

Are you set for the data traffic explosion?

Over the last few years, the amount of information pinging back and forth between devices around the world has skyrocketed. Given that almost all of us now have powerful connected computing gadgets in our pocket at all times, this is hardly surprising, but as even more people get equipped with devices like smartphones, it’s clear the transformation is far from finished.

In fact, data traffic growth is set to get even faster over the next few years. According to a new forecast for Cisco, traffic is set to almost triple by 2020, driven by the introduction of around ten billion connected devices over the next five years.

...

http://blog.krollontrack.co.uk/the-world-of-data/set-data-traffic-explosion/

Cloud Security must remain the top objective when organizations consider moving their data over to a cloud computing platform.  While cloud computing offers businesses many benefits, an organization choosing to place its intellectual property along with its customer information and corresponding emails into a cloud computing environment will also have to come to the realization that that data will be subject to other serious vulnerabilities and threats.

This article would like to focus on raising an awareness to those threats and at the same time propose some steps that an organization can take to ensure and better manage the information they decide to place in a cloud computing environment.

 
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

Con Men, Criminals, and Compliance

What does it take (or not take) to be a con artist and/or a white collar criminal? Do not kid yourself — white collar criminals can be “dangerous,” in that they usually suffer from significant personality disorders. Many are narcissists and sociopaths and are constantly engaging in manipulation, financial schemes, and inflicting harm to victims.

We all the know the legendary white collar scandals – Lay and Skilling at Enron; Bernie Ebbers at WorldCom; Jack Abramoff; Bernie Madoff. The list goes on and on with infamous criminals.

The term “Con Man” has been coined through the years to describe individuals who can convince an innocent person to invest in fraudulent schemes or manipulate people to trust the con artist.

...

http://blog.volkovlaw.com/2016/06/con-men-criminals-compliance/

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

How Secure is your Facility?

On a walk with my toddler grandson the other day we waved to everyone (and every animal, including the birds) we came across. Like many young children, he is oblivious to the dangers of taking a walk around the neighborhood. He will take off across the street, run up to any dog or person, run out in the street when he sees a vehicle. I feel bad pulling him back, making sure all is safe as he looks up at me questioning, “Why are you taking this joy away?” As the adult, wanting to keep him safe, it is necessary for me to restrict some of his actions to ensure he stays safe. Now, I do let him fall, play in the dirt, walk through the water and plants. What is life without some dirt and scars? But it is my job to make sure he is not seriously harmed (along with making sure he has ice cream for breakfast).

For most of us, we go about our lives like my grandson, not worrying about our safety (other than the normal precautions we take each day, like looking both ways when crossing the street and making sure we don’t run into the person texting while walking). What a blessing that is. So how does this relate to the title of this blog?

Most of us recognize the various security precautions or technologies present at our place of business, such as badges to gain access to the building, access restricted by need to some areas, parking barriers, security guards at entrances, sign in sheets, etc.

In a recent blog we discussed weapons and facilities. That includes some items that are pertinent to consider here.

...

http://www.mha-it.com/2016/06/how-secure-is-your-facility/

Few areas within a business have benefited from the Internet of Things (IoT) as much as the supply chain. The advent of tracking and tracing technology through the supply chain gave products a voice for the first time, explains Michael Lucas, chairman of i3 Brands, and this technology advancement provided a revolutionary level of transparency that hugely benefited industries and manufacturers, and ultimately consumers.

“The onset of IoT has simply enabled another improved mechanism for collecting all the micro-pieces of data that occur along the product journey,” Lucas continues. “Beyond simply speaking in ‘one word answers,’ IoT-enabled products are able to speak in full sentences, which allows for continuous diagnostic reporting. This creates unprecedented levels of visibility, allowing manufacturers to become proactive in their approach to the supply chain.”

With this increased visibility to receive, analyze and respond to real-time data, supply chain managers are able to optimize their inventory stock and to reduce their costs. However, the devices and technologies, many of them mobile, that make the supply chain more efficient come with security risks if they aren’t properly secured with enterprise-grade hardware and software.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/articles/supply-chain-security-must-mimic-enterprise-security.html

We are excited to announce that Everbridge was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal and Best Companies Group. The awards program honors the best employers in Los Angeles, benefiting the county’s economy, workforce and businesses. This most recent accolade is just another shining example of the pride and satisfaction employees feel is encapsulated in the Everbridge culture, making it both an exciting and rewarding place to work.

The companies included on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2016 Best Places to Work list are primarily determined by employee surveys that measure the employee experience. Workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics are also taken into consideration during the selection process.

...

http://www.everbridge.com/everbridge-named-2016-best-place-to-work-by-los-angeles-business-journal/

Raging across the country, threatening businesses and residences alike, wildfires are a reality, burning a reported 1.9 million acres in the U.S. so far this year. West of Santa Barbara, firefighters have battled an intense fire for almost a week. Wildfires are also burning in Arizona and New Mexico. In Canada, the Fort McMurray blaze burned for weeks and scorched some 2,400 square miles of land—more than 1.4 million acres. In five of the past 10 years, in fact, wildfires have ranked among the top 20 worldwide loss events.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/wildfires-a-reminder-to-update-disaster-preparedness-plans/

CHICAGO – With a threatening Wednesday forecast for most of the Great Lakes Region that includes severe storms, heavy rains, strong winds and the possibility of tornadoes, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V encourages everyone to get prepared.

“Summer has begun, and with it, the heightened risk of severe storms,” said FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “Now is the time to make sure your family knows what to do to stay safe, and verify your mobile phone is enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts to warn you of extreme weather and other emergencies in your area.”

Individuals should follow the instructions of state and local officials and listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information related to this storm system. Purchasing a weather radio for your home is another way to ensure that you receive critical warning information. If a warning is issued, get indoors, and move to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.

Find valuable tips to help you prepare for severe storms at http://www.ready.gov/severe-weather and download the free FEMA app, available for your Android, Apple or Blackberry device. Visit the site or download the app today so you have the information you need to prepare for severe weather.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.