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Volume 29, Issue 5

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

Monday, 12 September 2016 00:00

Emergency Management Agencies Ready for Zika

As Zika virus cases increase in the southern United States, emergency management agencies here are training for this latest health crisis.

As of Aug. 29, there were 16,610 confirmed Zika cases in the U.S. Worse, the days of the disease coming from outside the country ended in July 2016, when Florida health officials confirmed that the first four cases in Miami-Dade and Broward counties were transmitted by local mosquitoes.

Here is how three emergency management agencies are training to cope with Zika in their jurisdictions.



Wednesday, 14 September 2016 00:00

After the evacuation – what staff need to know

Employees don’t have the same communication needs as first responders, but after an emergency, they are likely to have the following questions. Whether it is part of the emergency response plan or the BCP, having a plan to answer them is the first step in effective communications after a crisis.

Where Do I Go for Information?
In the initial phases of a disaster, it might make sense to have employees stay at the safe location that has already been established as an evacuation checkpoint. If everyone who does not have a response role remains at these assembly areas, it facilitates the sharing of information and helps ensure that the messages shared with employees are consistent.

Pre-planning the phone numbers, websites, meeting location, or whatever other information employees may need to know following a disaster allows the information to be printed on cards or papers that can be handed out so that it is easier for everyone to remember and follow the instructions after they leave the facility. This also prevents employees from calling departments or supervisors who may not have the information that they need to know.



The Havelock North water contamination crisis is a painful reminder of how much worse the impact of infectious outbreaks can be when proper planning isn’t in place, an emergency planning specialist says.

Dr Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor’s research centres on the best way businesses and other organisations can prepare for rare, extreme events such as pandemics, terrorist strikes, natural disasters and economic recession.

“Better planning could have minimised unintended consequences and downstream effects that make the disaster worse,” she says. The fact that contaminated water was brought in to Havelock North in a tanker was “staggering”.



A document leaked to Insurance Age reveals that Acturis suffered a major power failure in June due to a National Grid lightning strike.

Titled: Acturis System Resilience and Disaster Recovery it stated that a lightning strike impacted power supply to its main production data centre at Global Switch in London at 17:04 on 23 June.

Initially, the emergency back-up generators kicked in as planned but, after several minutes of operation, two of the back-up generators in one of the power stations failed at 17:14.

The report continued: “At this point the power source was transferred back to the mains supply, but in order for this to take effect, a momentary (300 milliseconds) loss of power was required at 17:15. The result of this momentary loss of power to the Acturis System was a complete system shut down.”

The Acturis System was restored to full operation in 2 hours.



SSP Worldwide has come under fire from disgruntled brokers, with many still struggling to access the insurance software house’s cloud platform nearly two weeks after a datacentre power outage knocked it offline

The downtime since 26 August 2016 has severely hampered the day-to-day operations of insurance brokers across the UK who rely on the SSP Pure Broking software-as-a-service (SaaS) system to trade.

The system is used, according to SSP, by 40% of the UK’s brokers to track insurance renewals and remind customers to reinsure their vehicles, as well as source quotes and purchase products from third-party insurance providers.