More than 440,000 in Missouri to Participate in Nationwide Drill
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With just one week to go, communities throughout Missouri are preparing for the fourth annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, scheduled for October 16 at 10:16 a.m.
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are occurring in more than 45 states and territories — nationwide more than 19 million people are expected to participate in the activity. During the drill, participants simultaneously practice the recommended response to earthquake shaking:
- DROP to the ground
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, or cover your head/neck with your arms, and
- HOLD ON until the shaking stops
The ShakeOut is free and open to the public. Participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies and many other groups. See the list of all the participants in Missouri at, www.shakeout.org/centralus/participants.php?start=Missouri. The goal of the program is to engage individuals to take steps to become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
“Participating in this drill is a quick, simple thing we should all do—at work, at home, alone or with family or co-workers—to prepare for earthquakes,” said Regional Administrator Beth Freeman, FEMA Region VII. “When we practice ‘drop, cover and hold on’ it makes it more likely we will react appropriately during an earthquake and that can and does save lives.”
States participating in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
Interested citizens, schools, communities, businesses, etc. are encouraged to visit http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/register to register to participate and receive instructions on how to hold their earthquake drill. On social media, information about the drill is being provided on Twitter through www.twitter.com/CentUS_ShakeOut. In addition, www.twitter.com/femaregion7 and others are tweeting earthquake safety tips and drill information using the hashtag #ShakeOut.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is being coordinated by Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its other Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of other partners.
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills began in California in 2008 and have expanded each year since then.
Visit FEMA Region VII online at www.fema.gov/region7. Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/femaregion7, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
Charlie Maclean-Bristol, FBCI, discusses whether the time has come for business continuity managers to make contingency plans for an Ebola pandemic.
Spain is now dealing with the first case of direct infection of Ebola in Western Europe; the first Ebola death has occurred in the United States; and the World Health Organization has warned that ‘Ebola is now entrenched in the capital cities of all three worst-affected countries and is accelerating in almost all settings’. So has the time come for business continuity managers to make contingency plans for a possible future Ebola pandemic? I think the answer to this question is, yes, we should be.
I am not suggesting that you immediately go out to the supermarket and buy lots of tinned food and water, barricade the house, be prepared to operate on battery power and bottled gas and then lie low.
What I am suggesting is that we should be quietly thinking about how a possible Ebola pandemic might affect our organization; thinking through what an Ebola plan might look like; and monitoring the situation to ensure that you are ready to react if the situation escalates further.
So what at this stage should business continuity managers be doing?
Enterprises are moving more and more applications to the cloud. The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend, according to Gartner, Inc (1). 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.
“While the benefits of the cloud may be clear for applications that can tolerate brief periods of downtime, for mission-critical applications, such as SQL Server, Oracle and SAP, companies need a strategy for high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) protection,” said Jerry Melnick, COO of SIOS Technology Corp. “While traditional SAN-based clusters are not possible in these environments, SANless clusters can provide an easy, cost-efficient alternative.”
Jerry says that separating the truths and myths of HA and DR in cloud deployments can dramatically reduce data center costs and risks. He debunks what he says are five myths:
As part of a broad effort to reinvent itself, BMC Software this week added advanced analytics capabilities to its suite of IT operations management software, while at the same time revamping its Remedy service desk software.
In addition, BMC has created a series of Smartflow Solutions that combine various BMC Software products into frameworks that make it possible to more easily manage IT at scale, while providing access to Automation Passport, a compilation of reference guides and best practices for automating IT operations.
Paul Appleby, worldwide executive vice president of sales and marketing for BMC Software, says BMC is moving to modernize its complete suite of distributed IT management offerings to make it easier to manage IT at scale in the age of cloud computing. Organizations that are increasingly relying on IT as a competitive weapon need to be able to operate IT on an industrial scale in order to successfully compete, says Appleby.
Now that the Ebola virus has made its way to the United States and we enter the traditional US Flu season, companies are beginning to revisit and/or develop Pandemic Plans to address this scare. But, Pandemic Planning is a little bit different than your standard business continuity plan development process. I have often chastised organizations for saying they have business continuity or disaster recovery “plans” when all they really have are plans to create plans, but, in the case of pandemic planning, I think, that is actually the right approach to take.
The reason why it is so important to have well developed and relatively detailed business continuity plans, strategies and solutions in place today is that most disasters occur without warning and do not provide the luxury of time to figure out what to do after the incident occurs. Pandemics represent an evolving threat that comes in various shapes and sizes and does afford us a luxury (if that word really applies here) to construct a response plan based on the particular pandemic that poses the threat.
The “Pandemic Influenza Risk Management / WHO Interim Guidance” published by the World Health Organization in 2013 (click here to read this document) states:
As hacking attempts become more complex, governments continue to improve their cybersecurity presence through sophisticated firewalls and expanded procedures. But while high-profile data breaches have focused more state and municipal attention on cyberintrusions, a decidedly old-school problem continues to plague efforts to beef up security — communication.
With a variety of security options available, public-sector agencies often are deploying tools and using strategies that utilize different terminology and principles. These differences can lead to frustration when trying to compare cybersecurity programs and address the latest digital threats across agencies or jurisdictions. Without a standardized language, it’s difficult to gauge how strong another organization’s cybersecurity is.
To illustrate the concept, consider an advertisement for a new hotel. The hotel boasts that it has superior service, amenities and security. The only way to know that for sure, however, is for those claims to be verified. In the lodging industry, organizations like AAA visit hotels and rate them — five-star, four-star, etc. Customers then read those ratings and make a decision on where to stay based on the commonly understood vernacular.
Introducing myCOOP™ 7 Major Release
HERNDON, Va. – The developer of myCOOP™, one of the most advanced Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) systems in the world, is sponsoring a usability and BC software automation webinar.
There is now an answer to the age-old question of making BC software as usable as possible. Join our webinar to explore a different way to automate BC programs. Click on one of the following times to register.
Complaints abound in the industry, with four basic themes.
"Why proprietary methods instead of open standards?"
"Why can't it feel more like mass market solutions?"
"Why not treat administrators and end-users differently?"
"Why can't we use our knowledge instead of vendor details?"
Instead, we'd rather SURF, using four basic principles.
Standards - - open methodologies
Usability - - mass market paradigms
Roles - - differing user-specific work flows
Flexibility - - embracing client knowledge
If you can't join us, you please register for a recording.
ABOUT COOP SYSTEMS - - Scalable, Flexible, Reliable, Proven
COOP Systems, headquartered in Herndon, VA, is a leading provider of myCOOP, the BCM solution used by a growing list of clients globally. With a proven reputation for reliability and ability to support clients' existing BCM practices, our clients believe myCOOP is simply one of the best BCM systems in the world.
New Application Wrapping Feature Brings Increased Security and Ease of Use for Customers
LONDON — LANDESK, a global leader in delivering user-oriented IT solutions that solve systems, assets, security, mobility and IT service management challenges, today announced the release of new features and upgrades to its Enterprise Mobility Management platform, including an application wrapping feature. This new feature will allow IT departments to add another layer of security to the enterprise apps they supply to their users.
“We strive to provide users with the most intuitive and easy-to-understand products available,” said Stephen Brown, director of product management at LANDESK. “While most application wrapping software is quite cumbersome, our solution allows an IT administrator to wrap an application in one step and deploy it to users. We know this simplicity will improve the productivity of the IT managers and their user base to help them focus on the important tasks they need to accomplish.”
LANDESK application wrapping makes it easy to incorporate mobile application security into corporate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. It uses single sign-on authentication to make access to the enterprise applications simple and to foster increased user productivity. It also encrypts data, preventing it from moving to applications not provided by the enterprise. This feature also makes it easy for IT to add security features and can be used for any Android app and enterprise iOS apps.
LANDESK® Mobility Manager helps IT managers balance users’ needs to be productive anywhere with IT’s charter to provide secure mobility. With the BYOD-friendly LANDESK approach, IT teams gain confidence that 1) security measures are in place to consistently safeguard corporate data enterprise-wide and 2) mobile users benefit from a solution that respects the personal nature of their devices.
About LANDESK Software
LANDESK, the global authority on user-oriented IT, enables users to be their most productive while helping IT embrace the speed of change. Through the integration and automation of IT systems management, endpoint security management, service management, IT asset management, and mobile device management, LANDESK empowers IT to balance rapidly evolving user requirements with the need to secure critical assets and data. With offices located across the globe, LANDESK is headquartered in Salt Lake City. For more information, visit www.landesk.com.
Disaster recovery specialist SERVPRO offers insight into the complexities of dealing with disaster
- The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)?
- Most major insurance companies, including cycle times and deadline requirements?
- Capturing and updating data, including job diary notes, electronically real-time on the jobsite, with simultaneous updates saved at the central office?
- Using e-signatures to help eliminate lost paperwork and the need to scan documents?
- Providing a complete record of the damage and remediation efforts in images, with descriptions, start-to-finish?
- Identify the right equipment for the job, based on the damage description?
- Validate the use of each piece of equipment, automatically, as part of the remediation records?
Insightful Discussion Articulates How Microsoft Lync and SMART Room Systems Technologies, With Systems Integration Expertise from Carousel, Can Make Companies More Efficient
EXETER, RI — Carousel Industries, a leader in unified communications, managed services, data solutions and visual communications, invited experts from Microsoft and SMART Technologies to contribute to a roundtable discussion with Carousel on 'The Future of Collaboration' last week. The webinar, which was open to Carousel partners and customers, took place on October 2nd and discussed how companies of all sizes can significantly improve business communications across a broad range of end user devices and multiple vendor environments.
According to Carousel, companies that integrate a sound unified communications platform have the potential to raise the value of every business interaction. New communication technologies such as Microsoft's Lync 2013 and SMART Room systems enable employees to remain active contributors throughout the entire day, no matter what their location is or which devices they are using.
The event was hosted by Ed Wadbrook, VP Applications and Collaboration, Carousel Industries, and also included Jason Moortgat, Business Development Manager, Partner Practice Recruit Team, Microsoft; and Jeff Lowe, VP Sales & Marketing, SMART Technologies.
"We are entering a 'golden age' of collaboration in which videoconferencing technology, along with continually evolving unified communication applications and platforms, is having a measurable impact on how employees and partners can engage to achieve optimal business results," said Ed Wadbrook. "Microsoft's Lync Room Systems and SMART Technologies' SMART Room solutions, combined with Carousel's unmatched systems integration, training and maintenance expertise, represent a paradigm shift in how companies are able to leverage video — not just as a measure to lower travel expenses but as a means to create more intimate face-to-face communications among stakeholders."
A New Vision for Collaboration Among Small and Large Businesses
Launched in 2011, Microsoft Lync has evolved to become an industry standard communications solution for enterprises of all sizes, connecting users and groups across a wide variety of locations and disciplines. Through its traditional office applications, chat capabilities, videoconferencing and other technologies, Lync helps businesses remove traditional communication barriers while empowering individuals and groups to become more proactive contributors.
During the webinar last week, presenters from each company explained how Lync Room Systems and SMART Technologies' SMART Room are revolutionizing the archteypal concept of the meeting room with powerful new capabilities, and in a range of sizes and package levels to suit just about any budget and business need. The technology for each conference room, which Carousel handles implementation and maintenance support, enables reliable Lync-based communication in a desktop-like environment that is likely to be familiar to most users. Meanwhile, SMART Room makes meeting set up and management much easier with its 'one-touch' functionality and powerful collaboration and whiteboarding features.
During the webinar, Carousel announced that it is able to deliver complete Lync Room Systems in a range of six possible sizes:
- X small (up to four people, one 55" display)
- Small (up to six people, one 70" display)
- Medium (up to 12 people, one 84" display)
- Medium Dual (up to 12 people, two 55" displays)
- Large (up to 16 people, two 70" displays)
- X-Large (up to 20 people, two 84" displays)
The Future of Collaboration Among the Fortune 100 and Beyond
Among the companies Carousel has worked with to install several Lync Room Systems is one of the nation's oldest and most prominent insurance companies. Since the installation was completed this year, the company has increased the productivity of its workers while significantly reducing its audio conferencing costs — which were based on using more than 40 million minutes per year. Additionally, since the technology enables meeting attendees to participate over just about any device and anywhere in the world, the company can more easily comply with regulatory requirements requiring board members to be present during certain meetings.
Ed Wadbrook of Carousel neatly summarized how an effective collaboration strategy can 'move the dial' in just about any business: "Now, true collaboration has no boundaries, yet is secure. Companies that deploy effective Lync-based video conferencing solutions will not only make their own workforces more productive, but can create more intimate and loyal relationships with partners and customers."
To learn more about Carousel's collaboration solutions, please visit www.carouselindustries.com/solutions/collaboration
Carousel Industries consults, integrates, and manages technology solutions that solve business problems and contribute to your organizations’ growth. This includes unified communications, managed services, virtualization, Voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing and collaboration and data infrastructure solutions.