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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

DETROIT – To increase its national visibility and accelerate its business development, Detroit start-up Inventev is participating in the Palo Alto-based Cleantech Open national business competition and has been named a Semifinalist from the Midwest region.  As the developer of an innovative and patent-pending commercial fleet truck propulsion system, Inventev addresses the needs of mobile temporary power generation while equipping a daily work truck for common job-site tasks.  Powering these tasks electrically (such as moving aerial lifts) avoid the noise, emissions and high fuel consumption of idling a costly diesel engine all day.  Leading market targets are the electric utility or cable company line-service "bucket" trucks.  Many other vocational uses will show favorable paybacks as well.

"Everyone still has Hurricane Sandy in mind where there weren't enough generators in the country to respond effectively...even bringing them from California," said Inventev founder & CEO (and former GM executive) Dave Stenson.  "We plan to integrate neighborhood generating capacity onto fleets of hybrid electric trucks saving fuel every day while also having the standby generating capability when needed."

By using the same motors that will electrically drive the truck to generate utility-grade power when stationary, the Inventev system becomes very capital efficient versus trailer-mounted generators that can sit unused most of the time...often not maintained to be "ready" in case of emergency use.

"Without our integrated approach, businesses, utilities and municipalities have two choices today.  Pay for both an underutilized generator and a conventional work truck consuming lots of expensive fuel; or, roll the dice that you won't need temporary power and fight to lease a high-capacity generator when everyone else needs one too," said Stenson. 

To assist in their start-up efforts and building linkages to strategic partners, Inventev has been working with NextEnergy, the Detroit non-profit with expertise in accelerating advanced energy-based technologies.  "Inventev is an example of the type of advanced energy technology early-stage company that NextEnergy is pleased to work with," said Jean Redfield, President & CEO of NextEnergy.  "They have a seasoned management team and are developing a technology we believe has great promise, both technically and commercially."  NextEnergy will also host a regional workshop for the Cleantech Open Midwest semifinalists in mid-July.   The competition will conclude regionally in Minneapolis in October with finalists competing for national awards in November in San Jose, California.

Commercial or funding entities interested in learning more are encouraged to contact Inventev via their website: http://inventev.com

About Inventev
Inventev is an early-stage manufacturing start-up in Detroit combining power generation with plug-in hybrid electric mobility for disaster response and powering job sites.   Their patent-pending technology is targeted at medium duty commercial fleets where total cost of ownership is paramount and vehicles are retained for the majority of their useful life, often over ten years.   Inventev plans to up-fit new truck chassis from a traditional OEM(s) to provide outstanding payback to the fleet customers.  They seek strategic and financial partners to accelerate development and commercialization plans.  For more information, please visit:  http://inventev.com .

About The Cleantech Open
The Cleantech Open runs the world's largest cleantech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today's most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has enabled 727 cleantech startups to bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helped its alumni companies raise more than $800M in external capital, and created thousands of green-collar jobs. Fueled by a global network of more than 1,500 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America's and the world's cleantech sectors a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit www.cleantechopen.org, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

YORKTOWN, Va. – Families in Prescott, Arizona are burying the remains of nineteen brave firefighters who died battling a fierce wildfire. Oklahomans are still struggling to recover from the horrible tornado devastation inflicted just a few short weeks ago. A deadly SARS-like virus is slowly spreading across the Middle East and Europe. And New Yorkers are just now picking up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy that left flooding, power outages, and property damage as it battered the East Coast. People all across the country are constantly reminded about the importance of being better prepared.

Dr. Arthur Bradley, author of the bestselling Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family and the Prepper's Instruction Manual, says, "Most Americans simply don't appreciate that the United States experiences more dangerous weather than any other country in the world. It isn't until winds are blowing and rain is pounding that they begin to think about their vulnerability. Unfortunately, by then, it is often too late."

When asked where families should start, Dr. Bradley offers his Cardinal Rule. "Whenever possible, get out of the way!" Some disasters can be seen coming hours or days in advance. His advice suggests that if there's a way to safely escape harm's way, take it. "There's no reason to unnecessarily put yourself or your family in danger. Stay alert to what's going on around you, and be ready to move."

For those events that occur suddenly or are just too large to avoid, having a well thought out disaster preparedness plan can mean the difference between life and death. Dr. Bradley says that an effective plan should be built around our fourteen needs: food, water, shelter, light, heating/cooling, air, sleep, hygiene, medicine, communications, electrical power, financial security, transportation, and protection. "Not every disaster will affect all of these needs, but if you put together a plan that sets up safety nets to ensure that these are met, you can survive almost anything."

He goes on to say that everyone should take steps to avoid what he calls the Five Horsemen of Death. These include floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. "Add to that list house fires, which kill more Americans than all natural disasters combined, and you've got a very succinct set of dangers that people should consider when putting together their preparedness plans."

Dr. Bradley offers the following suggestions on how to get started: (1) begin by stocking consumables that might end up in short supply, such as food, water, medicine, candles, batteries, fuel, ammunition, and diapers; (2) shore up your home to ensure it is in good repair; (3) plan for a possible evacuation by identifying at least two escape routes and destinations, letting others know when and where you are going; (4) keep an emergency kit in your automobile, such as a gas can, blankets, water, flashlight, and first aid kit – see http://disasterpreparer.com/auto-kits for a complete list; (5) review your insurance policies to make sure that adequate safety nets are in place; (6) have ready a properly-sized backup heating system; (7) establish an emergency fund that can be quickly accessed, ideally, enough for 3-6 months; (8) create a network of like-minded individuals committed to working together to survive dangerous events; and (9) consider the special needs of those within your household, including children, the elderly, those with disabilities, and pets.

These, and many other, recommendations are found in the Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family. For more information on Dr. Bradley's books, as well as his free preparedness newsletter, see http://disasterpreparer.com.

Risk consultant Annie Searle has published an updated second edition of her compact volume of practical advice designed for the general public. With stories based on her own personal experience – from a house fire that destroyed thousands of books, to an episode in St. Petersburg where she lost her bearings – she walks the reader through the value of having plans so that risks can be taken with confidence.

Life is divided now into five chapters – home, school, work, online, and on the road. It's written in practical, plain English with plenty of stories about how things can go wrong. “The new chapter on school includes risk tips for parents from the time they put their child into a caregiver’s hands, through the point in college when I am speaking directly to the student. The school chapter, together with an expanded focus throughout the book for advances in technology use, social media and privacy concerns, makes the book useful to a broader audience,“ Searle notes.

The book is written for the individual and the family rather than directly for the business or corporations,” she notes. “We would never grow as people if we did not take risks. But rather than being blindsided by too much personal risk – as for example in our recent economic meltdown where thousands lost their homes or in situations where security was ignored, at home or online – to identify the risks and to make a plan means having more control over the outcome of events. I don’t identify all the risks or all the plans that one can make. I do discuss what is reasonable rather than what is possible.”

Searle is founder and principal at Annie Searle & Associates LLC, a Seattle-based firm founded in 2009. Her background includes a ten year stint as a senior executive for enterprise risk services at Washington Mutual, and 15 years as president & CEO of Delphi Computers & Peripherals. She is an inaugural member of the International Hall of Fame for Women in Homeland Security & Emergency Management, a lifetime member of the Institute of American Entrepreneurs, and an affiliate faculty member in the University of Washington’s School of Information. She writes four times a year for the London-based magazine, The Risk Universe, and is the editor of Reflections on Risk Volume I, published in 2012.

Advice From A Risk Detective Second Edition (Tautegory Press, 2013) is available directly from Searle’s website, http://www.advicefromariskdetective.com, or from Amazon at $14.95. ISBN #978-0-9839347-5-2.


close up image of a school bus with handicap sign

By Georgina Peacock

When Hurricane Katrina hit, Julie thought she was ready.  She always had an emergency kit prepared because her son Zac needs medical supplies and equipment to keep him happy and healthy. Zac has spina bifida, a major birth defect of the spine; hydrocephalus, which means he has extra fluid in and around the brain; and, a number of food and drug allergies. He has sensitivities to changes in temperature and barometric pressure. Therefore, she always made sure they had a week’s worth of supplies and medicine ready when it was time to evacuate. “There is a very delicate medical balance,” she said.  “When he has an issue, the dominos tend to fall quickly.”

As communities around the Gulf braced for Katrina, Julie’s family left New Orleans for Baton Rouge with their one week reserve of Zac’s medical supplies including catheters, feeding tubes, and special medications. But like most families facing the devastation of this hurricane, they ended up being gone for much longer.  “It was a very challenging time for so many people, but especially for families of children with special health care needs, like ours,” said Julie. “Zac is a unique guy who needs a lot of support.” 

Zac posing in his wheel chair for his baseball team photo“Now, we always keep a one month supply of Zac’s supplies in our emergency kit,” she said. “It’s critical. It’s life and death for us.” Her insurance pays for this stockpile of emergency supplies. She also keeps a document of Zac’s daily needs and medical history in print and electronic format.  This vital document includes:

  • Daily plan of care
  • How to use his medical equipment
  • Recipe for formula
  • Catheterization schedule
  • Allergy information: food and medication allergies, type of reaction, and what to do if he has a reaction
  • Surgeries
  • Diagnoses by body system
  • List of his doctors with contact information
  • Equipment providers
  • Pharmacist
  • Medications and supplies including stock numbers and basic descriptions of products for comparable substitutions
  • Allergy information
  • Insurance information
  • Case manager for his Medicaid waiver
  • Since he is over 18 – legal documentation of  “continuing tutorship” which allows parents to make medical decisions for him.
  • Biographical sketch including his likes/dislikes; hobbies/interests; and triggers-things that will disturb him.

Julie urges families with children who have special needs to know what emergencies are likely in their area. For Julie’s family, they know the areas that flood and prepare for hurricanes and tornados. Also they live in an area that is home to many chemical factories and a nuclear plant, so they prepare for plant explosions, nuclear reactor accidents, and fires.  “Preparing and planning can give you peace of mind,” she said. “Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed. It applies to everyone, especially to those of us who care for children with special needs.”

Children with Special Healthcare Needs in Emergencies

Children with special healthcare needs may be more vulnerable during an emergency.  They may have difficulty moving from one location to another, urgent or persistent medical needs, difficulty communicating or have trouble with transitioning to different situations. A disaster can present all these difficulties at once. Knowing what to do can help maintain calm in your family and keep them safe.

Please visit the following sites for more resources:

Leave a Comment

Does someone in your family have unique needs? How do you prepare? How have you addressed these needs during an emergency? Share your experiences and tips below.

Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH is a medical officer and developmental-behavioral pediatrician with the Prevention Research Branch in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.  Follow her on Twitter @DrPeacockCDC


Further illustrating how important reputation can be to a business enterprise, Paula Deen’s rapidly crumbling empire took another hit this week when Ballantine Books announced that it was cancelling the publication of the celebrity chef’s latest cookbook, Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, which was scheduled to be released in October as the first in a five-book deal signed last year. Even more surprising, was that based on pre-orders alone the book was already Amazon’s number-one best seller (Interestingly enough, the book was replaced at the top spot by another Paula Deen cookbook, Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.)

The book cancellation brought the total of business deals killed by Deen’s admission that she had used racial slurs in the past to 12. According to the Consumerist, the tally includes:



Business Continuity Management (BCM), like most corporate programs, is often plagued by common mistakes; these common mistakes also apply to the Business Impact Analysis (BIA. The following are some common mistakes that need to be addressed to ensure that the BIA is effective:

1. Minimal Management Support – Senior management must buy in to the need for continued maintenance of the BCP program. The program requires on-going resources to ensure that the program is funded and there are dedicated resources assigned across the organization. The people who head up the BCP program must have the requisite training, as well as the skills to provide leadership, prioritize tasks, communicate with stakeholders, and manage the program.



CHICAGO--When Hurricane Katrina struck the states near the Gulf of Mexico in August 2005, human resources at Target Brands Inc. was right in the middle of handling the crisis for the well-known retailer.

The company managed to get the cash registers up and running in a very short time, but it was left with the question of who would run them, Terri Howard, who worked for Target then and is now senior director of FEI Behavioral Health in Milwaukee, recalled.

In a crisis, “HR's role is strategic. It is to make sure that your folks are taken care of,” Howard said June 19 at the Society for Human Resource Management's Annual Conference & Exposition.

That has numerous ramifications, she said. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, banks were closed and ATMs weren't working due to power failures, so “we had to fly in cash to pay people, which had implications for compensation,” Howard said. There also were questions about employees with health insurance going to health care providers who were out of network temporarily, she said, and whether the employees would be charged copays.



The data centre gets the spotlight when organisations look to improve their management and storage of data, but a growing proportion of the information in the average enterprise is found at its branch offices and on end-user devices.

Security vendor Symantec, for example, estimates that around 46% of the data in most enterprises is found outside their data centres. The volume of data outside the safe perimeter of the data centre is growing at a rapid rate, thanks to the rise of mobility and cloud computing.

In addition, many companies still maintain Windows file servers and low-end storage arrays in branch offices, so users can access applications and data without having network bottlenecks slow them down. This exposes companies to both data storage risks and inefficiencies.



LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Everbridge announced today that is has launched its next generation Everbridge Incident Management solution. The Incident Management solution allows organizations to automate their communications processes according to preconfigured rules and capture required compliance information for reporting purposes. By automating these processes, organizations are able to reduce human errors and improve the mean-time-to-resolution for critical response teams. This often helps mitigate the risks and decrease the costs commonly associated with operational interruptions. 
One of the most common critiques of many existing incident management solutions is the level of difficulty that users experience during routine tasks. The new Incident Management solution is highly-configurable and easy-to-use. In fact, customizable templates can be used to create a complete incident workflow with simple drop-down menus in only a matter of minutes. This allows organizations to set up the system or add new incident types on-the-fly, giving organizations the agility that they need to respond to business interruptions without compromising the automation, process controls and reporting that they require. 
An important aspect of the Incident Management solution is that administrators can utilize geo-aware targeting to identify resources with required skillsets by proximity to an open incident. Also, messages can be initiated from any web-based device and delivered using a variety of contact paths (SMS, mobile phones, email, landline, mobile apps, TTY, pagers, FAX, etc.) ensuring that access to office facilities, and communications infrastructure outages don’t impact an organizations ability to mobilize response teams. Highly sensitive attachments and communications can be delivered as a secure message using Everbridge mobile apps. 
Given that oftentimes incidents are not isolated and frequently have a cascading effect, the Everbridge Incident Management solution has been designed to manage multiple incidents in parallel using a single incident dashboard. All communications, incident notes, and responses are tracked with logging, confirmation tracking, and incident journaling to meet internal and external compliance requirements. With the addition of Incident Management, Everbridge combines emergency and operational communications on a unified platform with centralized contact management, shared workflows, detailed compliance and performance reporting, as well as secure two-way communications to virtually any mobile device. 
“Fast, reliable, and secure communications are crucial to the operations of any organization. Our new Incident Management solution brings greater levels of flexibility, agility, geo-awareness and ease-of-use to an industry plagued with solutions that are arduous to set up, manage and operate,” said Imad Mouline, chief technology officer, Everbridge. “With, Everbridge, our clients are now able to manage all critical communications from emergency notification and mass communications to incident management on a single enterprise system.” 
About the Everbridge Solutions Suite 
The new Incident Management solution is part of the Everbridge solutions suite, a single, enterprise system for all critical communications. The Everbridge solutions suite provides administrators with a unified contact database to send secure messages across many contact paths to recipients via list or location in order to manage emergencies, mass notifications, incident communications, and to gather situational intelligence. With interactive mobile apps for both administrators and recipients, Everbridge offers the most advanced global connectivity for organizations who want to communicate with 1 or 1 million targeted individuals in the same city or anywhere around the world. 
About Everbridge Everbridge provides critical communication solutions to more than 30 million end users in all major industries and government sectors around the globe. The Everbridge solutions suite allows clients to manage emergencies, mass notifications, incident communications, and situational intelligence from a single system. Ultimately, these solutions help clients save lives, manage critical activities and improve the efficiency of daily operations. For more information about Everbridge, please see www.everbridge.com. - See more at:http://www.everbridge.com/everbridge-helps-clients-mitigate-risk-with-the-launch-of-its-next-generation-incident-management-solution/#sthash.XYZi0osO.dpuf

Company also Identified as Fastest Growing Mass Notification Supplier in Europe


LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Cooper Notification, a business unit of diversified power management company Eaton, today announced that IMS Research, now part of IHS, has recognized the business as the leading supplier of mass notification system (MNS) hardware in North America. In addition, the company earned the distinction as the fastest growing MNS supplier in Europe in the 2013 report, The North American and European Markets for Mass Notification Systems. 


“In the MNS hardware space, peripherals are expected to see the fastest growth over the forecast period due to new construction and versatility of notification devices,” said Justin Siller, manager, Access Control, Fire and Security Research at IHS. “Other notable trends that we saw in this area were record growth in the giant voice market due to high sales in the military, industrial and utilities markets and building codes influencing the voice module market over the coming years. In terms of North American MNS hardware market share, Cooper Notification was ranked as the number one supplier in 2012.”


Major types of hardware include giant voice systems that employ loudspeakers and high-power speaker arrays in outdoor areas; notification devices that connect to fire and life safety systems and convey emergency audible and/or visual messages to building occupants; and voice modules that can be installed as add-on features to fire-control panels, enabling location-specific emergency communications via pre-recorded messages and manual paging.


“Our commitment to providing innovative, reliable life safety solutions is more evident than ever thanks to the recent recognition from the IMS Research group,” said Ted Milburn, vice president, marketing, Cooper Notification business. “By actively engaging our partners and determining the needs of our customers, we will continue our efforts to pioneer integrated mass notification solutions that help protect people and property around the world.”


Cooper Notification: Delivering Critical Alerts when it Matters Most

Cooper Notification, the industry’s most comprehensive, multi-layered Mass Notification System (MNS) supplier provides critical, emergency communications for communities and facilities worldwide. With 500 MNS systems around the globe, installations include U.S. military sites; major metropolitan areas such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Houston; state and federal agencies; university and college campuses; airports; and hospitals. Integrated with one simple-to-use interface, Cooper Notification’s reliable and effective MNS solutions allow emergency officials to send event-specific instructions through multiple communication channels, including voice sirens, indoor and outdoor speakers, digital signage, text messaging/SMS alerting, automated dialing systems, desktop alerts and email notifications. These systems play an important role in emergency alerting and information sharing among government leadership, first responders, critical infrastructure providers, businesses and citizens. 


Cooper Notification is a unit of Cooper Safety, part of the electrical business of Eaton. Eaton acquired Cooper Industries, plc in late 2012. Cooper Notification is a leading source for notification solutions supporting fire, security, hazardous area, mass notification, voice evacuation and industrial signaling applications. For more information, visit the website at www.coopernotification.com. For information about Eaton, visit www.eaton.com.