DENTON, Texas – More than $5.6 million in federal funding was recently awarded to the state of Louisiana to fund wind damage and flood protection measures in Jefferson and Terrebonne parishes.
In Jefferson Parish, more than $2.8 million covers mitigation measures taken to protect government facilities such as fire headquarters and the police department from wind and debris damage. The measures include 571 impact-resistant screens and roll-down shutters.
In Terrebonne Parish, more than $2.8 million pays for the elevation of 23 storm-damaged properties to one foot above the 100-year flood level. This significantly reduces the effect of future flooding on those structures.
The funding for these projects originates from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs. HMA, specifically the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program, provides funds for hazard mitigation planning and projects that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future damages. For more information on HMA, visit http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance.
FEMA’s contribution represents a 72 to 75 percent federal cost share. FEMA awards funding for projects directly to the state of Louisiana; the state then disburses the grant to the eligible applicant.
Follow FEMA Region 6 on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6.
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.
As many of you may know, I work in Program and Project Management, as well as Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. I find the Program/Project Management aspects help build and manage activities needed in BCM & DR and communicate buy-in and need with executives. If you haven’t had any Project Management training, I suggest you attend a course (Note to self: New Post about Project Management). So, it came as something interesting the other day when during a program meeting, the topic of a merger and acquisition with regards to BCM & DR came up during a meeting – and not at my urging either.
If you work for a large corporate entity, you may have gone through a merger/acquisition – as the either purchaser or the one who was acquired. If you work in the IT or DR/BCM role, then you’ve probably had some hair pulling moments trying to figure out how new – or old – technologies work and how they need to work together in the event of a disaster. But it’s doesn’t have to be that difficult…at least if the newly acquired company will still operate as a ‘separate entity’.
By: Sarah Leary
Online communication and social networks are changing the way that people communicate. Today, people are able to relay messages to those around them and those across the world nearly instantly. This instant communication is playing a critical role in emergency communication.
When the largest earthquake since 1989 hit Napa, California, and the greater San Francisco Bay Area in August 2014, neighbors and local agencies were quick to turn to social media to communicate updates and information about the damage and safety precautions. One of the social networks utilized was the private social network for neighborhoods, Nextdoor, which creates social networks and communication channels specific to individuals’ neighborhoods.
Within minutes of the earthquake, residents used Nextdoor to send urgent alerts out to their communities, warning their neighbors to take cover in doorways, watch out for crumbling chimneys, and keep an eye out for scared and flighty pets. In the days following the quake, neighbors continued to use this new social network to share neighborhood-specific tips on clean-up efforts, offer shelter to neighbors in need, and report sightings of lost pets in the area.
Several Nextdoor agency partners, including both the City of Napa and the City of American Canyon, used social media to inform residents of damages, advice for contacting emergency personnel, school closures, and more. In many areas, social media was used to advise residents to keep an eye out for the sound or smell of leaking gas lines and provided road closure updates.
An incredible number of social media conversations in the greater San Francisco Bay Area that day were related to the earthquake– demonstrating that a connected community is indeed a stronger community. Neighbors connected with neighbors, passing along the latest information on power outages, road closures, and damage reports.
Similarly, during the flash flooding and historic rainfall in Houston, Texas this May, the Houston Office of Emergency Management also turned to social media to send out important safety updates and urgent safety alerts to residents across the city.
“During times of emergency and natural disasters, it is often neighbors who are able to best help each other,” said Rick Flanagan, Emergency Management Coordinator at the Houston Office of Emergency Management. Social media “has played a vital role in, not only helping our residents connected, but giving us an effective way to work directly with residents to make Houston a more resilient, prepared city.”
The ability to connect with the community online rapidly closed the communication gap that previously existed between residents and emergency services.
For towns that have experienced more than their fair share of natural disasters, like the City of Moore, Oklahoma, which has been plagued by tornadoes, social media platforms offer a way to connect communities and increase resiliency.
“The more connected you are to your neighbors, friends, and family, the more invested you are in your community. We have people that have gone through disaster and destruction and they have chosen to stay,” said Jayme Shelton, marketing specialist for the City of Moore. “I think Moore citizens choose to stay because of the people.”
Shelton noted, “We come together as a community during times of disaster, and it would be great if we kept that going throughout the year. We don’t have to have a disaster hit us to know your neighbors.” Social media platforms play a big part in connecting neighbors, community leaders, and emergency management resources.
In 2010, the Pew Research Center released a report stating that 28 percent of Americans do not know a single neighbor by name, and only 29 percent know one neighbor by name.
Social media has enhanced how public agencies and residents work together to build more resilient communities. Public safety agencies across the country are increasingly combining the power of social networks with the power of connected neighbors to help create safer more resilient communities – whether the emergency is a flooding in Texas, an earthquake in California, or a tornado in Oklahoma.
If neighbors are able to be better connected, they will be much more resilient and prepared for anything that comes their way.
Sarah Leary is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing and Operations at Nextdoor, a free and private social network for neighborhoods.
I’m going to hold my hands up right now and tell you that as resilience professional in 2015 I still feel like I know very little about cyber security and it really concerns me.
I was recently listening to a very interesting discussion during an interview with Ken Simpson and the wonderfully insightful Lyndon Bird (a guy who I’m constantly asked if he’s my father because of our similar name) on the Beyond the Black Stump Podcast Series (I highly recommend a listen) where Lyndon, who is often described as one of the founding fathers of BC, touches on a point that I’ve been contemplating for a long time. In summary he says…
“Has business continuity gone through its lifecycle of conventional Business Continuity Management Systems into a wider arena called resilience and are our traditional skills ready for that?…Business continuity has a limitation in so far as where it goes to next…Cyber to some extent doesn’t fit our model.”
I frequently help Forrester clients come up with shortlists for incident response services selection. Navigating the vendor landscape can be overwhelming, every vendor that has consultant services has moved or is moving into the space. This has been the case for many years, you are probably familiar with the saying: "when there is blood in the water." I take many incident response services briefings and vendors don't do the best job of differentiating themselves, the messages are so indistinguishable you could just swap logos on all the presentations.
Early next year, after the RSA Conference, I'm going to start a Forrester Wave on Incident Response services. Instead of waiting for that research to publish, I thought I'd share a few suggestions for differentiating IR providers.
As cyberrisks evolve, enterprises have begun to focus on the insider threat by adding specialized capabilities for behavioral analytics on top of endpoint and network monitoring. In order for these tools to be most successful, there must be a fundamental understanding of the role an insider plays in a breach. Not every employee-caused breach is malicious, but they certainly are numerous. In fact, according to Verizon’s most recent Data Breach Investigation Report, 90% of breaches have a human component, regardless of intent.
Insider threats are a rampant problem exemplified by several recent headline-making incidents: the indictment of six Chinese nationals on suspicion of stealing intellectual property worth millions from two U.S. technology firms; accusations from financial giant Morgan Stanley toward an employee believed to have stolen client information with the intent to sell it; and claims from wearable-maker Jawbone that its competitor Fitbit regularly courted its privileged employees, enticing several of them to switch companies and bring sensitive details on its products. The uncertainty around all of these cases begs a couple of important questions: how can intent be determined, and how can employee privacy be maintained while ensuring business security?
New Cloud File Storage Technology from Avere Melds High-Performance Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS with Low-Cost Amazon S3
LAS VEGAS, NV – Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, today introduced Avere CloudFusion, a unique file storage application for Amazon Web Services (AWS), and its availability in the AWS Marketplace. This highly responsive and cost-effective solution provides a purpose-built cloud file system that makes it easy for customers to leverage the performance features of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) with the cost efficiencies of Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), all with the simplicity of network-attached storage (NAS).
Last year, Avere announced the availability of its virtual NAS solution, with software-only virtual FXT (vFXT) Edge filers that work in conjunction with cloud-based and on-premises storage to deliver low latency and high performance levels for big data processing and storage in the cloud. Avere CloudFusion is based on the same technology and brings similar capabilities to smaller data sets that use the AWS Cloud.
Based on data access patterns and internal caching algorithms, CloudFusion automatically places the “hottest,” most frequently used data, on Amazon EC2 RAM, while “warm” data is placed on an Amazon EBS General Purpose SSD volume for high responsiveness to Amazon EC2. Finally, inactive “cold” data is placed on Amazon S3 for the lowest cost and best data protection.
“We are excited to be bringing the benefits of Avere’s NAS technology to an entirely new set of AWS customers with our CloudFusion product,” said Ron Bianchini, CEO and president of Avere Systems. “Enabling customers to run standard NAS applications on Amazon EC2, while storing the bulk of their data on Amazon S3 provides the optimal cost and performance for a wide variety of applications.”
“As cloud adoption accelerates, customers are looking for ways to use and store their data more efficiently,” said Hal Bennett, General Manager, Global Technology Partners, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “With Avere’s CloudFusion on the AWS Marketplace, AWS customers can further leverage AWS products and services to benefit from the increased flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness of the cloud.”
CloudFusion delivers a NAS feature set including snapshots to protect data against accidental deletion and corruption, encryption to secure data against unauthorized access, compression to make the most efficient use of storage capacity and a simple-to-use web GUI that makes setup and administration easy and provides visibility into the file serving operations of CloudFusion.
Pricing and Availability
Avere CloudFusion is generally available on the AWS Marketplace. End-user software pricing starts at $0.99/hour for AWS r3.xlarge instances. A 21-day free trial is available (AWS usage fees may apply). CloudFusion is used in conjunction with Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, and Amazon S3, which are separately billed at AWS current rates.
Watch videos and learn more about CloudFusion by visiting the microsite.
About Avere Systems
Avere is radically changing the economics of data storage. Avere's hybrid cloud solutions give companies -- for the first time -- the ability to end the rising cost and complexity of data storage and compute via the freedom to store and access files anywhere in the cloud or on premises, without sacrificing the performance, availability, or security of enterprise data. Based in Pittsburgh, Avere is led by veterans and thought leaders in the data storage industry and is backed by investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Tenaya Capital, and Western Digital Capital. For more information, visit www.averesystems.com.
Five New Locations Enable Technology Ecosystems
NEW YORK, NY – TELEHOUSE, the global leader for data centers, international Internet exchanges, and managed IT services, announces the expansion of its New York International Internet Exchange (NYIIX) to five new locations, through its global reseller partner, IX Reach. Now NYIIX customers can access the exchange through IX Reach’s geographically diverse points-of-presence (PoPs), in addition to its metropolitan area network in New York.
IX Reach joined NYIIX in February 2015 as its first premier global reseller. Furthering the partnership, customers can now connect into NYIIX and take advantage of a fractional port offering not only in New York, but also Ashburn, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; and Toronto, Ontario.
“Historically, United States-owned Internet exchanges have not offered a variety of fractional ports, until Telehouse opened NYIIX in 1996,” says Ruth Plater, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for IX Reach. “We are excited to provide our customers access to this level of flexibility across all of our markets”
“Now that NYIIX can be accessed from interconnection hotbeds other than New York, a significantly greater number of networks can gain value from neutral peering and cultivate ecosystems more effectively,” says Akio Sugeno, Vice President of Internet Engineering, Operations and Business Development at TELEHOUSE. “We look forward to leveraging the IX Reach platform to greatly expand our radius of coverage.”
Telehouse and IX Reach are attending NANOG 65 in Montreal, Quebec from October 5-7. To learn more about Telehouse or to schedule a meeting, please email email@example.com or visit http://www.telehouse.com.
Established in 1996, the NYIIX is one of the largest neutral Internet exchange points on the US East coast and is operated by TELEHOUSE. Its mission is to provide the Internet community with a neutral and scalable peering infrastructure and to assure reliable and stable Internet connectivity. Visit www.nyiix.net.
About TELEHOUSE America
A stable and trusted pioneer of carrier-neutral data center services, TELEHOUSE provides secure, power-protected environments, where clients house and operate their telecommunications and network resources. Among the many benefits of colocating with TELEHOUSE is the ability to connect to state-of-the-art peering exchanges in New York (NYIIX) and Los Angeles (LAIIX). Through Manage-E,TELEHOUSE provides a comprehensive suite of solutions – from help desk and hardware support to managed IT infrastructure, security and compliance services – all delivered by expert consulting and operations teams on a global scale and from one point-of-contact. Additionally, the global availability of 46 TELEHOUSE-branded data centers in 23 cities throughout Asia, Africa, North America and EMEA, delivers continuous, cost-effective operation of network-dependent, IT infrastructure to businesses around the world. Please visit www.telehouse.com, or contact us to learn more about our Channel Partner program at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with TELEHOUSE on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About IX Reach
IX Reach is the number one partner to leading Internet Exchange Points and global provider of wholesale connectivity solutions such as direct and remote peering, low latency global high-speed point-to-point and multipoint capacity, Ethernet and DWDM metro in major cities, enterprise business IP, BGP transit, cloud connectivity solutions and colocation.
The IX Reach platform enables carriers, ISPs, content providers and enterprises of all sizes to quickly and easily increase their network footprint without the need to invest heavily in their own infrastructure or increase resources.
Discover new markets and endless possibilities with IX Reach. For more information, visit www.ixreach.com
IX Reach is part of the IIX Inc. group, the global software interconnection company, headquartered in Silicon Valley, California.
With UK cloud adoption at 84 per cent Cloud services are a critical part of a wider IT strategy
TmaxSoft, Korea’s leading enterprise software company specialising in middleware, database and framework software solutions has launched Cloud versions of its TIBERO database management system (DBMS) and JEUS Web Application Server (WAS) on Amazon Web Service (AWS).
TIBERO is a database designed, from its inception, to facilitate efficient and flexible integration of data and business logic, as well as providing various database management utilities. It meets these needs perfectly by supporting the database infrastructure, the foundation for corporate businesses, providing both high performance and reliability.
Carl Davies, UK managing Director, TmaxSoft, stated: “Cloud has moved from the edge of the IT estate to its centre so showcasing our DBMS and middleware on AWS allows customers worldwide to conveniently access our products and services. We plan on launching many products, partaking in various promotions, pursuing partner support programs and enhancing cloud services,”
“TmaxSoft selected SaaS via the AWS platform to respond to the rapidly expanding global cloud market. We will venture into the market by using a personalised cloud strategy. By promoting a “BYOL (Bring Your Own License)” campaign, we are encouraging existing customers to use their TmaxSoft products on the AWS cloud. If a potential customer does not own a TmaxSoft product, they can utilise the TmaxSoft AWS SaaS service to use a TmaxSoft product billed on an hourly basis,” he continued.
According to the latest research from the UK based Cloud Industry Forum 78 per cent of organisations are using two or more Cloud-based services and half of all respondents expect to move their entire IT estate to Cloud at some point. The research also found that 70 per cent of those organisations already using Cloud expect their adoption to increase over the next 12 months.
CIF predicts that by early 2016, 86 per cent of UK-based organisations will formally use at least one Cloud service.
By adding cloud services to its arsenal, TmaxSoft is also targeted small and medium-sized enterprises.
Carl Davies continued: “Becoming an Amazon partner allows for easier access to local partners for our subsidiaries. This will be an important step toward finding business opportunities and expanding into the cloud market.”
TmaxSoft was founded in 1997 and, with its domestically developed enterprise software solutions, now competes with the global software powerhouses that used to dominate the Korean software market.
Since 2003, TmaxSoft has been the market leader in the Korean WAS (web application server) market surpassing global software companies such as IBM and Oracle. With the successful introduction of multiple solutions such as JEUS (a web application server), TIBERO RDBMS (a database management solution), ProFrame (an application framework), and OpenFrame (a mainframe re-hosting solution), TmaxSoft has grown to be the only Korean supplier of total enterprise solutions. Based on the high level of technical expertise acquired through 17 years of continuous R&D activity and combined with our distinctive customer-oriented technical support, TmaxSoft purposefully strives to become a global software force, using its innovation-driven technology.
By Lisa Kaplan Gordon
Portable generators are a great source of emergency power supplywhen and where you need it. But they can also be a health hazard if not properly operated or placed. Just be careful to place generators in open areas and away from your home to prevent carbon monoxide fumes from seeping into your house and causing harm or death.