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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

Thursday, 05 May 2016 00:00

Small Business Interrupted

Every business comes with a certain amount of risk. Although difficulties and challenges can’t be avoided, they can be mitigated with the proper precautions, planning and insurance coverage.

In support of National Small Business Week (May 1-7) and to help business owners understand insurance, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) developed this infographic that focuses on business interruption insurance which is also posted on the I.I.I’s Business Pinterest Board.

Did you know that after a catastrophe or other disaster 40 percent of businesses do not reopen and another 25 percent fail within a year?



Technology is forcing fundamental changes in business landscape, and the data center is at the core of these changes. New levels of user mobility, the pace and style of application delivery are revolutionizing how businesses compete and stay ahead. Your data center is now the driving force behind your business, and as its role evolves, it too must change.

There needs to be a better way to deploy powerful, scalable systems that are integrated and easy to manage. To address this need, a new type of platform has emerged: hyperconverged infrastructure.

First, let’s define the concept. It’s important to note that there are a number of similarities between hyperconverged and converged infrastructure. Both are deployed as blocks, and both converge critical resources to deliver higher density. The biggest difference is in how these environments are managed. In hyperconverged infrastructure, the management layer – storage, for example – is controlled at the virtual layer. Specifically, it incorporates a virtual appliance that runs within the cluster. This virtual controller runs on each node within the cluster to ensure better failover capabilities, resiliency, and uptime.



Thursday, 05 May 2016 00:00

How to Appeal a FEMA Decision

RIDGELAND, Miss. – Some survivors, who registered for federal disaster assistance after the March storms and flooding, may have received a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that says they are ineligible. However, the reason for the decision may be something that can be easily fixed, such as providing insurance documents or new contact information.

Applicants can appeal any FEMA decision.

The first step is to look at the specific reason the letter was sent. If it isn’t clear, or more information is needed, a specialist at the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711, video relay service) can help. TTY users can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Information is also available online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

Appeals must be made in writing and sent by mail or fax to FEMA within 60 days of receiving the letter.

Mail appeals to:

National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

Appeals and documents can be faxed to 800-827-8112.

Information on how and where to file an appeal is included with the letters and in the "Help After a Disaster" booklet, which can be downloaded at FEMA.gov/help-after-disaster.

Effective appeal letters should follow these procedures:

  • In the first paragraph, list the applicant's full legal name used on the aid application, along with Social Security number and the FEMA case number. Include a personal phone number as well as a back-up phone number where the applicant also can be reached, in addition to a correct mailing address.
  • Write an explanation of events that provides evidence to support the appeal. Summarize changes in circumstances or needs, additional damage to property discovered after the registration was filed or higher-than-anticipated costs for repairs.
  • Include photocopies of receipts for materials and labor as well as up to three written bids for repair work if those costs exceed the award amount. Submitting repair estimates, receipts, statements or invoices is recommended.
  • Keep a copy of the appeal letter and supporting documentation as a record.


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.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or video relay service). TTY users can call 800-462-7585.

(TNS) - Florida health officials confirmed three new Zika virus infections on Tuesday, including one pregnant woman and one new case in Miami-Dade, as U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, held a press conference in Coral Gables urging Congress to fund a $1.9 billion emergency appropriation requested by President Barack Obama to combat the disease.

Zika virus has impacted Florida more than any other state, with a total of 102 people affected since February, including at least 40 in Miami-Dade, the county with the most cases. Included in the statewide total are seven pregnant women, though the health department does not disclose their counties of residence because of privacy concerns.

With Zika cases on the rise and the rainy season at South Florida’s doorstep, Nelson called a media conference with University of Miami Health System infectious disease experts and a Miami-Dade mosquito control manager to press Congress for additional funding.



(TNS) - Tracey Herrera suspected she had a bout of food poisoning and would be out of the Langley Health Services clinic in a few minutes with a prescription for antibiotics and some encouragement to get well.

Jerry Azevedo thought that he and Herrera had picked up a flu-like, bacterial infection during their mission work in the Republic of Sierra Leone, in west Africa, a few weeks before.

“I'm vomiting blood. I feel pretty bad,” he said. “Imagine the worst flu you've ever and multiply it by 10.”

They walked into the Ocala clinic on Magnolia Avenue at 9 a.m. together. They were pale and shivering, and between coughing fits managed to tell the clinic's the receptionist they had been out of the country and were now sick. Clinic staff immediately took them into a quarantine room and contacted Munroe Regional Medical Center that they suspected the two were infected with the highly contagious and deadly Ebola virus.



Guesswork is often the enemy of those responsible for data center design, operations, and optimization. Unknown variables lead to speculation, which inhibits predictability and often compromises success. In the world of storage, many mysteries still remain, unfortunately, with block sizes being one of the most prominent. While the concept of a block size is fairly simple, its impact on both storage performance and cost is profound. Yet, surprisingly, many enterprises lack the proper tools for measuring block sizes, let alone understanding them and using this information to optimize data center design.

Let’s look this topic in more detail to better understand what a block is and why it is so important to your storage and application environment.



The buzz at yesterday’s inaugural Cyber Investing Summit – held on Wall Street at the New York Stock Exchange – was that most CEOs and board members don’t get cybersecurity.

Cybercrime is on the rise — to the tune of $2.1 trillion by 2019, according to Juniper Research. The Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) states that no location, industry or organization is immune from attack. A DBIR executive summary — described as the C-level guide to what they need to know — is chock full of information that most CEOs will struggle to understand. For instance, ‘the median traffic of a DoS attack is 1.89 million packets per second — that’s like over 113 million people trying to access your server every minute.’ Huh?

Make no mistake, Verizon’s report is an invaluable resource and recommended reading for business leaders. A skim through is certain to heighten awareness around cyber risks — even if it leaves a CEO scratching her head trying to figure out what all the technical terms mean — including patching, change monitoring, SLAs for DoS mitigation, CMS plugins, two-factor authentication, tamper evident controls, and all the rest.



(TNS) - Mark Michalk was in Rockport on April 18 when the water rose into his Katy home.

He had been out of town to help his aunt repair her summer home. When he reached his house on Y Street and Avenue D three days later, Michalk stood shocked at damage from 1-foot-deep water in the building.

"We have to gut my house, tear the Sheetrock out of the walls at least 4 feet up," said Michalk, who has lived in his downtown Katy home more than 10 years. "All the damages will probably cost $80,000 to $90,000 to repair. I have no flood insurance."



In the first part of our “Workplace Violence” blog series, we discussed this troubling and increasingly prevalent issue of workplace violence, along with highlighting the importance of being prepared for a very real yet unpredictable violent scenario taking place in your workplace. Which begs the question: How do you plan for something you can’t anticipate? The fact is that you can, and it all starts with the formation of a proactive crisis management team.



Cutter’s Curt Hall is conducting research on the measures organizations are taking to safeguard their data in light of the persistent breaches that have become commonplace in our world. This confidential survey seeks to gauge the various trends impacting organizations’ data security protection practices, and the extent to which organizations are using data-centric practices and technologies. Survey results will be revealed in upcoming Cutter Consortium research. Those who complete the survey will receive a $50 Cutter Bookstore credit. Thanks in advance for your participation! Take the survey.

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