Just two years ago, an influenza pandemic swept the globe, causing hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths in the United States alone, including the deaths of an estimated 1,280 children. Since then, we′ve made significant strides in immunizing Americans, and we′re now seeing positive shifts in the public′s understanding of the impact influenza can have. On September 21, leading public health and medical experts will gather in Washington, D.C. to discuss national readiness for the 2011–2012 influenza season – with the goal of continuing the upward trend in influenza vaccination rates.
Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, will be among the experts on a panel being convened from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). Other representatives from academia, government, health professional societies, and the public health field will include:
William Schaffner, MD, President, NFID; Professor and Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Richard Beigi, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
University of Pittsburgh; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, Indian Health Service, National Hispanic Medical Association, and the National Medical Association, among other organizations will be represented and available for the Q&A session.
The toll that influenza will take each season may be unpredictable, but one constant is the need for everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated annually in order to decrease the impact of this contagious disease. The panel will highlight expectations and the outlook for the upcoming 2011–2012 influenza season and address the following:
Manufacturer projections of an ample vaccine supply and a growing number of options for vaccination; including the intradermal vaccine that uses a much smaller needle and a high–dose vaccine for older Americans, as well as a nasal spray vaccine
Why more Americans are choosing to make influenza vaccination a health priority: final data on the number of people vaccinated last season
The growing number of vaccination locations, making it easier for everyone to get immunized
New influenza vaccination recommendations; other prevention and treatment measures, including proper use of influenza antiviral medications
Pneumococcal disease as a serious complication of influenza; about 73 million US adults who need this vaccine have not yet received it
Challenges for the next decade of protection
Achieving public health targets for vaccination rates, particularly among pregnant women and ethnic populations
Continuing to inform the public′s perceptions; more awareness about infection control, disease impact, safety, and a strong recommendation, could motivate more people to get vaccinated
Visual/Photo Opp: In calling on all Americans to get vaccinated, NFID will ask Dr. Frieden to lead by example and get vaccinated at the news conference.
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, September 21; 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WHERE:The National Press Club, 14th and F Streets, NW, 13th Floor, First Amendment Lounge, Washington, DC
Live webcast and teleconference will be available
Webinar: http://www.visualwebcaster.com/NFID2011–NewsConference (pre–registration required)
CONTACT: Jennifer Bender, 212–886–2233, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre–registration for attendance is preferred. Journalists must present media identification or a business card issued by a recognized news organization. Freelance journalists must present a letter of assignment on letterhead from a recognized news organization and a business card.
Cleveland, OH – May 31, 2012 – Avalution Consulting – a business continuity industry leader in consulting and software – announced today the release of Catalyst, a groundbreaking new business continuity software product.
Catalyst is web-based business continuity software that combines a simple user interface and on-screen guides with Avalution’s industry-leading methodology to make continuity planning easy and repeatable for every organization, regardless of size. Features include Policy & Procedure development, Business Impact Analysis, Recovery Strategy Definition, Plan Development (Business and IT), Exercising, and General Program Management.
Catalyst brings three key capabilities never before seen in a business continuity software package:
- A focus on small and medium organizations that need a plan but don’t know where to start. Catalyst is opinionated software; it will help organizations perform an impact analysis, document plans, and then keep them up to date.
- A business model that allows users to immediately try the product free for 30 days without entering payment information.
- The most cutting-edge web technology available to deliver a high performance, attractive and simple experience to users – regardless of business continuity experience.
According to Rob Giffin, Director of Technology at Avalution, the impetus for this product was Avalution’s experiences with customers: “We’ve heard too many organizations say that they want to perform business continuity planning, but they just aren’t sure where to start. They are confused by 80 page Microsoft Word templates and can’t afford expensive software or consulting services. Today, we have a solution that will help them accomplish their goals in a time and cost-effective manner.”
- Easy set-up, minimal training, customized plans, no contracts, hosted and secure (so nothing extra to buy or install on your end). These are just a few ways Catalyst will make your life easier and have you up and running in no time. Learn more >>
- On-screen guides, role-based security, automated workflows, heavily integrated data, and easy plan editing are just a few ways Catalyst will drive efficiency into your program and reduce administrative burden. Learn more >>
- Catalyst is the most cost-effective software on the market today. Even better, no long-term contracts are required. Pay monthly, cancel anytime.
View Details >>
Are you ready to test drive Catalyst? Register in under 60-seconds, start your free trial immediately (no credit card required), and then upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time. So, what are you waiting for?
Avalution Consulting, 2012 BC/DR Company of the Year (award by the Business Continuity Institute North America), is a U.S. based firm that specializes in business continuity, continuity of operations planning (COOP) and IT disaster recovery consulting, outsourcing and software solutions for organizations in both the public and private sectors. Avalution is a participant in the BSI Americas Associate Consultant (ACP) program, holds a contract on GSA Schedule 70, and in May 2011, officially achieved certification to the BS 25999-2 business continuity management standard.
In addition to Catalyst, Avalution also offers an enterprise level business continuity software solution based on the simplicity of Microsoft SharePoint 2010. The Planning Portal is web-based business continuity software that delivers highly customizable tools and processes to assist in managing and executing business continuity, continuity of operations (COOP) and IT disaster recovery programs. Solutions address analysis, planning, awareness generation, exercise planning, notification, live crisis/incident management and continuous improvement.
Courtney Bowers | 866.533.0575
Direct Relief's Hurricane Preparedness program is a million-dollar initiative whereby large quantities of medicines and supplies are pre-positioned at health centers, clinics and hospitals in at-risk areas to treat vulnerable people during emergencies. The pre-positioning of these medical resources is a key component of Direct Relief's emergency relief efforts and ongoing assistance to partner clinics to facilitate a fast, efficient response when a disaster strikes.
This year marks year six for the growing program - the only one of its kind- which has expanded support to cover 50 U.S. sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia and South Carolina and 10 international partners in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua.
"Smart preparation is the best defense when a hurricane strikes. Community health clinics are a key component of an effective response and speedy recovery. It is critical that clinics in areas most often hit by extreme weather are bolstered with additional supplies to utilize when the devastation first occurs," said Damon Taugher, Director of USA Programs at Direct Relief.
Health centers that have received the medical supplies in the past reported that they have been incorporated into local emergency preparedness efforts.
Jo Anne Powell, Special Projects Manager at Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center in Ahoskie, N.C., said, "When Hurricane Irene was approaching with possibility of a direct hit, everyone was worried they would not be able to get the supplies they needed for days. I repacked the first aid supplies from Direct Relief's hurricane prep kits and stationed them on the most outlying emergency vehicles. All who received the supplies were greatly appreciative."
The contents of the prep packs are versatile and can be used for acute care as well as to treat patients with chronic diseases should they become displaced by storms and lose access to their medications or medical care. Each U.S.-bound pack contains enough medicines and supplies to treat 100 patients for three to five days after a hurricane hits. The modules shipped internationally are much larger, containing enough supplies to treat 1,000 people for a month following a disaster.
Direct Relief tracks the latest storm activity and every partner receiving a hurricane pack using their interactive mapping technology. The map can be viewed here: https://maps.directrelief.org/USA/hpp/index.html
Direct Relief is able to supply the Hurricane Prep Packs with donations from pharmaceutical and medical corporations and through a long-standing relationship with FedEx to assist in shipping and logistics. The Prep Packs are provided free of charge to the healthcare facilities.
About Direct Relief International
Direct Relief International is a leading medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and in 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 health clinics across the U.S. to assist in emergencies and an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world's largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and "top-notch" rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. For more information visit www.DirectRelief.org
In the first half of 2012, Gatepoint Research invited more than 1,000 selected executives to participate in the "Impact of Virtualization on Storage Performance Optimization Trends" Pulse Report survey. Seventy percent of responders were employed by companies with annual revenues of at least $1.5 billion, forty-five percent work at director level or above with 23 percent at the VP or CxO level and 41 percent manage more than 500 TBs of storage capacity.
The survey asked what solutions they were considering implementing into their company's virtualization strategy to help overcome the needs of high-performance applications on their storage networks. NAS Optimization was at the top of the list of respondents' choices for meeting the storage challenges posed by virtualization (26 percent) with NAS controller upgrades also at 26 percent. The least popular options considered were read-only caching (5%) and short-stroking hard drives (3%).
More than half of respondents will achieve 50 percent server virtualization by 2014, with 35% of organizations expecting to have more than two-thirds of servers virtualized in the same time period. In regards to desktop virtualization or VDI plans, less than one-fifth of the organizations surveyed expect to have 50 percent or more of their desktops virtualized by 2014, reflecting a lower VDI penetration rate in comparison to server virtualization.
"As the adoption of virtualization technologies steadily climbs, there is an ever-increasing need to implement proven solutions to overcome the performance challenges virtualization can create," said Rebecca Thompson, VP of Marketing at Avere Systems. "Our products have proven themselves in virtualized environments and are an ideal solution to handle the unique nature of virtualized workloads on storage, including random I/O patterns, write-centric traffic and frequent boot storms that can bring data access to a grinding halt. It's no wonder that executives polled in the Gatepoint Research survey indicated that NAS Optimization is their top choice to meet the storage challenges posed by virtualization.
Among the survey's other findings:
• 91 percent of responders use networks that are a mix of NAS and SAN
• 49 percent report that more than half of their NAS capacity is NFS
For full summary results, interested parties can visit the Resources page at http://averesystems.com/Resources.aspx.
Additional findings will be shared by Avere Systems and Gatepoint Research in a ‘not to miss’ webinar on June 14th at 1:00pm eastern. More information and registration is available on the Avere website at
The CMAS system will allow the National Weather Service to soon begin issuing WEAs for the most dangerous weather through participating wireless carriers directly to cell phones. The alerts will be broadcast by cell towers much like an AM/FM radio station, and cell phones within range will immediately pick up the signal, provided they are capable of receiving these alerts. The availability of WEA alerts will be dependent on the network status of the wireless carriers and handset availability, since not all cell phones can receive WEAs. People should check with their cellular carriers to see if WEA alerts are available in their area.
"The wireless emergency alert capability provides an additional opportunity for the public to receive life-saving information needed to get out of harm's way when a threat exists," said Timothy Manning, FEMA deputy administrator for protection and national preparedness. "The public also has a critical role in their personal preparedness. There are a few simple steps that everyone can take to be prepared, like knowing which risks exist in your area and making a family emergency plan. Information and resources to help individuals and families prepare can be found at ready.gov."
WEAs will look like a text message, and will automatically appear on the mobile device screen showing the type and time of alert along with any action that should be taken. The message will be no more than 90 characters, and will have a unique tone and vibration, indicating a WEA has been received. If an alert is received, citizens should follow the instructions and seek additional information from radio, television, NOAA Weather Radio, and other official sources for emergency information. Citizens should only call 911 in a life threatening situation.
Only authorized federal, state, local, tribal or territorial officials can send WEA alerts to the public. As with all new cellular services, it will take time for upgrades in infrastructure, coverage, and handset technology to allow WEA alerts to reach all cellular customers.
FEMA urges individuals and businesses to take action to prepare themselves in advance of severe weather and hurricanes such as taking the pledge to prepare at www.ready.gov/pledge. This is the first step in making sure you and your family are ready for an emergency This includes filling out your family communications plan that you can email to yourself, assembling an emergency kit , keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and getting involved.
With the start of hurricanes season it is even more important to know your risk, take action, and be an example. While hurricanes often offer some warning that a threat is approaching, severe weather can occur at anytime and in any place, including high winds, inland flooding, severe storms and tornadoes.
For more on family preparedness, visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes for more planning information and safety tips.
Viby J, Denmark -- Debriefing Software, the experts in cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM), Storwize and SVC solutions, today announced: a major upgrade to its Wizards for Storwize application, Heat Maps for TSM, an enhanced Wizards Control Center (WCC) and the availability of its new Dynamic API program.
"Corporate IT departments need tools that allow them to manage and optimize operations with minimal time input. Resellers and users of Wizards Storage Portal will know how the service frees up valuable time for other tasks in the IT department. With the new features we are launching today, Wizards Storage Portal offers great new visual tools for monitoring storage resources, while several administrative tasks have been further simplified," said Paul Ström, Sales Director at Debriefing Software. "Releasing resources to drive business innovation initiatives in the data centre and other critical areas."
The Debriefing Software Wizards Storage Portal is a non-intrusive, cloud-based, pay-as-you-use storage resource management (SRM) solution designed to reduce and optimise storage and backup costs for mid-sized and large IT infrastructures. The service is offered to corporate users through a network of IBM specialist service providers and resellers.
Wizards for Storwize and SVC Upgrade
Debriefing Software this week announced a major upgrade to its Wizards for Storwize, responding to requests from customers for increased reporting information functionality. Jesper Matthiesen, Debriefing Software CTO, said: "Among the many new features, we have added new advanced reporting tabs so now it's easy to visualize and compare different nodes' workload and throughput. The counters and graphs help users quickly identify why servers may have long response times and then take the necessary corrective actions. Other improvements include a more descriptive error log which will help system administrators understand more quickly the cause of a problem."
Wizards Control Center Upgrade
The new version of the Wizards Control Center WCC has been simplified to allow automated upgrades of the client-side monitoring plug-ins. WCC now handles the entire life cycle of the application stack, and new plug-ins can also now be downloaded, installed, updated and uninstalled directly from within the WCC rather than needing to launch from the download page.
Heat Maps for TSM
Also launched this week has been the addition of Heat Maps for TSM which is unique to cloud-based applications. Heat Maps is an innovative tool for discovering usage patterns in large datasets by providing a coloured heat map that lets you review up to 60 days of activity, easily pinpointing nodes that perform above or below average and identifying cyclic performance issues that would be hidden in traditional reports. The analysis allows you to then optimize the system workload before you run into serious bottlenecks. Matthiesen said: "With the Heat Maps for TSM you can visualize and compare different nodes' workload and throughput to determine how to best maximize the performance of your servers."
WSP Dynamic API
The Wizards Storage Portal Dynamic API is an industry first. It delivers custom-designed integration tools that enable end users, resellers and service providers to integrate the data that sits in the Wizards Storage Portal cloud with their own applications. Matthiesen added, "Usually an API consists of a number of predefined functions that deliver specific information. The Debriefing Software WSP Dynamic API does more than that. WSP Dynamic API puts you in the driver's seat, letting you design the integration you need."
Paul Ström, Sales Director added, "We strive to continually enhance usability and add important features to Wizards Storage Portal. We work to improve our service offering based on specific requests from partners and end users. These latest additions exemplify this approach, and our reseller partners will be able to take advantage of these improvements to provide compelling services to their customers with Wizards Storage Portal."
About Debriefing Software
Debriefing Software A/S is part of the Portalized group, a private company formed in 2003 and headquartered in Viby J, Denmark, is a worldwide leader in cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for IBM TSM, Storwize and SVC with its innovative Wizards Storage Portal. The Wizards Storage Portal is sold exclusively through its reseller partners and currently analyzes and monitors more than 44,000 servers worldwide.
Debriefing Software A/S was recently been selected as a winner of the 2012 Red Herring Top 100 Europe award for its cloud-based Storage Resource Management software solution, Wizards Storage Portal.
To learn more about the Debriefing Software Wizards Storage Portal and associated services, please go to the Web at www.debriefingsoftware.com/.
Ranked by MSPmentor as one of the top 20 Managed Service Providers in the world, SymQuest is very discerning in their choice of solutions for their clients. "MaxxVault's line of solutions were compared to other industry leading solutions and our decision to partner with MaxxVault was based on its scalability and the on-going commitment to support and product development," said Larry Sudbay, President and CEO of SymQuest. "The success of SymQuest is our ability to provide business hardware and software solutions that enhance productivity, security, and reliability while reducing costs. The MaxxVault solutions will enable us to fulfill this mission with all of our clients, no matter the size or industry."
The MaxxVault EDMS captures documents electronically, either from a scanner or directly from the software application, and securely stores them in a central library for easy access, easy collaboration, and easy control. Documents can be quickly retrieved via index or full text search, routed through workflows and managed according to industry and government regulations. With MaxxDocs, even the smallest business can eliminate the headaches of paper files or disorganized computer folder trees. For those that need mobile access to their documents or want to leverage the benefits if cloud computing, MaxxCloud makes EDM simple and without the need for an I.T. team or capital expenditures.
"We are very happy to be working with a company as accomplished as SymQuest," said Bruce Malyon, CEO of MaxxVault. "They have the experience and vision to build solutions that leverage every possible benefit for their clients for maximum return on investment. SymQuest's commitment to the environment and to their community distinguishes them as a true leader. The team at MaxxVault looks forward to building a strong document management partnership with SymQuest and their clients."
MaxxVault LLC provides software solutions for the management, distribution and control of corporate documents. Benefits of MaxxVault Enterprise include: reduced costs, improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance. MaxxVault is an open system; it is built using the latest technology which provides enhanced security, dependability and interoperability with existing systems.
For more information about MaxxVault LLC, visit: www.MaxxVault.com
About SymQuest Group Inc.
For more than a decade, SymQuest Group, Inc., headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont, (with additional offices located in Rutland, Vermont; Keene and West Lebanon, New Hampshire; Plattsburgh, New York; and Portland, Maine) has upheld its reputation as an affordable and accessible network infrastructure and document solutions technology services company; working extensively with small businesses, as well as larger enterprises. SymQuest Group, Inc. focuses on highly-customized and accessible customer service, innovative document solution programs, and the crafting of high-availability infrastructure solutions. United by the pursuit of excellence in information management, service and corporate responsibility, SymQuest's experienced people, refined processes and best of technology keep its clients out front.
For more information about SymQuest Group Inc., visit: www.symquest.com
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has worked with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States to develop these pet-preparedness guidelines.
Have a pet-supply kit ready, including:
Pet food for three days in an airtight, waterproof container and bowls;
Water for three days;
Pet medicines and first aid supplies;
Collar (with ID tags firmly secured), harness or sturdy leash;
Important documents such as registration, adoption papers, vaccination and medical records in a plastic bag or waterproof container;
Travel crate or other pet carrier;
Cat litter, litter box, paper towels, newspapers, plastic trash bags and cleaning supplies;
Photos of you and your pet together for identification purposes; and
Familiar items such as toys, treats and blankets.
The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to take them with you if you must evacuate. Animals left behind in a disaster can easily be lost or injured. If evacuation is necessary, consider friends or family outside the area who can take in you and your pet.
Other options may include a pet-friendly hotel or motel. If your only evacuation option is a Red Cross or other publicly run shelter, be aware that not all shelters are equipped or designed to accept non-service animals. Consider boarding your animals at a kennel or veterinary hospital before going to a public shelter.
Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to evacuate your pet for you if you are unable to do so yourself. Talk with them about your evacuation plans and pet supply kit.
Consult your veterinarian and consider “microchipping” your pet. These permanent implants may be invaluable if you and your pets are separated.
After the disaster, don't allow your pets to roam loose. Familiar landmarks and smells may have been changed by the disaster and your pet could become disoriented or lost.
For information on pet-friendly accommodations in your area and disaster planning, visit www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/animals.shtm.
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.
What happens if the company or organization you work for finds itself in a social media crisis, but hasn’t invested in a social media crisis plan?
What do you do when the stress of the situation starts to escalate and you’re still left unclear of your role within the crisis? When you feel unhelpful, confused and frustrated? When you haven’t been trained in the proper ways to respond to such a situation or are even clear in what your team expects of you?
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A recent survey undertaken in New Zealand by Massey University revealed that less than 10% of SMEs have a business continuity plan in place despite the fact that over 40% of them have experienced a crisis in the last five years. The survey found a high degree of vulnerability in SMEs across New Zealand and concluded with a recommendation for a national programme to address this gap. But it is not just SMEs in New Zealand that need to consider business continuity planning.
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