top management and
used a systematic
approach to data collection,
assisted the team
in their response
to crisis situations
through an interactive
Crisis management plans
were also put to the test.
During the recent devastating Southern
California wildfires, Toshiba America
Electronic Components, Inc., (TAEC)
came out unscathed, but during the firestorm
had an opportunity to test and prove
a “beta” version of an online crisis
management system that is a new aspect
of that firm’s disaster recovery/business
continuity planning systems.
The new Internet-based crisis management
system, developed for TAEC by Newport
Beach-based security consulting firm
Direct Measures International applies
a systematic approach to data collection,
authentication and decision-making that
assists the management team in their
response to crisis situations through
an interactive progression matrix. It
is designed to mitigate risk and help
the crisis team determine the best course
of action for a wide range of potential
crisis scenarios, both to maintain business
continuity and to provide information
or support for employees.
Federal and state agencies also used
new technology in the wildfire events.
The use of three-dimensional geospatial
data provided value in the firefighting
efforts. The National Geospatial-Intelligence
Agency licensed data from Intermap for
California and other regions of the
nation. The agency along with other
agencies within the Department of Defense
use Intermap’s NEXTMap USA radar imagery
and high resolution terrain data to
support efforts to fight the wildfires
in Southern California.
Included in the high-resolution datasets
are digital surface models depicting
the earth’s surface (including cultural
features such as vegetation, buildings
and roads), digital terrain models displaying
the bare earth (with all cultural features
digitally removed), and orthorectified
radar images (grayscale images that
accentuate topographic features).
Insurance giant Chubb has solid advice
for enterprise security executives.
Does your plan have provisions for:
- Conducting and
documenting salvage operations?
- Conducting employee
- Developing and
documenting a list of procedures
for quick procurement of machinery,
equipment and software?
- Documenting building
permit and facility certification
- Documenting specialized
production facilities and reconstruction
- Documenting the
decisions made, the damage costs,
and the repairs?
- Ensuring adequate
financing for restoration activities?
- Identifying and
documenting new building codes that
may increase the cost of reconstruction?
- Identifying and
preparing potential relocation sites?
- Identifying critical
machinery, software, materials and
established recovery team responsibilities
strategies to reach pre-disaster
operational capacity as quickly
- Launching plans
to return to pre-disaster sales
- Notifying all
employees, vendors, customers and
governmental agencies regarding
the restoration plans?
- Obtaining building
permits or zoning changes before
restoration is needed?
- Reviewing considerations
that may increase construction time?
- Taking inventory
of all damages?
- Verifying that
facility and equipment designs,
drawings and blueprints are part
of the vital records storage program
and duplicated off-site?
County security officials
found that so-called Reverse 911 played
an essential role in getting evacuation
messages out to residents.
But it was at colleges and universities
where notification through myriad
means played a role in saving lives
during the California wildfires.
received a lot of media coverage during
the late October natural disaster.
In response to the Malibu Canyon fire
that began a devastating rampage,
the university actively used its newly
deployed mass notification system
provided by 3n (National Notification
Network) to help relocate faculty
and staff to designated shelter-in-place
locations on the Malibu campus and
to coordinate efforts to prevent the
loss of life and property.
According to students
on campus, Pepperdine security and
administrative executives sent out
five notifications during the first
day of the fires. Two of the messages
included instructions to students
and faculty to relocate from dorms
and classrooms and proceed to safe
areas on campus. Faculty, staff and
students not on campus were urged,
at the recommendation of Los Angeles
County Fire officials, not to return
to campus until the roads leading
to the Malibu campus were opened and
deemed safe for travel. Pepperdine
officials sent out two more messages
providing status updates of the fires,
urging the population to remain in
designated safe areas and asking them
to stay calm. A final message was
sent out to officially close classes
the next day.
The alert system
communicates with students, staff
and faculty in minutes via a number
of contact methods -- including native
SMS text messaging, almost any voice-enabled
device such as cell phones and landlines,
instant messaging, pagers, faxes and
more -- greatly increasing the likelihood
that messages will be delivered and
received in a timely manner.
When Brig. Gen.
Steven Bliss decided to evacuate the
Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad,
Calif., he used IRIS -- Immediate
Response Information System -- from
TechRadium. Bliss was able to send
the message to more than 1,500 students,
parents, faculty and staff. The system
also allowed officials to determine
simultaneously just who received or
did not receive the notification,
allowing all recipients to be accounted