First Responders

Japan's earthquake shows strength of social networking in crisis

Social networks across the globe bonded to help with rescue efforts and information dissemination in Japan after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake.

Groups ready for disaster drill to use social media

San Diego State University's Immersive Visualization Center is sponsoring a major online disaster drill that will use Twitter, Facebook and geotagging tools.

Twitter, Facebook are part of new terror alert system

The Homeland Security Department has set up a new Twitter account and will be issuing alerts on its Facebook page and website as part of its new national terror alert system to replace the color-coded threat system.

Fusion centers hampered by limitations of DHS nets, IG says

The Homeland Security Department's ability to share intelligence information through IT with state and local authorities is improving, but still has significant gaps, an audit finds.

Satellites come to the rescue when ground systems fail

Responders in disaster areas are relying on mobile satellite connections more frequently for IP data connections than for voice.

Both sides should win in public safety network battle

First responders could benefit from the innovation of commercial carriers in establishing a nationwide public safety network. Can we ensure they do not have to fight for access?

Panel recommends national disaster database for DOD

A panel created by Congress recommends creating a central federal/defense data depository to track disaster response efforts and nearly 40 other measures to improve how the Defense Department supports civilian authorities for disaster responses.

Feds remember Hurricane Katrina

Five years ago, the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast and feds arrived soon after to help with cleanup. Now an employee union wants to hear those stories.

Five years after Katrina, government IT still feels storm's fury

Five years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, the region continues to rebuild and the federal government is still trying to fix information technology-related problems that the storm and its aftermath exposed.

Social media emerge as digital avenue for emergency response

The public increasingly is turning to Facebook and Twitter for help in emergencies -- and it expects government agencies to be paying attention, according to a new Red Cross survey.

FEMA needs to bridge logistics software gaps: IG

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has made progress in logistics, but its Total Asset Visibility logistics information system isn't finished, a new report says.

Widgets, Twitter to fuel FEMA emergency alerts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has created 11 widgets and 13 Twitter feeds as part of its arsenal of social media tools aimed at disaster preparedness and response.

FEMA's planned disaster game needs pain and death

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is looking for ideas for an online 'Disaster Hero' game. John Breeden II, director of Government Computer News' product lab and an avid gamer, says kids and others will learn more if the game isn't sugarcoated.

Seeking disaster relief? Who you gonna call?

FEMA chief architecture talks about success stories at GTRA.

Texas city tests two-way emergency comm platform

The City of Manor, Texas, is deploying a pilot platform designed to deliver location-specific alerts to residents during a crisis and allow them to send information back to emergency responders via smart phones.

Cell-All smarter phone is DHS' version of the Tricorder

DHS is looking to the telecommunications side of mobile phones to help it develop the "Cell-All" smartphone that features a sensor capable of detecting deadly chemicals.

First responders connect via DHS online network

The Homeland Security Department hopes 500,000 local, state and federal first responders will join a new online professional network DHS has created for them.