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DHS, Social Networks and Emergency Awareness

January 2012: (Hat tip to PolicyMic. A recent report out from Reuters outlined the current ongoing program at the Department of Homeland Security to monitor social networks with the intention of collecting "information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture". The networks include Twitter, Facebook, Hulu, Wikileaks as well as sites like Drudge Report, Huffington Post and others.

LTE and emergency response

January 2012: Last Year, Broadcast Engineering reported that the FCC had "approved a proposal that will require LTE technology to be used for public safety mobile broadband networks used by first responders." The technology, commonly called 4G, is now being tested by emergency responders, technology companies and other groups for its interoperability capabilities. In Florida, for instance, Verizon Wireless has rolled out a $205 million 4G LTE wireless network in 14 markets.

Promoting Local Low Powered Community Radio

January 2012: Almost one year ago exactly, the Obama administration signed into law the "Local Community Radio Act" which allowed smaller community radio stations the ability to broadcast to their communities. At the forefront of the push to give greater radio access to communities is the Prometheus Radio Project. Their efforts help to create local communities of radio broadcasters which could help to disseminate information quickly in the event of a disaster.

Infrastructure, Climate Change and the Economy: Part 1 - Infrastructure Investment

February 11, 2011: Investment in infrastructure to meet the challenges posed by global climate change may spur economic growth and promote stability, a group of British engineering firms said recently. According to the BBC a new report found that communities will need "an infrastructure system that is more resilient to climate change. This will require Government, the public and private sectors and professional sectors such as engineers to come together and proactively meet the challenge of creating a climate resilient infrastructure system for the country."

Infrastructure, Climate Change and the Economy: Part 2 - The Cost of Climate Change

February 11, 2011: With the global climate shifting, national, state and local governments and communities are beginning to feel the effects of catastrophic weather (Australia's flooding and the rise of global food prices). In 2009, the University of Oregon released a study looking at the cost of environmental change to the communities in state of Washington. The report found that "If nothing is done to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Washington is likely to experience some $3.8 billion in associated annual costs -- including $1.3 billion in health related costs alone."

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  • Response to historic flooding in Australia
  • Looking Back - Report: taking advantage of the private sector to safeguard the public
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  • Arizona citizens quick to respond in Tucson shooting