For Missing Child Searches, Emergency Preparedness/Notification or Homeland Security, the National Emergency Alert Noftification System is the most technologically advanced, simple to operate, and cost-effective intra/inter-agency, media and public alert, notification, communications and coordination system in existence. Its sophistication, capabilities, speed, breadth of coverage, notification rates, targeting, situation reporting mechanism, communications, coordination and back-up capabilities far exceed those of any system currently in use by any agency in the world.

EMCOM is a custodial agent for the world's most technologically advanced, comprehensive and integrated emergency notification system. It is capable of delivering targeted alert notifications to any size of population in a user specified geographic region within moments of issuance.

A single point alert text entry triggers unique, user targeted, multi-lingual text and voice emergency notifications via:
  • Satellite based WeatherAlert All-Hazard Radios - All notifications sent to these devices are received within 90 seconds of issuance, locally or nationwide... can be individually targeted, or targeted by groups.
  • Satellite based WeatherAlert All-Hazard capable pagers - All notifications sent to these devices are received within 90 seconds, locally or nationwide... can be individually targeted, or targeted by groups.
  • Telephone/Cell Phone voice notification - Call issuance from multiple, geographically seperate locations across the United States. While significant call rates (many tens of thousands per hour) can be achieved, we must be cognizant of the area being called and its phone systems so as not to overload local switch circuits at a time when they may already have high traffic levels. Note that the point of the EMCOM system is to provide notification via other means which are faster and keep phone line volume available for emergency calls.

  • FAX Notification
  • E-Mail Notification
  • Cell Phone/Pager Text Messaging
  • Internet PopAlert "pop-ups"
  • PubAlert Activated Internet Web Pages
  • Direct Neighborhood Notification by EMCOM Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinators - Community coordinators notify persons in their neighborhoods that may not have computers, PDA's, cell phones, or even telephones. Note that even in this time of high technology, the simple and basic "Paul Revere" method of notification is still a critical function in inner-cities and remote areas... and EMCOM incorporates it through its Community Coordinator network. Community Coordinators also assist handicapped persons prepare for or respond to emergency situations in their neighborhoods when circumstances require it.
  • Emergency Information Web Wites maintained for every state, county and municipality in the nation (Over 54,000 web sites). Text alerts are posted, pages are PopAlert activated, and Emergency Managers can even use our LiveAlert facility to broadcast (webcast) live to their locality via these web sites. These pages include live maps where current radar, and weather warning areas are depicted, and where emergency managers can instantly update the maps to show danger areas, closed streets, evacuation routes, etc.
  • Electronic Highway Signs
  • Electronic Mall and Store signs
  • LiveAlert - Live Broadcast via internet

NOTE: Voice/FAX/Pager messaging also routed through Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)
Click HERE to see Design Characteristics
Click HERE for Design Specification and Compliance Proposal

The EMCOM System Provides...
  • A thorough, phased approach to supply critical information to emergency management at all levels, and allows them to control, monitor, measure and present information for making better and faster decisions.
  • Speeds the information flow by accelerating the procedure cycle, thus decreasing cycle time for receiving/disseminating information/notifications.
  • Increases the speed, accuracy and completeness of status information.
  • Reduces administrative personnel requirements releasing them for increased personnel 'on the ground'.
    • Increased Effectiveness.
    • Increase the flow of processed information within and between agencies and between each facet of the operation.
    • Provide single point entry for complete information processing to avoid the need for reinterpretation, re-analysis, re-summarization, reconciliation and recording.
    • Increase the speed of receiving, processing and disseminating critical informational.
    Expand Emergency Management capability for handling unforeseen situations by identifying the key strategy and operating decisions to be made and the critical elements of performance to be controlled.
  • Decision Support for faster damage assessment and resource allocation.
  • Customizable administration to suit the agency's particular needs.
  • Allows management to control by exception.
  • Takes advantage of economy of scale.

NOTIFICATION MODULE
Single Point Interface A simple to operate, single point message text entry is provided for all communications, including intra-agency, inter-agency, media and public. This interface immediately and automatically distributes the message via all viable communications media (user designated)

Automatic text to voice translation for output to voice medias.

Automatic (user designated) language translation of both text and voice messages.

Utilizes XML based Common Alerting Protocol

Speed of Delivery
  • Notifications of any/every emergency agency in the nation within 60-90 seconds of issuance
  • Targeted notifications (by group(s), geographic location, etc.) of large populations within 60-90 seconds i.e.
    • Every home/business within a 10 mile radius of a nuclear facility
    • Every home/business within any radius of a chemical facility
    • Any other critical/essential targeted audience
Incorporates Message Attachments Text messages can include photos, video, annotated maps, documents, etc. as attachments as appropriate.

Can incorporate "dash-cam" views from emergency vehicles as designated.

Internet alerts can automatically redirect the receiver's internet browser to a user specified web site/page for additional information or instructions.
Full Message Targeting Capabilities Messages can be targeted by:
  • Organization
  • Sub-Organization
  • User Defined Groups
  • User Defined Communications Channels
  • Organization Types
  • Incident
  • Group Types
  • State
  • County
  • Municipality
  • ZIP Code
  • User Defined Geographic References (simply drawn on map)
    • Circles
    • Rectangles
    • Ellipses
    • User drawn polygons
  • Any viable mix/match of the above
The system incorporates alert area blocking such that when an alert area is within another alert area, they can receive mutually exclusive messages. This is important for emergencies such as chemical spills which would normally involve multiple ellipses. The inner area may receive a message to shelter in place. Another ellipse is drawn around this for people to be alerted to evacuate. The people within this ellipse, except those within the inner ellipse will receive this message, so as not to confuse the first group with a second message. Another ellipse may be drawn around this to alert persons to be ready to evacuate if necessary. This can be sent to all except those who received either of the first two alerts. Again, this avoids confusion.

When plotting hazard zones via the EMCOM Interactive GIS Mapping/Display system, once an area is defined, the emergency manager need only click on the area to instantly issue an alert via all (or any designated)
Direct Notification Automatically incorporates Direct notification of neighborhoods by EMCOM Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinators who can "knock on doors" for neighbors without other forms of communications (Paul Revere method) and offer help to those that may need assistance. Single text entry provides for automatic text to speech translation for voice media.
User Preference Based Notifications User Preference Based Alert Notifications insure fast, efficient and effective notifications.
Individuals can configure their own alert reception medias, times and priorities. They can define the media by day of the week and time of day to best reach them. They may wish to receive notification at their office (phone, email) during business hours, via cell phone or pager (text and or voice) during travel times, and phone, or home email in the evenings and weekends.

In many cases, individuals work in jurisdications different from where they live. Simply using telephone dialers to dial home phones are ineffective in many such cases. If there is a chemical leak requiring an evacuation, the fact that the person is not home may be good; or they may simply be on their way home into the area. They can still receive the notification through the EMCOM system.
Multi-tiered "Anywhere" Accessibility" Virtual System is available from anywhere where network connectivity is available. This may include:
  • Access through a Local Area Network
  • Access through a Wide Area Network
  • Access via a full-time modem (i.e. ISDN)
  • Access via a dial-up modem
  • Access via a wireless device (cell phone/PDA)
  • Access via WiFi network
  • Access via satellite
The system also allows for the issuance of bulletins from obscure locations or while on the go through other media including:
  • Wireless Laptop Computer
  • Wireless PDA
  • Hughes 1mt. Satellite System
  • E-Mail
  • Cell Phone (WAP)
  • Packet Radio (ham)
  • Voice (Telephone)
  • Voice (HAM Radio)

Situation Reporting System/Module
Full-Featured Situation Reporting System Another key facet of the EMCOM system is the incorporation of Response / Feedback loops to harvest key on-scene data (situation reports) required during emergency operations. A primary example are situation reports that indicate numbers of casualties, buildings damaged, fires burning, utilities out, etc.

Fully integrated to the EMCOM Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Program, Emergency Managers can receive street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood situation reports displayed on their status displays in the EOC withing minutes of a disaster.

Built-in display status screens for EMCOM Community Coordinator Neighborhood Situation Report, Medical Facility Situation Reports, First Responder Situation Reports, and Utility Company Situation Reports.
Multi-Media Situation Survey Distributin and Collection Situation Reports can simultaneously be distributed via, and collected into a single, common database from:
  • Internet web page forms - Organizations can quickly create and implement web page based forms with the information to be collected.
  • Internet WAP page forms - For use and direct entry of key information by personnel in the field using cell phones, PDA's, etc.
  • E-Mail - Operators can quickly create, or use pre-made survey/poll forms that are delivered (and responded to) via E-Mail. These surveys can be sent (and replied to) via either HTML based email forms, or plain text email that is readable in any email reader (useable by cell phones/PDA's etc. capable of receiving/sending standard E-Mail). E-mail can contain attachments of virtually any type, including printable forms that can be returned via FAX.
  • Packet Radio - Emergency Personnel that are HAM (Amateur Radio) operators can receive and reply to email type messages from any location via packet radio through their own local E-Mail/Packet gateway.
  • FAX - Forms can be generated and sent via FAX for personnel to complete and return via fax.
  • Voice - Text based Survey/Poll data can be converted into voice (and automatically be translated into various languages as required) and used via interactive telephone surveying, where responses are entered via a telephone "touch tone" pad.
  • Radio / Radio Relay - Through the EMCOM neighborhood based Community Coordinator program, response can be relayed via radio based Emergency Communications Traffic systems such as ARES/RACES.
  • EchoLink - Much like the Radio Relay, EchoLink provides HAM radio operators with the ability to relay situation report information to other operators anywhere in the country who can contemporaneously input the data into the system making it immediately viewable for emegency managers in the affected area.
Responses to a particular survey/data collection effort, regardless of the media, are directed to a single collection point that is viewable via the internet, or downloadable for import into user supplied decision support programs.
Phone Camera Interface When emergency personnel or EMCOM Community Coordinators are equipped with cell phone cameras, they can utilize the camera to submit photos of the affected area with their situation report. As with the situation reports, these photos are immediately available for viewing by emergency managers via the system's integrated Situation/Status Displays. Another way in which the EMCOM National Emergency Alert Notification System aids emergency managers in rapid damage assessment and resource allocation.

User Configurable Versatility Emergency managers can utilize the incorporated situation reports, create "saved" generic situation reports to be used for various types of emergencies, or even create "ad-hoc" data surveys in moments during an emergency to solicit responses for unique situations.

EchoLink Incorporation ECHOLINK integration. Because many EMCOM Community Coordinators are also FCC licensed amateur radio operators, EMCOM has incorporated the ECHOLINK repeater/internet interface to relay situation reports from disaster areas. This provides the potential capability for communicating with an additional 30,000 persons "on the ground" across the country.
EMCOM Community Coordinator Interface A key element in the Situation Reporting system is EMCOM's pre-existing nationwide network of neighborhood based Community Emergency Preparedness coordinators. During emergency situations, they provide valuable situation reporting via numerous primary and secondary communications means.

EMCOM Community Coordinators also have generic situation reporting facilities to report casualties, building/home damage, utility damage/outages, current weather conditions, assembly area locations, blocked access into the area and more. These reports become instantly available and displayed on the Emergency Manager's Situation Status Displays giving them a street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood depiction within moments of an occurance. Community Coordinators (and emergency management personnel) equipped with "phone cameras" can use these to take photos which too areo immediately available on the Situation/Status Displays. Additionally status reports will be annotated on their own map layer for depiction on the EOC map plots. Clicking on an annotation will cause the report for that neighborhood to be displayed.

Community Coordinators also set up neighborhood based emergency back-up communications via FRS/GMRS radios, which is relayed to/through participating ARES/RACES emergency radio organizations across the country.

This methodology allows emergency managers to receive critical situation reports, even in areas with massive communications outages. These reports are relayed by radio to Community Coordinator or ARES/RACES personnel who key them into the system, which then appear instantly on the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Situation Status Displays. This provides key data for situation analysis and resource allocation.

Community Coordinators also set up neighborhood based emergency back-up communications via FRS/GMRS radios, which is relayed to/through participating ARES/RACES emergency radio organizations across the country.
Interactive, Interoperable GIS Mapping Module
Emergency RResponse IIntegrated CCartography (ERIC)
Full-Featured System Annotated Status Map Display: The system incorporatesERIC (Emergency Response Integrated Cartography), a fully interactive multi-point, multi-user GIS status map annotation and display subsystem where emergency managers can plot (annotate) map displays in the EOC with the location of occurances and the deployment of resources.
Fully Interactive All participating agencies at all federal, state and local levels can monitor display map displays in real-time at their own locations, or even participate in annotating map layers. All authorized users will immediately see the annotations (for the layers for which they are authorized).

Map displays which are authorized for the public (i.e., danger area, evacuation routes, shelters, aid stations, etc.) can be made immediately available on the agency's Emergency Information Website, and available on the public's wireless laptop, PDA and internet capable cell phone devices.
User-Defined Multi-Incident Multi-Layer Displays The displays can show all incidents and resources, or any subset or subset on each with the "click" of a mouse. (i.e. only show law enforcement or only show fire department locations, etc.). Moreover, as directed by the Emergency Manager, these status displays can be made available for viewing to any/all other participating agencies, at any level, in their own EOC anywhere in the country. Agencies such as FEMA or Homeland Security have the ability to view single displays which integrate the data from multiple locations.
Annotation Versatility Map annotation can be designated as map and or layer specific, or universal to the geographic area, appearing on all maps of the area.

Each user can designate annotations for which they are authorized, and will appear on all other user's displays at the next user designated refresh interval.
Remotely Accessible

As with all other EMCOM applications, the map facilities are also available to personnel in the field via wireless lap-top computers, PDA's and even network capable cell phones. (T-Mobile Sidekick phone depicted)

Fully interfaced to Notification and Situation Reporting Systems For public/private alert notifications, the emergency managers need only draw the applicable area (circle, rectangle, polygon, ellipse, etc.), and can immediately then issue an alert via all viable communications media to any or all groups/individuals/agencies, etc., within the defined area. The EMCOM system also supports defining ellipses within ellipses (for cases such as chemical spills where the inner area may receive notification to "shelter in place"; the outer ellipse may receive notification to evaculate, but the inner ring, even though it is contained within another notification shape boundary, will not receive the evacuation message. This serves to lessen confusion in critical situations.

Extended Feature List
  • Support for both permanent and temporary layers (i.e. permanent layers for locations/facilities such as hospitals, shelters, etc. and temporary for incident related locations and facilities).
  • Each user can display any or all layers on their own displays; for instance, some users will elect to see all layers on a single display, while others with multiple displays man only show one or two layers per display.
  • While all simultaneous users see the same map depiction, each can independently: Designate a map size applicable to their own viewing display (i.e. small for mobile PDA viewing, larger sizes for CRT displays, etc.) Map sizes include:
    • 240 x 160 (PDA)
    • 320 x 240 (PDA)
    • 640 x 480
    • 800 x 600
    • 1024 x 768
    • 1600 x 1200 (Large Displays & Projection)
  • NWS Weather Warning boxes are automatically posted by the system to weather layer of all maps
  • Automated acceptance and annotation depiction from remote devices (i.e. sensors on chemical tanks, nuclear/biological facilities, etc.)
  • NWS Weather Warning boxes are automatically posted by the system to weather layer of all maps
  • Users can pre-store maps predefined with any number and variety of shape annotations for use in an emergency, such that the pre-defined shape need only be "clicked" to trigger an Alert Notification sequence.
  • Automated acceptance and annotation depiction from remote devices (i.e. sensors on chemical tanks, nuclear/biological facilities, etc.)
  • NWS Weather Warning boxes are automatically posted by the system to weather layer of all maps
  • Multiple types of area annotation including:
    • Circles
    • Squares/Rectangles
    • Multi-Sided Polygons
    • Lines
    • Paths (Multiple connected line segments
    • Ellipses (with rotation to support wind-directional based areas (If interfaced to weather reporting equipment, the system will warn when the wind direction changes by a user-designated degree... and can provide automatic notification of the public in the "new" area using the EMCOM notification system)
  • Will automatically transfer drawn shape coordinates to the ALERT NOTIFICATION system to immediately issue alert notifications to the defined area.
  • Capable of delivering real-time updates to wireless PDA's with either static or GPS based "Moving Map" type displays, providing both annotations and emergency notification messages, evacuation routes, etc
  • Users control area colors, line widths, etc.
  • Multiple types of point annotation graphics, including user designated graphics
  • Point annotations can be designated by:
    • Mouse click on the appropriate point on the map
    • Designation of latitude/longitude for annotation placement
    • Designation of a street/highway intersection
    • Designation of a specific street address
    • Multiple types of point annotation graphics, including user designated graphics
  • User controlled annotation labeling including font, font color, font size.
  • Linked back-up records for all area and point annotations for displaying additional or background information - Details can be viewed by clicking within the shape or marker for which information is to be displayed
  • Can accept and display automated vehicle/personnel GPS based location via NMEA based protocols
  • Additionally, since ellipses are generally utilized in situations where weather factors are critical (nuclear/chemical/biological), when the user clicks on the incident point of the ellipse to be defined, the system automatically calculates the closest weather reporting station, and places a "current conditions" box on the screen to aid in determining the size and orientation of the ellipse. The weather data includes:
    • Place of Observation
    • Time of Observation
    • Temperature
    • Wind Chill
    • Humidity
    • Dew Point
    • Wind Direction
    • Wind Speed
    • Wind Gust Speed
    • Barometric Pressure
    • Pressure Direction (rising, steady, falling)
    • Sky Cover
    • Visibility
Multiple Uses The map plotting system also doubles as a crime statistics display system, where the occurances of various crime types can be plotted individually or together, and based upon starting and ending dates for the occurances.



Integrated EMWIN
The system incorporates real-time Emergency Manager's Weather Information, and an exclusive zoomable radar/mapping system to depict weather situations to the street level.

  • Radar Images from individual radar sites
  • Composite Radar
  • Satellite Views li>Marine Forecasts, watches, warnings
  • Coast Guard Surface reports, forecasts
  • BUOY Reports
  • Tropical Weather
  • Fire Wx - Red Flag/Danger Indices/Outlook etc.
  • Space Wx Bulletins
  • SIGMETS
  • Aviation Weather
  • Air Qualit
  • Civil Emergencies
  • Administrative Messages
  • Flood Watches, Warnings & Summarys
  • Streamflow Guides/Predictions
  • Preliminary Warnings of Activation
  • Storm/Tornado Watches & Warnings & Summaries
  • Huricane Watches, Warnings
  • Huricane/Cyclone Tracking
  • Complete Short & Long term Forecasts & Current Wx Summaries
  • River Forecasts & Summaries


Homeland Security Status Update System
Instant, Automatic Update The system incorporates an instant updating mechanism for the Homeland Security Status "colorbar" for a geographic region, zip code, city, county state or the nation with the click of a mouse. Changes are immediately reflected on Advisory Status colorbar displays on over 1 million pages across the internet. The system also automatically initiates a "change of status" alert through the full notification system.
SensAlert System
The EMCOM SensAlert system allows direct interfaces with remote sensors for response to sensor alarms. Sensors activation data can be configured to transmit directly to the notification system, or to an intervening Subject Matter Expert (SME) for independent verification of the alarm. If the alarm is judged to be actual, the sensor data is transmitted to the notification system.

The EMCOM SensAlert database contains data pertaining to each sensor to aid SME's and Emergency Managers in decision making. Data includes location, substance type, alert area and actions to be take hints, etc.

When a sensor alarm is verified, the location is automatically plotted on an appropriate map and presented to the Emergency Manager. Additionally, meteorological data from the closest reporting station is presented on the map screen to aid in creating the alert area. The Emergency Manager simply draws the alert area on the screen (usually an ellipse or series of ellipses), and slants them for the current wind direction. The coordinates are automatically transferred to the notification system, where the Emergency Manager need only enter the text of the alert to be sent, and any additional targeting/attachment data to send the notification to the area.
Sensor Alerting and Notifications SensAlert allows the system to generate either ad-hoc or pre-defined alert notifications to public/private emergency centers, hazmat teams and/or the public based on theactivation of virtually any type of remote sensors or monitoring equipment including:
  • chemical tanks
  • pipelines
  • radiation detectors
  • flood level sensors
  • air quality sampling equipment
  • intrusion detection devices
As with all alert notifications, messages can be generated based on entity, type and/or group of entities, geographic area or any viable combination of the above.
Asset Types
  • Fixed Assets
  • Mobile Assets
Accepts Transmissions Via
  • Landlines
  • Wireless (Cell Phone)
  • Satellite
  • Radio
  • Network (TCP/IP)
Contact Administration System
Features
  • Fully user defined user/group administration and authorization system to create, update and delete users and groups.
  • User definable "contact points" allows users to define communications media types by which to be contacted, including day of week and time of day for each type of contact. Media includes:
    • Telephone numbers
    • Cell phone numbers
    • E-Mail Addresses
    • Pager/Cell Phone SMS Addresses
    • FAX Numbers
    • RapidNotify Radio/Pager
  • Additionally, "ad-hoc" virtual contact groups can be created on-the-fly for some media via use of EMCOM "Channelized" communications, assigning individuals or groups to agency defined "channels".
  • Channel groups can also be used in conjunction with the Conference MAGIC presentation system to present educational or training materials to large groups via the internet, where the system automatically "takes control" of participant's computers for display of slides, multi-media, etc.
  • Allows for the creating of "virtual" workgroups
Integrated Geo-Coding System
GeoCodes All Records The system automatically provides Address Standardization and Geo-Coding (the application of latitude and longitude information) to all incoming records to the system, whether they are bulk input as in telephone company provided files, or via individual input or updates. This allows for rapid selection of persons to be alerted via simple map annotation of the alert area.
Administration, Management, & Training Tools
Text Chat Suite This system allows user personnel to text chat with other agencies and EMCOM Community Coordinators. This feature rich system includes private conference areas, shared interactive whiteboards (for each area), and an Instant Messaging System.
Conference MAGIC This system provides a tool useful for providing education, training, information updates, etc. to large groups in widely dispersed locations via the internet. The system "takes control" of all participant's computers (regardless of operating system or browser type), and allows for presenting slides, multi-media presentation, etc.
Shared Resource Suite A suite of common applications for maintaining and sharing data including:
  • A Document Control System
  • Memo Pad System
  • Contact Database
  • Shared/Private Day Planner Calendar/Meeting Scheduler System
Comprehensive Logging The EMCOM system features web-based real time chronological logging of all alert notifications, positive response data, situation reports, etc. These reports allow the agency/command to monitor the all system resources, messages, contacts, notifications and other activities of each participant. These logs may be viewed, printed or downloaded into the using agency's own decision support systems at any time.
Virtual Workgroup Administration/Operations
Features
  • Agency management may create as many communication groups (to and from which communications flow), and virtual workgroups as their needs dictate. Workgroup members may be located in any geographic location.
  • Workgroups and individuals can be dynamically assigned to one or more communications 'channels', and each channel may serve multiple groups or individuals as required.
  • Users and workgroup members can be individually assigned features of the system to which they have access, including:
    • Alert Notification System: Can assign accessible groups, media that may be utilized as well as other features
    • Situation Reporting System: Control issuance of staged or ad-hoc situation reports, viewing or status displays by type, media available, etc.
    • GIS Map/Annotation System:Control layers available for viewing features that may be utilized.
Workgroup Utilities
  • Document Control System
  • Individual/Shared Memo Pad System
  • Contact Management System
  • Day Planner / Meeting Scheduler
  • Group Text Chat System
  • Interactive Shared Whiteboard
  • Private Instant Messaging System
  • Conference MAGIC System
Intra/Inter Agency Communications
Intra/Inter agency communications, and communications with neighborhood based EMCOM Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinators and affiliated groups is not only available via the base notification systems (landline, wireless, satellite, etc.) but also via private internal systems, or systems integrated into the EMCOM operations. This includes both one and two way communications.

Because telephone/cell phone communications are generally the first to fail or become overloaded in many emergency situations, EMCOM strives to utilize each type of media for those communications types for which it is best suited. Many times notifications are simply that, and voice only systems deliver the message to many recipients, but each must then record the data. In those instances text or text and voice notifications work best.
Text Chat System Allows one to one or one to many communications. Includes multiple user-defined private areas (password required) Each area shares an interactive whiteboard system Includes a private instant messaging system for individuals or virtual workgroups (user defined).
Integrated Wireless 'Push-to-Talk' Users may install software on their PDA's, laptop computers or base computers to allow 2 way, instant 'push-to-talk' communications between those devices, regardless of wireless provider, internet connection type, etc. Additionally, users can utilize the system to connect from their PDAs or computers to any telephone in the world.
1 Meter Portable Satellite System By utilizing the Hughes 1 meter portable satellite system, users can have complete system access from virtually anywhere with a view of the southern sky, even if all other landline, wireless and radio communications are unavailable. The system sets up in as little as 10 minutes and provides full high-speed voice and data communications.

By incorporating WiFi technology, emergency responders can use their PDA's for direct voice connections within and out of the disaster area, including the ability to call any telephone number.
Emergency Information Websites
Features
  • EMCOM maintains instantly/automatically updatable Emergency Information websites for every state, county and municipality in the nation. Agency users can instantly post alerts, flash messages, real-time annotated maps, shelter/aid station locations, response instructions, etc. on this web site for their jurisdiction.
  • PubAlert/PopAlert activated to automatically display windows with emergency alert notifications when they are applicable to the geographic region, including weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
  • LiveAlert capable, with emergency managers having the capability to broadcast live alerts or instructions through the web site from virtually any location with just a sound capable computer device (and microphone).
  • PubAlert/PopAlert activated to automatically display windows with emergency alert notifications when they are applicable to the geographic region, including weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
System Features
System Reliability For speed, reliability, security and all of the other attributes listed in the Design Characteristics referenced above, EMCOM utilizes UNIX operating system based servers in its facilities. However this is transparent to all users of the system. Emergency agencies, community coordinators and others utilizing the system may use any type of computer they wish (i.e. Microsoft based system, MAC systems, etc. including lap top computers) to operate the system in their own facility/home. Additionally, key functions of the system may be accessed from a variety of wireless devices so that the system is accssible and available for use while "on-the-go".

There is NO need to install special systems or servers in emergency agency facilities to utilize the system. If the Emergency Operations Center already has an internet capable computer or laptop, the full system can be made available through the existing system. (In order to utilize the LiveAlert webcast capability or the IP based voice communications, the computer should be equipped with a sound card, and either speakers and a microphone, or a headset.)

This methodology allows for the EOC to be moved to any location with power and internet connectivity, and emergency managers can even operate the system from home... or on the go with a wireless device like a Blackberry PDA.
Geographically Separate, Redundant Facilities EMCOM Network Control Centers, dialer facilities, and server facilities are located in reduntant multiple locations, such that single and even multiple points of facility, network, power or communications facility failures can be tolerated with little or no effect on system operation. Satellite capabilities include dual satellites, 5 uplink/earth station facilities and over 1200 downlink sites with over 2.5 Million square miles of coverage area, including the most populated areas of Alaska and Hawaii. Moreover, system administration as well as all of its capabilities and utilities can occur from any location fromwhich internet access or other communications media (including amateur radio) is available, including from mobile command centers.

Multiple Levels of Back-Up The system incorporates several levels of back-up capabilities in case of system, power or communications failure, and is fault-tolerant to multiple simultaneous failures.

Even if the local Emergency Operations Center loses all power and/or data communications capability, the system can be operated from any other location where internet access can be established. The system can also be accessed/utilized via either vehicle mounted fixed mobile for mobile command post, or portable/transportable broadband satellite communications.

Access to the system includes use of the SkyPortable broadband satellite unit from SkyCasters. The portable unit can be set up and operational at any remote location within minutes of need.

Remote Access
Emergency managers can even issue alert notifications,
situation reports or access the Emergency Victim Locator
while "on-the-go" with wireless connectivity
System Interoperability Both the notification and situation reporting/feedback loop systems provide a broad ability to collect this information and make it available in raw, importable format for Emergency Operations Centers to import into their own data collection, analysis and decision support systems. Data collected from all media pertaining to a single collection effort is consolidated into a single importable file for viewing or distribution.
Device Interfaces Electronic Highway, Mall/Store signs We are a mobile society. Often when an emergency threats or strikes, much of the population may be on highways, or in malls or stores. The EMCOM system allows for the immediate (within 90 seconds) of any/all designated electronic highway or mall/store signs that have been equipped to interface with the system.

Activation of Sirens, Strobes, Public Address Systems - The EMCOM system can easily be adapted to trigger these and many more types of devices either individually, in pre-defined groups, or all at once.

Platform Configuration & Features
System
  • Transparent operations to users
  • Can be accessed from internet from any kind of computer, with any operating system and any browser type
  • Can be accessed, administered and operated via most internet capable wireless devices including cell phones.
Operating System Red Hat Linux for speed, security, reliability
Processor Platform Intel(tm)
Architecture Multi-Processor redundant High-Availability Clusters in geographically diverse locations
Storage Devices Each processor incorporates individual storage for processor specific functions and applications.

System storage is provided through redundant NetAppliance high availability, multi-protocol network attached storage subsystems. Additional storage units can be applied to the devices as required without interruption of system operations.
Server Cluster Interconnects Cluster Controllers (Primary & Backup) are directly addressable from the internet on primary high-speed fiber-optic network connections

Web and application servers communicate with the cluster controllers via a back-channel network not accessible from the internet, or any systems other than the cluster controllers.

For security, application servers communicate off-line with data-base servers through their own back-channel network, not even accessible from the Cluster Controllers.

Dynamic clustered environment allows for additional processors to be individually added to a cluster without interrupting operations. The system will sense the 'arrival' probe its capabilities (for load sharing) and begin using the new resource automatically.
Programming Languages C, Perl, Java
Environment Check-pointed fail-resist transaction oriented environment.
Outbound Dialing Systems EMCOM does not maintain systems for outbound voice notifications. Rather, it utilizes the state-of-the-art resources of dozens of large telemarketing organizations across the United States. There are significant advantages to this:
  • EMCOM can split call lists between multiple providers to get call rates of 10,000 - 15,000 calls per minute .
  • It provides fail-safe multiple redundancy to the system so that if one, two or even more of the facilities are unavailable or destroyed, others can continue notifications
  • It requires no initial investment in systems, allowing a pay-for-use methodology rather than maintaining expensive voice/data lines.
  • Agreement with these providers insure emergency notifications receive priority and are immediately acted upon.
  • No need for communications specialists to operate and maintain the system; this is done by the provider companies who are pleased to have this additional business opportunity.
System Security/Integrity
General All systems and processes are dynamically monitored by the system in real-time for failure or intrusion detection. Operator personnel are immediately notified of abnormal events.

Additionally the system incorporates 'false' databases and intruder 'traps' and tracking/tracing systems.
Database & Data Security A highly secure and specially configured postgresql GIS database structure is implemented for the notification, geocoding and Map/Annotation Systems.

Database systems are off-line and isolated from internet access via double back-channel private networks, and a minimum of three firewalls.

Specialized security measures prevent any unauthorized access or process from running in these systems, and the only data that can be retrieved outside of these systems are lists of email/sms addresses or telephone numbers, none of which are accompanied by names or address information.

Transactions to/from these servers is MD5 encrypted and only via specially designated ports and protocols from specific servers.
Encryption The system is capable of and utilizes multiple encryption techniques and methodologies depending upon the application to which it is applied. These include:
  • 128bit SSL session encryption
  • Support for complex passwords
  • Support for Certificate based authorization
  • Internal MD5 (multiple type) data encryption
  • Strict,Secure and Encrypted interprocess communication protocols
  • Password Validation

Even within records, different combinations of MD5 digests, CBC-DES, CBC-IDEA, CBC-Blowfish are used on various fields either singly or in combination to effect full data security.
Monitoring & Administration The system is fully and dynamically self monitoring, with servers cross checking hardware and processes of other servers and reporting results in real-time to our operations staff in both of two network control centers. Additionally, EMCOM personnel can monitor and control the system remotely from anywhere an internet connection or direct dial connection exists. This includes controlling and monitoring via wireless laptop and PDA devices.

The system incorporates fully configurable alarms for both hardware and processesMonitoring & Administration
EMCOM personnel can schedule a demonstration where you can be given full access to the system (demo mode) from your own internet connected computer.

To view a "mock-up" of the System Operations area that would be available to you with use of the system, CLICK HERE.



Contact EMCOM for more information.



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