Resource Library

CMAS flub shows the dark side of text alerts

December 14, 2011

CMAS Alert: Civil Emergency in this area until 1:24 PM EST. Take Shelter Now. U.S. Govern popped up on mobile phones in New Jersey yesterday.  No need to panic, this was apparently part of a poorly run test of CMAS in the garden state. And the test results were not good. While some blogs and headlines proclaim the alert “freaked…

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Our See Something, Say Something World

September 10, 2011

Heading into the 10 year anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on US, we learn there may be another attack planned to explode vehicles during the memorial weekend, in DC or NYC.  An informant claims that  2 or more men, reportedly dispatched by Al Qaeda, left Afghanistan and entered the United States with the intent to detonate bombs hidden inside…

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Quake Shakes Confidence in Communications

August 23, 2011

Today we experienced a 5.9 quake at the ELERTS office in Massachusetts. Our building swayed and shook for about 20 seconds, as did many east coast buildings.  No alarm was sounded.  No evacuation orders given. Building management had no way to communicate with tenants, to give instructions.  There was a failure to communicate inside a defined structure, our building, which…

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Bank Robbery foiled by iPhone user

August 5, 2011

What a great example of a watchful person on the street stopping a crime by taking a photo with his smartphone. As a bank robbery was about to go down, a 23 year old man who was outside on a break, saw the robber dressed in a wig.  Ed G.  discretely photographed the would-be-robber using his iPhone.  It was the…

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CCTV Security Cameras vs. Mobile Phone Cameras

August 1, 2011

Post Mortem vs. Active Crime Interception One need look no further than London, the city with perhaps the most CCTV (closed circuit television) security cameras in the world, to realize fixed-mount cameras are useful as “rewind” devices, to go back and review how a crime or event happened.  But are these fixed-mount, always-filming, cameras the best model for detecting events…

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Text Against Terror – A Great Start

July 13, 2011

You’re settling into your seat on the train.  You look across the aisle and see a large bag on the floor. An “unattended” bag. You’ve heard “if you see something, say something,” but who do you call? If you are on a New Jersey Transit train, you can send a text message to 65873 and report a suspected terrorist situation.…

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National mobile emergency alert system announced, “PLAN”. New name, same Limitations.

May 11, 2011

In NYC today, near the site of a defining event in US history, the US Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) announced they are soon going live with a new system to send emergency alerts to mobile phones in select geographic areas. The events of 9/11 put emergency notification systems to the ultimate test…and those systems failed. As a first responder…

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Crowdsourced Situational Awareness

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