Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Satellite Communications: Disaster Preparedness from June 2012 Article MilSat Magazine.

Disaster Preparedness: Hurricanes...
By Tony Bardo, Assistant Vice President for Government Solutions, Hughes

Already, 2012 has distinguished itself as a year of severe storms, with record-breaking tornado outbreaks this past winter in the United States.  With the hurricane season’s official start in June, first responders
are preparing for the worst... last year’s biggest event, Hurricane Irene, caused more than $15 billion in damage and killed 49 people.  Meteorologists predict fewer named storms, but those that do form will
have a greater proximity to the U.S. coastline, making forecasting more difficult and reducing warning lead-times. This makes emergency alerts to the public all the more important.

Today, as satellite technology displaces the older analog method of relaying emergency information, states and localities are employing digital satellite services to help enable a far more sophisticated form for their Emergency Alert Systems (EAS). In the past, alerts were disseminated with fax machines and then dispatched at the radio or television station. Today, federal government mandates require a multi-media process that can enable the transmission of images, audio and video files.

Satellite serves as an ideal medium.In 2011, the state of Alabama rolled out a state-of-the-art digital emergency communications system called GSSNet/Alert Studio, powered by the Hughes nationwide satellite service and terrestrial technologies. Developed and operated by Global Security Systems (GSS), Alabama’s emergency communications can disseminate alerts through a host of multimedia applications—road signs, cell phones, smart phones, reverse 911, TV and radio. As the message is based on the government’s digital Common Alert Protocol (CAP), audio quality is vastly improved.

The greatest advance that the system provides is immediacy. In the past, emergency alerts weren’t pushed to the public at the same time. Back then, a dispatcher needed to read the message and then pass it along, resulting in a sometimes catastrophic delay. Eliminating that delay can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. By using satellite technologies and the new digital messaging system, Alabama was able to completely remove the possibility of communication disruption.

With its proactive adoption of new satellite technology and coordinated information dissemination, Alabama is providing a model for other states of how to get the word out to the public as quickly and effectively as possible—helping citizens to reach safe haven as they ride out the storm.  Alerting citizens, however, is only half of the story. In a hurricane, traditional communications technologies can fail. Such leaves first responders stranded without the connections they need to coordinate emergency operations. Satellites can provide
that critical link to them.

Hughes has been hard at work developing the Inter-Government Crisis Network (IGCN), which uses satellite technology to connect emergency response institutions and local governments in a crisis. A private network, it acts like the Internet, but without being vulnerable to network outages from the actual Internet—allowing agencies to collaborate in a crisis, sharing data, voice, and video-teleconferencing nationwide.

With this capability, any number of site-to-site connections can be readily configured to connect. IGCN also allows for predefined user-groups, so a state agency could set up a video-conference link-up with all fire departments, or all police departments, or all responders in a certain geographic area. Many U.S. state and local governments have emergency operational plans in place to facilitate rapid response, addressing such critical activities as evacuation, sheltering, and distribution of supplies. By leveraging the power of satellite, government leaders can ensure that these critical plans can be carried out without disruption no matter what storms turn their way.

A key to the effort was arraying EAS decoders across the system. This avoids the complication of the Internet, firewalls or configuration issue—and replaces the system’s old dependence on phone lines. Now, even if phones go down, or if the Internet becomes congested, warning alerts will make it out.  With the use of satellite technology, messages can be generated from anywhere in the field and transmitted across the system, instead of first having to pass through the Emergency Operations Center.


Anthony “Tony” Bardo has 29 years of experience with strategic communication technologies that serve the complex needs of government. Since joining Hughes Network Systems in January 2006, Bardo has served as assistant vice president of Government Solutions, where he is focused on providing Hughes satellite broadband applications solutions to Federal, State, and Local governments. Bardo also recently served as Chair of the Networks and Telecommunications Shared Interest Group (SIG) for the Industry Advisory Council, an advisory body to the American Council for Technology (ACT).  Prior to joining Hughes, Bardo was with Qwest Government Services for nearly five years where he served as senior director of civilian agencies sales and marketing, senior director of marketing, and senior director of business development. Prior to Qwest, Bardo spent 14 years with the government markets group at MCI where he held the position of executive director for civilian agencies. During his tenure, his teams managed programs with the Federal Aviation Administration’s national air traffic control network, the Social Security Administration’s toll-free network, the U.S. Postal Service Managed Service Network, and the U.S. General Services Administration’s FTS2001. Mr. Bardo is a 1974 graduate of Virginia Tech where he majored in economics with a minor in public communications.

Webinar: Satellite Communications

Evolving portfolio of satellite communications solutions

Tuesday 20 November 2012 at 15:00 GMT (London) / 16:00 CET. Click here to see the start time in other timezones. 

Inmarsat will be delighted to introduce our portfolio that has expanded recently to specifically address your business-critical communications requirements. 

New services, new pricing models and a brand new IsatPhone Pro humanitarian package will be highlighted in this webinar, along with a sneak preview of our product and services roadmap, featuring new L-band offerings and capacity, as well as our game-changing next-generation Ka-band network, Global Xpress®. 

Whether you are an emergency responder who needs immediate access to communications to effectively carry out relief operations, or an NGO needing long-term reliable voice and data connectivity, our portfolio is designed to provide you with a solution you can depend upon. 

Drew Brandy, Vice President, Inmarsat Industry and Florian Lefèvre, Inmarsat’s Director of Sales, EMEA region for Industry, as well as our technical experts will be delighted to welcome you to the webinar to discuss how Inmarsat is well placed to address your requirements now, and what we are doing to ensure that as your needs evolve, our portfolio of services can grown with you. 

You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and engage with our panel throughout the webinar. If you can’t make it, but are interested in this update from Inmarsat, please register and we will send you a link to access the webinar post-event. We look forward to welcoming you on 20 November 2012, 3:00pm GMT. 

Webinar: Toxic Release Inventory for Communities

Introduction to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for Communities
November 8, 2012  1:00 – 2:30 pm EST

Next week, EPA and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will present a webinar for community grassroots groups and others who serve as community leaders about how to access and use EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory data. TRI can help address local community concerns about toxic chemical emissions and associated environmental impacts. Webinar participants will learn about TRI basics, as well as about EPA’s recent pilot projects with four communities, and will also hear from a grassroots group which, as a result of the pilot project, is now using TRI data to build on its ongoing efforts to protect the community from industrial pollution.

Featured speakers will include:
  • Shelley Fudge, TRI Community Engagement Initiative lead in US EPA’s Washington, DC Office
  • Lily Lee, the TRI Coordinator for US EPA’s San Francisco Office
  • Erin Heaney, Executive Director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York
All are welcome to participate!  For more information, including soon to be posted agenda, speaker bios, etc. please visit: 

To register, go to 

Webinar Contacts
Bryan Shipley, ECOS at 
Christine Arcari, US EPA at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Veterans Event: Univ of Phoenix

University of Phoenix

Start Strong Veterans Event

Joining forces for your future

Returning to the civilian world after living a military life requires careful planning. To help smooth the transition, University of Phoenix and Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS)* are joining forces to host a complimentary Start Strong Veterans Event at 43 of our campus locations during Veterans Day week.

The event features tips on how to plan for personal and professional success. You’ll meet military personnel and members of the University of Phoenix community who can help as you transition.
Veterans, active-duty servicemembers and spouses are invited to attend. Check your location’s registration page to find out which of these activities will be offered:
Gain insight into re-entering civilian life at special panel discussions with representatives from the military, Veterans Affairs, government, the corporate world and University of Phoenix military alumni.
Attend workshops that will deliver tips on completing a transition checklist, dressing for civilian success and more. Be prepared to learn and ask questions about translating your military experience into the civilian job market.
Meet employers and industry association representatives who can shed light on the hiring market and the qualities and skills they’re looking for in career seekers.

Military transition articles

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5 resumé tips for veterans

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* EANGUS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the status, welfare and professionalism of enlisted members of the National Guard by supporting legislation that provides adequate staffing, pay, benefits, entitlements, equipment and installations for the National Guard.
No federal or Marine Corps endorsement of advertisers or sponsors is implied.

Register for an event

Register for an event

Supporting our military students

Learn how University of Phoenix supports
our students in uniform through our
Military Division »

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Four Simple Steps to Write a Case Study

Four Simple Steps to Write a Case Study: A Guide for NGOs

By Neha Malhotra
Neha Malhotra is a Post graduate in Child Rights from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and has worked as a child rights practitioner. She has worked with eminent NGOs like Child Rights and You, Bachpan Bachao Aandolan and Action For Autism.
A Case Study is like a real-life testimonial or a case to be discussed with the reader. It is like a puzzle to be solved by the reader. It should have enough information to (a) understand the problem (b) analyze the information and (c) help the readers come up with a solution.
A case study has the information arranged in such a way that the reader is made to step in the shoes as the case writer was in the beginning. It is one of the best ways to relate a client with his counterpart when he underwent the same situation.
 A Case study is a great way to demonstrate the benefits of the services offered by an NGO or a company. Not just being a testimonial, a case study is a real-life example of how one’s services helped in satisfying a client’s needs. It creates a connection between a reader and the services offered by NGO or the company.
Here are some of the tips to write a good case study:
Writing a case study requires certain phases. The steps involved in writing a good case study are:
Step 1 – Research Study
A good case study requires primary and secondary research work.
Primary research - A primary research entails collection of data with the tools of surveys, interviews and focused group discussions. The data establishes a direct relationship between an NGO and the stakeholders.
Secondary Research – Secondary research work involves processing of collected information for the betterment of services. The tools of data collection are library, internet, journals etc
Step 2 – Analysis Phase
The analysis phase comprises two steps:
(a)    Collating all the information in one place – Once all the information has been collected, the same is put in one place and analyzed.
(b)   Formulating the case study in simple sentences – Following analysis of the information, the next step is interpreting the information in simple sentences.
Step 3 – Writing a Case Study
Upon completion of all the above mentioned steps, the problem or case question which the reader wants to solve is described. All the sections of the case study are organized, giving an appropriate background to the case study, framing the middle part and giving an end to the case study. The sentences must be appropriately structured so as to retain the interest of the reader.
Step 4 – Make a Conclusion
The last part is to draw a conclusion and outcome of the case study. It should give a satisfying result which can make the reader a satisfied customer or a client.

Source Link:

Hurricane Sandy: Kids and Disasters

Hurricane Sandy

With Hurricane Sandy approaching the Eastern Seaboard, we wanted to share some hurricane preparedness information that is useful for both parents and teachers. For 
those living in the affected area, teaching your kids what to do during a hurricane can give them confidence that they are prepared and can help reduce the anxiety they may be feeling. 

The Hurricane page on has tips on what to do “Before, During, and After” a hurricane.

Teachers, during this weather event, your students may have questions pertaining to hurricanes.  

"How Do Hurricanes Formis a good resource that explains what a hurricane is and how it is 
formed. This activity sheet is for younger children.

To those who live in the affected region, our thoughts are with you. Stay safe.

Coping With a Disaster or Traumatic Event


The effects of a disaster, terrorist attack, or other public health emergency can be long-lasting, and the resulting trauma can reverberate even with those not directly affected by the disaster. This page provides general strategies for promoting mental health and resilience that were developed by various organizations based on experiences in prior disasters.

Disaster Distress Helpline

  • If you are experiencing signs of distress as a result of a disaster, the Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling and support. Call 1-800-985-5990 (TTY for deaf/hearing impaired: 1-800-846-8517) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Information for Individuals

Information for Parents and Families

Information for Teachers and Schools

Information for Responders

Information for Health Professionals

Information for States and Local Health Departments

Effects of Stress

Suicide Prevention

Coping during Specific Types of Emergencies

Natural Disasters


Terrorist Events

Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

Other Resources

The Black Emergency Managers Association International

Membership Dues (New and Renewal)

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