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What is the Business Continuity Information Network?

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Studies have shown that businesses risk failure if they are unable to reopen quickly after a disaster. To reduce these risks and improve communications within the business community, Florida International University (FIU) has developed the Business Continuity Information Network (BCIN, pronounced “bee-kin”) a web-based service where local businesses, county emergency management, and organizations that assist businesses can gather to share critical information and support continuity efforts before, during and after a disaster. Available year round as a public service, this trusted, business-to-business, community network provides participating companies a tool to track their key employees and supply chain status, and locate needed recovery goods and services. If you are new to the BCIN community please take a moment to review the pages linked above to learn more about the BCIN tool and why FIU and its partners are committed to improving the ways business communities recover from disaster.

BCiN Involves In Recent Important Exercises With The Community

1. May/12/2011
In the county of West Palm Beach exercise, we demonstrate the system to WPB Dept. of Emergency Management and companies.

2. July/29/2010
In Miami-Dade company exercises, over 50 company attendees are operating our systems for training exercise. Evaluation is conducted during the exercise and the feedback is good.

3. May/10/2010
In Miami-Dade Dept. of Emergency Management’s Statewide Hurricane Exercise, our systems are responsible for disseminating and responding to injects during the course of the exercise used by both government and company users.

Undergraduates Win The Best Hackathon Overall App

Paul Graham, take note. South Florida has plenty of nerds and a growing startup community.

In 2006, the Y Combinator co-founder wrote this in an essay about building startup communities: “I think you only need two kinds of people to create a technology hub: rich people and nerds. … Observation bears this out … Few startups happen in Miami, for example, because although it’s full of rich people, it has few nerds. It’s not the kind of place nerds like.”

If that were true then, it certainly isn’t now.

Miami-Dade Launches Storm Surge Simulator

(Photo Credit: www.miamidade.gov) Image from the county’s new Storm Surge Simulator

MIAMI (CBS4) — As South Florida tracks Hurricane Irene and on the 19th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, a new tool has been launched for Miami-Dade residents regarding the threat of storm surge.

Storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. It occurs when water from the ocean is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around a hurricane.

County residents can now use the Storm Surge Simulator which combines historical data and modern day technology to see what storm surge can mean to them and their property.

Hurricane Storm Surge Calculated With New Web Tool

Damage to Pensacola Beach in Florida from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Photo courtesy of Leif Skoogfors/FEMA

Residents in Miami-Dade County, Fla., will have a new Web tool at their disposal in the event Hurricane Irene comes ashore on the Eastern Seaboard later this week.

The new tool, called the Storm Surge Simulator, allows users to calculate storm surge levels in Miami-Dade’s three evacuation zones based on location and hurricane severity. The tool is accessible on the county’s website.

LINK: New Storm Surge Simulator To Help Miami Dade Residents

With the new Storm Surge Simulator, residents type in their address, pick the intensity of the hurricane (Category 1-5), select the image of a person or home, and let simulator do the rest. For those living in Evacuation Zones, the simulator is a reminder of the potential impact of storm surge.
More than a half a million people live in one of Miami-Dade County’s three Hurricane Evacuation Zones and storm surge remains the greatest threat to life and property. It is the primary reason why evacuations are ordered.

New Hurricane Science Saves Keys From Costly Evacuations

Andy Newman says if what South Florida is seeing with Hurricane Irene today had happened ten years ago, the Florida Keys would undergoing a visitors' evacuation right now.

"The evolution of science in terms of hurricanes is putting the emergency management community at ease," says Newman, who as a public relations advisor to the Florida Keys tourism industry has been in on so many evacuations, he can't even remember them all.

2009 Florida Emergency Preparedness Association Annual Conference

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Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando, FL
BCIN participated in the Supporting Local and Regional Business Recovery Roundtable which was attended by a variety of staff from Florida County Emergency Management, Florida Regional Planning Council, Florida Small Business Development Center, Public Safety, and State Health Dept. A range of topics were discussed such as ESF-18 building, tools to facilitate information sharing with the community, developing partnerships with Economic Development Organizations, assess county capacity, mutual aide agreements, business continuity planning motivation and outreach, recovery data management privacy and security, and standards for continuity planning.

US Chamber of Commerce/BCLC

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US Chamber of Commerce/ Business Civic Leadership Committee Annual Disaster Forum was held at Office Depot Headquarters, Boca Raton, FL. Featured presentation "Business Continuity Information Network". The forum brought together nationally acclaimed public and private sector disaster experts who shared best practices and provided input to the new Federal administration. See also "Local Private-Public Initiatives for Building a Disaster-Resilient Community", in On the Brink: Re-engineering the Nation's Disaster Response Processes.

Business Continuity Information Network Briefing

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Business Continuity Information Network Briefing took place in Houston, TX and was hosted by Harris County Emergency Management and FEMA's Private Sector Office.The meeting was attended by local business community and government agencies including Chevron, Home Depot, Valero, HEB, Entergy, Hotel and Lodging Assoc., City of Houston, and many others. It Provide a unique and first-of-its-kind forum for business and government agencies to discuss cooperation, collaboration and information sharing.

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