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Where will you be when the lights go out, or some other crisis happens? Most likely not at your desk: your days are taken up with meetings, business travel, commuting, and time at home or on vacation with your family. So the odds are you will not be at your desk. Thats right, the desk where all your crisis plans, contact lists, and key documents are!
CC Connect, Crisis Commander’s Crisis App for Smartphones, has been solving this problem for our clients for years, and with our recent upgrade CC Connect is even better. CC Connect puts all your plans, notification tools and documents right where you need them: in the hands of your teams, 24/7. Here’s how it works:
As soon as you login CC Connect provides you with invaluable information. The first screen shows a map which pinpoints all team member’s locations instantly! If your team member needs assistance you can use this location info to get it to them quickly, or you can use their location to determine how long it will take them to arrive at the scene, or use it as part of your task assignment process.
Once you are logged in, the next step is to get (or provide) a quick overview of the situation, which you can do in the “Situation Report”, a brief text update which all team members can view to bring them up to speed on the situation. This report can also be emailed to team members and management . As the situation progresses, develops and resolves you can add additional information, your old entries scroll down and are automatically saved.
With Crisis Commander’s “Notify” button you can notify hundreds of team mates, vendors etc using SMS, Voice, and Email. The benefits of being able to communicate effectively during an emergency or crisis are well documented. Crisis Commander puts this in the palm of your hand!
Your team can access and use your contingency plans on the crisis app as well. Plans are presented in checklist format, and are easy to use. The person responsible for the task is listed and may be contacted by clicking their name. Support documents for each task are listed in blue text. You can have as many plan templates stored in Crisis Commander as you wish, and in the event of complex or multi-tiered crises you can have as many plans as you need running at any time.
You can conduct online meetings in the meeting room as well. With the meeting tool you can follow existing meeting agendas or create agendas on the fly. Appoint someone on your team to take minutes!
One of the great features of Crisis Commander is the automated Log. The Log captures all actions taken by your team during an incident from start to finish, providing a full audit trail for compliance purposes. Perhaps more importantly, you can use the log to determine who did what and when, so you can improve your team’s performance the next time. This feature is just as useful, for the same reasons, in tests, drills and exercises.
As part of it’s “One stop shop” approach Crisis Commander also serves as a document storage site for your critical documents you might need during a crisis or emergency. Documents can be in any file type or format: video, audio, PDF, Office docs, etc. Floor plans and building schematics can be particularly useful in certain situations. Again the beauty of Crisis Commander is these documents will be right in the hands of your team! You can also search for documents or contacts using the search capability.
CC Connect is an invaluable crisis management and incident management tool. Contact us for a demo!
Our Australian colleagues recently created this video on the Crisis Commander Crisis App and posted it on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkjCYWe5hlk (If you are from that side of the world go to http://www.crisismanagementbrisbane.com.au/)
There are a few other videos posted on the Crisis Commander YouTube channel as well- check them out and let us know what you think!
Freeport McMoRan’s Sierrita Copper and Molybdenum Mine has selected Crisis Commander to help it manage Emergencies and Crises. Sierrita is a an open pit copper and molybdenum mine 2o mile sw of Tuscon, AZ. The Sierrita team need a tool to help them centralize the emergency management process, communicate with employees and local emergency management agencies, and track and expedite recovery operations. Possible events at Sierrita which would have a significant effect on operations and production include power outages, inclement weather, fires, major equipment malfunction etc. With Crisis Commander Sierrita can identify situtaions, notify team members and other stakeholders with one click, launch recovery plans, track progress, and close completed recovery plans.
The Key benefits of Crisis Commander that led to Freeport McMoRan Sierrita’s decision include Crisis Commander’s easy-to-use smartphone app for crisis management, powerful mass notification using SMS, email and voice, the ability to track plan and task status in real time, and the comprehensive automatic log.
Stockholm/Amsterdam 9th of September 2014
Dutch airline Transavia.com, KLM’s low price carrier (part of the Air France KLM Group) has selected Crisis Commander as their Crisis Management platform.
Netherlands Transavia’s CEO Mattijs ten Brink and Lars Blomgren from Svensk Krisledning AB, signed a four year agreement at a ceremony and press conference at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam today.
The agreement is initially for four years and also involves the delivery of other crisis management services
“We are delighted that Crisis Commander continues its growth in the airline, airport and air traffic control sector. The Crisis Commander App, released in 2013, provides Transavia with the ease of use they need for a company-wide rollout”, says Thomas Hagström, CEO at Svensk Krisledning AB.
Crisis Commander USA established in 2003, is the exclusive Value Added Reseller (VAR) for Crisis Commander in the Americas
Svensk Krisledning AB, established in 2002, develops and sells the award winning crisis management software Crisis Commander in more than 40 countries.
A serious Android vulnerability shows the importance of the guidance in my recent post on “Securing Your Mobile Device” I mentioned that Android users have the highest encounter rate (71%) with Malware of any mobile device, followed by iPhones with 14% of all mobile malware encounters. Remember from my earlier article what types of information employees commonly put on their phones: “88% of companies report that employees have corporate email on their mobile devices, 53% report that employees have customer data on their mobiles, and 48% have network login credentials on their mobile devices.” This a real issue!
In a recent article Tod Beardsley of Rapid7 highlights a serious, and more disturbingly not new, vulnerability for Android devices.
The hacker then has unlimited access to a remote “shell window” (Older readers will remember the C:> command prompt underlying windows) that according to Tod: “will enable the attacker do perform low-level actions with the permissions of the compromised app. Usually, this is plenty of permission to do things like steal contacts and saved SMS messages, saved pictures, plant evidence of crime, etc etc. Also usually, this puts an attacker in a great position to elevate privileges to root/superuser, which then opens the entire functionality to him, including flashing to a new OS (with persistent backdoors and whatever).” Shades of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, no?
In some cases, the exploit can also be triggered by performing a “man-in-the-middle” attack while the victim is on an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
Disturbingly, this vulnerability has been known by Android for almost 2 years, with no fix in sight. Newer Android users have a new version of the Android browser that defeats this vulnerability, but no upgrades have been pushed to older phones.
So what should you do if you have an Android device with an Android Browser? First, check your browser version. If it is older than v 4.2, you have a problem. From there, the easiest thing to do would be to switch your browser. Google Chrome is not subject to this vulnerabilty, and also gets regular updates pushed from Google. Other options are Firefox and Opera (a Norwegian browser).
This vulnerability also highlights my earlier advice: Don’t visit web sites you don’t trust/know, and be careful what you click on websites. Also, watch out for phishing emails, and don’t click on attachments or links (for links, better to re-type them in your browser). Keep you apps and software up to date, and never, ever connect to an unsecured wifi.
Check out our latest video on the new crisis app:
I recently read The Economist’s “The World in 2014” issue, a must read for global Crisis Managers and Risk Managers. Of particular note was the article “Ripe for Rebellion” which identifies 65 countries at “High” or “Very High” risk for social unrest in 2014. The usual suspects are there, such as Zimbabwe, Greece, Syria etc. There are a number of surprises, however: Argentina, with a Very High rating (above Brazil’s “High” rating), China, the world’s largest and most successful emerging market, with a “high” rating, etc.
The Economist pins the high potential for mass unrest in theses countries on economic trouble combined with some of the following factors: Income inequality, poor government, low levels of social provision, ethnic tensions and a history of unrest.
Interestingly in Argentina’s case, a country I have visited 3 times in the last 12 months, they may be a bit late. Looting related to a police strike in Cordoba, the second largest city in the nation, killed one and injured over 100 in early December. UPDATE: Rioting and looting has spread in Argentina since my first post on this topic. After more than 1,00 stores were looted, the police in Cordoba were able to extort pay raises of 33% to end their strike, and other police departments around the country followed suit. The unrest quickly spread to 20 of 24 provinces, and included widespread robbery and violence. As of December 11 most provincial governments had settled with the police unions, resulting in pay raises of up to 45%. Four provinces have not settled, and violence there continues.
Although provincial police officers are paid relatively well, their wages are not indexed to inflation, which is unofficially running at 25% per year, so their wages are not keeping up with rapidly rising prices. It is quite likely that other governmental workers will strike soon as well, as they are in the same circumstances and they have seen the success of the police. Sergio Berensztein, a political consultant, warns that given Argentina’s “explosive” economic circumstances, more public bodies are likely to revolt soon. “There is no doubt that we are headed for a series of social crises that will only escalate,” he says. The Federal Government has brushed aside the protests as being purely political, but if they continue, they will force the government to print more money, escalating the misery-inducing inflation spiral and further destabilizing the country.
If your company has international operations, or is sending employees to any of these areas, read the Economist article, and update your crisis plans! Make sure your operations, teams and traveling employees have access to a Crisis App and crisis plans, and be sure to have contingency plans should unrest in these countries disrupt your production or supply chain.
In case you weren’t convinced that smartphones and Crisis Apps can help you manage crises and emergencies, look at what happened in Illinois. An F4 tornado, with peak wind gusts of 170 to 190 MPH raged through Washington, Il on Monday. Looking at footage of the destruction, its hard to believe the death toll wasn’t higher.
One of the reasons for this is NOAA and the National Weather Service. Early text messages from the National Weather service helped to save lives by giving people time to seek shelter before the tornado hit.
A recent broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition describes a scene in the Crossroad United Methodist Church in Washington: 15 minutes before the tornado hit, 100’s of church member’s cell phones started buzzing with the tornado alerts. Associate Pastor Casey Taylor and others herded church members into shelters in the basement, and he said” we hunkered down in those rooms and you could hear for about 60 seconds straight that, that locomotive thunder as it went by”.
The warnings were courtesy of a nationwide text emergency alert system called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA),also known as The Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) and were delivered to recipients by the mobile phone industry and NOAA’s National Weather Service. The text alert service is free and automatic – there’s no need to sign up or download an app. As long as your cell phone is WEA-capable, you’ll get wireless alerts for the most dangerous types of weather from NOAA’s National Weather Service no matter where you are, just as soon as the new service is available in your area.
In Washington, IL forecasters were able to outline an area that was likely to be hit by the tornado, and then any cell tower within that area broadcast the alert to all cellphones. The messages aren’t SMS or text messages, but they look like ones, with the added advantage that they pop up on your screen without having to open anything.
The added advantage is that these aren’t broad-area alerts- they are very localized- so if you get one, react immediately. No matter where you are, the WEA system will send alerts specific to your current location to you automatically.
The WEA is a collaborative effort by the wireless industry, the FCC, DHS and FEMA. NOAA is one of the agencies authorized to use the WEA. The government plans to broadcast 3 types of alerts using the WEA:
1) Alerts issued by the President of the United States
2) Alerts involving imminent threats to safety of life. (such as weather emergencies, chemical spills etc)
3) Amber Alerts
The system works with most newer smartphones. To find out if your phone is compatible with the WEA, and if the WEA has been rolled out to your area, contact your mobile phone provider or go to the industry association website: CTIA, the Wireless Association.
Here are links to Cellular Carrier pages with WEA Info:
I took a quick look at the Verizon page and it looked like many popular devices are WEA capable. Both the iPhone 4s and 5 support WEA alerts, but only if you have upgraded to iOS6 software. Many Blackberry devices work, as well as 14 Samsung devices,13 Motorola devices, the Nokia Lumia, 10 LG devices, 9 HTC devices, as well as a few Casio and Pantech phones.
WEA/CMAS messages, although displayed similarly to SMS text messages, are always free and are routed through a separate service which will give them priority over voice and regular text messages in congested areas. Customers who have the capability of receiving CMAS alerts (also known as PLAN and WEA) will be automatically signed up by their carrier. If they do not want to participate they may opt to block most CMAS messages, however CMAS regulations prohibit participating carriers from configuring phones to allow users to opt out of messages issued by the President.
Learn More about the new Crisis App Crisis Commander Connect: CC Mobile App
Please see the attached file to learn more about the new Incident Management System IMS_datasheet_v4
|Conferences/Tradeshows||Start Date||End Date||Location|
|DRJ Fall World (Contingency Planning and Disaster Recovery)||September 19, 2010||September 22, 2010||San Diego, CA|
|ASIS International (Security)||October 12, 2010||October 15, 2010||Dallas, TX|
|CPM (Contingency Planning)||November 2, 2010||November 4, 2010||New York City|