Raising the Bar: Sustainable to Resilient -- What it means to Public Safety

The Global Center for Preparedness (GCP), based at Florida Institute of Technology, is organized to integrate the preparation for and the response to natural and man-made disasters as well as promoting a sustainable and resilient infrastructure in order to protect physical assets and human life. Now more than ever, it is critical we integrate not only technology and best practices in the United States, but the capabilities and resources of our partners around the world. The GCP collectively uses intellectual capital from government, military, civilian, non-profit, higher education institutions and for-profit sectors to develop a repository of information and services that can be utilized globally. One of the Center's primary missions is to provide current and relevant information to first responders and those working in the area of public safety.

To fulfill this mission, each December in Florida, the Global Center for Preparedness hosts an annual conference, bringing together distinguished speakers, public and private sector leaders and their organizations whose work and products reflect a dedication to saving lives and improving survivability in the event of an emergency. This year, speakers will be presenting on topics including emergency response and interoperability, cyber security, human factors, the economy's impact on preparedness, and technology; raising the bar from sustainable to resilient.

While most people could give a general definition of 'sustainable', the newest focus on being 'resilient' leaves some scratching their heads. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the United Nations and others now use the word 'resilient' routinely when describing their initiatives. So what is 'resilient' and how does it pertain to public safety and first responders? Essentially, resilience is adding an emphasis on safety and security to the concept of sustainable (S3). A building can have a perfect carbon footprint, but if the people living and working inside aren'?t safe and secure, energy efficiency becomes a moot point. You can operate in an 'eco-friendly' environment, but if your communication network is brought down, either by sabotage or accident, interoperability is non-existent and response, rescue and recovery can be crippled.

For creating safer, more secure structures, the 3rd Annual Conference on Global Preparedness will be featuring a company that has introduced the world's first ever fully intelligent evacuation technology for life saving escape from buildings of any sort, above or below ground, sea going vessels and aircraft. In order to achieve a high probability of escape, a system had to be designed which would take advantage of all the development in real time sensors, a system which would use intelligence gathered from sensors throughout an area and over the expanse of a building, no matter how high or complex, to guide the human beings in the building, out of it to safety.

Key speakers in the area of Emergency Response and Public Safety include, Kay Goss, CEM, Associate Director of FEMA from 1994 -2001, Mr. Yuki Karakawa from the International Association of Emergency Managers, and Dr. Michael McDonald, President of Global Health Initiatives. First responders will also have the opportunity to learn about "Ensuring Back-up Connectivity and Interoperability during an Emergency" from Hughes Communication, "Delivering Critical Information - Just-in-Time- In a Crisis" from Critical Information Network and "Resilience: the Integration of Safety, Security and Sustainability" from Conference Director, Dr. Clifford R. Bragdon. More information about the conference, including how to register, can be found at http://411.fit.edu/cgp.