Group sets up crisis network for private sector

A group led by former Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson that aims to organize private-sector crisis response has set up a new network to share information during disaster rescue and recovery.

The Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association was established in Haymarket, Va., this year with an advisory board of prominent emergency response officials. It is chaired by Hutchinson, the former under secretary for border security and transportation at DHS.

Other prominent board members are:
  • Tom Ridge, former DHS secretary;
  • George Foresman, former under secretary for preparedness;
  • Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chairman of the American Red Cross; and
  • Todd Stottlemyer, president of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The Essential Public Network will offer real-time information sharing between private-sector, local agencies, nonprofit agencies and local and federal emergency and law enforcement officials, Hutchinson said in a news release.

"The Essential Public Network will fill a noticeable void that currently exists at the local level and in the private sector in terms of information sharing, coordination and two-way communication," said Hutchinson in the release. "We are building a national network of crisis response officers at businesses and corporations around the nation who will have direct access to critical and timely information through this secure online network."

The network will include a national database of community stakeholders who can provide resources and information. The Essential Public Network will be maintained by NC4, a Web portal division of Candle Corp. software company of El Segundo, Calif.

Other companies and groups involved in the network include Envisage Technologies Corp., Sprint Nextel Corp., Siemens Building Technologies Inc. and the Christian Appalachian Project nonprofit organization.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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