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High DHS evaluation for incident management system

Previstar : 26 June, 2008  (New Product)
Continual Preparedness System from Previstar becomes compliant NIMS system after FEMA evaluation
For disaster preparedness professionals, finding products compliant with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) has been challenging, largely because there has been no objective, third party verification that a product is actually NIMS compliant.

That is, until now. In one of its first detailed evaluations of emergency preparedness systems, the NIMS Supporting Technology Evaluation Program (NIMS STEP), an independent panel of test engineers and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), has determined that the Previstar Continual Preparedness System (CPS) is consistent with NIMS national standards.

The NIMS STEP is operated by the NIMS Support Centre (NIMS SC), and supports NIMS implementation by providing an independent, third party evaluation of supporting technologies and the use and incorporation of new and existing technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness in all aspects of incident management.

"We are proud to have participated in this pilot program, which evaluated our solution against a set of vitally important criteria," said Jim Fetters, Previstar's President and COO. "The results not only validate our capabilities, but help guide us in our ongoing development efforts to create a product that meets the evolving needs of the market.

"Moreover," he added, "this pilot truly shows how a private-public partnership will lead to the acceleration of community preparedness and resiliency."

Software that is NIMS-compliant enables users to implement a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines that are designed to provide uniform responses to threats, both natural and man-made; it also reduces potential legal liability and financial consequences to jurisdictions that do not meet the minimum set of requirements.

In addition, NIMS guidelines require software providers to keep current with a continuously evolving set of standards that are both broad and deep in scope.
According to the DHS, "NIMS was developed so responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines can work together better to respond to natural disasters and emergencies, including acts of terrorism. NIMS benefits include a unified approach to incident management; standard command and management structures; and emphasis on preparedness, mutual aid and resource management."

The evaluation was conducted at the NIMS SC facility in Somerset, Kentucky, where a panel of independent experts confirmed that Previstar's computer-assisted emergency management software:.

* Is consistent with the concepts and principles of NIMS.
* Supports all 15 Emergency Support Functions (ESF) as a Command and Control product.
* Applies to all nine Incident Command functions, to a multi-discipline response, and to all hazards, including national political conventions and large sporting events.
* Is fully compliant with all required elements of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) 1.1 standard, and the Emergency Data eXchange Language-Distribution Element (EDXL-DE) 1.0 standard.

NIMS STEP is Previstar's second evaluation by the US Department of Homeland Security. Previstar received its SAFETY (Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology) Act Designation in March of 2007. This designation validates Previstar's technology as an effective and safe anti-terrorism technology, and grants its customers and subcontractors significant lawsuit protection and reduced liability for claims rising out of terrorism acts where the Previstar Continual Preparedness System has been deployed.
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