Information technology is playing an increasingly greater role in fighting crises born of terrorism, natural or manmade disasters. NJIT will join a nationwide practice emergency drill from May 16-19, 2011, to enable the US Department of Defense to better defend itself against such disasters. The drill assumes that a major national earthquake has taken place along the New Madrid fault line, a seismic zone in the southeastern part of the US. The exercise will lead to similar role playing in June.
The exercise is sponsored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and directed by its Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration.
“NJIT is one of four elite US locations for this kind of work, thanks to both the talent and information technology equipment,” said Mike Chumer. Chumer, a research professor in the department of information systems at NJIT’s College of Computing Sciences, is in charge of the demonstrations.
Expect to see cutting-edge information technology pinpoint operational shortfalls identified by combatant commanders and government agencies. For these exercises, NJIT has been designated a business emergency operation center. ARDEC at Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, will also be involved.
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“It is very difficult for a university to have the equipment and staff to step in and help the US government and I am proud to be a part of such an effort,” Chumer said.
Also involved in the May-June exercises will be staff from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Private Sector Office and Office of External Affairs, Washington, D.C., and other operational centers in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Louisiana. The exercises will feature ways of working with different technologies including social media in times of emergency.
“It’s important in an emergency to be prepared and this is a good way to practice,” said Chumer. Linton Wells, PhD, a former assistant secretary in charge of networks and information integration at the National Defense University, will observe the class on the morning of May 18, 2011. Also there will be representatives of the Japanese government to learn more about the use of social media during a response scenario.
At NJIT, Chumer teaches classes leading to a 12-credit graduate certificate in Crisis Management and Business Continuity. He also spearheaded the development of and teaches courses in the 30-credit NJIT Master’s in Emergency Management and Business Continuity to prepare students for this field. For more information about graduate classes starting May 23rd and then again on Sept. 1, please visit: http://online.njit.edu/programs/certs/crisismanagement-cert.php.