2019 Hurricane Season Is Upon Us!

The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season is officially here, as June 1st marked the beginning of what experts predict to be an above average active hurricane season.

 

Experts say they are predicting a season consisting of nine to fifteen named storms. Two to four major hurricanes, storms at Category 3 or higher, are expected to form between now and November 30th. These predictions are similar to the 2018 season, as we saw two major storms make landfall along the east coast and Gulf of Mexico, causing billions of dollars in damage and claiming dozens of lives.

 

This high activity seems to be a trend as the Atlantic has experienced warmer surface temperatures since 1995, and as a result the region has been experiencing a “high activity era.” Higher surface temperatures, coupled with a stronger than average West African monsoon, is expected to increase the odds of hurricanes in 2019.

 

These predictions should advise everyone to be prepared and ready for any storms that may hit in 2019. Organizations need to be prepared to respond to any event that may affect their business operations. It only takes one destructive storm to make for a devastating hurricane season.

 

For more information and to better prepare and respond for the 2019 Hurricane Season please visit https://eritn.com/registration

Updated Online System: Reentry Made Easy

Spring is upon us, which means the 2019 hurricane season is right around the corner. We have been extremely busy over the past few months in preparation for the upcoming season and are excited to announce that an updated online system will be rolling out over the next couple of months, giving participating organizations a more hands-on approach to their reentry needs.

Updated Online System:

There are many advantages to our updated online system that we believe organizations will find helpful in managing their reentry needs. This updated version allows an organization and jurisdiction to enroll personnel and issue Placards before, during, and after an event. This system can allow for thousands of Placards to be issued in minutes, ensuring critical personnel receive access after an event. The main advantage of this system versus the previous is that an organization can manage both their personnel enrollments and placards real time, allowing for a quicker response to each specific event affecting each specific organization.    

Upcoming Events:

In addition to the exciting new online system, we will also be attending the Partners in Preparedness Summit next month in Biloxi, MS to further educate organizations about the program and ensure everyone knows how to prepare for their 2019 reentry needs. Our attendance will consist of a brief presentation as well as having a booth present where all are welcome to come speak with us and ask any questions you may have.

We are also working with Mississippi’s coastal counties and the Mississippi Highway Patrol for ongoing training on the program and the updated online system. These efforts are to guarantee both the public and private sector are prepared for Mississippi’s reentry needs for the remainder of 2019.

2019 Registration:

If you are interested in registering and preparing your organization for the 2019 hurricane season please visit https://www.eritn.com/registration or contact us at Support@eritn.com. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have!

Early Registration - Now Open!

Hurricane season may be months away, yet the early months of 2019 are an ideal time to make sure your organization is prepared for the storms ahead or any event that may affect your operations throughout the year. Events are unpredictable, yet your preparedness doesn’t have to be. By making sure your organizations emergency response plans are in place well before an event occurs you will save time and money for when these events strike.

 

We recognize the importance of emergency preparedness and would like everyone to know that Early Registration is now open. Our Early Registration period ranges from January 1st to March 1st and allows organizations the opportunity to register their essential personnel for reentry access at a 25% discount, whereas registrations after March 1st will not be able to receive this discount. We are able to offer this Early Registration discount as the operational costs of the program in the off season are decreased, allowing us to transfer these savings to organizations who register and prepare early. This will save your organization money and give the peace of mind knowing you’re ready for any event that may disrupt operations in 2019.

 

If you’re interested in taking advantage of our Early Registration period and receiving the 25% discount before the March 1st deadline please follow - https://www.eritn.com/registration/.

For any additional questions regarding the program please contact support@eritn.com or call 866-800-3126.

2019 Outlook and CERRA Update

Happy New Year! 2019 is officially here, which means starting your yearly disaster preparations should be at the top of your to-do list to insure your organization is prepared for anything that 2019 holds.

 

2019 Storm Outlook:

The need for preparation in 2019 is ever so true if we use the past two years as an indication of what lays ahead. Both the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons were extremely active, producing major storms such as Irma, Maria, Florence, and Michael, and this activity can be seen by evaluating ACE, or “accumulated cyclone energy”. An average hurricane season has an ACE of 92. The 2018 season had an ACE of 129, and 2017′s record-breaking season ended with a whopping ACE of 226. This increase in ACE translates to a higher likelihood of tropical storm and hurricane formation. If 2019’s season holds true to the same trend of high ACE, then we could see yet another year of high storm development.

 

CERRA Update:

As a reminder, these reentry placards are interoperable between multiple jurisdictions and states nationwide in support of the DHS CERRA effort(https://www.cerraaccess.org/). The benefit with CERRA is that a single registration/enrollment can be used in all jurisdictions participating in CERRA nationally. This means you only need to register one time to receive access to all areas that participate. Current participation includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington, and various local jurisdictions such as Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and Harris County, TX. We anticipate this list to grow larger in 2019, expanding the area in which these credentials will allow access.

 

It is still very early in 2019 which means a lot could happen that may disturb your organization’s ability to operate and succeed, so if you would like to insure your organization is prepared for any disaster that may occur in 2019 please visit https://www.eritn.com/registration.

A Harsh Winter Ahead

The 2018 hurricane season has officially ended which means winter is right around the corner. The threat of disaster from hurricanes is significantly decreased this time of year but winter also brings its’ own challenges and inconveniences. The combination of lower temperatures and precipitation lend to possible icing situations, causing major road closers, power outages, and an increased likelihood of accidents.

 

The likelihood of such icing events to occur this winter in Louisiana and Mississippi is high. The Farmers Almanac predicts “southeast Louisiana and Louisiana as a whole could see stinging cold with average amounts of precipitation this winter”. The 2018-19 winter outlook was recently released, predicting teeth-chattering cold for several states. Other regions of the country will also experience a cold and harsh winter.

 

An example of how a harsh winter can affect an area occurred last season, as a January freezing event affected both Louisiana and Mississippi. This event caused heavy freezing on major state roads (Ex. I-10), which forced state law enforcement to temporarily close bridges and certain areas of major state roads for public safety. Vehicles needing access through these road closures utilized our placards to do so.

 

Constant preparedness is key to making sure your organization is ready for any event throughout the year. If you’re interested in receiving expedited access for any eventual event this winter please follow https://www.eritn.com/registration/.



2018 Hurricane Season Summary

The storm season is drawing nearer to a conclusion with the end of 2018 approaching. This gives us an opportunity to look back and recap on the program’s activity throughout 2018.

 

An unprecedented freezing event was the first activity of the year.  This event was characterized by heaving freezing on major state roads across both Mississippi and Louisiana. This forced state law enforcement to temporarily close bridges and certain areas of major state roads for public safety. Organizations registered with the program received expedited access to these closed areas, showing how the Mississippi Emergency Access Program (MEAP) and the Louisiana State Credentialing Access Program (LSCAP) can provide seamless reentry access to not only hurricanes, but also freezing and all-around limited access events as well.

 

The 2018 Hurricane Season was busier than expected, as we were active and supported both Tropical Storm Gordon, as well as Hurricane Florence. These two storms impacted two separate regions, as Gordon made landfall along Mississippi and Alabama, and Florence produced much destruction along the east coast. No reported issues arose with either event and this highlighted how the program was successful not only in supporting Mississippi and Louisiana, but also with reentry access within Virginia.

 

This season demonstrated the success and growth of the program, as we supported Virginia for the first time. Virginia opted to entrust their reentry needs during and after Hurricane Florence with our CERRA supported program. Hurricane Florence’s impact and long-term effects were minimalized in Virginia with the help of a seamless reentry process.  

 

As storms may be minimal with this upcoming offseason, it’s never too early to prepare for any unforeseen event, whether it be an unsuspected freeze in the near winter months, or an early 2019 hurricane, disaster preparedness should always be a priority. For more information, and to register for the program, please visit https://www.eritn.com/registration

Hurricane Florence: Supporting Virginia's Reentry Access

Hurricane Florence has been the most destructive storm of the 2018 hurricane season as it has greatly impacted the Carolinas, as well as parts of Virginia, over the past ten days. Florence originated off of the coast of Africa and made its way across the Atlantic, growing in strength and making landfall as a category 1 hurricane. Despite making landfall as a weakened Category 1 hurricane, Florence still had enough strength to cause widespread power outages and an incredibly strong storm surge throughout the Carolinas. This storm was slow moving, dumping mass amounts of water. Water levels are still on the rise in some areas, creating for an increasingly difficult and extended recovery effort. Florence has already claimed the lives of at least 45 individuals and is estimated to have caused more than $38 billion in damages.

 

More than a million people living along the coastlines of Virginia and the Carolinas were ordered to evacuate their homes prior to Hurricane Florence making landfall and ER-ITN was given the opportunity to support Virginia’s reentry efforts. This was the first event that we have been active within the state of Virginia and our participation was a cooperative effort with CERRA, https://www.cerraaccess.org/, a nationwide effort for standardized reentry. Our support to Virginia was a great success, as more than 50 separate organizations, both local and national, registered and received expedited reentry access. Every organization received proper reentry credentials and had access to their facilities with no reported issues. This was an optimal example of how jurisdictions and states can utilize the CERRA reentry initiative to help expedite aid and recovery through standardized reentry access.

 

For more information on CERRA and reentry into all supporting areas for future events, please visit https://www.cerraaccess.org/

Tropical Storm Gordon - Recap and Response

Tropical Storm Gordon never reached hurricane status but was a destructive storm nonetheless. Gordon struck the Gulf Coast near Pascagoula, Mississippi on Tuesday, September 4th at 70mph, just shy of hurricane strength. This impact into the coast caused for destructive winds and a storm surge that created high waters and flooding. Rainfall reached up to twelve inches in some areas and high winds were at fault for downed trees and powerlines. More than 27,000 residents were without power as Gordon began pushing ashore, yet electricity was restored rather quickly.

The fast response and adequate planning by state, local, and private sector officials minimized the loss and destruction imposed by Gordon. Governors in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana all declared states of emergency, better mobilizing state resources and National Guard troops responding to the storm. Coordination between both the public and private sector was represented in the ease of access received by organizations utilizing the Reentry Access Program. All organizations requiring access received their documents prior to the storm and were able to access their facilities without any reported problems.

Tropical Storm Gordon seems to just be the beginning of what could be a very active hurricane season within the Gulf and Atlantic. Activity in both regions is rapidly increasing and preparation for future storms needs to be a priority in the upcoming weeks and months.

For more information, and to register for your organizations reentry access, please visit https://eritn.com/registration  

2018 Hurricane Season Update: Increased Activity

The 2018 hurricane season has been a rather mild one as not much activity has formed in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexican, yet that trend seems to be on the cusp of changing.

There are many variables that affect the probability of storms developing, and these variables are shifting, lending to more activity and storm development in the coming weeks. One of the reasons for the increased activity is that wind shear, which tends to rip apart developing storms, appears to be decreasing. Without high wind shear these storms are more likely to progress into tropical storms and categorized hurricanes. Other atmospheric changes indicate for a busy September, as we are now noticing.

Evidence of these changes can now be seen as two tropical storms, Florence and Gordon, are gaining strength and are forecast to effect the eastern U.S. and Gulf Coast region. Awareness and preparation of this increased activity should be of upmost importance, as even tropical storms and low-grade hurricanes can produce flooding, high winds, and overall damage.    

September is the peak month for hurricane season, so for more information and to better prepare for these upcoming storms please visit https://www.eritn.com/registration

ER-ITN Outreach Update

The 2018 Hurricane Season has officially begun, which means preparation for these inevitable storms is greater than ever. Outreach to local areas in Mississippi has been a large focus of that preparation over the past few weeks and many locations throughout the state are becoming further educated on the reentry program to guarantee their response efforts are maximized when an event occurs.

 

Monroe County, MS

 

The Monroe County LEPC had their quarterly meeting last month, which allowed ER-ITN to present and educate public organizations and emergency responders on the program and how we can expedite the recovery effort when a disaster occurs. Members from the Board of Supervisors, local school officials, and divisions of emergency response for local private companies were all in attendance and will be utilizing the program in their respective organizations.

 

Biloxi, MS

 

Further outreach has been made in Biloxi over the past month as local law enforcement, as well as the city, have been educated on the program and will now be implementing it into their reentry procedures. This is a crucial time for Biloxi as hurricane season is about to increase, so implementation of the program will give them an added preparedness for any event going into August, September, and beyond.

 

Jackson County, MS

 

The quarterly Jackson County LEPC meeting occurred last month and emergency response was a central topic. Many organizations within Jackson County currently utilize the program for reentry access and our presentation allowed other organizations to become further educated so they too can gain reentry access for the 2018 hurricane season or any event in the future.

 

Education and outreach within various communities has been and always will be a goal for ER-ITN. We seek to prepare organizations for inevitable events and that is especially true now and in the upcoming months of hurricane season. Please visit our registration page at https://eritn.com/registration  if you would like learn more and to register your organization and better prepare for any event in the future.

2018 Hurricane Season Update

The 2018 Hurricane Season is finally upon us, which means planning and preparation needs to be a priority to insure your business is prepared for these inevitable storms.

Data acquired by The Weather Company shows a prediction of 11 named storms, including four hurricanes, two of which being Category 3 or higher intensity. These figures are near or slightly below seasonal average.

This slightly below average prediction should not deter you from being equally as prepared as years past, as we all know these storms can be highly unpredictable and extremely destructive. The 2018 Hurricane Season is strongly resembling the 1992 Hurricane Season, where there were only six named storms and one subtropical storm. However, one of the named storms was Hurricane Andrew, which was a devastating category 5 hurricane, the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history at that time.

It is nearly impossible to predict for certain what the 2018 Hurricane Season will look like but even a weak tropical storm can create major impacts, particularly if it moves slowly and triggers flooding rainfall. It only takes one or two storms to have a destructive hurricane season.

For more information and to better prepare for the 2018 Hurricane Season please visit https://eritn.com/registration

Preparing for the Season: Partners in Preparedness Summit 2018

This week is the annual Partners in Preparedness Summit, hosted by a variety of agencies and response focused groups in Mississippi (MEMA, MSDH, etc.). This summit highlights the importance of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agencies message of being prepared for the upcoming hurricane, as well as any other potential disasters on the horizon. 

This event was highlighted by several speakers who referenced the struggles of Hurricane Harvey and the issues surrounding access on the coast during that devastating storm. This point of emphasis, in addition to the several other's surrounding preparedness, highlighted the importance of not only being prepared, but also having a continuity plan in place.

Our goal at ER-ITN is to ensure that every organization in both Louisiana and Mississippi is prepared for the 2018 hurricane season and understands the value of both readiness to prepare as well as readiness to response. 

We hope that you'll take some time to review https://msprepsummit.com, as well as our information regarding access, to ensure you know exactly what you need before the next disaster strikes.

The National Crisis Event Response and Recovery (CERRA) Effort

The Crisis Event Response and Recovery Access (CERRA) represents a nationwide effort sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Emergency Services Sector Coordinating Council (ESSCC) to create a nationwide standard for access after emergency events. CERRA is designed to allow emergency management, law enforcement, and businesses to coordinate access and ensure predictable, expedited, and efficient economic recovery. 

CERRA uses a local approach in which jurisdictions use the CERRA Framework to adopt their own Emergency Access Program that allows them to become interoperable nationwide, and also include various additions and amendments that are crucial to their individual jurisdiction. This process is coordinated through TruEntry to ensure that each jurisdiction can understand the exact steps they need to take in order to get involved with CERRA and that they can participate with ease. 

To learn more please visit https://truentry.org/cerra or https://cerraaccess.org

 

ER-ITN Freezing Event (Louisiana/Mississippi)

In January of 2018 ER-ITN was activated for it's first "Freezing Event". This event was characterized by heaving freezing on major state roads (Ex. I-10). This forced state law enforcement to temporarily close bridges and certain areas of major state roads for public safety. As a result of these closures, certain vehicles needed access into these areas and used their Access Placards in order to do so. 

This event highlights the many applications that an Emergency Access Program can have within a jurisdiction. Not only do these programs apply to Hurricanes and major storms, but they also have applicability for winter weather events, and even non-emergency events (concerts, etc.).

In addition, once an organization is registered within the system they have the flexibility to both use the system during major events and also use it within their own facility for access! The systems ability adapt to all situations allows it to be used for a variety of different solutions.

If your'e interested in using your system for more than just major events our staff can give you access to the Verify Application (for your facility) which will allow you to use the system for various different access situations!

Contact Us to Learn More

ER-ITN 2018 Updates and the 2017 Storm Season

The new year is finally upon us and we can say goodbye to 2017 and the second worst hurricane season on record for the mainland U.S. We we're extremely fortunate in Mississippi and Louisiana that we only experienced major closures as a result of a small portion of Hurricane Harvey and a weak Hurricane Nate. Despite this, we may not be so lucky in 2018 and need to ensure we are prepared in case a strong storm chooses to shift direction straight up the Gulf Coast. 

The below information includes updates for ER-ITN in 2018 and some basic information on the 2017 storm season that can help put it in perspective. 

ER-ITN 2018 Updates

Monthly Newsletter - Our Newsletter will now being going out monthly to organizations starting next Monday! (January 15th)

National Emergency Access Program Effort - DHS/FEMA have now supported a new national effort which will help ER-ITN's region and two other regional programs across the nation!

New Support Services - ER-ITN will be using additional support services this year to help ensure that all organizations receive excellent support

2017 Storm Season Recap

2017 Storm Events effecting Louisiana/Mississippi: Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Nate, Tropical Storm Cindy 

Total Activation Time in Louisiana/Mississippi: 17 Days of Activation

Total Private or Public Personnel Checked-In or Out of Area: 9,672

Notes:

We we're extremely fortunate that we did receive the brunt of the disaster in 2017. However, in 2018 anything could happen and we need to be prepared to ensure that all organizations understand their business continuity and resiliency plans during a disaster

 

 

Hurricane Nate - Quick Access and Response

Hurricane Nate was a fast moving storm that made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday, October 7th. This storm formed in the lower portion of the Gulf Coast and required an expedited response time, shrinking the timeline from the usual 10 days, to roughly 3 days of preparation. The storm made landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane and was an excellent representation of the response and coordination that has developed within the past 10 years. Hurricane Nate caused minimal damage due to the strong infrastructure in both states and the coordinated resulted in fast access for organizations, emergency responders, and public agencies.

This access was an excellent representation of the ease of access that has developed under both the Mississippi Emergency Access Program (MEAP) and the Louisiana State Credentialing Access Program (LSCAP). All organizations requiring access received their documents prior to the storm and we're able to access their facilities and sites without any reported problems. This seamless coordination from response to access shows how well both programs can operate even in unconventional storms such as Hurricane Nate.

For more information, and to register for the program, please visit https://eritn.com/registration

Hurricane Irma - Lessons Learned

Hurricane Irma represented the second massive storm of the 2017 Hurricane Season and continued the trend of this very active season. Hurricane Irma showed the exact reason organizations and emergency responders need to focus on resiliency and preparation before a storm.

This Hurricane was not only massive in width, stretching at times over 200 miles of Tropical Storm force winds, but also showed the need for coordination within Recovery. As the current recovery efforts in Florida are ongoing, it has become clear that there is little communication between private businesses, individuals, and law enforcement in understand who should receive access, at what point they are allowed access, and at what checkpoints they should enter in order to get access.

This lack of defined Emergency Access Program resulted in frustrated citizens, confused organizations, and an unnecessary economic burden. This represents the problem that MEAP and LSCAP have worked to solve and stands as a clear reminder of why registering for access prior to an event can not only save time but also help your organization recover in days as opposed to weeks.

Learn More about MEAP/LSCAP: https://www.eritn.com/registration-information/

Hurricane Harvey - Louisiana's Second Event

Hurricane Harvey hit the US Gulf Coast this past week and represented a devastating and catastrophic level event to Texas and supporting private businesses in the gulf coast. However, one of the facts that has seemingly been left out of national news coverage is that Louisiana also felt a large impact from Hurricane Harvey due to the combined flood and wind damage for this powerful storm.

Fortunately for the private/public organizations located in these areas our emergency access program was established and prepared to support the businesses of these affected areas with expedited access through law enforcement checkpoints.

As a whole, over 1,000 vehicles used their individual Vehicle Placard to gain access through a checkpoint and back to their facilities. These organizations ranged from multiple sectors including but not limited too Healthcare, Emergency Management, Communications, Public Utilities, Hazardous Materials, and Logistics. This represented an excellent use of the program where businesses could access their facilities quickly without any concern of being stopped or held up at local/state checkpoints.

For more information on how to register with the program and ensure you have access please visit: How to Register in LA/MS and Receive Access?

Tropical Storm Cindy - FIrst Active Event of the Season

Tropical Storm Cindy

Tropical Storm Cindy marks the first active event of the 2017 Hurricane Season. This event resulted in major flooding to occur in Louisiana as well as localized flash flooding in the three southern most counties in Mississippi. This storm stands a reminder of the impact of tropical events, even minor tropical storms, and the ramifications of the their impact with or without significant wind damage.

ER-ITN Access Program Response

The ER-ITN Access Program was able to respond swiftly and efficiently to the first active event of the season. In the span of 4 days between June 20th-24th, the program was able to register over 100 new organizations and ensure they were prepared with vehicle placards in the event of a evacuation or reentry requirement to their facilities. This event represented an excellent opportunity for the program to prepare for larger events and work towards the constant improvement in the process of reentry to ensure organizations and individuals can recover as fast as possible.

For more information regarding Tropical Storm Cindy's Activation: Click Here

Partners in Preparedness, Louisiana State Police, and the 2017 Hurricane Season

The 2017 Hurricane Season has officially started, and with it comes the necessity for all organizations to prepare for the possibility of a tropical event.

This season has been predicted to be an above average in the Atlantic. This specifically means that their is above a 75% chance that the season will be either average or above average in terms of tropical storms. This signals the importance of preparing for a hurricane and eventual reentry by setting yourself up with the ER-ITN Access Program.

Partners in Preparedness Summit

With the start of Hurricane Season came the Partners in Preparedness Summit. This event allows local counties, law enforcement agencies, the national guard, and state emergency management agencies to come together to discuss the preparation requirements for the year as well as various emergency management updates. This conference was unique this year in that it emphasized the importance of preparation in all aspects, ranging from the resources required to protect your facilities from a storm to the eventual access required after a storm. This showed the continued support of the state of Mississippi for using and implementing the access program for all tropical and local emergency events.

Louisiana State Police

The Louisiana State Credentialing Access Program (LSCAP) is implemented by the Louisiana State Police and their renewed use of the program has been clear by their efforts to continually communicate the value of the program throughout Louisiana. The goal of the ER-ITN Access Program is to support LSCAP and the registration and enrollment of organizations in order to ensure that everyone is prepared once they reach a Louisiana State Police Checkpoint.