An innovative program, the Metropolitan Resilience Network (MRN), now has over 1,000 credentialed stakeholders from hundreds of public and private organizations in the New York metro area. MRN members are connected and collaborating on shared threats to the region through a unique technology platform as well as a wider spectrum of activities.
MRN participants come from 325 companies in the private sector — ranging from finance, media, healthcare, communications, pharmaceutical, legal, critical infrastructure, insurance, real estate — and more than 60 public sector organizations, including transportation, emergency management, public health, defense, and public safety. Through the MRN program, members are directly collaborating on preparedness, response and recovery activities in response to current and potential threats.
Whether it is another Superstorm Sandy, terrorist attack, infectious disease outbreak or any one of the lesser emergencies that occur more regularly, the MRN aim is to enable companies, government agencies, and NGOs to increase resilience and address these threats.
The MRN reflects a government agency and university collaboration that embodies the next wave in public-private partnership — and a global prototype for cities worldwide.
The program is championed and funded by the Office of Emergency Management of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The Port Authority is responsible for some of our nation’s most critical and iconic infrastructure including the World Trade Center, all major metropolitan airports (JFK, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia), all bridges and tunnels connecting New York and New Jersey (including the George Washington Bridge, Holland & Lincoln Tunnels), the PATH subway system and the Ports of New York and New Jersey.
“The MRN is essential for its unique capacity for both 24/7 situational awareness and public-private collaboration,” explained Jerry McCarty, Director of Emergency Management for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. “As a core economic engine for the metropolitan region, the Port Authority understands that we are all interdependent — business, government and non-profits. In this increasingly risk prone and disruptive world, public-private collaboration on shared risks is a necessity for sustaining any organization through disruptions. The MRN is a vital part of our focus on advancing a world class organization based on global best practices.”
The program was developed and is hosted by the International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (INTERCEP) at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The Center is a global leader in organizational resilience advancing public-private collaboration on shared risks since its founding in 2004.
“Through the MRN, members can share a common operating picture of what is happening around us in the region on a 24/7 basis through real-time information feeds,” said Bill Raisch, Director of NYU INTERCEP. “Then as a trusted and connected community, MRN members can collaborate to jointly leverage resources and capabilities to address disruptions from large to small. In our increasingly disruptive world, collaboration is a global imperative and we are thankful that the Port Authority’s leadership has made this global prototype for public-private collaboration possible.”
The MRN has developed two key capabilities to help organizations build resilience and prepare for threats:
24/7 Situational Awareness Platform with Crisis Dashboards when Needed — delivered through a unique technology platform which provides a common operating picture for all parties to monitor what is happening in the region from day-to-day to crisis situations. When a major incident occurs, new dashboards are added giving members real time information from many sources.
Joint Communications & Collaboration Capacity — enabling organizations to cooperate with others on shared threats before, during and after incidents. This collaboration includes web forums, joint exercises, face-to-face meetings, best practice sharing, benchmarking, quick response surveys, file sharing and other online collaboration.
The MRN’s cloud-based platform delivers 24/7 Situational Awareness, providing timely information on threats and their impacts on the surrounding environment. Current and evolving threats include severe weather (hurricanes, nor’easters, heat waves, etc.), infectious disease, terrorism, active shooters, cyber security, transportation disruptions, and others. These threats are monitored on the MRN platform via information flows from vetted government and other trusted sources with alerts to members as appropriate through dedicated online Dashboards and “Smart Alerts” via email and text as necessary.
In addition to providing robust situational awareness, the MRN enables members to collaborate on preparedness, response and recovery activities — either business-to-business or business-to-government in response to current and emerging threats.
“The MRN provides a wide array of information in different forums from 24/7/365 information (very promptly before/following event that is very useful) to the experts at the Urgent Threats Forum to excellent monthly web forums,” said Mary Gardner, VP Business Resilience, Group Risk Management, Zurich Insurance
The MRN’s innovative situational awareness platform is built upon a technology (TX360) developed by Swan Island Networks, a technology firm focused on advancing situational awareness and business intelligence. “Using our TX360 Situational Awareness cloud platform, INTERCEP staff have published 100’s of different Dashboards, monitoring a worldwide, regional and NYC specific set of information feeds,” said Pete O’Dell, CEO of Swan Island Networks. “When a crisis occurs, they can rapidly construct and publish a real-time collection and monitoring effort.”