Frequently Asked Questions

About the BCIN Service

  1. This looks interesting but how does BCIN help my company?
    BCIN provides your company with tools to improve your disaster preparation and recovery processes year round. BCIN connects your company to the broader business community, government agencies, and NGOs to share information which will help your company to better understand the impact of threats. BCIN provides a means for your company to gather its employees, for them to communicate their status, and to exchange the critical information you need to manage your company after an event. BCIN helps your company discover local available resources and capacity while allowing your company to announce resources your company can provide to the community. Working with our partners, BCIN will provide a means for companies to receive education and training and conduct live disaster exercises to help you prepare your company for disaster and leverage the resources BCIN provides to recover faster. To find out more about joining BCIN please see our Sign-Up Page.
  2. If power and communications are not available at my company, home, or in my community how am I going to be able to access BCIN?
    Depending on the scale of the disaster impact and the readiness of the community where you live and work, you may not have available power and communications for days or even weeks after a disaster event. Businesses that have experienced disasters and successfully recovered tell us that they sought out neighboring areas that did have power and communications and used those locations to communicate their status and to share critical information. BCIN provides companies with an online gathering place for the community to pursue such recovery efforts. Please consider how you are going to respond to power and communication failure as part of your business continuity planning and prepare accordingly.
  3. Why should businesses and government work together on recovery? Isn’t FEMA, the State, and my local government going to restore the community?
    Your community is supported through a complex set of providers with the private sector providing most of the community’s day-to-day needs (think retail, banks, fueling station, restaurants, grocery stores, etc). Although the public sector plays an important role in restoring infrastructure (like roads and bridges) and providing resources for disaster recovery (short term loans), business that survive disaster take responsibility for their operations and prepare. BCIN provides a tool for both the private and public sector to share information. This sharing enable each to know what is being done in a more coordinated fashion than is currently available.
  4. When will the service be available in a county that I am interested in?
    FIU is deploying the service in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties as part of a two year pilot. In parallel, we are working with our partners to fund and implement BCIN throughout the State of Florida and in other states which are prone to regional disasters.
  5. The service is running in a county where I have business interests, when will I be able to join the network?
    If you have a business relationship with one of our partners you may already be eligible to join. Please visit out sign-up page and fill out the membership form. We will be in contact with you to determine eligibility.
  6. Are FIU or the participating counties charging for access to the network?
    BCIN is a public service provided by FIU and its partners.
  7. Is BCIN available only after a disaster?
    BCIN is available year round and is designed to engage business communities as a platform for education, training, community building as well as it uses for disaster preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation.
  8. Do you offer a way to access the system from a cell phone?
    BCIN can be accessed by any cell phone that has a web browser via a mobile web interface we have developed. Contact your cell phone service provider to find out if your mobile phone has a web browser and is enabled for Internet access.
  9. Who enters the reports that are shared in BCIN?
    Reports come from you, the business community, government, and NGO participants.
  10. Who from my company can submit reports to the network?
    Your company can assign a supervisor role to employees authorized to share public information to the community.
  11. How frequently can I update my company’s status or resources?
    We ask that you update your status/resources frequently; the system will help remind you to do this. There is no charge for these actions and since the system removes outdated information we strongly encourage you to update frequently.
  12. If I enter a report into the system who will see it?
    You decide whether the report is shared internally with your company’s participants, the government, and/or the business community.
  13. Partnering

  14. Do you plan to allow companies to advertise on the network?
    Our system has designated areas where companies can purchase advertising space as a means to defray operational costs of running BCIN as a public service.
  15. Why would my company be interested in becoming a Strategic Partner?
    We are seeking companies who wish to demonstrate their community leadership and corporate social responsibility in an area of national importance. Helping business communities to prepare for and recover from disaster helps make the community you do business in more resilient, creates visibility for your company, and helps to build new business opportunities for your company. If you would like more information about becoming a Strategic Partner please contact Steve Luis (luiss@cis.fiu.edu).