• NIST offers comprehensive risk assessment guidance for federal information systems

    NIST has released two new publications dealing with risk assessment; one is the authoritative source of comprehensive risk assessment guidance for federal information systems, the other, an update to a March 2011 publication, focuses exclusively on risk assessments

  • Saving victims trapped under concrete

    New tool allow first responders to reach those trapped beneath concrete more quickly; the tool generates a high-energy jolt to create a contained hole in the concrete; a series of these holes allows the creation of an area large enough to deliver vital supplies such as food, water, and medicine to victims before first responders are able to get victims to safety.

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  • Better understanding of how tsunamis work

    One of the obstacles to understanding how tsunamis work is the notion that it is the first wave that is the worst; researchers show that this is not the case, and that the second, third, or even fourth wave are often the most destructive

  • Proton-based transistor could let machines communicate with humans

    Devices humans use, from light bulbs to iPods, send information using electrons; human bodies and all other living things, on the other hand, send signals and perform work using ions or protons; researchers build a novel transistor that uses protons, creating a key piece for devices that can communicate directly with living things

  • Tsunami-predicting software to help protect coastal communities

    New software has been developed to help protect vulnerable coastal communities from the destruction of a tsunami; the mathematical model has created significant interest in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan six months ago

  • Japan nuke accident halves nuclear power growth

    The nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant appears to have caused nations around the world to reconsider nuclear projects; following the accident, demand for future nuclear projects has been halved

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  • Earth's largest environmental catastrophe: 250 million year anniversary

    The eruption of giant masses of magma in Siberia 250 million years ago led to the Permo-Triassic mass extinction when more than 90 percent of all species became extinct

  • More than $2.1 billion in DHS preparedness grants announced

    DHS announced the final allocation for twelve preparedness grant programs totaling more than $2.1 billion in federal grants; DHS grants were reduced by $780 million for the FY 2010 enacted level, nearly a quarter of FY 2010 DHS grant funding

  • Building codes may underestimate multiple hazard risks

    Current building codes consider natural hazards individually — if earthquakes rank as the top threat in a particular area, local codes require buildings to withstand a specified seismic load; if hurricanes or tornadoes are the chief hazard, homes and buildings must be designed to resist loads up to an established maximum wind speed; engineers say that building codes should address multiple hazard scenarios

  • Texas drought forces military to change training

    A particularly severe drought in Texas has forced the military to change the way it trains its soldiers due to the risk of starting fires; law enforcement agencies would benefit from taking note of additional safety measures put into place

  • Natural disasters stretch NGO relief teams to the limit

    The recent spate of natural disaster has stretched the nation’s third largest NGO disaster relief program to the limit; in the last several months, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has sent more than 3,300 volunteers to five natural disasters across the United States

  • Severe drought in Georgia, 150 counties declared disaster areas

    A severe drought and excessive heat has forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare 150 counties in Georgia as primary natural disaster areas; the drought began on 15 April and has caused farmers to lose more than 30 percent of their pasture, grain crops, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, and forage crops

  • Republicans agree to move quickly on emergency FEMA funds

    Top Republican lawmakers say they will move quickly to pass President Obama’s request for emergency aid for victims of recent natural disasters like Hurricane Irene

  • Using breath and sweat to detect trapped disaster victims

    Molecules in breath, sweat, and skin have been used by researchers to detect humans in a simulation of a collapsed building, offering the prospect of portable sensors for use in real-life situations, such as the devastating aftermath of devastating disasters

  • Most Americans unprepared for disaster, survey finds

    A new survey finds that most Americans are unprepared for major disasters and that they maintain a false sense of security with regard to what will happen if a major disaster or a terrorist attack took place; contrary to reality, almost one-third of respondents believed that during a major disaster, calling 911 would bring help within an hour, while 30 percent said they believed help would come within several hours