Disasters

  • DHS: brain music to relax first responders

    DHS to use technique which measures a first responder’s brain signatures by using an electroencephalogram, then turn them into synthesized piano music — either a stress-reducing relaxation track, or an alertness-boosting one “for improved concentration and decision-making”

  • Swine flu kills 60 in Mexico, spreads to U.S.

    Sixty people in Mexico have so far died of swine flu, and the World Health organization says the disease has spread to the United States; disease regularly hits pigs but rarely affects humans

  • FAA to impose safety rules on medical, rescue helicopters

    Emergency medical services helicopters perform many risky stunts in order to reach people in trouble and evacuate them to safety; this makes these rescue vehicles even more prone to accidents; the FAA is set to impose new safety requirements next year

  • Detroit woman saved from robber's bullet by her bra

    Some manufacturers of bras for full-figured women use wiring in their lingerie to offer women more support and prevent what is called “breast spillage”; such wiring offers more than support — it offers protection

  • Seismologist predicts earthquake in south Iran at the end of the month

    A Chinese seismologist who relies on unusual cloud formations as a predictor of earthquake says that at the end of the month a powerful earthquake will shake south Iran; debate about basing emergency policy on such predictions intensifies in light of similar predictions before the earthquake in Italy two weeks ago

  • Using a long tether to deflect threatening asteroids

    An asteroid-tether-ballast system could effectively alter the motion of an asteroid to ensure it missed hitting Earth; the tether, though, is on the long side: between 1,000 kilometers to 100,000 kilometers

  • Harris Corporation acquires Wireless Systems for $675 million in cash

    The global land mobile radio (LMR) systems market is values at $9 billion a year and growing; Harris Corporation wants a bigger presence in this emergency and public safety communication market; it is set to acquire Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems, creating a leading provider of wireless communication networks in the LMR systems market

  • The security of the U.S. communications network, II

    A few vandals, equipped with pliers, last Thursday cut fiber-optics cables in the San Francisco Bay area, paralyzing wireless, Internet, phone, and emergency communication for more than twelve hours; what does this tell us about the vulnerability to disruption of the .S. communication network?

  • An HSNW conversation with Harold Wolpert, CEO of Avalias

    Avalias’s solutions allow an organization to approximate the experience of a disaster, and to help the personnel charged with defense and mitigation to perfect and rehearse their responses to disaster; Harold Wolpert, CEO of Avalias: “Our technology is taken for granted. That’s because it can be”

  • Study: Catastrophic rise in sea levels "distinct possibility" this century

    New study — based on fluctuations in sea levels the last time Earth was between ice ages, as it is now — shows that oceans rose some three meters in only decades due to collapsing ice sheets

  • The security of the U.S. communications network, I

    A few vandals, equipped with pliers, last Thursday cut fiber-optics cables in the San Francisco Bay area, paralyzing wireless, Internet, phone, and emergency communication for more than twelve hours; what does this tell us about the vulnerability to disruption of the U.S. communication network?

  • Officials ponder the lessons of Columbine

    Next week will mark ten years to the Columbine High shooting; hundreds of millions have been invested in school security, but money is drying up, and emphasis on campus security is weakening; some say say simpler, cheaper measure would be best in any event

  • What to do about high-seas piracy?

    The debate intensifies over what to do about the growing problem of piracy on the high seas; here is a sample of the points being discussed

  • DHS adds $100 million to emergency food bank

    DHS secretary Napolitano announces $100 million in stimulus package funds for Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP); EFSP, created twenty-six years ago, has so far distributed more than $3.4 billion in federal funds for food and shelter

  • Seeing through concrete, clearly

    Insurgents and terrorists fight from within civilian structures, making it difficult for soldiers and first responders to respond without injuring many civilians; DARPA wants a solution which would allow soldiers to look through concrete walls and give them a detailed picture of a building’s interior — right down to the fixtures