• Arkansas farmers and ranchers crippled by natural disasters

    This year’s series of natural disasters have crippled Arkansas’ farming and ranching sectors; the barrage of natural disasters including floods, droughts, and fires have resulted in more than half a billion dollars in losses for farmers in Arkansas

  • Developing countries at highest risk from natural disasters

    A new report warns that China and India are at high risk from natural disasters as their economies are less resilient in dealing with the massive costs of reconstruction

  • First quantitative measurements of Fukushima leakage

    Atmospheric chemists report the first quantitative measurement of the amount of radiation leaked from the damaged nuclear reactor in Fukushima; the researchers calculated that 400 billion neutrons were released per square meter surface of the cooling pools, between 13 March, when the seawater pumping operation began, and 20 March 2011

  • Earthquake insurer seeks to diversify risk

    In an effort to diversify its risk and expand earthquake coverage, the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), an insurance provider, has begun issuing bonds; the company says the initial bond issuance is part of its larger goal to expand the number of homes it covers

  • Calls for more stringent standards in wake of increasing storm damage

    Researchers from a team funded by the National Science Foundation have examined some of last spring’s massive tornado damage and conclude in a new report that more intensive engineering design and more rigorous, localized construction and inspection standards are needed to reduce property damage and loss of life

  • New coatings show promise as flame retardants

    Ignition of soft furnishings account for about 5 percent of residential fires, and the consequences are disproportionately high; these fires are responsible for a third of fire-caused deaths of civilians and 11 percent of property losses due to fires in homes; NIST and Texas A&M researchers developed novel carbon nanofiber-filled coatings which outperformed conventional flame retardants by at least 160 percent and perhaps by as much as 1,130 percent

  • Napolitano addresses Public Private Partnership conference

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano spoke to the attendees and reiterated the private sector’s role as an important partner in strengthening the homeland security enterprise better to defend against evolving threats, including disasters

  • Japan's disaster recovery expected to boost U.S. exports

    America’s western sea ports and industries like timber and oil are expected to see an increase in activity as Japan’s reconstruction efforts swing into full gear; the natural disaster leveled large portions of Japan and to rebuild the country will need to import record amounts of logs, timber, and plywood

  • Five Joplin survivors die of mysterious fungal infection

    After being hit by a massive tornado that destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri, several residents suffered from a fungal infection that killed five people; following the 22 May twister that ravaged Joplin, many residents suffered from splinters, cuts, and other minor injuries that eventually resulted in a rare fungus infection

  • Illinois cracks down on "storm chasers"

    In response to the series of severe storms and floods that struck Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation to help protect homeowners as they rebuild; House Bill 3034 is aimed at protecting homeowners from “storm chasers,” contractors who take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners

  • Disasters take toll on PartnerRe’s profits

    On Monday PartnerRe Ltd., the international reinsurer, announced that its second quarter earnings fell 35 percent as a result of the devastating natural disasters that struck around the world

  • USDA declares twenty disaster zones in California

    On Monday the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated twenty counties across California as natural disaster areas, qualifying residents for federal assistance; severe weather in these areas resulted in large losses to this season’s sweet cherry and wine grape crops

  • Improved engineering to protect structures on storm’s edge

    In the wake of the horrendous tornadoes that delivered massive destruction to Alabama in April, University of Alabama engineers have analyzed building structures and design codes to recommend an approach to safer and stronger buildings going forward

  • How smartphones are fighting floods

    A new smartphone app is helping the Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen its levees and fight floods in Kansas;filing reports is as simple as using a smartphone to take a picture, adding a note, and uploading the information to a database, which only takes a few seconds; this new system helps reduce the time it takes to gather critical information about levees by as much as thirty-six hours, giving engineers valuable additional time to detect and save a failing levee

  • U.S. General: troops unprepared for nuke risks in Japan

    A U.S. general admitted that U.S. troops stationed in Japan did not have the proper training or equipment to handle radiation exposure in the days immediately following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant caused by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami