• IBHS: Don’t let a disaster put you out of business

    Insurance institute urges small business owners and managers to prepare for risks that could threaten their operations

  • New law allows mobilizing reservists to respond to natural disasters

    Except for a crisis involving a weapon of mass destruction, the U.S. military reserves historically have been prohibited from providing a homeland disaster response; new authority in this year’s Defense Department authorization act changes that

  • Alternative-powered energy supply for disasters

    Emergency preparedness retailer Disaster Relief Supply says that the popularity of solar and dynamo powered emergency products has increased

  • Planning traffic routing in no-notice disasters

    Spontaneous evacuations of New York City and Washington, D.C. following the 9/11 terrorist attacks demonstrated that U.S. cities are not prepared to manage the sudden influx of traffic into roads and highways following a no-notice disaster

  • Groundbreaking tests to offer better understanding of post-earthquake fires

    Post-earthquake fires are a well-known and serious hazard, but very little is known about the performance of fire protection systems in earthquakes; groundbreaking tests to be conducted next week are aimed at better understanding of the effects of earthquakes on building systems designed to suppress or prevent the spread of fires

  • Tornado season survival tips for employers

    Dozens of tornadoes have already ravaged the Midwest and more recently, Texas, indicating that the tornado season is moving into high gear; employers should review their business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plans to keep employees safe and operations running should a devastating twister strike

  • Seismic safety worries about South Carolina nuclear fuel facility

    The worries about the seismic safety of nuclear energy-related facilities, worries which have only grown since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, extend not only to nuclear power reactor, but to other facilities as well; the most recent example is a Westinghouse facility outside Columbia, South Carolina, one of only three facilities in the United States which make nuclear fuel for commercial reactors

  • Improve tsunami warnings by placing GPS on commercial ships

    Researchers find that commercial ships travel across most of the globe and could provide better warnings for potentially deadly tsunamis; this finding came as a surprise because tsunamis have such small amplitudes in the deep water, in contrast to their size when they reach the coastline, that it seemed unlikely that the tsunami would be detected using GPS unless the ship was very close to the source and the tsunami was very big

  • U.S. severe weather insurance losses in April nearly $1 billion

    A series of severe weather events across central and southern sections of the United States caused upward of $1 billion in insured losses. Economic losses were even higher during the month of April

  • New micro helicopters for search and rescue missions

    New micro helicopters have a diameter of about fifty centimeters, weigh only 1,500 grams; they do not rquire GPS or remote control to navigate; they are designed to maneuver in tight or even enclosed spaces, and to detect and fly around any obstacle; possible uses could include protection or rescue missions, and they are ideal for flying over disaster areas and giving a picture of the situation from the air or locating victims

  • NASA to test new system of rapid earthquake analysis

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is prepared to begin testing this year a new system rapidly and accurately to measure the location and intensity of large earthquakes; the new system combines the traditional network of seismic monitors already in place  with GPS technology

  • Safe fracking requires distance from sensitive rock strata

    Fracking — the process which releases natural gas and oil from shale rock strata – is becoming more and more popular because it promises access to new, abundant sources of energy; the process of fracking, however, has been associated with increase in the frequency of earthquakes and contamination of drinking water; scientists examine thousands of fracking operations in the United States, Europe, and Africa, and conclude that in order to minimize water contamination and earthquakes, there should be a minimum distance of at least 0.6 km between a fracking operation and sensitive rock strata

  • Designing stormwater systems for the future

    Researchers study how climate change is affecting rainfall and weather patterns throughout Kansas to help with future adaptation and mitigation strategies; the researchers are updating rainfall distribution data to ensure current stormwater management systems can handle future weather changes

  • Increased U.S earthquakes may be caused by fracking

    From 1970 to 2000 the number of magnitude 3.0 or greater temblors in the U.S. mid-continent averaged twenty-one annually; by 2011 the number of such quakes had increased to 134; a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey links the increase of seismic activity to the increase in the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking

  • Solar storms and infrastructure vulnerabilities

    Space weather, and in particular coronal mass ejections, can cause huge disruption to many highly technological systems on Earth; experts say that vulnerable industries, such as power grids and airlines, should gather more information on space weather in order to make more informed decisions about how to deal with future solar storms