• Protecting Japan from tsunamis

    As Japan begins to rebuild after the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, engineers are beginning to analyze the destruction to learn how to better prepare for future natural disasters; one expert says that prior to the earthquake, more infrastructures spending, particularly for projects aimed at preventing the approaching tsunami, could have mitigated much of the damage; the tsunami easily overwhelmed one of the tallest and longest seawalls in Japan; officials will have to decide whether to reinvest in costly tsunami infrastructure or to relocate communities further from the ocean to minimize the numbers affected by such events

  • Weighing the costs of disaster

    Different people react differently to disasters; individuals exposed to disaster may experience a number of psychological problems including PTSD, grief, anxiety, and increased substance abuse, but the evidence shows that less than 30 percent of adults experience severe, lasting levels of these problems; there may be a number of factors that influence how people react following disasters, such as age and socioeconomic status

  • view counter
  • Australian floods spread to forty towns, threaten Great Barrier Reef

    The floods in Australia continue to spread; forty towns have been flooded so far, affecting 200,000 people; as tons of toxic sludge are being washed into the sea, the famous Great Barrier Reef is now threatened; economists say the disaster could potentially shave about 0.5 percent off Australia’s annual GDP; snakes and marauding crocodiles are among the hazards for the besieged residents of steamy Queensland state, along with disease-carrying mosquitoes and the possibility of looting

  • Engineers develop more earthquake-resistant building designs

    Virginia Tech researchers are developing a next generation of design criteria for buildings located in geographic regions where earthquakes are known to occur, either rarely or frequently; in the future, structural engineers will base their designs on the concepts of Performance Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE), where the objective is to control damage and provide life-safety for any size of earthquake that might occur

  • DHS adopts ASIS's resilience standard for private sector organizations

    DHS has adopted ASIS International’s Organizational Resilience Standard as part of a program designed voluntarily to bolster the resilience of private organizations during man-made and natural disasters and emergencies

  • Need seen for single U.S. disaster recovery agency

    The Obama administration has launched a series of meetings around the country which bring together government officials and representatives of non-profit, volunteer, and faith-based organizations to identify and share best practices and innovations in the area of disaster recovery; insights gathered at these meetings and at other similar meetings will go into recommendations for improving disaster recover policy to be presented to the Obama administration in April

  • Aussie telco says it is ready for the next Black Saturday

    The bushfires in Victoria, Australia on 7 February took 173 lives, ravaged thousands of hectares of land, and burned down hundreds of houses; providers Telstra and Optus were both hit hard by the fires too, with communications outages across fixed-line and mobile networks, Internet exchanges and power stations; Telstra says its systems are now more robust

  • Cumbria flood bridges facing safety checks

    Heavy rains in north-west U.K. cause six bridges in Cumbria to collapse; engineers are now examining the safety of the county’s 1,800 bridges; forty waste treatment works which have been put out of action, and 1,300 homes were flooded

  • If disaster struck, most U.S. employees could not work remotely

    If major business interruptions — such as severe weather, mass illness, major road closings, or public transit strikes — occurred, the majority of employees in U.S. organizations could not work remotely

  • GAO: FEMA not ready for nuclear, radiological attack

    GAO: “FEMA has not developed a national disaster recovery strategy or related plans to guide involvement of federal agencies in these recovery activities, as directed by federal law and executive guidance”

  • Practical guides to disaster recovery planning in SMEs

    Gartner says that “40% of all SMBs will go out of business if they cannot get to their data in the first 24 hours after a crisis”; two papers aim to help SMBs prepare for disaster

  • SAIC acquires Beck Disaster Recovery

    SAIC, a government contractor with revenues last year of $10.1 billion, wants a bigger presence in disaster recovery operations; it acquires a Florida-based disaster recovery specialist, changing its name to SAIC’s Homeland Protection & Preparedness business unit

  • Napolitano orders immediate review of Katrina recovery

    FEMA was stung by Katrina, and new DHS chief wants a review of that event and the response to it

  • India to see a large, broad growth in expenditures on domestic security

    A series of terrorist attacks, culminating in the coordinated attack in Mumbai last month, convinced both government and industry in India that more security — much more security — is required to cope with mounting threats to domestic peace; business opportunities abound for companies in IT security, biometric, surveillance, detection, situational awareness, and more

  • Day of smart grid nears

    Major blackouts may be a thing of the past: the world’s first high-voltage Li-ion system can connect to the grid, without a transformer, and immediately turn on if there is a disruption in power