• FloodsRising Tide: Seeking Solutions to S.C.’s Mounting Nuisance Floods

    While a rising tide may lift all boats, it spells trouble for South Carolina coastal communities where flooding has already long been a fact of life. Low-lying areas such as the state’s more than 2,000 miles of coastline are increasingly prone to floods and storm surge as sea levels rise — driven by a more variable global climate system. Researchers are examining green solutions to help those communities fight back.

  • FloodsMichigan Governor Vows Legal Action After Devastating Floods

    Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the state will pursue “every line of legal recourse” against the owners of one of two dams that failed earlier this week, causing severe flooding in several communities. More than 10,000 residents in the central town of Midland were evacuated Wednesday as the Tittabawassee River overran its banks hours after the Edenville Dam, located 32 kilometers north, failed after several days of heavy seasonal rains.

  • Economic damageState Actions Played Lesser Role in COVID-19 Economic Damage

    Actions by state governments to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 played only a secondary role in the historic spike in U.S. unemployment in March, according to new research. Ohio State University says that while state actions to close schools were linked to an increase in unemployment, these effects were dwarfed by the larger national and international impact of the pandemic, according to researchers at the Ohio State University and Indiana University. Hispanics, young adults (aged 20-24), those without a college education and those with four or more children saw the steepest job losses. In two separate studies – here and here — the researchers took a broad look at the very early impact of the pandemic on jobs in the United States.

  • Public health & ideologyBitter Partisan Divide Shapes California Opinions on COVID-19

    California voters are deeply divided about the COVID-19 pandemic, with supporters of President Donald Trump more worried about the economy and less concerned they will infect others, according to a new poll. While they generally agree on the importance of washing hands, supporters and opponents of the president are polarized about core strategies to slow the spread of the virus, including shelter-in-place orders and the economic lockdown.

  • DisparitiesResearchers Reveal Substantial Disparities in COVID-19 Hospitalization and Death Rates among New York City Boroughs

    A new study suggests that substantial differences in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths have emerged along racial and socioeconomic lines in New York City. Jacqueline Mitchell writes for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that the research team found that COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates varied considerably across New York City boroughs. The Bronx—the borough with the highest proportion of racial and ethnic minorities, the most persons living in poverty and lowest levels of educational attainment—had higher rates of hospitalization and death related to COVID-19 than all other boroughs. In contrast, hospitalization and death rates were lowest in Manhattan, the most affluent borough, which is comprised of a predominately white population. The number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 persons was nearly two times greater in the Bronx than in Manhattan.

  • COVID-19: UpdateU.S. COVID-19 Total Tops 700,000; Cases Spike in Russia, Parts of Asia

    As COVID-19 cases in the United States passed 700,000 yesterday, researchers published early findings that suggest, as expected, the disease is more widespread than case numbers reflect. And in international developments, outbreak totals climbed in parts of Asia, including Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore, as well as in Russia. U.S. cases reached 726,645 cases, with nearly 39,000 deaths. The global total stands at 2,310,572 cases from 185 countries, with 158,691 deaths. Testing issues continue to hobble state’s plans to ease off stay-at-home orders, while the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in a statement yesterday said supply chain issues, such as personal protective equipment, swabs, and reagents are obstacles to scaled-up testing.

  • COVID-19: UpdateAmid Talk of Reopening, Fauci Warns U.S. Not There Yet with COVID-19

    In an interview yesterday with the Associated Press, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said opening up the nation on May 1 is “a bit overly optimistic.” His comments come a day after President Donald Trump announced a new reopening task force, meant to help guide the country back to economic health after the national COVID-19 30 April physical distancing campaign ends. In a heated back-and-forth with reporters, yesterday Trump said that only the president has the ability to call the shots on when and how to reopen the country. But Fauci said yesterday, “We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet.” Meanwhile, governors yesterday and yesterday continued to outline their plans for reopening.

  • PerspectiveAcross the U.S., States Are Bracing for More Climate-Related Disasters

    Officials in states across the United States are calling for huge investments to mitigate the effects of wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, droughts, and other natural disasters made more devastating and frequent by climate change. Alex Brown writes that “Even states whose leaders don’t publicly acknowledge the existence of climate change, such as Texas and South Carolina, have applied for federal dollars citing ‘changing coastal conditions’ or ‘unpredictability’.”

  • Election securityUSC Kicks Off 50-State Election Cybersecurity Trainings

    Today, 28 January, the University of Southern California is kicking off its nonpartisan, independent, 50-state election cybersecurity training initiative in Maryland. Attendees will learn how to best protect their campaigns against misinformation and disinformation, hacking threats, and how to prepare and manage a potential crisis.

  • WildfiresClimate Change to Make Wildfires in Oregon's Blue Mountains More Frequent, Severe

    Under a warming climate, wildfires in Oregon’s southern Blue Mountains will become more frequent, more extensive and more severe, a new study finds. The researchers urge forest managers to continue to reduce fuel continuity through accelerated rates of thinning and prescribed burning to help reduce the extent and severity of future fires.

  • Preventable diseasesCalifornia's Stricter Vaccine Exemption Policy Improves Vaccination Rates

    California’s elimination, in 2016, of non-medical vaccine exemptions from school entry requirements was associated with an estimated increase in vaccination coverage at state and county levels, according to a new study.

  • FloodsIn Win for Harvey Victims, Federal Judge Finds Government Liable for Reservoir Flooding

    By Kiah Collier

    During Hurricane Harvey, thousands of properties behind two federally owned reservoirs flooded. On Tuesday, the United States Court of Federal Claims ruled that the government was liable for the flooding and that property owners are eligible for damages.

  • ResilienceResilience Guidebook for State of Idaho

    In times of growing cyber threats and severe weather, resilience – the ability to continue providing emergency services while damaged infrastructure is restored – has emerged as a growing concern among leaders at state and local levels.

  • PerspectiveAdvocates Push California City to Adopt Program That Pays People Who Don’t Shoot

    Fresno, California, has a homicide rate roughly twice the state average. In an effort to stem the violence, many advocates and Fresno residents have pushed city leaders to adopt an innovative violence interruption model called Advance Peace. J. Brian Charles writes that in addition in addition to provides resources like education and job training to those most at risk of being a perpetrator or victim of gun violence, the program has a unique and controversial feature: Participants receive a monthly stipend for staying out of trouble.

  • FloodsBolstering Florida’s Flood Resilience

    Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science have received a $1,688,955 grant from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) for a pilot project to create a framework for their Watershed Planning Initiative. In 2017, Florida had 1.7 million flood insurance policies included in the Presidential Emergency Declaration. This is roughly 35 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program policies across the country and serves as an indicator of the impact of Hurricane Irma on the National Flood Insurance Program.