• Infrastructure protectionAssessing the damage of runaway barges at the Illinois River lock and dam

    It takes a synchronized lock and dam system — operating like a motorized flight of stairs on the Illinois River, using gravity to move the water — to maintain a minimum depth for boat traffic. A disastrous domino effect occurred on 19 April 2013, when heavy rain and runoff, strong winds, and river currents resulted in seven unmoored barges crashing into the dam at Marseilles, Illinois. Researchers say that the system of locks and dams on the Illinois River is vulnerable to changing climate and weather extremes. These more frequent and unpredictable conditions can cause shipping accidents, damage to lock and dam systems, streambank erosion, shipping accidents, and local flooding.

  • Electromagnetic pulseDefending against electromagnetic-pulse attacks

    We are all familiar with the power of electromagnetic attacks from the movies: in “Ocean’s Eleven,” George Clooney’s gang disables Las Vegas’ power grid, and Keanu Reeves’ henchmen hold off the enemy robot fighters from their spaceship in the “Matrix Trilogy.” The heroes in the films succeed by sending out a very strong electromagnetic pulse, which changes the voltage in the vicinity so that regulators, switches, and circuit boards in electronic equipment go crazy. Researchers are now trying to figure out how such attacks can be detected. They have developed a measurement instrument for this purpose that is capable of determining the strength, frequency, and direction of electromagnetic attacks.

  • ResilienceResources on disaster preparedness, resilience

    One year after Superstorm Sandy hit the eastern United States, local, state, and federal agencies as well as community groups and businesses are working to strengthen the U.S.s resilience to future disasters. A National Research Council (NRC) has issues a series of studies and reports, and has put together workshops and study groups, which should advance the national conversation on preparedness and resilience.

  • DisastersSmall, local energy technologies to help sustain vital services during blackouts

    Researchers suggest that rethinking the solution to sustaining electric power — namely, starting small — could keep critical services going, even when the high-voltage grid is crippled; the U.S. military is already taking steps to protect its power supplies in the event of a massive grid failure by adopting small, local energy technologies, and California governor Jerry Brown recently announced that he wants 12,000 megawatts of such power supplies in his state

  • Disaster backupIndustrial Defender offers new backup and disaster recovery services

    Industrial Defender the acquires Fandotech LLC, a provider of backup and disaster recovery services, enabling it to debut Survive Services, the company’s new backup and disaster recovery offering for ICS

  • Disaster recoveryFinding the best ways to protect infrastructure, recover from disasters

    Researchers at Sandia National Lab bring the quantitative methods they have developed to the analysis of disasters and how best to recover from them; the researchers look at interdependencies among systems and supply chains, the resilience of various systems, how infrastructure systems fail, cascading effects, and how results might differ if a series of disasters hits instead of just one; the Sandia researchers say they can better quantify the results of such resiliency studies by taking a mathematically rigorous approach to objective assessments

  • Business continuityGuidelines for securing business records in hurricane season

    A data protection specialist developed best practices guidelines to assist businesses along the Atlantic coastline to assess their business continuity in preparation for the hurricane season

  • Business continuityLondon’s financial district employees say City unprepared for Olympics

    Nearly 70 percent of investment bank staff think that the City, London’s financial district, is lagging behind in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games, with nearly half of respondents unsure whether their company has a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place

  • ContinuityAT&T receives DHS disaster preparedness certification

    AT&T said Friday that it is the first company in the United States to earn DHS certification for disaster preparedness; AT&T’s certification is the first under the DHS Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program, designed to enable private sector organizations to enhance their capabilities for planning, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters and other threats

  • Disaster lossesDeadly Italy earthquakes result in $6 billion economic loss

    Two earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks struck northern Italy within a 9-day period, killing twenty-five people, injuring more than 400 others and causing extensive damage to the cultural heritage throughout the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, in addition to businesses and personal property; prolonged periods of rain affected China throughout the month of May, with at least 143,000 homes damaged or destroyed

  • Disaster preparednessBolstering SMBs’ disaster preparedness

    Small and medium business (SMB) in the United States are not ready for natural or man-made disasters, and for the consequences of such disasters; this is worrisome, because for a small business a disaster can be potentially devastating; being prepared can sometimes mean the difference between surviving and sinking

  • Continuity standardsISO offers new standard for business continuity management

    Incidents take many forms ranging from large scale natural disasters and acts of terror to technology-related accidents and environmental incidents; the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published an international standard addressing business continuity management to contribute making organizations in both public and private sectors more resilient

  • Disaster preparednessMentoring small business in disaster resiliency

    In January 2012, FEMA announced a new campaign Small Business is Big, aimed to increase outreach and educational opportunities to small businesses in the emergency management arena; a new private-industry program, the Business Emergency Management Mentorship, is directly inspired by this FEMA campaign and is an effort to help small businesses often lacking the resources to be better prepared for all-hazards disasters

  • Disaster planningMobile security services, cloud top priority in business disaster planning

    As the United States readies itself for the upcoming 2012 Hurricane Season, businesses and organizations have developed their business continuity and disaster recovery plans to include mobile security services in the effort of protecting their IT infrastructure

  • PreparednessTornado 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