• Second pipe may have crippled BP well's defenses

    The discovery of a second drill pipe joins a list of clues that is helping scientists understand the complexities of the Deepwater Horizon accident, and learn lessons which will inform changes in how deep-water drilling is conducted; evidence emerges that BP cut safety corners because the drilling fell behind schedule; one expert says: the accident “absolutely was preventable—[the rig lacked] “a regulatory presence onboard that said, “I don’t care how late it is, you do it right or you go home.”

  • Online monitors of Yorkshire flood risk

    The U.K. Environment Agency now offers individuals and businesses at flood risk in Yorkshire a real-time Web-based monitoring of local river and sea levels; the data from more than 1,700 monitoring stations across England and Wales will complement personalized phone and text-message alerts from the Environment Agency’s free flood-warning service

  • X Prize Foundation may offer $3 to $10 million award for Gulf Oil Spill solutions

    X Prize Foundation, known for offering prizes to innovative and future-oriented innovations, is considering offering a prize of between $3 and $10 million for a viable solution to stopping the oil spill in the Gulf; the foundation in the process of developing a multi-million dollar competition to help alleviate the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf; the X Prize Foundation is best known for what was originally called the Ansari X Prize — a $10 million competition open to anyone who could build a reusable, privately built craft capable of reaching outer space

  • A surge protector to end all surge protectors

    If an equipment failure, terrorist attack, or lightning strike causes a power surge, also known as a fault current, that fault current can cascade through the grid and knock out every substation and piece of equipment connected to the problem site; DHS’s Resilient Electric Grid project aims to develop a superconductor cable designed to suppress fault currents that can potentially cause permanent equipment damage

  • 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

  • It may be impossible to protect the North American grid against catastrophic events

    Making sure the North American grid continues to operate during high-impact, low-frequency (HILF) events — coordinated cyber and physical attacks, pandemic diseases, and high-altitude nuclear bomb detonations — is daunting task; the North American bulk power system comprises more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, thousands of generation plants, and millions of digital controls; more than 1,800 entities own and operate portions of the system, with thousands more involved in the operation of distribution networks across North America

  • 2010 hurricane season is going to be a busy one

    The 2010 hurricane season, which began 1 June, is going to be a busy one: the National Hurricane Center forecasts a 70 percent chance of eight to fourteen storms reaching hurricane strength, and three to seven becoming dangerous “major” hurricanes of category 3 and above

  • 2010 hurricane season unusually active

    As if the on-going oil spill were not enough, people who live near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic should brace themselves for an unusually active hurricane season this year (the hurricane seasons lasts from 1 June to 30 November); FSU researchers say there will be an average of seventeen named storms with ten of those storms developing into hurricanes in the Atlantic this season; the historical seasonal average is eleven tropical storms with six of them becoming hurricanes

  • New forensic tool advances data recovery

    Data recovery for images will be applied to other file types; new text tool will make it possible to recover more data from corrupted hard drives; the text tool will examine fragmented chunks of files that may be distributed across a disk and analyze their content to see which ones likely go together

  • Oil spill, flooding create perfect storm for commerce, shipping

    The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Icelandic volcanic eruption, and flooding in Tennessee have created a “perfect storm” for businesses that rely on an efficient supply chain; in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities the impacts of the spill may only be beginning; New Orleans is still down 200,000 to 250,000 residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The impending oil catastrophe could lead to further flight as jobs are lost and people default on their businesses and homes

  • Mobile communications helps in business continuity

    The essential step for companies to survive disasters: enable people to work from home; instead of using technology to recover from an incident, we are now at the point where we can use it to prevent the incident having much of an effect; the key is to build technology into the company’s operations from the start

  • Commercial networks are now victims of targeted cyberattacks

    State-sponsored groups with deep technical skills and computing resources have long been directing targeted cyberattacks at government organizations and military targets; the Chinese intelligence services’ cyberattacks on Google are but the latest indication that cybercrooks are expanding their horizons and start aiming targeted attacks at commercial networks

  • End-of-the-world shelter company selling bunker space

    A California-based company offers people a chance to survive the end of the world; for $50,000 per person, the company will sell you a spot in an underground shelter guaranteed to survive nuclear attacks, bio terrorism, chemical warfare, super volcano eruptions, asteroids, solar flares, tsunamis, earthquakes, pole shifts, the return of Planet X, and social and political anarchy;

  • Onyx targets business continuity acquisitions

    Energetic and acquisitive U.K. VAR Onyx refreshes DRS proposition after recent buy-out and aims for more consolidation; company claims that many disaster recovery packages do not cater effectively for smaller firms, particularly in London

  • U.S. accelerating move toward disaster insurance reform

    Premium increases, against a backdrop of increasing weather disasters and strained state finances, will focus Congress’s attention on weaknesses in the current U.S. catastrophe insurance framework; this is likely to stimulate reform, leading to the creation of a national disaster insurance/reinsurance pool and federal guarantees for certain catastrophe bonds