• WILDFIRESUsing Drone Swarms to Fight Forest Fires

    Forest fires are becoming increasingly catastrophic across the world, accelerated by climate change. Researchers are using multiple swarms of drones to tackle natural disasters like forest fires.

  • DISATSER PREPAREDNESS & RECOVERYDisasters Expo USA: The Latest in Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

    Disasters Expo USA will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center on 6-7 March 2024. Leading disaster mitigation experts will share with the thousands of participants the latest information and insights on the most innovative, cost-effective, and efficient solutions which aim to help communities prepare for, cope with, and recover from destructive and costly disasters.

  • SEURITY OFFICERSNew Contract Approved by Security Officers Represented by LEOS-PBA Will See Major Wage Increase

    LEOS-PBA has successfully negotiated with Paragon Systems a new contract for union members in upstate New York, a contract which will see the highest wage increase ever given to Paragon Protective Security Officers (PSOs). The contract will see more than 30 percent wage increase over the next three years.

  • EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONNew Low-Tech Innovation for Emergency Squad Communication

    By Abigail Klein Leichman

    Researchers developed a web-based automated dialing solution enabling civil defense units to communicate with each other during emergencies without Internet service. This low-tech ability is critical for times when connectivity is down; for squads comprised of ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews, who often do not have smartphones; and for older first responders who may be less technologically savvy.

  • SEARCH & RESCUEA Drone with Ears

    When a region is hit by a natural disaster, searching for survivors is complex work as buildings and roads may be damaged. The use of drones equipped with daylight cameras and thermal imaging cameras is therefore becoming increasingly widespread – except that if victims are trapped under rubble, they cannot be seen by these imaging sensors. Equipping drones with acoustic sensors allows rescue teams to identify and locate cries for help, clapping, or knocking signals.

  • FIRST-RESPONDERS COMMUNICATIONFor First Responders, Communication with Their Teams is Essential

    When a first responder enters a building during an emergency, they count on being able to communicate with their team at all times. Their safety and their ability to carry out the mission relies on knowing they can reach help and support anywhere that they need to go within a structure.


    In a pioneering effort to help provide faster life-saving emergency services in areas with high traffic congestion, researchers are leveraging AI technology to analyze and improve emergency vehicle travel times in partnership with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

  • DISASTER RESPONSENew, Portable Antenna Could Help Restore Communication After Disasters

    By Laura Castañón

    Researchers from Stanford and the American University of Beirut have developed a lightweight, portable antenna that can communicate with satellites and devices on the ground, making it easier to coordinate rescue and relief efforts in disaster-prone areas.

  • VOLCANOESIceland Battles a Lava Flow: Countries Have Built Barriers and Tried Explosives in the Past, but It’s Hard to Stop Molten Rock

    By Iceland Battles a Lava Flow: Countries Have Built Barriers and Tried Explosives in the Past, but It’s Hard to Stop Molten Rock

    Fountains of lava erupted from the Sundhnúkur volcanic system in southwest Iceland on Jan. 14, 2024, invading the outskirts of the coastal town of Grindavík. Humans have tried many ways to stop lava in the past, from attempting to freeze it in place by cooling it with sea water, to using explosives to disrupt its supply, to building earthen barriers. It’s too soon to say if Iceland’s earthworks will succeed in saving Grindavík, a town of about 3,500 residents, and a nearby geothermal power plant.

  • SCHOOL SAFETYZeroEyes AI-based Gun Detection, AEGIX Incident Management to Be Deployed in Urah’s 1,086 Public K-12 Schools

    ZeroEyes, the creators of the AI-based gun detection video analytics, and AEGIX Global, a Utah-based provider of incident management services, announced that the Utah State Board of Education has approved a contract to provide the joint solution for all Utah public K-12 schools, including charter schools.

  • EMERGENCY RESPONSESaving Seconds, Saving Lives: NIST-Funded Challenge Crowns Winners in 3D Tracking Technology

    NIST has awarded $1.9 million to six teams for innovative 3D tracking solutions in the final phase of a competition. The winning designs combine localization and biometric monitoring, using sensors affixed to first responders’ equipment. This competition is part of an $8 million NIST-funded initiative to address first responders’ need for improved tracking in emergency settings where GPS falls short.

  • DISASTERSExtreme Weather Cost $80 Billion in 2023. The True Price Is Far Higher.

    By Jake Bittle

    The U.S. saw 25 billion-dollar weather disasters in 2023 — more than ever before. 2024 could be worse. Congress has long punted on reforming FEMA and the nation’s disaster relief policy, but it’s only a matter of time before there’s a disaster bad enough that legislators feel pressure to act. That catastrophe didn’t arrive in in 2023, but it is surely coming.

  • FIRST RESPONDERSChatGPT Could Help First Responders During Natural Disasters

    By Tom Dinki

    A little over a year since its launch, ChatGPT’s abilities are well known. The machine learning model can write a decent college-level essay and hold a conversation in an almost human-like way. But could its language skills also help first responders find those in distress during a natural disaster?

  • PREPARING FOR DISASTERSWe Rarely Hear About the Disasters Which Were Avoided – but There’s a Lot We Can Learn from Them

    By Ilan Kelman, Ana Prados, Brady Podloski, and Gareth Byatt

    We frequently see headlines about disasters. But where are the headlines covering the good news of lives saved and damage averted when disasters do not happen? Our work, now published, offers examples we can learn from.

  • PREPARING FOR DISASTERSLearning from When the Earth Moves: Protecting Indonesia’s New Capital City

    By Louise Walsh

    Indonesia plans to build a new capital city from scratch. Protecting the new city from the effects of earthquakes will be crucial. Here’s how researchers are helping.