• New software spots vulnerabilities in flood defenses

    Spanish researchers develop a computer system could provide more detailed flood-risk information; the system developed at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) identifies flood risks more quickly and effectively than satellite imagery, particularly in areas where there are dramatic changes in land over small spaces

  • How to make an organization more resilient

    Small and mid-sized organizations are especially at risk when disaster strikes, since few have the resources or knowledge to develop full-scale continuity plans; CDW-Government offers seven useful tips on how to make organizations more resilient; CDW-G’s experts argue that the most important thing for an organization during a disaster is to ensure the integrity of its data, communications capabilities, and the information technology infrastructure to support both

  • Digital Sandbox launches risk analysis initiative for Hampton Roads, central Virginia

    Infrastructure catalog is essential first step in risk management strategy; Digital Sandbox will identify and catalog potential natural hazards and terrorist threats as well as critical infrastructure and key resources throughout the area.

  • Scientists seek homes in the Seattle area in which to install quake monitors

    Scientists want to install seismic monitors in homes in the Seattle area to measure ground-shaking; with detailed information on the way the ground shakes in a particular spot, it may be possible to design buildings tailored to their exact locations; the instruments also will help construct “shake-maps” to pinpoint areas of heaviest damage after major earthquakes

  • Computer scientists report progress on world-simulation tool

    Computer scientists say that advances in different fields now make modeling of world events more realistic as an aid in high-level decision making

  • What tropical countries can teach the U.K. about flood management

    Climate change has caused a change in the patterns of rainfall in the United Kingdom: rather than a procession of predictable showers, a new type of rain emerged — localized storms, dropping a lot of water in one place over a short period of time; villages and towns were overwhelmed; tropical countries have had a long experience with the type of rainfall

  • DHS unveils critical infrastructure Web site

    Designed to provide stakeholders and the public with easily accessible information about their role in safeguarding critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR); the new CIKR Resource Center will offer information on Web-based seminars on the tools, trends, issues, and best practices for infrastructure protection and resilience; resources concerning potential vulnerabilities for chemical facilities; and guidance for all response partners on how best to prepare for and provide a unified response to disasters and emergencies

  • Worries about safety of California bridges with eyebar design

    Every so often the Bay Bridge closes because of widening eyebar crack; when the bridge opened seventy years ago, the design was considered safe, but structural engineers now say the eyebar design is an inherently unsafe; trouble is, dozens and dozens of California aging bridges use the flawed design

  • Using technology to prepare vulnerable communities for earthquakes

    Satellite photographs and remotely measured surface heights from NASA will be used for assessing the vulnerability of natural slopes to earthquake-induced landslides; a team of U.K. scientists will also build up a database of slopes that failed in earthquakes; the information collected will include local geology, vegetation, slope angle, distance from the fault, and the amount of ground shaking

  • JASON says computer models cannot predict terrorist events

    Pentagon advisory panel concludes that extreme terrorist events such as the 9/11 attacks cannot be predicted by computer models because the data re too sparse; “it is simply not possible to validate (evaluate) predictive models of rare events that have not occurred, and unvalidated models cannot be relied upon”

  • How prepared is the U.S. for a bioterror attack?

    The current U.S. bioterror detection program: A federally funded, locally run program with an $80 million annual budget, deploying a network of vacuum pumps that draw surrounding air through filters, sniffing for signs of biological agents

  • Bipartisan WMD commission: U.S. failing to address urgent biothreat

    Interim report assesses progress in preventing WMD proliferation and terrorism

  • Massive earthquakes shake scientific thought

    Experts who dismissed notions that far-away quakes could be linked are beginning to think again after huge tremors rocked Samoa and Indonesia on the same day, followed by another major convulsion in Vanuatu

  • DHS recommends three emergency management standards

    DHS, under its Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep), is proposing the use of three existing emergency management and business continuity standards; the three were selected from twenty-five standards submitted to DHS for consideration

  • How high is the risk of civilization-killing asteroids?

    Planetary bombardments: scientists at a planets meeting discuss the risks of an asteroid colliding with Earth; researchers are worried about asteroid Apophis, which will come uncomfortably close to Earth on 13 April 2029; one scientist said that “It’s 10 times more likely that an unknown asteroid will slam into us from behind while you’re looking at Apophis”