• 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”

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, I

    There are thousands of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) orbiting Earth; some of them are of a civilization-ending size, others are smaller — they will take out “only” a country or a city were they to collide with Earth; scientists say we should focus our minds on this danger

  • Is California's Big One coming?

    In 1992 and in 2004, remote earthquakes caused changes to the San Andreas fault; in both cases, there were distinct changes in the movement of fluids and an increase in the frequency of micro-earthquakes deep within the fault below Parkfield; what will be the effect on the fault of the recent Sumatra earthquake?

  • Statement by Secretary Napolitano on the eighth anniversary of 9/11

    Napolitano: “September 11 as a day of remembrance, and also a day of service; by serving our communities and our country today and throughout the year, we commemorate our past while also preparing for our future”

  • Simulation to help in preparing for wildfires

    Increasingly complex systems which combine simulation and monitoring tools could help emergency services prevent future ecological disasters on the scale witnessed in Greece this week

  • Eleven questions to ask -- and answer -- about your organization's crisis plan

    The H1N1 influenza virus has caused anxiety as businesses, schools, and governments contemplated the prospect of widespread quarantines and shutdowns; other disasters may have similar consequences; is your organization ready?

  • Predicting hurricanes

    Researchers developed a new computer model that they hope will predict with unprecedented accuracy how many hurricanes will occur in a given season

  • Practical guides to disaster recovery planning in SMEs

    Gartner says that “40% of all SMBs will go out of business if they cannot get to their data in the first 24 hours after a crisis”; two papers aim to help SMBs prepare for disaster

  • Schneier: Science fiction writers can help, or hurt, homeland security

    If you begin with the assumption that 9/11 was a failure of imagination, then who better than science fiction writers to inject a little imagination into counterterrorism planning? Bruce Schneier says the science fiction writers may contribute to fresh thinking about security — but that an over-reliance on risk analysis and scenario brainstorming can be detrimental

  • U.K. security services acted properly with the information they had

    Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee: “we cannot criticize the judgments made by MI5 and the police based on the information that they had and their priorities at the time”

  • U.S. unprepared for severe solar storms

    Mankind’s vulnerability to disruptions caused by severe solar storms has increased as a result of the increasing dependence of human societies on technology and electricity; a storm on the scale of the 1859 Carrington Event could damage the U.S. electrical grid to such an extent that vast regions of the country could be without power for weeks, perhaps months.

  • U.S. schools take steps toward greater safety -- but problems remain

    CDW-G 2009 School Safety Index finds that K-12 districts are taking steps to improve network and building security, but that increased breaches caused an overall decline in schools’ physical and cyber security scores

  • SAIC to deploy tsunami monitoring system for Thailand

    The Thai government has awarded SAIC a contract to produce and deliver a sea-based system that can warn against the threat of a tsunami; the new system will replace the current NOAA Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting Tsunamis (DART) buoy system in the Bay of Bengal, which was provided to Thailand in 2006

  • Using a long tether to deflect threatening asteroids

    An asteroid-tether-ballast system could effectively alter the motion of an asteroid to ensure it missed hitting Earth; the tether, though, is on the long side: between 1,000 kilometers to 100,000 kilometers

  • Officials ponder the lessons of Columbine

    Next week will mark ten years to the Columbine High shooting; hundreds of millions have been invested in school security, but money is drying up, and emphasis on campus security is weakening; some say say simpler, cheaper measure would be best in any event