• Lower Mississippi River region braces for major flood

    Floodwaters are projected to crest at St. Louis at 38 feet on 22 or 23 June, marking the eleventh time since the Civil War that St. Louis has reached that flood stage; during the flood of 1993 waters at St. Louis crested at 49.6 feet

  • Flood protection call for utilities

    Twelve months after the devastating U.K. floods a government agency says much more must be done to tackle the vulnerability of buildings such as power stations and hospitals to flooding

  • The larger the organization, the more prepared it is

    Business continuity planning was seen as a priority by 71 percent of U.S. companies, 80 percent of companies had a business continuity plan; as company size increases, so does the likelihood that companies have a continuity plan

  • Avian flu by the numbers

    Two Los Alamos National Laboratory theorists have developed a mathematical tool which could help health experts and crisis managers determine in real time whether an emerging infectious disease such as avian influenza H5N1 is poised to spread globally

  • Insurers are warned to prepare for hurricane season

    NOAA updated forecast calls for 12 to 16 named storms between 1 June and 30 November; says Impact Forecasting’s Steven Drews: “insurance and reinsurance buyers must remember that any storm can cause massive destruction”

  • GSK gets EU green light for bird flu vaccine

    Sanofi Pasteur, the joint venture between Sanofi Aventis and Merck, has produced a vaccine that targets one strand of H5N1; GSK argues that their new vaccine — Prepandrix — is the first to target several strains of the virus; Prepandrix contains an adjuvant, an ingredient that allows a low level of the vaccine’s active ingredient to be used in each shot

  • Detailed studies of U.S. disaster preparedness offer recommendations

    Critical care panel tackles disaster preparation, surge capacity, and health care rationing; some recommendations require largely greater budgets; other pose profound ethical and moral questions

  • U.S. hospitals could not handle terror attack

    Inquiry into the disaster preparedness of hospitals in several major U.S. cities conclude that they are — and will be — incapable to handle even a modest terrorist attack in those cities; one reason for for the lack of hospitals’ capacity: the Bush administration’s cuts in Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals overwhelm emergency rooms with patients suffering from routine problems, leaving no capacity to absorb and treat disaster victims

  • Secrets of bubonic plague bacteria's virulence revealed

    Bubonic plague has killed more than 200 million people during the course of history and is thus the most devastating acute infectious disease known to man; scientists are closer to understanding bacteria’s virulence

  • National level exercise begins In May

    The National Exercise Program (NEP) of FEMA will conduct National Level Exercise 2-08 (NLE 2-08) — a combined functional and full scale exercise — from 1 through 8 May

  • South Korean avian flu situation worsens

    In less than two weeks, South Korea has confirmed eleven cases of the deadly H5N1 strain, which had been contained in the southwest of the country, some 200 miles south of Seoul

  • Government admits accidents at Plum Island biolab

    The biolab on Plum Island, off the tip of Long Island, is the only lab allowed to do research on the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease; DHS officials admit that since 1978 here have been several accidental releases of the virus into cattle in holding pens

  • New way to estimate size and frequency of meteorite impacts

    How large was the meteorite which hit Earth 65 million years ago, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs? Now we know: Four to six kilometers in diameter; scientists offer new methods to measure the size and frequency of meteorite impact

  • Researchers develop nasal anthrax vaccine

    Current FDA-approved vaccine is given as an injection and must be administered in three doses, scheduled two weeks apart; then, to remain effective, booster shots must be given at six, twelve, and eighteen months, and then again each year after for maximum protection; University of Rochester researchers “detoxify” the one of the three toxic proteins of anthrax in an effort to simplify vaccination process

  • Japanese firms to begin IT security rating

    Eighteen Japanese firms announced they were creating the world’s first ratings agency looking at data security, which they said was a rising concern for companies