New Public Safety Center Coming Together in San Rafael, California

(TNS) - Behind a chain-linked fence along Fifth Avenue between C and D streets in San Rafael, workers using a crane hoisted a bundle of steel beams that would be integrated into the framework of what will soon be a new $36 million public safety building.

“Right now we are erecting steel beams and columns for the first and second floor,” said Jorge Meza, the project manager with Kitchel CEM of Sacramento who is overseeing work.

Research Finds Fire-Resistant Building Codes Do Not Raise Home Prices

Homes in wildfire-prone areas around the U.S. could be built to better withstand blazes without increasing the cost of construction, according to a new report.

The research released Tuesday was sponsored in part by the insurance industry and marks the first attempt to quantify the expenses associated with building residences that meet stringent flame-resistant criteria. Few states have adopted such codes, often citing housing costs, but the new findings suggest fire-plagued communities could curb damage and save lives with minimal effect on home buyers.

Wildfire Camera System Provides a Small Measure of Good News in California

As California grapples with increasingly deadly wildfires with seemingly few real solutions, one small but effective way of saving communities is getting more attention and traction: deploying a network of infrared cameras on mountaintops and other high hazard areas.

The AlertWildfire network, consisting of some 80 cameras already dispersed among California forests, has already proven its worth on several occasions. As recently as last week in San Diego County, cameras caught two fire start-ups and allowed fire personnel to put them down with the appropriate amount of manpower.

Despite Repeated California Fires and Other Disasters, Emergency Evacuations Keep Falling Short

(TNS) - Leigh Bailey, 54, was awakened not by her phone, warning her about an incoming fire that would soon destroy her town, but by a neighbor pounding on her door.

Bailey had no idea how bad the fire was about to become. So she went back inside around 9:15 a.m., had a cup of tea and ate some coffee cake and slowly packed some clothes and her dog and cat before heading out of her home in Magalia, just north of Paradise.

More Evidence Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Investments Can Pay Off

For Iowa City, Dubuque Street is an important corridor, providing an artery for roughly 25,000 vehicles to travel each day between the city and Interstate 80, which runs along the northern edge of town.

But historically the road has been prone to flooding from the nearby Iowa River, which snakes alongside it to the west, as well as flash floods caused by heavy rains. In 1993, floodwaters swamped the street for 54 days. Flooding in 2008 caused a month-long closure.

Q&A: California Businesses Prepare for the Next Quake

On October 18, more than 10 million Californians participated in The Great Shakeout to prepare for the next catastrophic earthquake and bring awareness to earthquake preparedness across the state. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) predicts a 99% chance of a magnitude 6.7+ earthquake in the Bay Area within the next 30 years, preparation is essential.

Kate Stillwell is a structural engineer and founder and CEO of Jumpstart, a new earthquake insurance provider which helps families and individuals following a disaster via text. As a business owner and lifelong Californian, Stillwell took part in the Shakeout and shared her experience and insight for earthquake preparedness.

Catastrophic Earthquakes Could Leave 250,000-400,000 Refugees in California

(TNS) - When a catastrophic earthquake hits California, buildings would topple and hundreds of people could be killed.

But what gets less attention is the aftermath of such a huge quake, which could leave whole neighborhoods uninhabitable and hundreds of thousands of people without homes.

Officials are trying to determine where all those refugees would go.

Why Every Hospital Needs a Natural Disaster Recovery Plan

In the first week of September 2018, news of a potentially destructive Category 4 hurricane that was forecast to make landfall on the coast of the Carolinas sent many of the hospitals and medical practices in both states rushing to dust off their disaster recovery and business continuity plans in preparation for it. Evacuation drills were reviewed and many other operating procedures were rehearsed and evaluated. But most of all, health IT systems were being tested and reassessed for their natural disaster recovery readiness. Most healthcare groups focused on a few aspects of their IT to ensure they were prepared for whatever outcome the storm had in store for them.

Using Technology To Assess Wildfire Risk And Combat Wildfires

Wildfires in the U.S. have become more common and catastrophic than ever before. Citizens, local governments and the $2.2 trillion property and casualty insurance industry continue to be caught by surprise due to the severity and frequency of these events. So far in 2018, California alone has lost over 800,000 acres to fire, 250% more than the same period in 2017. Last year was the worst wildfire season in California history. An intense series of fires in Northern California destroyed more than 200,000 acres and killed 44 people.

With significant urban damage, 2017 also saw global insured losses from wildfires reaching a record $14 billion. Global losses from catastrophic events such as hurricanes and floods have steadily increased over the past decade, but wildfire-related losses in 2017 completely blindsided the property and casualty insurance industry.

California Will Spend $1 Billion on Wildfire Prevention, Give Some Relief to Utility Companies

(TNS) — SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With an eye toward destructive wildfire as California’s most immediate climate emergency, Gov. Jerry Brown took action on Friday to broadly expand state prevention efforts while allowing utility companies to shift some fire-related costs to their customers.

The far-reaching proposal signed by Brown boosts government fire protection efforts by $1 billion over the next five years, providing funds that could help clear thousands of acres of dense, dry forests and brittle coastal brush. The bill’s combination of cash and regulatory relief mark a major escalation in addressing what’s been called the “new normal” of fire danger for the state, far beyond what’s been spent on immediate emergency responses.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Emergency Preparedness