Oregon Earthquake Simulation Reveals Dangers

Researchers at Oregon State University say bridges and roads in the northwestern resort city of Seaside should be prioritized for improvement after a simulation discovered they would have higher mortality rates in an earthquake and tsunami.

Researchers found that the bridge on Broadway Street over Neawanna Creek would result in the most fatalities, The Daily Astorian reported.

Earthquake Country Needs a Sense of Urgency

Emergency managers and the many different disciplines and organizations they partner with are working every day to make their communities a safer and better place to be; before, during and after a disaster.

Having cut my teeth here on the West Coast, I have always envied emergency managers who have hurricanes as their worst-case disaster. This is for two reasons. One is that they have a set schedule on the calendar that is identified and known by as the hurricane season, which, by the way, just started on June 1, and was preceded by Tropical Storm Alberto. Evidently Alberto did not get the save-the-date message and arrived a few days early.

Alaska is no Stranger to Volcanoes. But What Would Happen During a Big Eruption?

(TNS) - On the Big Island of Hawaii, the ongoing eruption of Kilauea volcano is giving residents a lesson in what it's like to live on the flanks of an active volcano.

Fissures oozing lava won't be opening up in southcentral Alaska anytime soon. But the region around Alaska's biggest city is hardly a stranger to volcanic eruptions and the mayhem they can cause.

Hawaii, Central Pacific Could See Handful of Hurricanes This Season

The Central Pacific could see anywhere from three to six hurricanes over the next six months, forecasters predicted Wednesday. That would be an increase over the two named storms last year.

Storm activity is likely to be normal or a bit busier than normal this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

School Safety Systems Are Only as Good as the Humans Behind Them

Security is on the front burner for school districts around the country, but how to make students, faculty and visitors safe is a tricky and touchy subject.

There are multiple layers of possible security, including armed officers, armed teachers, metal detectors, video cameras and visitor management systems. They all have their pluses and/or minuses but there are common denominators in any effort to secure a school or any similar location.

All of the above are just one facet of security and not a guarantee of anything, and the human factor is as important or more so than any other.

Rising Tide Has Southern California City Thinking Ahead

The consensus is that sea-level rise will occur in Southern California, but how much and when are questions that complicate developing mitigation plans.

Encinitas, a city of almost 60,000, 25 miles north of San Diego, is trying to get a grip on those questions to deliver a Coastal Vulnerability and Resiliency Plan. If only they had a crystal ball.
It is impossible to foresee the future 50 to 100 years from now, and that makes planning for eventualities that far in advance a crap shoot. So you do it incrementally.

FEMA Chief: 'The Key to Resiliency Is at the Local Level'

WASHINGTON — The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday stressed the role of local governments in preparing the U.S. to better withstand natural disasters.

"I do believe that the key to resiliency is at the local level of government, not with FEMA," the agency's administrator, Brock Long, said at an event. "If you’re depending on FEMA to make your community resilient, well, that’s the wrong approach."

Emergency Officials Say Texts, Not Sirens, More Effective for Tornado Alerts

(TNS) - There’s nothing like a dramatic chorus of sirens sounding around a city to announce looming disasters.

But Guilford County doesn’t have a siren system that could have warned people before a tornado struck east Greensboro on April 15.

And the county’s emergency management director says that’s not a bad thing — texts and emails are much more likely to break through the distractions and alert people that something wicked is headed this way.

California's Deadly 1862 Flood Likely to Repeat Within 50 Years, Study Says

(TNS) - The 1862 flood that went down as the worst washout in modern California history, transforming the Central Valley into a raging sea and stealing countless lives and property, is often described as an improbable 200-year event.

A study published Monday, however, turns those odds in a bad way, saying extreme weather swings from brutal dry spells to intense storms will become increasingly frequent, a phenomenon the authors dub “precipitation whiplash.”

In Search of Infrastructure-Proof Emergency Alerts

The increased reliance on emergency text alerts to receive warnings of natural or manmade disasters is a capability that most people have come to expect. Listening to broadcast radio warnings of severe weather happening miles away has transformed into more precise, geo-located alerts that target specific locations. The benefits of this technology are profound and should lead to people taking action when an alert comes in because they know that the threat is timely and accurate to their locations. New technologies could save many lives during future disasters.

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