9/11 Attacks Still Impacting Emergency Response 17 Years Later

Tuesday marks the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The tragic loss of around 3,000 lives that day is still impacting the way first responders prepare for and respond to emergencies.

In 2003, President George W. Bush directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to create a nationwide framework for emergency preparation and response, which is now known as the National Incident Management System.

Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger said it’s creation showed the federal government recognized that state and local responders are the first line of defense.

Incels and the Risk of Workplace Violence

Among the more frightening elements of the world we inhabit is the ever-evolving set of extremist ideologies that give rise to justifications for violence. Terrorism is perhaps the clearest example of such violence, but workplace attacks are also increasingly likely to be ideologically motivated. To prevent or manage the risk of incidents, employers must take a proactive approach to spotting radicalization of all kinds. It is therefore important for them to understand the potential threat of “incel” culture, an emerging extremist ideology rooted in anger at women and driven by a furious sense of entitlement.

The Opioid Crisis Is Now a Fentanyl Crisis

America’s opioid crisis has shifted. As Congress and the White House have dawdled, the overdose death toll has continued its steady climb — reaching more than 49,000 in 2017, an increase of nearly 7,000 over the previous year, itself a record-breaker. But the primary agent of death is no longer ordinary prescription painkillers. It’s illicit fentanyl, often mixed with heroin or some other street drug.

California Bridge Under Construction Gets Sensors to Gather Earthquake Data

A replacement bridge under construction at the second-busiest port in the U.S. isn’t just a crucial route for cargo trucks and Southern California commuters – it’s a concrete-and-steel science experiment for engineers and seismologists.

The new bridge, which will stretch 8,800 feet over the Port of Long Beach, is being built with about 75 seismic sensors that will measure the forces imparted on the span when one of several nearby faults set off an earthquake. It will replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge, though it’s unclear if it will retain that name.

California Lawmakers OK Bill to Help PG&E Pay for Wildfire Costs

California lawmakers passed legislation to help utility giant PG&E Corp. pay for billions of dollars in potential liabilities from wildfires that ravaged Northern California wine country last year.

The state Assembly and Senate approved a wide-ranging plan Friday that includes directing regulators to limit how much PG&E shareholders would cover from the 2017 fires that killed dozens of people. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, who has supported helping PG&E dodge fiscal distress.

FDA Says Coffee Doesn’t Deserve California’s Cancer Risk Warning

The top U.S. regulator of food and health products endorsed a plan by California officials to exempt coffee from a state law that would have made Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and other coffee shops add a cancer warning to cups of joe.

The latest research “does not support a cancer warning for coffee,” Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. Such a label “could mislead consumers to believe that drinking coffee could be dangerous to their health when it actually could provide health benefits,” Gottlieb said. Misleading labeling could also violate federal law, he said.

Cameras Can Catch Cars That Run Red Lights, But That Doesn't Make Streets Safer

The automobile is a killer. In the U.S., 36,675 people died in traffic accidents in 2014. The year before, 2.3 million people were injured in traffic accidents.

During the past decade, over 438 U.S. municipalities, including 36 of the 50 most populous cities, have employed electronic monitoring programs in order to reduce the number of accidents. Red light camera programs specifically target drivers that run red lights.

‘Patchwork’ System Leaves Some Californians Out of Emergency Alerts

(TNS) — Before the flames appeared, Sandie Freeman thought the sky above her Redding home looked especially beautiful.

The evening was golden hued and still; pretty enough that she took a picture. Minutes later, a light wind picked up and leaves from her oak tree began falling like rain, she said.

It was the only warning she received that something was amiss.

Wildfires are inevitable – increasing home losses, fatalities and costs are not

Wildfire has been an integral part of California ecosystems for centuries. Now, however, nearly a third of homes in California are in wildland urban interface areas where houses intermingling with wildlands and fire is a natural phenomenon. Just as Californians must live with earthquake risk, they must live with wildfires.

Shaped by ignitions, climate and fuels, wildfires are likely to become more frequent and severe with climate change. The 2017 experience of the largest and most damaging wildfires in California history, and ongoing destructive fires in 2018, provide a window of opportunity for learning to better coexist with wildfire.

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