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."

Infographic: Is your biggest security threat already inside your organization?

What is your organization's biggest security threat? The answer may surprise you.

While most companies imagine security threats in the form of malicious outsiders, the employees already in your organization may pose an even bigger threat. In fact, research suggests that insider threats account for anywhere from 60 to 75 percent of data breaches.

Coffee in California to be Paired With Cancer Warnings

Starbucks Corp. and other roasters and retailers must serve up a cancer warning with coffee sold in California, a Los Angeles judge has ruled.

Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle in a ruling published on Monday said that Starbucks and other coffee sellers did not show that the risk from consuming acrylamide, a possible cancer-causing byproduct created during coffee roasting, was offset by benefits from drinking coffee.

Hawaiian Volcano Slopes Offer Affordable Paradise, Risks

As lava crawled down Leilani Road in a hissing, popping mass, Cheryl Griffith stood in its path and placed a plant in a crack in the ground as an offering to the Native Hawaiian volcano goddess, Pele.

Griffith lives in Leilani Estates, a subdivision on the Big Island where molten rock from the Kilauea volcano has burst through the ground, destroying more than two dozen homes and resulting in evacuation orders for nearly 2,000 people. But the 61-year-old did not leave.

Transparency Reshaping the Risk Management Landscape

It's a whole new ballgame when it comes to protecting a business' reputation, according to Steven Minsky, CEO of enterprise risk management software provider LogicManager.

While regulators may be struggling to keep up with the times, the public isn't feeling quite so constrained. As the recent Facebook debacle shows, consumers and investors can swiftly throttle a business' reputation when they suspect the company isn't playing by the rules. "Companies are operating in what I call the 'see-through economy'—a dizzyingly, fast-paced age of transparency where consumers and investors are empowered by new technologies to impact a company’s reputation," said Minsky, who recently authored the study, The State of Risk Management in 2018.

The States Most and Least Prepared for Public Health Disasters

Maryland is best poised to respond to a public health crisis, while Nevada and Alaska are least prepared, according to a national index released earlier this month.

The National Health Security Preparedness Index measures states’ readiness to respond to health disasters, including natural disasters, terrorism and disease outbreaks—think Zika or Ebola.

‘Precipitation Whiplash’ Could Eventually Trigger Catastrophic California Flooding

In California in 1862, the area between Sacramento and San Francisco became, in effect, an inland sea of about 300 miles long by 30 miles wide after 40 to 45 straight days of rain.

That area is now home to millions of people and the state Capitol. What would happen if that type of rain event occurred in the near future, and what’s the likelihood? The answer to the first question is, there would be complete devastation. In looking for an answer to the second question scientists invoke a phenomenon they’re calling “precipitation whiplash.”

This refers to the rapid transitions between precipitation extremes and the opposite — so a heavy season of rain followed immediately by drought or vice versa. This, scientists say in a study published in the scientific journal, Nature Climate Change, is what California can expect in its future because of the warming climate.

It means that severe rain or drought will be concentrated in more narrow intervals of time than they have been traditionally. It means, possibly, more extreme flooding events and more drought.

Growing Cities Mean Growing Risks

On a recent list of the fastest growing American cities, Nashville jumped from 20th to 7th in a year. There are more than 210 active construction projects in the downtown core alone. We are hardly alone. Denver, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta and more are experiencing similar growth. Cities are booming and growing, and the construction cycle is showing little sign of letting up soon.

This growth presents great opportunity for companies in the construction industry. While it is exciting to see many succeed and take part in skyline-changing projects, it cannot be overlooked that with growing opportunity comes growing challenges. Risk management and comprehensive protections are becoming a central component of doing business, as more activity, more competition and tougher deadlines mean that no matter how good a company is with its service, risk is increased.

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.”


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