Cyber ‘Intrusion Campaigns’ Increasingly Target Utilities

Cyberattacks increasingly target and succeed inside energy and utility companies’ IT networks, rather than their critical infrastructure, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Vectra.

In the past, the energy and utility industry’s cyber efforts have focused on preventing disruption of power availability via industrial control networks.

But the Department of Homeland Security issued a technical alert in March warning the industry of a “multi-stage intrusion campaign” originating in Russia targeting IT networks in the U.S. energy sector.

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.

Resiliency Helps Communities Recover after Mass Casualty Incidents

Mass casualty incidents and the ensuing chaos are complicated to manage. There needs to be a definite correlation between what resources are available and the seriousness of the injuries.

Policies and management systems like the Incident Command System certainly help to facilitate the overall coordination of a mass casualty incident. After every incident, there is usually an investigation and an after-action report that details the lessons learned. Emergency managers use this vital information to strengthen their emergency plans. As a result, many plans have improved greatly over the years.

In New California Disaster Era of 'Fire-Floods,' Where Will Deadly Debris Flows Strike Next?

(TNS) - Brent Larson awoke at 4 a.m. to the shake and rumble of what felt like a freight train rolling down the hill toward his Santa Barbara County home.

He leaped from his bed and woke his two sons. In seconds, a wall of water, mud and rock slammed into his house, smashing through one window, then the next, then a third, pouring in as the trio sprinted to the safety of the chimney at the home’s far corner.

“It was like out of ‘Indiana Jones,’” he said, nine months later, still shaken.

Spread of Self-Driving Cars Could Cause More Pollution — Unless the Electric Grid Transforms Radically

The world is on the cusp of dramatic changes in the ways people own, operate and power their means of transportation.

Known as the “three revolutions,” a term coined by UC Davis transportation professor Daniel Sperling, the new trends are: electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and sharing-oriented business models (think Uber and Lyft). Optimistically, these revolutions could make our cities a dreamscape of walkable urbanism that will reduce accidents to near zero and make more space for bikes, trees, pedestrians and small businesses while emitting no carbon emissions.

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.

More Intense Heat Waves in California’s Future, According to New Assessment

In the wake of hurricanes Florence and Michael and myriad other devastating storms and wildfires stacking up during the last decade, an updated assessment of California’s changing climate offers the projection of more of the same.

The assessment said Californians can expect more heat and more extreme weather, which would lead to more wildfires, floods, drought and public health issues. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment was produced as part of a volunteer initiative by climate experts. The assessment updates the third one issued in 2012.

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.

Oregon Study Shows California Workers’ Comp Rates Falling, but Still High

Workers’ compensation premium rates fell considerably nationwide, while California continued to see among the worst rates in the nation, according to a new study out from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

The department puts out its Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking Summary report every two years.

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