California Emergency Alerts Improved, but Far from Perfected

(TNS) — Wikiup resident Susan Sloan was prepared in 2017 when fires broke out on a Sunday night in October across Sonoma County.

She was among several thousand residents who had signed up for official emergency notifications through the county’s opt-in warning program, SoCo Alert. She had a landline telephone to receive the automated call alerting her to a fire just before midnight Oct. 8. Then the power went out.

“You could see the glow from behind the hills,” Sloan recalled. “My neighbors had come out onto their deck. They said it was just a warning, ‘Everything is fine.’?”

Study Examines California Workers’ Comp Hospital Inpatient Stays

The number of California workers’ compensation inpatient hospital stays fell 1.9 percent between 2017 and 2018, for a net decline of nearly 31 percent since 2010, a new study shows.

A study from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute traces much of that drop to a declining number of hospitalizations related to musculoskeletal disorders, including spinal fusions.

Death Toll from Northern California Wildfire Back Down to 85

The number of those who died in California’s deadliest wildfire is back down to 85 after authorities determined that a bone fragment previously classified as unidentified belongs to a victim named in January.

The Butte County Sheriff’s office said that the number of unidentified victims from the November 2018 Camp Fire now stands at one.

Possible Power Shutoffs as Fire Threatens in Northern California

(TNS) - Critical fire weather is threatening California, as high winds, low humidity and dry conditions combine to form a sometimes lethal mix, the National Weather Service warned Monday.

A red flag warning is in effect for more than 3.8 million Northern Californians for the next three days, as wind gusts blow through the region.

In Southern California, Santa Ana winds will carry in warmer temperatures along with elevated fire dangers, forecasters said.

Wildfire Risks Spark a Move to Microgrids in California

(TNS) — In his standard blue jeans and unbuttoned flannel shirt, David Liebman could blend in with many of the young students walking to and from classes at Santa Rosa Junior College.

But Liebman, manager of energy and sustainability for the college district, has something bigger on his mind than class assignments and midterm projects.

Liebman, 27, is heading a $5 million electrical infrastructure project that addresses climate change and fundamentally will transform the way energy is distributed and used on campus.

Santa Ana Winds Return to California Bringing Wildfire Danger

The Santa Ana winds have returned to California, a signal to the state’s residents that the wildfire season has begun in earnest.

The winds are created by high pressure over Nevada’s Great Basin as cool weather starts to arrive in the Fall. Low pressure systems in warmer California pull them along, and as they flow through the Sierra Nevadas and other ranges, twisting their way through narrow passes and canyons, they heat up, lose moisture and gain speed.

Coast Guard Issues Safety Recommendations After California Dive Boat Fire

The Coast Guard announced it has issued new safety recommendations in the wake of a fatal boat fire off the Southern California coast that killed 34 people. The agency recommended limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and the use of power strips and extension cords.

The bulletin also suggests that owners and operators of vessels review emergency duties with the crew, identify emergency escapes, check all firefighting and lifesaving equipment onboard, and look at the condition of passenger accommodation spaces for “unsafe practices or other hazardous arrangements.”

PG&E Reaches $11B Settlement Relating to California Wildfire Claims

Power producer PG&E Corp. said on Friday it has reached an $11 billion settlement agreement with entities representing about 85% of insurance subrogation claims relating to 2017 and 2018 wildfires.

The company said these claims were based on payments made by insurance companies to individuals and businesses with insurance coverage for wildfire damages.

RIMS Canada 2019 Encourages Risk Managers to ‘Transform’

EDMONTON — The 2019 RIMS Canada Conference got its green light Monday morning when technology and disruption strategist Shawn Kanungo entered the Edmonton Convention Centre in an ELA, an electronic autonomous shuttle being piloted in Canada. “Transform” is this year’s conference theme and, as emcee, Kanungo emphasized the need for attendees to embrace risk in order to improve their organizations.

“Experimentation,” he said, “is the gateway drug to true transformation.”

Ahead of the morning’s keynote, the RIMS Canada Council announced its top honors for accomplishment in the risk management field. For the risk professional earning the highest average mark on the three examinations required to attain the Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation, the Fred H. Bossons Award was awarded to Ronnie Yuen, underwriting assistant at Starr Technical Risks Canada, Inc.

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