3 reasons why the US is vulnerable to big disasters

During the 2017 disaster season, three severe hurricanes devastated large parts of the U.S.

The quick succession of major disasters made it obvious that such large-scale emergencies can be a strain, even in one of the world’s richest countries.

As a complex emergency researcher, I investigate why some countries can better withstand and respond to disasters. The factors are many and diverse, but three major ones stand out because they are within the grasp of the federal and local governments: where and how cities grow; how easily households can access critical services during disaster; and the reliability of the supply chains for critical goods.

For only the second time on record, no one killed by tornadoes in US in May or June

For the first time since 2005, and only the second time on record, no one was killed by tornadoes in the U.S. in either May or June.

Those are typically two of the USA’s deadliest months for tornadoes, along with March and April. Official U.S. tornado records go back to 1950.

Although we have a long way to go, the U.S. could see its least deadly year for tornadoes on record: So far in 2018, tornadoes have killed only three people. The most recent was on April 13 in Louisiana, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Northern California Wildfires Flare up in Heat, High Winds

Thousands fled their homes as major wildfires encroached on a charred area of Northern California still recovering from severe blazes in recent years, sparking concern the state may be in for another destructive series of wildfires this summer.

California officials said unusually hot weather, high winds and highly flammable vegetation turned brittle by drought helped fuel the fires that began over the weekend, the same conditions that led to the state’s deadliest and most destructive fire year in 2017.

California Workers’ Comp Division Says Temporary Total Disability Rates to Increase for 2019

The 2019 minimum and maximum temporary total disability rates will increase on Jan. 1, 2019, the California Division of Workers’ Compensation announced on Tuesday.

The minimum TTD rate will increase from $182.29 to $187.71 and the maximum TTD rate will increase from $1,215.27 to $1,251.38 per week.

'It was time to go.' Wildfires send Northern California residents fleeing again

SPRING VALLEY, LAKE COUNTY
Fueled by high temperatures, dry grasslands and gusting winds, a series of wildfires continued to burn across Northern California counties Monday as firefighters braced for what may be another brutal fire year for California.

Following the devastating firestorms that killed 44 people last fall and caused roughly $10 billion in damages, Cal Fire is warning that the number of fires and acreage burned so far this year is higher than the same six-month period last year, and far above the five-year average.

In the last week alone, Cal Fire has responded to 256 blazes, 90 of them just on Saturday and Sunday, Cal Fire spokesman Scott McClean said.

Can Your House Survive the Big Shake?

(TNS) - Would your house survive a massive earthquake?

Emergency management officials say the expected Cascadia subduction zone quake could shake the Rogue Valley so hard that houses could collapse or slide off their foundations, leaving thousands homeless, injured or worse.

Even newer houses built before 1993 could see enough damage that they become uninhabitable.

“We could see sustained shaking for two to five minutes that could cause significant damage,” warned Althea Rizzo, geologic hazards program coordinator for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “Almost all the older homes need some kind of retrofit.”

Pages