Worried About Being on Top of an Earthquake Fault? New California Maps Will let you Know on a Smartphone

(TNS) - It’s now way easier to find out if you live in a California earthquake fault zone.

The California Geological Survey has published an easy-to-use interactive map online — type in your address or share your location on your smartphone, and, voila, you’ll know if you stand in a fault zone.

Or, for that matter, a place at risk of liquefaction or a landslide unleashed by an earthquake.

What these three zones have in common is the risk the ground can break in an earthquake, and not just be shaken.

Rain Hits Santa Barbara and Ventura, Calif., Counties as Residents Prepare for Potential Flooding and Mudslides

(TNS) - Rain continued to soak Santa Barbara and Ventura counties Wednesday afternoon as residents of fire- and mudslide-battered communities endured the first day of Southern California's largest storm of the season.

The storm — a vast atmospheric river of tropical moisture known as a "pineapple express" — made landfall Tuesday night and is predicted to last through Thursday.

"It's going to be steady, light rain with periods of heavy rain," said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Heavier bouts of rain will occur Wednesday evening and the following day, he said.

More School Districts Buying Active Shooter Insurance

Insurance broker Paul Marshall can count on his phone ringing in the aftermath of a school shooting.

Since the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school, where 17 people were killed and more than a dozen injured, seven South Florida school district have bought $3 million worth of “active shooter” coverage that Marshall’s Ohio-based employer, the McGowan Companies, began selling in 2016.

Fire Season Could be Bad in the Pacific Northwest

(TNS) - Wildland firefighters expect the Pacific Northwest will see another busy fire season this year with land around Yakima especially vulnerable.

“If I were to pick one place that might experience above-average fire danger, it’s the Yakima Valley and the eastern slopes” of the Cascade Mountains, said Josh Clark, a meteorologist with the state Department of Natural Resources.

Less rain in the winter, above-average temperatures and less mountain snow mean fires could start earlier and burn longer than a typical season, Clark said.

Are driverless cars safe? Uber fatality raises questions

Sunday marked a turning point for self-driving cars. For the first time, a car in full autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian.

It happened at 10 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona, where ride-hailing company Uber had been picking up passengers in autonomous vehicles for more than a year.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle down a four-lane road and was starting to cross when the gray Volvo, operated by Uber, hit her at about 40 mph, according to local police. It's believed Herzberg was homeless. She was pronounced dead by the time she reached the hospital.

More Than 60 Deaths in Fires, Floods Exposes Weaknesses in California's Emergency Planning

(TNS) — A reckoning on public preparedness long in the making is underway in California after a year that saw unprecedented death, destruction and loss from disasters set off by extreme weather.

Though California has long experienced natural disasters tied to weather, the last year recorded a staggering human toll — more than 40 dead in wine country fires and more than 20 in Santa Barbara County mudslides.

California Needs New Laws to Boost Earthquake Safety, Assemblyman Says

(TNS) -- A Los Angeles lawmaker says California needs new statewide laws that boost earthquake safety, and wants to toughen rules on how strong new buildings should be and require cities to identify buildings at risk of collapse.

Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-North Hollywood) said the bills are important for keeping California functioning after a major earthquake.

Sonoma County, Calif., Learns Bitter Lessons from Deadly Fire, Adopts Reforms

Sonoma County, which lost 25 lives in last October’s wildfires, has changed the ways in which it alerts residents after scathing criticism for not using cellphone alerts during the devasting fires last fall.

The then emergency manager and others decided against sending out mass alerts because they believed they could not adequately target who received the messages and didn’t want to “over-alert.” They felt that doing so could lead people who were safe to evacuate into a more dangerous area or cause severe traffic.

Irma Caused 129 Deaths, More Than $53 Billion in Damages, Hurricane Center Concludes

(TNS) - After six months of chasing down and documenting the death and destruction Hurricane Irma left behind from the eastern Caribbean to the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center released its report on Monday.

It underscores the wide swath of damage left behind by the massive storm, which brought wind and storm surge to much of Florida last September.

At least 129 deaths are attributed to the storm, either directly or indirectly. Irma's powerful storm surge, seas, winds and flooding were directly responsible for 44 deaths, concluded the team of three hurricane specialists who wrote the report, John Cangialosi, Andrew Latto and Robbie Berg. At least another 85 deaths were indirectly related to the storm.

4 Ways to Reduce Long-Term Risk in Municipal IT Systems (Contributed)

For most municipal governments right now, times are good. Sales tax revenues are way up, and property values are also reaching new highs — thereby increasing municipal revenues. This stands of course in stark contrast to the brutal Great Recession a decade ago, when collapsing home values, unemployment and plunging sales tax revenues forced cities and counties to make painful cost-cutting decisions.


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