disaster preparedness

16 Stories

White House Preparing for Catastrophic Solar Flares

'This is a real and present danger'

(Newser) - If a giant solar flare hit the Earth, it could knock out the entire power grid, meaning no more new Justin Bieber singles, no more televised presidential debates, and no more Facebook photos of babies. But it wouldn't be all good news. The Washington Post reports the electromagnetic pulse—... More »

Disasters: There Needs to Be an App for That

The world needs top-notch science apps: Daniel Miller

(Newser) - Enough with the online shopping and Angry Birds: We need apps just as handy to serve a more noble purpose. Daniel Miller warned of the Washington state mudslide ahead of time, but the information he provided wasn't readily accessible to those who would be affected, he writes in the... More »

Katrina Mayor Offers Hurricane Advice

Ex-New Orleans mayor warns that people 'may not heed the warnings'

(Newser) - First, East Coasters endure chuckles from California over Tuesday's earthquake. Now former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is handing out hurricane advice? Though the Daily Caller points out that many would classify the reaction to Hurricane Katrina as a "colossal failure," Nagin, who was mayor when Katrina... More »

Fukushima's Disaster Plan: A Stretcher and a Fax

Plant was woefully unprepared for natural disaster

(Newser) - Tokyo Electric Power Co. had a disaster plan in place at its Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, but certainly not a very thorough one: It only involved one stretcher, and relied heavily on a satellite phone and fax machine for emergency communications. In a look at the plan, the Wall Street ... More »

New York Releases Apocalypse Guide

Legal manual outlines emergency responses

(Newser) - It’s got an unassuming title, but the “New York State Public Health Legal Manual” might just be the scariest book of the year. It’s the state’s official legal guide to cataclysmic disaster, outlining in dry legalese what to do if, for example, there isn’t enough... More »

'Solar Katrina' Could Blindside Us

Senate needs to act to protect power grid

(Newser) - America is woefully underprepared for a looming natural disaster with the potential to be much worse than Hurricane Katrina, warns disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph. Scientists believe a solar storm of a size not seen since 1921 is likely to hit the earth after solar activity picks up in 2012,... More »

FEMA Is Also in the Prevention Business

Agency funds preparation projects; some scientists want to see more

(Newser) - FEMA may be best known for its response in times of crisis, but it also tries to provide help before disaster strikes, NPR reports. In the tiny Missouri hamlet of Niangua, a tornado shelter mostly funded by the agency will soon be able to house the entire town—a relief... More »

Why Wasn't India Prepared?

In aftermath, many ask how 10 men wreaked such havoc

(Newser) - With Mumbai's bloody 3-day siege over, questions are arising about India's failure to anticipate and quickly repel the attack on its financial capital, the New York Times reports. A gang of only 10 terrorists caused widespread carnage, infiltrating three buildings, fighting off security forces, and fooling them into believing there... More »

5M to Take Part in LA Quake Drill

Southern California readies for 'the Big One' of earthquake-preparedness events

(Newser) - Geologists are hoping a huge party will shake some earthquake awareness into jaded Angelenos, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Great Southern California ShakeOut—an earthquake drill followed by a huge rally—is scheduled for Thursday morning and 5 million people have signed up so far, putting the event on... More »

Hanna Threatens, But All Eyes on Ike

States act to protect citizenry from tropical storm, but worry about impending hurricane

(Newser) - Southeastern states are taking precautions for the impending landfall of Hanna, which is expected to arrive as a low-level hurricane on Saturday, the AP reports. But planners and the East Coast populace are also looking down the road to Ike, which remains a Category 4 hurricane charging toward the Bahamas.... More »

Gustav: Risks, Rewards for GOP

McCain appears presidential; Repubs, compassionate

(Newser) - For Republicans, the challenge of Hurricane Gustav's disruption of the party convention is to use it to their advantage without looking like political opportunists, writes Susan Page in USA Today. The cancellation of today's events offers risks and rewards—on the one hand, the loss of an evening of prime-time... More »

US Seeks to Weaken Hurricanes

Scientists propose techniques to modify the weather

(Newser) - The Department of Homeland Security is hoping that weather-altering techniques can lessen the devastation caused by hurricanes, the Daily Telegraph reports. A hurricane reduction program likely to begin in October will devote $64 million to efforts such as spreading tiny salt particles in the storms to drain them of much... More »

Here We Go Again...

Rockier-than-average hurricane season predicted; 5 possibly severe

(Newser) - Federal storm watchers warned of a possible 16 named storms, and five major hurricanes, this year, the Miami Herald reports. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a 65% probability that the hurricane season, which stretches for 6 months from June 1, “may very well be a busy” one.... More »

World 'Knew' About Cyclone, Expert Says

Burma says it warned citizens 5 days before landfall

(Newser) - Burma says it warned its people of Cyclone Nargis 5 days before landfall, when it learned of the storm over news wires—but one expert believes Burma's media outlets were too primitive to spread the message. With Burma's death toll as high as 100,000, Newsweek talked to a global... More »

Big Quake Will Rock Calif. by 2038: Study

Scientists warn state to plan for 7.5 mag temblor

(Newser) - A major earthquake is almost inevitable in California in the next 30 years, a new study says. The likely target is Southern California, which has a 97% chance of a 6.7 magnitude quake and 37% chance of a 7.5. Because it has suffered more big quakes in the... More »

'US Ill Prepared for Disaster'

Study warns of inability to meet emergencies, funding cuts

(Newser) - The US is not prepared for major disasters, including biological attacks and pandemics, and funding to meet such emergencies is falling, according to a new study. Thirteen states don't have adequate plans to distribute vaccines, 12 states don't have systems to track the spread of diseases and 7 states are... More »

16 Stories