Emergency Response & Preparedness

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Study seeks to understand rumor-mongering during emergencies

Tweets that propagated rumors during crises often contained ambiguous sources and mentioned direct experience with the event, says a study published in the journal  Management Information Systems Quarterly.

Extreme drought portends active wildfire season

Drought expanded last month to cover 38.4 percent of the continental United States as of April 1, having increased by about 2.5 percentage points over four weeks.  California has faced especially dire conditions this year, and drought worsened there during March as well. NOAA  expects drought to continue – or intensify – this spring in California, west Texas, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and portions of other western states.

NIST calls for tornado-resistant design in building codes

A review of the buildings that withstood the deadly 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., and those that collapsed has led the National Institute of Standards and Technology to recommend new building code standards. Safe rooms, storm shelters and nuclear power plants have tornado-resistant design standards, but no such standards exist for ordinary buildings. 

Sole source Forest Service airtanker contract voided by GAO

A sole source contract the Forest Service made with a firefighting airtanker leasing company fell short of the criteria needed to justify it, says a federal contracting oversight agency. The Forest Service should attempt to properly re-award the contract, or simply terminate it, says the Government Accountability Office in a March 31  decision.

Senators press FEMA to prepare for oil-carrying train explosions

Funding to prepare for accidents involving trains that transport crude oil has not matched the recent, intense growth in rail cars moving crude oil, senators said at a March 25 hearing. An estimated 400,000 carloads of crude oil traveled along railroad tracks in the United States last year, up from about 10,000 in 2009.

Large disaster responses derive authority from state constitutions, says Fugate

Constitutional arguments figured heavily in FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate's latest push to convince skeptical appropriators that state and local preparedness grants should be consolidated into a single, state-controlled program.

LAX needs better mass notification system to respond to incidents, report says

The Los Angeles International Airport needs to update its public mass notification system and adhere to basic incident command structures to better respond to events such as last year's shooting that resulted in the death of a Transportation Security Administration officer, according to a new report.

Fugate again goes to bat for National Preparedness Grant Program

Rejection two years running hasn't prevented the Federal Emergency Management Agency from again proposing consolidation of most of its grants into a single program.

The root cause of public assistance grant contract audits: Lack of FEMA personnel contract compliance training

The promise of post-disaster federal assistance for rebuilding infrastructure often transmutes years later into a federal audit demanding repayment on the grounds that the construction contracts were improperly let.

2015 Budget Request: Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency would receive $10.38 billion under President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget, up from $9.96 billion enacted for this year.