This year's Atlantic hurricane season will be active or extremely active and will see three to six major hurricanes, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predictions issued May 23. The season begins June 1 and lasts 6 months. NOAA said there is a 70 percent chance of 13 to 20 named storms, of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes.
The May 20 tornado that struck Moore, Okla., killed 24 people and reportedly caused between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in damage.
The effects of climate change are irreversible, and so increased resilience to natural disasters is imperative, a report from the nonpartisan American Security Project says. The report gathers recent trends of natural disasters that amount to a bleak picture it attributes to climate change.
The Kansas legislature is reportedly close to approving $202 million in additional bonds to fund construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan.
Significant fire potential will be above normal in much of the West this summer according to National Interagency Fire Center predictions. NIFC's outlook (.pdf) for May through August, issued May 1, says significant fire potential will be above normal for south central Oregon and parts of California in May, with more areas joining them as the summer progresses.
Training and equipment that Boston police received from the federal government saved lives after the April 15 Marathon bombings, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told a House panel May 9. He singled out the Urban Areas Security Initiative, a grant program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Defense Production Act is a critical, if seldom-used, tool for emergency response and should be reauthorized before it expires at the end of fiscal 2014, David Kaufman of the Federal Emergency Management Agency told a House panel May 8. FEMA's most recent use of the DPA was in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The New Madrid zone, located in southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and southern Illinois, is the most active seismic area in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. In 1811 and 1812, hundreds of earthquakes occurred there, with three large events reaching estimated magnitudes of 7.9, 7.6 and 8.0.
Two-fifths of the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear countermeasures in the Strategic National Stockpile have not been approved for children of any age, the Government Accountability Office says.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will update the National Incident Management System, the national structured framework for all-hazards disaster response at all levels of government.