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Spring Journal

Volume 30, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

Louisiana has been utterly wrecked once again, and all anybody can talk about is how nobody is talking about it.

In the aftermath of flooding in and around Baton Rouge that began two weeks ago, 13 people have lost their lives. The deluge has destroyed or seriously damaged more than 60,000 homes, and so far more than 100,000 residents have registered for federal assistance. That last statistic certainly factored into one recent estimate that put flood-related losses at upwards of $20 billion. Nearly one-third of Louisiana has been declared a disaster area. (President Obama visited the state on Tuesday.)

It’s being called the worst natural disaster the country has seen since Hurricane Sandy. And yet—as many have already noted—one of the most remarkable aspects of the calamity is how scant the coverage has been relative to other “major” stories dominating the news cycle over the past two weeks. While flood victims need much, much more than publicity at the moment, their indignation isn’t misplaced. If you were forced to wallow through waist-deep water, all the while trying to avoid snakes and alligators and floating coffins, you, too, might wonder why reports of Donald Trump’s campaign staff shakeups or Ryan Lochte’s drunken exploits were knocking your story off the front page or the evening news.



Best Practices for Tracking Exam & Audit Findings

An emergency room (ER) is a place where chaos is organized. Patients are triaged by need. Staff uses electronic records to keep medical histories. Interactions, tests and prescriptions are carefully tracked.

They’re designed this way because the stakes are high—no patient can be overlooked.

But what happens when a bank’s compliance program has an emergency? Too often, it doesn’t get the attention it needs, and the consequences can be dire.



2016 Individual and Community Preparedness Award Winners Announced

WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today the winners of the 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, recognizing the outstanding efforts of individuals, programs, and organizations throughout the country working to prepare their communities for emergencies.

“We are more prepared for disasters when everyone in the community works together,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “FEMA is proud to honor individuals and organizations who are building communities that are more prepared for emergencies through creativity, innovation and collaboration.”

This year’s award recipients developed innovative practices and programs that contributed to making communities safer, better prepared, and more resilient.

The 11 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award recipients will be recognized on September 13, 2016 in Washington, D.C. During the recognition ceremony, recipients will share their experiences, success stories, and lessons learned with fellow emergency management leaders.

This year’s winners of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Awards are:

  • Outstanding Inclusive Initiatives in Emergency Management:Notify NYC (New York)
  • America’s PrepareAthon! in Action: Serenity Hospice (Texas)
  • Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award: Delaware State Citizen Corps Council
  • Community Preparedness Champions Award: Jamie D. Aten, Ph.D.
  • Awareness to Action Award: The HALTER Project (California) and Jenny Novak of California State University, Northridge Emergency Management
  • Technological Innovation Award: SUNRNR of Virginia, Inc.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness Award: Mart High School Teen CERT (Texas)
  • Sixth Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award: San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (California)
  • Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives Award: CaliforniaVolunteers
  • Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program Award: Burleigh County Snowmobile Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) (North Dakota)

Visit www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/citizen-corps-awards for more information on this year’s award recipients and to see the honorable mentions.


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

It will take a full year for areas of Louisiana to come back from the past week's devastating floods, an LSU economist said Monday (Aug. 22) in a forecast that drew quick skepticism from one of the figureheads of the Hurricane Katrina recovery.

James Richardson made his projections after more than 60,000 homes were damaged in what some are calling the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Nearly 3 feet of rain fell in two days, leading to 20 Louisiana parishes being declared federal disaster areas. That does not including subsequent rainfall that exacerbated high water conditions in areas that historically have not flooded.

So far, 120,000 Louisiana residents have applied for federal disaster recovery. Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré, who coordinated military response in New Orleans after Katrina, anticipates they will be waiting some time for assistance judging by FEMA's track record. Full recovery could take eight to 10 years he said, pointing to New Orleans where storm scars remain nearly 11 years later.



With the outsourcing of microchip design and fabrication worldwide, cyber criminals along the supply chain have many opportunities to install malicious circuitry in chips. These ‘Trojan horses’ look harmless but can allow attackers to launch future cyber attacks. To address the issue, Siddharth Garg, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and fellow researchers are developing a unique solution: a chip with both an embedded module that proves that its calculations are correct and an external module that validates the first module's proofs.

While software viruses are easy to spot and fix with downloadable patches, deliberately inserted hardware defects are invisible and act surreptitiously. For example, a secretly inserted ‘back door’ function could allow attackers to alter or take over a device or system at a specific time. Garg's configuration, an example of an approach called ‘verifiable computing’ (VC), keeps tabs on a chip's performance and can spot telltale signs of Trojans.

The ability to verify has become vital in an electronics age without trust: gone are the days when a company could design, prototype, and manufacture its own chips. Manufacturing costs are now so high that designs are sent to offshore foundries, where security cannot always be assured.