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Volume 31, Issue 1

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(TNS) - The catastrophic mudslide that inundated houses in Montecito in Santa Barbara County in January, killing 21 people, appeared to hit suddenly. But the disaster, mere weeks after a wildfire scorched the area, didn’t come out of nowhere.

For over two decades, Cal State Fullerton’s Binod Tiwari has studied such mudslides and landslides around the world, including in Southern California, to understand their causes and mitigate their devastation.

In 2014, the civil and environmental engineering professor and his students worked on a regional study on debris flow and mudflow after a series of December storms. The study included areas affected by the Silverado Canyon fire and the 91 Freeway fire, both in September 2014. It found that reports of mudflows and mudslides appeared to be exclusively in areas that burned that year or the year before.



Linux has an enviable reputation as a secure platform for servers. But Linux the Unhackable?

Certain myths persist about the inherent resistance of Linux to viruses and the superfluity of firewalls.

However, the only basis for truth (and fast fading at that) is statistical. Linux as a minority platform attracted less hacker interest, who made fewer viruses to attack it.

As Linux’s popularity has grown, so has the number of viruses, not to mention the need for additional firewalls.

Linux is no more unhackable than other operating systems. You can however reduce its hackability with some simple precautions that unsurprisingly look like steps you would take for other systems.



Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:25

Linux the Unhackable? That All Depends ...

(TNS) - Local government officials from coastal communities battered by Hurricane Harvey voiced anxieties and frustrations about the recovery process - and the fact that hurricane season is only three months away - to a Texas House subcommittee Tuesday.

Just days before the six-month anniversary of the devastating hurricane, the Texas House Appropriations Subcommittee on Disaster Impact and Recovery met in Victoria, where mayors and county leaders shared lists of projects needed to be undertaken so communities would be protected from future storms.

Many of the government leaders who came from communities spanning from Fulton to Victoria said they didn't have a place for residents or first responders to take shelter.



Blockchain is the underlying distributed ledger technology for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin; it has been at the forefront of business news in the last two years. Fortunes have been built and lost buying and selling cryptocurrencies. In one case, a nice gentleman threw CD containing his private keys, losing all access to his bitcoin portfolio. He petitioned the city to allow him to climb through the dump to salvage a CD that will give whoever finds it access to millions of dollars in bitcoin. There have been countless initial coin offerings promising to revolutionize business with underlying applications of blockchain technology. An organization created digital cats, called Cryptokitties, and a single, rare, digital cat can fetch close to $100,000. We see headlines and blog posts like the following:

Clearly, the hype cycle is in full swing. Interestingly, though, many people have very little understanding of the capabilities and limitations of blockchain technology. Moreover, the hype cycle has caused business leaders to spend time investigating use cases that are not necessarily good fits for blockchain.



Sometimes there is a good reason to reinvent the wheel—for example, if you are in business and the current “wheel” is a proprietary product controlled by your competitor.

However, sometimes the tried-and-true solution is the best way to go, and we believe that is the case when it comes to emergency management systems.

An emergency management system is the methodology an organization uses for managing emergencies.

Having such a system is critical for the protection of your organization since if and when you do face an emergency, your problems can be made significantly worse if your response is hampered by role confusion and poor communication.

So you should definitely have an emergency management system in place—but what kind of system?



Crisis Management Teams Should Always Have a Toolkit That Supports Them During the Crisis.

One of the questions that I get asked most often is “what are some of the most common mistakes you see as you visit various clients?”  Other than companies not being committed to exercising (another article, another time) my biggest concern is with companies that treat crisis management as something that they would pull together in an ad-hoc fashion.  They may have a Crisis Management Plan, but they don’t treat crisis management as a Program – and therefore aren’t developing, exercising, measuring and refining their tools.  Ideally, your Crisis Management Team has these six tools in their tool belt.



Thursday, 22 February 2018 15:38

Every Crisis Team Should Have These Six Tools

Thursday, 22 February 2018 15:02

BT7-03 Editorial

Written by
How will your business respond if faced with a natural disaster, a cyberthreat or an active shooter scenario?

Will the organization stay afloat in the midst of such a crisis? Any amount of disruption costs your business money and can destroy customer relations. In fact, 75 percent of companieswithout a continuity plan fail in three years after facing a disaster. Those companies unable to get back up and running in 10 days post emergency do not survive at all.

business continuity plan provides your company with the roadmap to navigate a major business disruption, including a natural disaster or large-scale emergency. However, having a plan in place is only the first step; the plan also needs to be continuously monitored and tested for gaps or obstacles.



Last year, major investments and advancements were made in communication technologies, both within the mobile space and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Additionally, we saw continued advancements in virtual reality and increased video conferencing. Unsurprisingly, social media platforms remain a viable contender in the way we communicate. As you consider how to improve your organization with better emergency notification and communication plans this year, take notice of how top trends can solve your biggest problems.



Wednesday, 21 February 2018 16:07

Emergency Management Trends in 2018