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Volume 31, Issue 1

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There’s a crack in California. It stretches for 800 miles, from the Salton Sea in the south, to Cape Mendocino in the north. It runs through vineyards and subway stations, power lines and water mains. Millions live and work alongside the crack, many passing over it (966 roads cross the line) every day. For most, it warrants hardly a thought. Yet in an instant, that crack, the San Andreas fault line, could ruin lives and cripple the national economy.

In one scenario produced by the United States Geological Survey, researchers found that a big quake along the San Andreas could kill 1,800 people, injure 55,000 and wreak $200 million in damage. It could take years, nearly a decade, for California to recover.

On the bright side, during the process of building and maintaining all that infrastructure that crosses the fault, geologists have gotten an up-close and personal look at it over the past several decades, contributing to a growing and extensive body of work. While the future remains uncertain (no one can predict when an earthquake will strike) people living near the fault are better prepared than they have ever been before.



Sunday, 25 February 2018 13:35

Extreme Science: The San Andreas Fault

Business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency management are tough jobs that rarely get the credit they deserve. You’ve dedicated your life to protecting your organization and the people in it, and we get how stressful that can be.

Here’s a roundup of our favorite internet memes for business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency management to brighten your work week.



Lots of people saw warnings signs that Nikolas Cruz could be a danger to others. It may have been worse than anyone could imagine — 14 students and three teachers killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. — but the signs of trouble were there.

Several students noted after the shooting the antisocial tendencies exhibited by Cruz and that police had been to his house on numerous occasions. Obviously there was no system in which that information could get processed and help, in the form of counseling, restraining order or whatever appropriate, could be dispensed.

This is typical, say experts on school safety, and needs to change. There are other viable ways of protecting students as well, including centralized entry, where the students are greeted and perhaps even move through a metal detector.



I recently saw an article that said the most commonly searched questions on Google in 2017 included “What is a solar eclipse?,” “What is bitcoin?,” and “What is a fidget spinner?”

At BCMMETRICSTM we don’t get quite as many inquiries as Google, but we get enough to detect some patterns in terms of what our web visitors are most interested in.

You won’t be surprised to learn that we aren’t asked a lot of questions about fidget spinners. What do people ask us?

Hands-down, the topic our web visitors show interest in above all others is the Business Impact Analysis (BIA). This is the most frequently searched-for topic on our website and the one we are most commonly asked about at business continuity events.



(TNS) - Less than a week after a 19-year-old shot and killed 17 of his classmates at a Florida high school, Silsbee ISD teachers watched a video of a mock school shooting play out on a screen in their auditorium.

The district decided last week to spend part of Monday's staff workday on a two-hour active shooter training session, discussing their emergency plans and watching training videos.

"You can never fully prepare for something like this," Superintendent Richard Bain said. "In light of the stuff that's happened here recently in our nation, I think everybody is a little more sensitive and we felt like it was a good idea."



(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?



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