Nearly Every State Is at Risk of a Damaging Earthquake, Report Says
Documentation for the 2014 Update of the United States National Seismic Hazard Maps
COMMENT: Since the USGS or United States Geological Survey a couple weeks ago updated their U.S. National Seismic Hazards Map (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2014/1091/) information, it was apropos to do a little more research into the geological structure and history of the North American continent in order to fully understand the issue at hand.
As the accompanying map shows (click to open), the USGS Hazards Map (left) that was updated recently is color coded to show the obvious about earthquake dangers in the United States — the “hot pink” color indicating the clearest danger zones — California, Pacific Coast, part of Alaska, big island of Hawaii, parts of the Rocky Mountain region, the New Madrid area, and to the east, part of South Carolina.
But what’s more interesting as the research went deaper, is the reason for why the northernmost section of the United States almost never find itself in earthquake danger. That is where the next map (right) comes into play here.
What we see here is a map of North America that shows the geological history of this continent. Geologists know this paleohistory and ancient landmass by the name, Laurentia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurentia), or North American Craton (brown color). Centered around the Hudson Bay in Canada, this is the underlying or foundational landmass that makes up North America, and that is also the most geologically stable. What is called the Accretionary Belt (green) is the infamous "Ring Of Fire" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Fire) earthquake zone, that is also the youngest and most unstable geological area of North America.
In other words, the further away you get from the North American Craton center, the more geologically unstable the ground underneath becomes. So putting both maps together, we see the geological correlation, and also understand the USGS earthquake hazard findings.
This bit of dry but informative geological history lesson makes it a lot clearer on the reasons for this type of natural disaster here in North America. Persons involved in emergency preparedness and disaster management now have additional information to cope with this ever present danger.
Nearly Every State Is at Risk of a Damaging Earthquake, Report Says
Public Safety Innovation Showcased by San Francisco Startup Community
San Francisco Demos Entrepreneurship-in-Residence Results
COMMENT: This is exactly the type of PPP or public-private partnership efforts that is needed that will benefit municipalities in both emergency preparedness, disaster management, and business continuity. San Francisco’s emerging business startup and hi-tech communities (not withstanding the current controversy over Google buses to Silicon Valley issue) is starting to gain footing in finding solutions for common or realistic real-life scenarios that can place municipalities at risk of natural and man-made disaster scenarios, for example. As both articles mention, the July 30th 2014 announcement in San Francisco saw Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath at the forefront along with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in encouraging local homegrown innovation ideas and concepts to flourish from start to finish, with members of the public having the opportunity to directly work with government professionals. San Francisco’s Entrepreneurship-in-Residence program (http://entrepreneur.sfgov.org/) is an idea whose time has come, and should be replicated by communities who have the vision to see themselves as part of the solution for linking infrastructure and economic development.
COMMENT: No need to elaborate too much here. Today’s (August 1st) front page from the San Francisco Examiner newspaper (see photo) says it all. An earlier post on this forum highlighted the growing problem with the California drought situation, and that steps needed to be taken by municipalities and other State and Federal authorities in the long-term mitigation of California’s water problems. As the front page highlight suggests, much of California’s water reserves could be gone by next Summer. As a side note, there is actually an article on the internet that suggested for California to mandate the emigration (exiting) of Californians to other, more water-rich States as a potential long-term population solution, in order to ease the stress of the current infrastructure. It will be interesting to see how by this time next year whether such extreme solutions will actually come into play.
As Food Imports Increase, FDA Can’t Keep Up with Inspections
Ensuring the Safety of Imported Products: Q&A with David Elder
COMMENT: Securing the physical borders of the United States is on the minds of a lot of Americans in recent days, with the influx of people on the American southern border States. But another security problem affecting the American border comes by way of ports access on either coast of continental United States in particular.
It has emerged now that the FDA or Food and Drug Administration (see link) is having difficulties with their inspection program for food imports. Whether it’s a manpower issue or a technical issue, these difficulties poses a credible threat for the health, safety and welfare of 300+ million Americans for obvious reasons. Americans are quite use to consuming food products that are high quality and free from common food infections. So what does this do to the confidence of the American consumer once this issue with the FDA difficulties become widely known among the population?
In California, for example, the primary ocean ports are the Port of Oakland in Northern California and the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach in Southern California. According to a San Gabriel Valley Tribune article earlier this year, both the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports account for 40 percent of America’s water-borne cargo, for example, so it stands to reason that a huge slice of that 40 percent is food importation. California with almost 40 million people now, should be concerned about that.
Food importation is not just limited to water-borne ports on either coast. The controversial NAFTA superhighway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAFTA_superhighway) is a proposed supercorridor highway system that is to connect Mexico to Canada using America’s I-35 as the primary link. Since it is assumed that food importation will be conducted through this supercorridor in America’s mid-section, the FDA food inspection program will have to account for this in the future.
According to FDA’s David Elder (see link), quote: "FDA electronically screens all import entries and performs more than 100,000 analyses on about 31,000 import product samples annually. During Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, we performed more than 210,000 examinations of imported goods in the field and conducted at least 1,196 foreign inspections."
For obvious reasons, the exact number of FDA manpower on the ground to perform these onsite inspections at our port facilities is not exactly public information. But it is logical to assume that problems handling food inspections, given the increasing levels of food importation into the United States, will need to be addressed quickly and efficiently by the proper authorities in Washington DC.
COMMENT: Fulfills a need and ioSafe is a local (Sacramento area) California technology company. There should be a recommendation from responsible persons in the business continuity community for more start-up companies to be located in a California that addresses natural and man-made disasters in California urban metropolitan areas. ioSafe (https://iosafe.com/) specializes in manufacturing hard drive units for home, business and enterprise data storage needs, and utilizes the their data recovery service to assist their clientele in the mitigation process. Not bad for a local television news item in recent days.
NEWS10 URL: http://bcove.me/8qsmz7zf
PHOTO: Public Safety personnel at the Vallejo Ferry Building on June 26th, 2014.
COMMENT: Just happened to be at the Vallejo Ferry Building this morning when suddenly several public safety personnel representing Vallejo Police Department, Solano County Sheriff, and Solano County OES, showed up at approximately 9:15 AM presumably to meet the arrival of the San Francisco Ferry boat “Mare Island” (see photo) about ten minutes later. As a casual observer, I fully expected that a real “emergency” was in progress with respect to that particular ferry boat, but was disappointed to see that in reality nothing of the sort happened — the public safety personnel just took off after 9:30 AM without incident, once all the passengers disembarked from the ferryboat. It would seem to this blogger (without knowing ALL the facts) that this event was either a false alarm or a drill exercise. Would be nice to find out if either was the case, or this would seem to be a waste of time and resources.
National Geographic Complete Survival Manual
COMMENT: This is one of the few book recommendations that will be offered here. The perfect compliment to emergency preparedness, disaster management and business continuity, which is meant for the urban environment. National Geographic is well known in the United States and abroad for its commitment to documenting the natural environment in detail, and have branched off into various specialized subject matters over the years.
National Geographic Complete Survival Manual has a wealth of information for the person interested in learning key emergency and disaster skills for the non-urbanized environment. A must read and a book that is to be kept close at hand not just for the reading enjoyment. This book is filled with expert tips and information from both the National Geographic entity and subject matter experts or stakeholders in dealing with critical life-saving skills when found to be in isolated situations without access to modern communication devices, and managing the time in between before either making it to urbanized areas, or whenever rescue personnel actually get to you.
This manual covered three important areas of consideration: basic survival skills, survival in six natural environments, and appendix or references to geographical information. The initial publication from National Geographic was in 2009, so in 2014 newer editions would be filled with updated information. If interested, you can choose to get it online or bookstores like Barnes and Nobles, for example, who just happen to have it on sale right now in the United States.
Hundreds of Cities Are Wired With Fiber But Telecom Lobbying Keeps It Unused
Taking Cities to the Next Frontier
COMMENT: For a variety of reasons, this revelation of telecom lobbying against the availability of high-speed fiber optic technology down to local start-up businesses and the general population is a travesty and against the notion of providing a fair level playing field in the United States.
Some American cities have overcome this disadvantage. Chattanooga, Tennessee (population: 171,279), for example, have in recent years offered fiber optics to its citizens through its city-owned utility company, Electric Power Board. And of the 50,000 fiber optics subscribers to its fiber optics network, that municipality is expected in 2014 to generate well over $90 million dollars in real revenue.
A nation that prides itself on information and education need not be in the business of limiting that opportunity to its own citizens by way of telecom lobbying in Washington DC. From the standpoint of emergency preparedness, disaster management and business continuity, those stakeholders must accept the reality that the general population also need to have real access to the latest technology in the public domain.
Fiber optics in our time is the “cutting edge” of communications technology, and on a level playing field, provides the needed infrastructure to advance and already advanced nation well into the future. Stakeholders can and must counterbalance the telecom lobbying monopoly on this very important issue.
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Bay Area’s Future Earthquakes: Knockout Blow, or Combination Punch?
COMMENT: Nothing new is being said here in this latest report a few days ago. We all know it’s a matter of time before the San Francisco Bay Area region will have to weather devastating earthquakes. Everybody from elected officials to public works professionals to first responders know the inevitable is coming. Earthquake building standards for California have been implemented now for decades. Yet the last major earthquake to strike the region — the Loma Prieta 1989 earthquake — exposed vulnerabilities everywhere from the Bay Bridge to highway overpasses to residential homes. So now the earthquake professionals want to find out if the inevitable “Big One” is in the future going to be one gigantic bang, or a series of mini-bangs across the region? Tough luck. Something called Mother Nature cannot be predicted ahead of time like that…when she blows, she blows, period.