PRIMA RiskWatch
Sep. 24, 2015

The city that incorporated social media into everything
Back in 2008, Roanoke, Virginia, a city of about 100,000, had a modest social media program run by its Department of Communications. But when an unusually strong snowstorm hit the city in the winter of 2014, things changed practically overnight.More

FDA food safety needs more funding
A fundamental premise of regulating food safety should be a combination of helping the food industry understand what they need to do to meet regulatory requirements and then ensuring they meet those requirements using appropriately trained inspectors. More

What can we do to help keep officers safe?
By Archita Datta Majumdar
As crime has steadily reached a zenith of chaos and ruthlessness, law enforcement officers across the U.S. are now wary of any stranger approaching them, no matter how innocent or innocuous the situation looks. The recent incident in which a police officer was shot to death near a Houston gas station has refueled the controversies of police safety mechanisms and how they can be improved. The fact that this is just one incident among a spate of killings is a serious matter indeed. More

Federal safety requirements may delay trains lacking collision-avoidance tech
Emergency Management
President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the nation's rail safety agency told lawmakers that the agency would hold railroads to a year-end deadline to install collision-avoidance technology even if it meant that freight and passengers could be left stranded. More

Study: Air pollution kills 3.3M annually worldwide
TriValley Central
Air pollution is killing 3.3 million people a year worldwide, according to a new study that includes this surprise: Farming plays a large role in smog and soot deaths in industrial nations.More

Ohio allows classroom barricade devices to protect against shooters despite concerns
Claims Journal
A nationwide push allowing schools to buy portable barricade devices they can set up if an active shooter enters their building has school security and fire experts questioning whether they're really safe.More

What's to blame for the recent bubonic plague uptick?
By Katina Smallwood
A Michigan resident recently became the 14th person this year to contract the plague, the same disease that was responsible for the Black Death pandemic in Europe in the 1300s. Although the plague has never officially been eradicated, instances of infection usually remain low in the U.S., averaging around seven cases per year. The 14 reported cases have been mostly of the bubonic form of the plague, which is spread to humans from infected rodents or flea bites. More

Breathing death
This chemical is found in most hardware stores and kills suddenly. Why has the EPA done nothing?More

UW researchers: Rural homebuilding heightens fire risk
Wisconsin Public Radio
A new study says that more first or second homes are being built in Wisconsin's rural areas, raising concerns about fire risk and loss of animal habitat.More

NFL first major US league to win FAA permission to use drones
Bloomberg via Property Casualty 360
The National Football League can use drones to shoot films, documentaries and television segments, becoming the first major sports league to receive such permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.More

Tsunami and risk: How much we know now
Nature World News
Our global wisdom regarding tsunamis is still being built. That is, a study led by Northwestern University tsunami researcher Emile A. Okal, was recently published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. It includes a "wisdom index" and grades our response to 17 tsunamis that have occurred since 2004.More