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The Lead

Water Scarcity Could Become an Emerging Topic for BC Pros

April 23, 2015 1:38 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

The 2015 Continuity Insights closed on Wednesday, April 22 with Nathaniel Forbes of Forbes Calamity Prevention discussing the impact of water scarcity and thirst.  Forbes discussed potential consequences of water scarcity, including terrorism, supply chain disruption and competitive advantage

Chandler Says Leadership is Critical in Avoiding Ethical Disasters

April 22, 2015 8:30 pm | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

Dr. Robert Chandler, Director of the Nicholson School of Communications at the University of...

Study links swarm of quakes in Texas to natural gas drilling

April 22, 2015 5:53 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

With real-time monitors, scientists have linked a swarm of small earthquakes west of Fort Worth...

Unseasonal Rainstorm Kills at Least 32 in Eastern India

April 22, 2015 5:41 pm | by Indrajit Singh, Associated Press | News | Comments

An unseasonable storm with heavy rain and hail killed at least 32 people, injured more than a...

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Weekly news and features for business continuity professionals

EU Charges Russia's Gazprom Gas Giant with Market Abuse

April 22, 2015 5:36 pm | by Raf Casert, Associate Press | News | Comments

The European Union on charged Russian state energy giant Gazprom of abusing its dominant position in central and eastern EU nations in an antitrust case that will further test tense relations between Brussels and Moscow.  EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Gazprom is strong-arming customer nations where it sometimes almost fully controls the gas market, by setting unfair pricing and contract restrictions.

Chinese Officials Blame Chemical Plant Bosses for Explosion

April 22, 2015 5:29 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

China's work safety watchdog blamed an explosion at a chemical plant in southeast China this month on the factory's management and failings in local government supervision.  The April 6 blast and ensuing hydrocarbon fire at the paraxylene plant in Fujian province left six people hospitalized and renewed discussion on China's social media about the potential dangers of factories that produce the toxic chemical.

Almonds Get Roasted in Debate Over California Water Use

April 21, 2015 12:26 pm | by Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press | News | Comments

California almonds are becoming one of the world's favorite snacks and creating a multibillion-dollar bonanza for agricultural investors. But the crop extracts a staggering price from the land, consuming more water than all the showering, dish-washing and other indoor household water use of California's 39 million people.

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One Dead in Taiwan from Fire Sparked by Quake off South Japan

April 21, 2015 12:24 pm | by Associate Press | News | Comments

 A strong undersea earthquake struck between Taiwan and southern Japan, sparking a house fire that killed a person outside of Taiwan's capital and causing Japanese authorities to evacuate some schoolchildren as a tsunami precaution.  

California Measles Outbreak Over

April 21, 2015 12:21 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

California health authorities declared an end to a large measles outbreak in the U.S. that started at Disneyland and triggered a broader debate about vaccinations.  Disease detectives for months raced to contain the highly contagious disease, which surfaced at Disney theme parks in December and spread to a half-dozen U.S. states, Mexico and Canada.

Tornado Kills Two, Leaves 1,000 Homeless in Southern Brazil

April 21, 2015 12:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities say two people have been killed and 1,000 have been left homeless by a tornado that struck a southern Brazilian city. The state of Santa Catarina's civil defense department said that the vast storm that blew through the city of Xanxere Monday night damaged about 500 homes. Lampposts were knocked down, and the strong winds flipped vehicles over and blew off the roofs of homes.

Positive Communication Increasing Resilience at Kaiser Permanente

April 16, 2015 11:46 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

Communication is a critical part of any business.  Poor communication, whether it is between managers and subordinates or peers, can negatively impact a business and result in lost time and money.  By promoting positive communications throughout the organization, companies can engage their workforce and create an efficient work environment.

Avalution Releases Emergency Notification Surveys and Expanded Customization Features for Catalyst Business Continuity Software

April 16, 2015 11:38 am | Avalution Consulting | Product Releases | Comments

Avalution Consulting  announced  the release of two new features for the Catalyst business continuity software suite – Bullhorn emergency notification surveys and the ability to further customize Catalyst by adding new fields.

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Anthem Subsidiaries Face Missouri Lawsuit Over Data Breach

April 16, 2015 11:32 am | by Jim Suhr, Associated Press | News | Comments

A lawsuit first filed in February in St. Louis County on behalf of a Richmond, Missouri, woman was amended  to add three plaintiffs who allege personal data stolen during the breach in December or January is responsible for fraudulent tax returns filed in their name, costing them a combined $6,753 in refunds.

Japanese Court Rejects Bid to Restart Two Nuclear Reactors

April 16, 2015 11:23 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

 A court issued an injunction ordering two nuclear reactors in western Japan to stay offline, rejecting regulators' safety approval of the reactors' planned restart later this year, a decision that could further delay the government's restart plans.

Unseasonable Rain Causes Heartache for Many Indian Farmers

April 16, 2015 11:20 am | by Biswajeet Banerjee, Associated Press | News | Comments

April is usually a time of celebration for millions of farmers across northern India. The winter wheat crop is ready to be harvested, and there's money to clear past debts and plan future planting.  This year, however, unseasonable rain and hailstorms in March destroyed millions of acres of farmland in the region.

NIST Framework Can Help Business Continuity Professionals Prepare for Cyber Attacks

April 14, 2015 11:37 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

Serious, targeted cyber attacks are a relatively new threat that have become more and more dangerous as organizations rely more on technology to store their data and operate their business on a day-to-day basis. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Framework contains a set of guidelines and best practices to help prevent and defend against cyber attacks.

Can Metrics Measure Recoverability?

April 14, 2015 11:30 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

As metrics continue to gain popularity amongst business continuity professionals, individual practitioners are beginning to develop their own methods for measuring program effectiveness, recovery and resilience.  David Lindstedt, Director of Program Management at the Ohio State University, said he thinks the industry should move its focus away from counting the amount of programs and towards predicting recoverability.

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Power Outages Create Serious Continuity Problems

April 14, 2015 11:12 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

With new cyber threats and complex supply chain resilience on the minds of business continuity professionals more than ever, it can be hard to focus on the disruptions that they have been dealing with for years.  Some of the simplest issues can cause the biggest problems and few things cause headaches for BC pros like power outages.

Residents Allowed to Return to Tornado-Hit Illinois Town

April 14, 2015 10:57 am | by Kerry Lester, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Residents of a small northern Illinois farming community that took a direct hit from a half-mile-wide tornado were allowed back into the area to assess damage and salvage what they could.  In all, some 70 buildings were destroyed or damaged in Fairdale, authorities said. Another 50 buildings were hit in nearby Rochelle.

Millions Facing Higher Premium Rates for Flood Insurance

April 14, 2015 10:52 am | by Frank Eltman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A $24 billion sea of red ink has millions of Americans in vulnerable flood zones, including homeowners still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy, facing steep increases in flood insurance premiums.  New legislation that went into effect this month — the second time in two years Congress has tweaked the troubled National Flood Insurance Program — allows rate increases of up to 18 percent.

Siberian Fires Sweep Through Villages, Kill 15

April 14, 2015 10:47 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Out-of-control agricultural fires have killed at least 15 people, injured hundreds more and destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 homes in Siberia, authorities said.  The fires were started in Khakassia, a region in southeastern Siberia, by farmers burning the grass in their fields, but spread quickly because of strong winds.

Trial Begins over Turkey's Mine Disaster that Killed 301

April 14, 2015 10:46 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Forty-five managers and employees of a mine in the western Turkish town of Soma, went on trial accused of causing the deaths of 301 miners who perished in a fire last year in Turkey's worst mining disaster.  Inspection reports said the coal had been smoldering for days before the May 13 disaster, releasing toxic gases.

Power station blast in Maryland causes outages across DC

April 9, 2015 11:38 am | by Ben Nuckols, Associated Press | News | Comments

Widespread power outages affected the White House, the Capitol, museums, train stations and other sites across Washington and its suburbs Tuesday afternoon — all because of an explosion at a Maryland power station, officials said.  Many of the outages were brief, but some were longer and forced evacuations.

Five years after BP spill, industry touts ability to respond

April 9, 2015 11:34 am | by Cain Burdeau, Associated Press | News | Comments

 An oil consortium says an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico today can be cleaned up far faster than five years ago when BP's Macondo well blew out off the coast of Louisiana, spawning America's worst offshore oil spill.  It took BP and the industry's best containment technology 87 days to contain the deep-water blowout.

Californians celebrate rain, snow from rare spring storm

April 9, 2015 11:25 am | by Robert Jablon and Kristin Bender, Associated Press | News | Comments

The storm that had doused Northern California arrived in Southern California on Tuesday night, bringing mostly light but necessary rainfall across much of the region.  Thousands were without power for several hours because of the storm.  

Middle America Braces for Strong Storms, Possible Tornadoes

April 9, 2015 11:12 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The conditions are ripe for a series of storms to gain strength and buffet Middle America over the next two days, with hail and tornadoes possible in parts of the nation's geographic heartland, forecasters warned. Areas that don't see strong storms could see heavy rain instead.

Looking Back: Five Worst Airline Disasters of 2014

April 7, 2015 11:48 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

The downing of Germanwings flight A320 has once again brought aviation disasters into the limelight.  While still very rare, plane crashes are attention grabbing because of their scope and scale.  Last year saw several incidents that dominated news coverage.  Here are five of the worst airline crashes of 2014.

Crash Pilot's Profile Prompts Questions, Deep Unease

April 7, 2015 10:51 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

The profile that has emerged of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz has become more troubling by the day.  In the hours after Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps two weeks ago, Lubitz was regarded as one of 150 victims in an unexplained disaster. Two days later he was the prime suspect of an unfathomable act.

36 Dead, Dozens Hurt as Storms Lash Bangladesh

April 7, 2015 10:38 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Separate tropical storms that have swept through parts of Bangladesh have left at least 36 people dead and scores injured.  Media reports said that the casualties have been recorded since Saturday and that most deaths took place in the northern district of Bogra.

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