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The Lead

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanche Continues to Rise

March 2, 2015 3:51 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

 An Afghan provincial official says that the death toll from a massive avalanche in a mountainous valley near the capital Kabul rose to 198 as bulldozers and other machinery began clearing roads and rescue teams were able to reach remote villages that have been cut off for almost a week.

United Nations Urges Persistence in Ebola Fight

March 2, 2015 3:31 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The United Nations is urging donors, organizations and countries fighting Ebola in West Africa...

Avalanches in Northeastern Afghanistan Kill at Least 165

February 26, 2015 9:27 am | by Amir Shah and Rahim Faiez, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan...

More Harsh Winter Weather in South, Record Snow in Boston

February 26, 2015 9:16 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

States of emergency were declared and schools were closed ahead of wintry weather mix that hit ...

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U.S. Government Contracts with Quebec Biotech Company to Make Anti-Ebola Drug

February 26, 2015 8:57 am | by Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press | News | Comments

A Quebec City biotech company has been awarded a contract to make a ZMapp-like product to fight Ebola.  The U.S. government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority issued a contract to make monoclonal Ebola antibodies to Medicago.

New Restrictions Considered as Drought Continues in California

February 18, 2015 1:54 pm | by Fenit Nirappil, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials are considering new water restrictions as California's drought drags on, possibly forcing residents to ask for water at restaurants and for fresh towels and sheets at hotels.  The State Water Resources Control Board floated the ideas at an informational hearing Tuesday as it considers extending and expanding mandatory water-use rules.

Mid-Atlantic, South Hit by Ice Storm

February 17, 2015 11:42 am | by Jonathan Drew and Mitch Weiss, Associated Press | News | Comments

A snow and ice storm blasted parts of the Mid-Atlantic and the South on Tuesday, creating treacherous road conditions and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.  Officials urged people to stay off the roads in several states, but wrecks were reported along slick streets.

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West Virginia Train Derails, Causes Fires, Threatens Water Supply

February 17, 2015 11:35 am | by John Raby and Jonathan Mattise, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Fires burned for hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm in West Virginia, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said.

Maintenance Workers Who Sparked Fire Never Called 911

February 12, 2015 9:46 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Maintenance workers who sparked a fire that left about 500 residents of a northern New Jersey apartment complex homeless never called 911 for help, documents showed.  A review of dispatch logs and 911 tapes revealed no record of any employee alerting authorities as the Avalon Bay blaze, which started when two workers tried to fix a leaky pipe, grew into an inferno on Jan. 21 in Edgewater.

Wildfire Forces Evacuation of 250 Residents in California

February 9, 2015 3:02 pm | by Michelle Rindels, Associated Press | News | Comments

Fire crews increased containment of the wind-driven wildfire that ravaged communities along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, but they said that they still didn't know when the roughly 250 residents evacuated from Swall Meadows and nearby Paradise would be able to return home.

Testing for Ebola Drug Stopped as Cases Decline

February 5, 2015 10:21 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Doctors Without Borders says that human testing on a potential Ebola drug is being stopped because there aren't enough patients because of a decline in Ebola cases.  The drop-off in Ebola infections is good news for Liberia, but it means there are not enough sick people to take part in the study.

Human Testing of Potential Ebola Vaccine Begins in Liberia

February 3, 2015 11:32 am | by Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Large-scale human testing of two potential Ebola vaccines got under way in Liberia's capital Monday, part of a global effort to prevent a repeat of the epidemic that has now claimed nearly 9,000 lives in West Africa.  There is currently no licensed treatment for Ebola, a ghastly virus that has killed at least 60 percent of even its hospitalized victims.

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Diesel Fuel Spill Leaves 12,000 Without Drinking Water

January 26, 2015 10:38 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A diesel fuel spill has left about 12,000 people in southeastern West Virginia without drinking water.  The city of Lewisburg says an estimated 3,975 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into a tributary of the Greenbrier River when a tanker truck overturned on Route 92.

Cancer-Causing Agent Found in Water Samples from Montana Town

January 21, 2015 4:09 pm | by MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Eastern Montana residents rushed to stock up on bottled water Tuesday after authorities detected a cancer-causing component of oil in public water supplies downstream of a Yellowstone River pipeline spill.  Elevated levels of benzene were found in water samples from a treatment plant that serves about 6,000 people in the agricultural community of Glendive, near North Dakota.

At Least 14 Dead After Tropical Storm in Madagascar

January 20, 2015 11:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

At least 14 people were killed when the island nation of Madagascar was battered by a tropical storm, officials said.  Tropical storm Chedza has displaced more than 36,000 Madagascans, said the National Office of Risk and Catastrophe Management. Most of the deaths were a result of landslides caused by heavy rain and building collapses as strong winds tore roofs from houses.

FEMA's PrepareAthon Discussed at ACP Meeting

January 16, 2015 11:18 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

The New York Metro Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners hosted its first meeting of 2015 on Thursday, Jan. 15 at Metropolitan College of New York.  The event featured a presentation by FEMA’s Eric Goldman, who discussed America’s PrepareAthon, an initiative that invites individuals, businesses and community organizations to participate in disaster planning and drills.  

Flooding in Mozambique Kills 10, Displaces 20,000

January 16, 2015 9:58 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

eavy flooding in Mozambique has killed 10 people and displaced nearly 20,000 more, the government disaster management office said.  Mozambique's government Monday issued a red alert for disaster readiness for the central and northern provinces. The government also urged people in low-lying areas to find shelter on higher ground.

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Wildfire 'Out of Control' in Southern Australia

January 6, 2015 8:07 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

More than two dozen homes have been destroyed or badly damaged and almost 30 people have sought medical treatment as a result of a massive wildfire that has raged out of control for days across farms and woodland in southern Australia, officials said.

Lessons Learned About Ebola in 2014

January 2, 2015 10:51 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

It's been nearly 40 years since Ebola first appeared on our radar, and in those years nearly two dozen outbreaks have occurred.  In 2014, the catastrophic and ongoing West African outbreak has taught the world a number of things about this deadly disease.

Recovery Begins After Tornado Strikes South

December 26, 2014 9:50 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Tornadoes killed four people in southwest Mississippi on Tuesday as a storm system kicked off twisters across the region.  The storm cut power to 4,100 members of the Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association, but power was restored to the last 450 customers — whose homes were dark Christmas morning — by 3 p.m., said Kurt Brautigam, spokesman for the power association.

At Least Nine Killed in Sri Lanka Mudslide

December 26, 2014 9:23 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

At least nine people were killed in mudslides triggered by heavy rains in the central hills of Sri Lanka, officials said.  More than 60,000 people have been evacuated and 3,000 homes destroyed as floods and mudslides have covered many parts of the Indian Ocean island in the last four days, disaster officials said.

Despite Some Success, 2014 a Rough Year for Public Health

December 23, 2014 11:18 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Health officials are celebrating some important victories in 2014, and Time magazine even named Ebola fighters the persons of the year. Nevertheless, this was a black-eye year for public health.  Some vital vaccines did not work well. Federal laboratories were careless with dangerous pathogens. And international health officials failed to stop a West Africa outbreak from exploding into the worst Ebola epidemic ever.

Mudslide Blocks Freeway as Storms Continue in California

December 18, 2014 3:40 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The latest in a string of storms noisily marched across Southern California, hurling lightning bolts, coating mountains with snow and unleashing downpours that triggered a freeway-blocking mudslide before mostly moving on.  California has been hit hard by rain and snow over the past week, but experts say it will take many storms to end a three-year drought.

California Begins Cleaning Up Storm Damage

December 16, 2014 8:07 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Californians cleaned up from a major storm that soaked the drought-stricken state before moving east to drop rain on the Southwest.  Perhaps the biggest job was in Camarillo, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where a Friday mudslide besieged houses, making 13 uninhabitable. The debris flowed down a hillside burned by wildfire last year.

Death Toll at 56 After More Bodies Recovered in Indonesia Mudslides

December 15, 2014 4:07 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The death toll from a mudslide that flattened much of a village in central Indonesia rose to 51 on Monday before rain forced rescuers to halt their search for dozens of missing people, officials said.  Police rescue coordinator Lt. Col. Wika Hardiyanto said 11 bodies were recovered Monday, raising the confirmed toll to 51.

Philippines Braces for Typhoon Hagupit

December 5, 2014 9:41 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Villagers in the central Philippines fled coastal homes and sparked panic-buying in grocery stores and gas stations as an approaching powerful storm brought back nightmares of last year's deadly onslaught from Typhoon Haiyan.  Government forecasters said Typhoon Hagupit was packing sustained winds of 127 miles per hour and gusts of up to 149 mph over the Pacific.

Sierra Leone to Get More Ebola Treatment Beds, Still Understaffed

December 2, 2014 9:29 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Sierra Leone will soon see a dramatic increase in desperately needed Ebola treatment beds, but it's still not clear who will staff them, according to the top United Nations official in the fight against the disease.  Ebola has sickened more than 16,000 people of whom nearly 7,000 have died, according to figures released by the World Health Organization.

Residents Concerned that Mining Operation is Causing Hazardous Coal Dust

December 2, 2014 8:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Some residents who live near the largest surface coal mine east of the Mississippi River are concerned that dust from the operation could be hazardous and are urging state and federal officials to take action.  At least a dozen people have complained to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management since 2012 that dust from Peabody Energy's Bear Run Mine  has covered their property.

Speaker's Soapbox: William Marotz of Schneider National, Inc.

November 25, 2014 11:31 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

William Marotz,  Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity Coordinator for logistics company Schneider National, Inc., will give a presentation called "Orange Trucks and Wild Tornadoes - A Case Study."  His presentation will be a case study of an April, 2012 tornado that struck Schneider's operating center in Dallas, Texas focusing on the company's actions before and after the disaster.

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