December 3, 2013 | 0 comments

Francisco Sanchez is the liaison to the director of the Harris County, Texas, Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM), Judge Ed Emmett. The office is responsible for disaster preparedness and response in the region. Sanchez also acts as the public information officer for OHSEM. In this edited Q&A with Emergency Management Magazine, Sanchez addresses lessons learned from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the sue of social media:

December 3, 2013 | 0 comments

In October 2012, shortly after Hurricane Sandy caused devastation to several states along the Eastern Seaboard, President Barack Obama created a high-level federal team representing 24 agencies to consider a long-term recovery strategy for the states most affected. The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force was charged with preparing a report with recommendations on its findings with specific instructions to think ahead and consider long-term needs for the vulnerable Atlantic Coast states. And to recommend ways to reduce not only the devastation but also the high costs likely with respect to future disaster events. After working for roughly six months, the task force issued its report in August and also made plans to track the implementation actions by agencies and to work on ways to reduce the future federal outlays for future major weather events. Among the special features of this endeavor is the first-time use of an executive order to require 24 federal agencies to consider the long-term recovery process; the task force effort was linked with ongoing White House directives to deal with climate change and to foster more resilient communities; and follow-up processes were included to implement the recommendations provided by the report:

December 2, 2013 | 0 comments

Tune in and learn from our outstanding guests and Dr. Sam Hancock, Director and Host of The EmeraldPlanet at 6:30 - 7:30 P.M. (Eastern); 5:30 - 6:30 P.M. (Central); 4:30 - 5:30 P.M. (Western); and 3:30 - 4:30 P.M. (Pacific); and 1:30 - 2:30 P.M. (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time) time zones.

If you wish to watch the program live on-line anywhere on the planet just go to: and click on The EmeraldPlanet “Watch Live on the Web” during the exact broadcast hour of 6:30 P.M. U.S. ET - 7:30 P.M. U.S. ET SHARP!

December 2, 2013 | 0 comments

AfriGadget is a website dedicated to showcasing African ingenuity. A team of bloggers and readers contribute their pictures, videos and stories from around the continent. The stories of innovation are inspiring. It is a testament to Africans bending the little they have to their will, using creativity to overcome life’s challenges.

AfriGadget’s Editors:

Erik Hersman
Founder of AfriGadget, Erik grew up in Sudan and Kenya. He is a passionate advocate of change, brought about through the use of technology.
Personal blog – WhiteAfrican

Steve Mugiri (Ntwiga)
One of the most dedicated editors ensuring top quality content is always top of mind. He has a strong business management and technology background. Steve has sourced some of the most popular stories on AfriGadget to date.
Personal blog – Ntwiga

Juliana Chebet
One of the founding AfriGadget editors. A Kenyan with an engineering degree and a heart for solar power, currently living in Chicago. She is committed to making AfriGadget an even greater success.
Personal blog – Afromusing

Juergen Eichholz (jke)
A water & sanitation engineer who grew up in Japan, Germany and Kenya. Came up with the word Gadgetimoja which Erik turned into AfriGadget. Juergen has a knack for finding interesting stories that go beyond the normal found on AfriGadget.
Personal blog –...

November 26, 2013 | 0 comments

Nationally accepted standards for building design and construction, public shelters, and emergency communications can significantly reduce deaths and the steep economic costs of property damage caused by tornadoes. That is the key conclusion of a two-year technical investigation by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) into the impacts of the 22 May 2011 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri. The recommendations are featured in a draft report issued for public comment today and announced at a press briefing held at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. A NIST release reports that the NIST study is the first to scientifically assess the impact of a tornado in four major categories: tornado characteristics, building performance, human behavior and emergency communication — and the impact of each on life-safety, the ability to protect people from injury or death. It also is the first to recommend that standards and model codes be developed and adopted for designing buildings to better resist tornadoes: