Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Floods, Robots, Cyber Security, Homelessness

EDM Friday Briefing: Floods, Robots, Cyber Security, Homelessness


Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 11, 2016: Heavy rain leads to severe flooding in the South, people trust robots too much, cyber security spending will spike by 2020, and another city mulls an emergency declaration to deal with homelessness.

  1. At least five people are dead after historic rain storms caused massive floods in the South. The five reported deaths occurred in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. At least 3,500 homes have been evacuated as the hardest-hit places have taken more than 20 inches of rain.
  2. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in 16 parishes due to the severe flooding and sent the National Guard to help with water rescues. In Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant also declared a state of emergency and mobilized the Mississippi National Guard.
  3. A recent study from the Georgia Institute of Technology revealed that people may trust robots too much during human/robot interactions in emergency situations. The research tested whether people would still follow robots that were already proven untrustworthy in emergencies -- and they consistently did.
  4. Cyber security spending across the globe is expected to skyrocket by 2020, according to a recent study. Globally, the cyber security market is estimated to grow to $170 billion by 2020, up from $106 billion in 2015, and is expected to increase roughly 10 percent each year.
  5. South Korea reported yesterday that it has experienced a surge in cyber attacks originating from North Korea in recent weeks. Over the past month, the number of cyber attacks has doubled, South Korea said. Tensions have been high between the two countries since North Korea launched an intercontinental missile/satellite that resulted in sanctions.
  6. San Francisco Supervisor David Campos this week called for a state of emergency to be declared due to homelessness in the city. Campos hopes that a declaration would speed up the opening of additional shelters in the city. San Francisco would be the latest of a number of U.S. regions to declare a state of emergency on homelessness, including Los Angeles, Seattle, and Hawaii.
  7. On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit with a historic triple disaster -- earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant meltdown. Here are some of the staggering numbers associated with the disaster, as reported by the Washington Post: 164,865 Fukushima residents displaced; 97,320 of those 164,865 still haven't returned; 30 percent of electricity generated by nuclear power before the disaster (1.7 percent after); 760,000 metric tons of contaminated water stored at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
  8. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported a record jump in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in 2015. According to the NOAA, CO2 levels increased by 3.05 parts per million last year, which is the largest yearly jump seen in 56 years of research. CO2 remains one of the largest contributors to global warming. The large year-over-year increase in CO2 could be at least partially connected to El Nino, the NOAA said.
  9. The latest in the Apple/FBI battle over unlocking iPhones for criminal investigations involves the government calling out Apple for creating a diversion. In a court filing from yesterday, the government asserts that Apple is deliberately raising technological barriers in an effort to disobey lawful warrants.
  10. Investigators concluded that officers had acted properly when they fatally shot one of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge protestors, LaVoy Finicum, in Oregon in January. Finicum was shot at a police blockade outside of the refuge as officers attempted to apprehend him. Federal officials, however, have opened a separate investigation into apparent shots fired by FBI agents in the confrontation, that had been previously unreported.

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.