Emergency and Disaster Management week in review for the week of February 29, 2016.
The latest police shootings in Utah and North Carolina have sparked public protests. In Utah, officers reportedly shot and killed a 17-year-old male. Currently, the Salt Lake City Police Department is still withholding video footage of a fatal shooting from this weekend, pending investigation. In Raleigh, NC, a police officer shot and killed a suspect who was trying to evade arrest on Monday. These incidents are the latest in a string of police shootings in recent months ~ in Ferguson, MO, Chicago, San Francisco ~ that entered the public spotlight and resulted in widespread protests.
Guarding against cyber attacks
The federal government took steps to warn U.S. utilities of the potential for cyber attacks after a detailed investigation of the attack on Ukraine's power grid in December 2015. Investigators concluded it was the result of Ukranian hackers that utilized sophisticated cyber attack techniques. The director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Michael S. Rogers, said that it is only a matter of when, not if, the U.S. will see a major attack on critical power infrastructure.
Federal aid for weather disasters
Two states have received federal aid following severe weather that caused widespread and devastating impacts, South Carolina and Georgia. In South Carolina, flooding damages reached $1.2 billion dollars during initial estimates, destroying dams, bridges, roads, and agricultural crops. In Georgia, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in 33 Georgia counties due to severe storms that hit the state in late 2015 and early 2016.
U.S. bridges need work
A new report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) pointed out that there are 58,500 structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. right now. According to the ARTBA, approximately 9.5 percent of the more than 610,000 bridges in the U.S. are structurally deficient, and vehicles cross the deficient structures more than 200 million times a day. Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma have the most structurally deficient bridges, the ARTBA report noted.