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1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.

Galveston TX Hurricanes

Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years
Average Direct hit every 8.63 years

The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents
Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000

The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph
42    people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage

Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States
Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.

Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars

Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history

Nuclear Issues

Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones

Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant

How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown

Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel

Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl

In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert

Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry

Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"

More, Did You Know That


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Emergency Management: Early Intervention Key to Preventing Escalation
Posted on Saturday, July 26 @ 05:57:50 PDT by editor

By: Felix Nater
President, Nater Associates

When anyone hears the term "Workplace Violence" it conjures thoughts of a disgruntled employee or former employee who returns to the workplace exacting his or her displeasure with a vengeance. Usually the scene reported illustrated a person with several guns who entered the workplace, shoots several employees and commits suicide. What is often not discussed is that the "minor incidents" that lead up to the "major incident" or the "act of violence" are precursors that are not mitigated in the early stages, simply because the commitment of resources is an intensive process. Assessing and evaluating such incidents are a requirement under OSHA if employers are to provide for a safe workplace devoid or hazards and other risk factors.

Missing the value of early intervention by supervisors and leaders who can play a significant role in defusing conflict and reducing the potential escalation effectively miss the value of collaboration. Thus, we now know that "Minor Incidents" usually start out with verbal threats that are often missed diagnosed, are allowed to escalate into acts of vandalism and eventually fist fights between employees. That is when the call for action becomes apparent. That is a reactive response rather than a proactive response.

The article that follows articulates the impact of the "minor incidents" on individuals and the workplace, long before they are headline news. Commitment and integration of resources in preventing escalation by aggressively managing the potentially hostile workplace will induce respect and support for the process by employees who view the involvement with credibility.


Get out of the way, Road Rage. Here comes Desk Rage.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Get out of the way, road rage. Here comes desk rage.

Anger in the workplace -- employees and employers who are grumpy, insulting, short-tempered or worse -- is shockingly common and likely growing as Americans cope with woes of rising costs, job uncertainty or overwhelming debt, experts say.

"It runs the gamut from just rudeness up to pretty extreme abusive behaviors," said Paul Spector, professor of industrial and organizational psychology at the University of South Florida. "The severe cases of fatal violence get a lot of press but in some ways this is more insidious because it affects millions of people."

Nearly half of U.S. workers in America report yelling and verbal abuse on the job, with roughly a quarter saying it has driven them to tears, research has shown.

Other research showed one-sixth of workers reported anger at work has led to property damage, while a tenth reported physical violence and fear their workplace might not be safe. "It's a total disaster," said Anna Maravelas, author of "How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress." "Rudeness, impatience, people being angry -- we used to do that kind of stuff at home but at work, we were professional. Now it's almost becoming trendy to do it at work. "It was something we did behind closed doors," she said. "Now people are losing their sense of embarrassment over it."

Contemporary pressures such as rising fuel costs fan the flames, said John Challenger, head of Chicago's Challenger, Gray & Christmas workplace consultants. "People are coming to work after a long commute, sitting in traffic watching their discretionary income burn up. They're ready for a fight or just really upset," he said. Added to that, he said, are financially strapped workers having to cut back on paying for personal pastimes that might serve as an antidote to work pressures.


"That means people come into work after a weekend and they haven't been able to let off any steam," he said.
Spector said his research has found 2 percent to 3 percent of people admit to pushing, slapping or hitting someone at work. With roughly 100 million people in the U.S. work force, he said, that's as many as 3 million people.

Maravelas said she conducted a seminar this week in rural Iowa, where she asked participants if they thought anger was increasing at their workplace.
Everyone raised their hands, she said, which is typically the response she gets. She cited research showing 88 percent of U.S. employees think incivility is rising at work.
"Many of us sense we're losing ground economically and socially. The safety net is unraveling. Hence, anxiety and unease are skyrocketing," she said.
People reassure themselves by blaming others and "find comfort in believing their suffering is caused by a callous, incompetent or selfish organization, leader, supplier, union or regulatory body," she said. The worst offenders are overachievers, said Rachelle Canter, a workplace expert and social psychologist. "The usual profile is Type A, really, really smart, with impossibly high standards they set for themselves as well as for other people.

"They are so invested, I would say maybe over-invested, in success and in everyone being every bit as driven as they are that they just lose their sense of perspective, and they can lash out at other people," said Canter, author of "Make the Right Career Move." But desk rage extends across industry and class lines, from top white-collar jobs to gritty blue-collar work, and companies pay dearly in terms of lost productivity, sagging morale and higher absenteeism, Spector said.

The worst cases end in violence, he said. "Somebody didn't just come to work one day and shoot somebody," Spector said. "There's probably been a pattern of less extreme behaviors leading up to it." (Editing by Michelle Nichols and Bill Trott)

What You Can Do

Employers can take steps to reduce incidents workplace violence and their potential by examining and evaluating practices and procedures and implementing proactive measures to combat the problem. Many businesses do not have the resources and so, seek out the best security consulting firm that can best meet your specific needs. Here are some suggestions I would offer:

- professionalize your background checks on all hires;
- assess the physical security of the workplace to include control access by non-employees to the workplace to the extent feasible;
- as part of the assessment process ask your employees how do they feel about workplace security and safety and if they have ever experienced a related incident;
- adopt policies and implement training programs that support the policy against all types of potentially violent behavior including; zero tolerance of all incidents; consequences for acting out; and, responsibilities for reporting and intervention;
- encourage employees to report incidents and to seek help when needed;
- encourage employees experiencing domestic abuse to report such behavior and to seek the company's help and supportive and assistance in obtaining a restraining order;
- train leaders on threat indicators and spotting danger signs for early intervention;
- train all employees on causes and contributing factors of workplace violence;
- develop crisis management, emergency communications measures and business continuity plans to integrate the response;
- coordinate the workplace violence response plan with law enforcement, medical & mental health to help dealing with a potential situation and the aftermath;
- incorporate employee groups in the prevention process as they wield a tremendous influence;
- lastly, anticipate and plan for potential incidents in advance by conducting desktop simulation exercisers and other drills.

Employing some of the above recommendations will move the company forward towards protecting its self against charges that you did not care or were unprepared. While there is no guarantee that these measures will protect you against workplace violence, they will instill confidence and trust in your workforce.

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Associated Topics

Crisis ManagementEmergency ManagementHuman Concerns

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