Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Recent Canonization of Mother Teresa Brings Memories, Realizations for IEM CEO

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Author: Madhu Beriwal, President/CEO of IEM

When she learned that Mother Teresa had been declared a saint, IEM CEO Madhu Beriwal was taken back to memories from her childhood, which brought home a powerful realization of the impact that Mother Teresa has had on her life. What follows are Madhu’s reflections after hearing this news on September 4, 2016. 

Mother-Theresa-wikipedia.orgI met Mother Teresa in the 1960s. She was famous in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and well-known in India, but word of her ministry had not yet traversed around the world. When I say “met,” it is both saying too much and too little. The all-girls school I attended in Calcutta (sorry, old habits die hard) raised money for her charity and she came to collect it.

Truthfully, we enjoyed raising the money. The school held a fete, a fair, with games, crafts, and food. Parents and siblings attended. A good time was had by all. It seemed almost incidental that the money raised would be given to Mother Teresa.

So, she came. Several hundred girls stood at attention in the Assembly Hall. As was usual, they fidgeted and moved, their regulation shoes creating a high rustling sound. Starched white uniforms moved stiffly, adding their own sound to the low cacophony. (more…)

Crude Oil Derailments Continue – Are You Prepared?

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

trainderailmentAuthor: David Willauer, Transportation Manager, IEM

Another train transporting crude oil derailed yesterday, this time in downtown Lynchburg, VA, resulting in a large fire and oil spill on the James River. CSX reported 15 tank cars derailed on a train traveling from Chicago to Virginia, four of which breached and caught fire. While there were no injuries reported, a half-mile evacuation was ordered by local officials.

Crude oil train derailments are occurring with alarming regularity in North America, and this trend is likely to continue. Advances in methods of extracting oil from shale formations in North Dakota and Canada have led to a dramatic surge in North American oil production. With gaps in the pipeline network connecting production facilities to U.S. oil refineries, producers are relying on rail carriers to transport significant amounts of crude oil to meet this new demand. U.S. freight railroads have carried more than 400,000 carloads of crude oil in 2013 compared to 9,500 carloads in 2008. With this level of crude oil transport continuing for the foreseeable future, it is critical that local officials prepare to respond to these types of incidents.

hazardsignHigher Flammability of Bakken Shale Oil
Bakken Shale Oil is more volatile than other crude oil, increasing the probability of incidents we have seen in Quebec, Alabama, North Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, and now Virginia. (more…)

Emergency Specialist Reflects On Life’s Work During Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (Podcast)

Monday, August 26th, 2013
Madhu Beriwal cutting Ribbon at IEM Opening Ceremony

Madhu Beriwal (on right cutting the ribbon) when headquarters were moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

By Nicole Campbell and Frank Stasio
Reprinted from http://wunc.org/programs/state-things

listen to podcast Listen (47:24)

Host Frank Stasio talks with Beriwal about her life and research in emergency management.

In 1985, Madhu Beriwal was conducting hurricane research for the state of Louisiana. She charted possible directions and outcomes that different storm conditions would bring to New Orleans. Looking at [a hurricane atlas she developed]  in 2005, Beriwal said it almost perfectly predicted the severity of Hurricane Katrina.

Today Beriwal heads IEM, a private emergency response company that focuses on homeland security, natural disasters and evacuation support. The State of Things host, Frank Stasio, talks with Madhu Beriwal about her life and research in emergency management.

listen to podcast  Listen to the podcast. (47:24)

Quebec Oil Train Disaster – It Could Happen in Your Town

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The train explosion involving a 73-car crude oil unit train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on July 6 serves as a sobering example of what can happen in your town.

The train’s oil was being transported from the Bakken Oil Region in North Dakota to New Brunswick to be refined. The incident occurred just 10 miles from the Maine border.

Rail shipments of crude oil are on the increase because of limited pipeline capacity in the Bakken region and in Canada. Unit trains carrying crude oil are traversing urban areas across the United States and Canada because our cities were connected years ago by railroads. In some cases, unit trains are blocking off entire portions of some urban areas because they can only unload so many cars at a time. (more…)