10 amazing infographics to help you visualize disasters

Disasters can be man-made or natural, but they all have causes. It can be difficult to understand how or why a disaster occurs, but infographics can be quite useful in visualizing what happens when disaster strikes. Here are 10 infographics that can help you learn more about disasters, and what to expect from them: 1. Death Map USA If you're interested in seeing where deaths due to natural disasters are most likely to occur throughout the United States, Dealth Map USA could help. You can see where hazards such as wildfires, drought, earthquake, hurricane and more are most likely to result in death. An interesting look at where you could be at most risk, especially since it appears that Americans are more likely to die as a result of extreme heat and cold, as opposed to severe weather conditions and dramatic natural disasters. 2. Chernobyl Many people are concerned about the risks associated with nuclear power. One of the reasons is due to the accident at Chernobyl in 1986. This useful infographic presentation takes you through different illustrative slides that describe how Chernobyl happened, and the consequences of the most devastating nuclear accident in history. 3. Columbia Disaster The disaster… (continue reading......)

The 12 costliest computer viruses ever

We're all aware of the havoc that viruses can wreak on our computers. We buy antivirus software. Still, that doesn't guarantee that our computer won't be hijacked by hackers. Such software can help, but there's always a risk. Hackers are always inventing new ways to compromise our computers. The clean-up costs due to damage can be extremely expensive, and millions of dollars can be lost in terms of economic productivity. Of course, some viruses and worms are vastly more expensive than others. Here are the 12 costliest computer viruses and worms we've found: 12. Morris: $10 million Recognized as the first widespread worm/virus on the Internet, the Morris Worm crippled the burgeoning Internet in 1988. Using MIT's systems to hide the fact that he was a Cornell graduate student, Robert Morris released his creation onto the web and infected more than 6,000 computers. Even though Morris meant it to be harmless prank, it turned into a major threat. The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that damages may have cost as much as $10 million. Some individual computers cost more than $53,000 to fix. Ten million isn't much compared to the other viruses on this list, but the Morris worm still… (continue reading......)

9 of the world's most expensive oil spills

In the end, it's possible that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will likely to be the most expensive oil spill to date. Indeed, there are estimates that the spill will cost anywhere between $15 billion and $40 billion - with some estimates reaching more than $100 billion. While the BP spill, which started on April 20, 2010 and still has not been fully contained, will probably be the most expensive oil spill of all time, there are plenty of other oil spills that have cost a pretty penny. Here are some of the most expensive oil spills to date: Exxon Valdez oil spill: $3.8 billion One of the most notorious and expensive oil spills in history is the Exxon Valdez spill took place on March 23, 1989 in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It gushed about 250,000 barrels of oil, and there have been numerous lawsuits against Exxon in the intervening two decades. Originally, Exxon was required to pay $2.5 billion in damages, but a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling reduced that number to a little over $500 million. Many believe that the cost to Exxon exceeded just the punitive settlement. The spill tarnished the… (continue reading......)

Con artists take advantage of tragedy

Some con artists look to profit from tragedy. They come out of the woodwork following a natural disaster when you could be at your most vulnerable. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a non-profit that educates people about insurance companies and insurance fraud, it's common in the aftermath of a disaster for local professionals to go door-to-door to offer help in clean up or to repair damage. But, buyer beware: While many of these contractors are reputable, some aren't. Unscrupulous businesses (or individuals) use various schemes after a natural catastrophe strikes a region. Some of these include overcharging, pocketing upfront payments without doing the work, using shoddy or cheap materials or trying to scam people out of their insurance companies' claim checks. How to avoid con artists after a disaster If you're the victim of fire, earthquake, flood or even an oil spill, make sure you take these precautions before you hire a contractor to clean up the mess: 1. Get two (or more) estimates. 2. Get all repair work in writing and have it signed by the contractor. Ask specific questions about the cost, work detail, time schedule, guarantees and payment schedules. Also, never sign a contract with… (continue reading......)

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