Problems in CO with FEMA Trying to Recoup Payouts

I have written extensively about the problems with post-Sandy flood assistance and insurance payouts, but now here is a similar problems in CO. The good news is the elected officials are working to get the problem solved without a lot of yelling and screaming and political rancor. See Protecting natural Disaster Victims from Unfair treatment.


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MA Requests Pres. Declaration for its Record Snowfall

Massachusetts Governor Asks for Snow Disaster Declaration. March 27.

Gov. Charlie Baker formally asked the federal government on Friday to declare a disaster in 10 Massachusetts counties after a relentless series of winter storms brought record snowfall and frigid temperatures, causing 25 deaths and costing the state and its cities and towns an estimated $400 million.
The request was made in a 22-page letter to President Barack Obama, delivered through the acting regional administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Citing an “unprecedented and disastrous pattern of severe winter weather,” the letter seeks 75 percent federal reimbursement for snow removal and other costs related to the storms, which Baker is asking FEMA and the president to treat as a single, monthlong disaster.

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CA Earthquakes – guaranteed!

California nearly guaranteed to get major earthquake in next 30 years
The probability California will experience a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next couple of decades has increased, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

CBS San Francisco reported the Third Uniform California Rupture Forecast, or UCERF3, sheds new light on where earthquakes will likely hit in California over the next couple of decades and how big they’re expected to be.

“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” said lead author and USGS scientist Ned Field. “This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”

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Some Reflections on Digital Learning

In the Age of Info, specializing to survive.

“We are overloaded with junk,” said Daniel Levitin, a professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience at McGill University whose books include “The Organized Mind.” “It’s becoming harder and harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. The problem with the Internet is anyone can post, so it’s hard to know whether you are looking at a fact or pseudofact, science or pseudoscience.”

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What Will Happen in States Where Governors are Climate Change Deniers?

See this article from the conservative newspaper, Washington Times: FEMA targets climate change skeptic governors, could withhold funding; New rules put Rick Scott [FL], Bobby Jindal [LA], Chris Christie [NJ], Pat McCrory [NC] Greg Abbott[TX] in bind. [The Diva filled in the states for the benefit of readers in other countries. All are coastal states with a history of  frequent flooding.]

Excerpts from the article:

The Obama administration has issued new guidelines that could make it harder for governors who deny climate change to obtain federal disaster-preparedness funds.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new rules could put some Republican governors in a bind. The rules say that states’ risk assessments must include “consideration of changing environmental or climate conditions that may affect and influence the long-term vulnerability from hazards in the state.”

The policy, which goes into effect in March 2016, doesn’t affect federal money for relief after a hurricane, flood, or other natural disaster. But states seeking disaster preparedness money from Washington will be required to assess how climate change threatens their communities, a requirement that wasn’t included in FEMA’s 2008 guidelines.

Posted in FEMA, mitigation | 4 Comments

Costs of Disasters Globally Expected to Escalate

Natural Disasters Could Cost $750 Billion Annually in 15 Years: AIR Study. Some excerpts:

Economic losses from global natural catastrophes likely will triple over the next 15 years, unless steps are taken to reduce bad development choices, according to preliminary results of a catastrophe modeling study presented at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.

The study, which was conducted by the Boston-based modeling firm AIR Worldwide, examines the trend of growing economic losses from global natural catastrophes by looking at nearly 20 years of historical events.

Here is the direct link to AIR Worldwide and here is a link to their Infographic.


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New Recovery Agency in Queensland, Australia

Queensland to create permanent disaster recovery agency. New body to get $30m annual funding to deal with aftermath of increased number of severe natural disasters caused by climate change.

The Queensland government is to establish Australia’s first permanent disaster recovery agency to deal with a future of more extreme cyclones and floods brought on by climate change.

Deputy premier Jackie Trad said it was inevitable that Queensland, which already “bears the brunt of most of the natural disasters that beset Australia”, would face more catastrophes, more often.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority – originally set up to deal with the 2011 floods, rated by the World Bank as Australia’s largest natural disaster of recent years – was due to wind up in June.
The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming
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But Trad said new laws before parliament this week would make the agency – currently dealing with the aftermath of 14 natural disasters between 2013 and 2014 alone – a permanent arm of government costing about $30m a year.

Note from the Diva: Queensland is one of six states in Australia. (I had to look it up.)  I am not aware of any state in the U.S. that has created an agency to deal with recovery.

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