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IPCC Issues 3rd Report on Climate Change

April 22, 2014

It is hard to keep up with the many reports and the various versions of the International Panel on Climate Change. I defer to this description from the HSDL about them.  See this tidy summary: IPCC Releases Working Group III’s Report on Climate Change

New Type of Threat – a Creeping Landslide

April 22, 2014

This article about Jackson, WY provides an interesting look at the phemonemon of a landslide, since one can watch this one as it occurs in slow motion.  See;:Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town

As is true of the fast moving landslide, as recently experienced by Oso, Washington, questions about whether or not such events are triggered by man-made actions abound.

Feds Have a Change in Mind for Sandy Recovery Money for NJ and NY

April 21, 2014

I just posted an article about what the new mayor of NYC has in mind to expedite the recovery from H. Sandy. It notes that the mayor  was assuming not only the federal dollars pledged to date but was planning to request another $1B to accomplish the expeditious actions he outlined.

Today in the Wall St. Journal, an article suggested that not only will the states of NY and NJ not get more money, they will not get the full amount allocated to date.  I invite corrections if I am wrong. See: More Than $1 Billion in Superstorm Sandy Aid Could Leave Region; New York, New Jersey Lawmakers Call for Disaster Relief to Remain in Area. Here are some excerpts:

More Than $1 Billion in Superstorm Sandy Aid Could Leave Region New York, New Jersey Lawmakers Call for Disaster Relief to Remain in Area By Laura Kusisto and Josh Dawsey Wall Street Journal April 20, 2014

Federal officials are considering spending more than $1 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion of rebuilding aid on disasters other than superstorm Sandy, money that New York and New Jersey are banking on to finish repairs to thousands of homes and complete major infrastructure projects.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is in charge of distributing the aid, believes that spreading the funds around to disasters other than Sandy is required by federal law, according to people familiar with the matter. New York officials dispute that interpretation.

Note that HUD is responsible for managing the Community Development Block Grant funds, which make up the lion’s share of the recovery money from H. Sandy.


Thanks to Tom Antush for pointing out this article and link.

NYC Promises To Expedite Sandy Recovery

April 21, 2014

From the Wall St. Journal: New York Mayor Pledges to Fix City’s Sandy Recovery Programs. Some excerpts:

At least 500 New York City homes damaged by superstorm Sandy would be rebuilt and 500 reimbursement checks would be issued to storm victims by the end of this summer, under a new recovery plan outlined by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday.

“We want to put forward clear, strong goals, and we want to be held to them,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference on Staten Island. “I’m holding myself accountable, and the whole team accountable…. If we’re not reaching people tangibly, we’re not doing our job.”

Mr. de Blasio released a 33-page report that his aides described as an overhaul of the city’s Sandy recovery programs. They see it as an official reset in the wake of complaints from frustrated storm victims and elected officials who say City Hall has been heavy on promises and short on results.

To date, the city has been awarded $3.22 billion in federal “community development block grant disaster relief” funding, including $1.45 billion specifically for the city’s Build it Back program, which serves homeowners, owners of rental buildings and low-income renters.

Aides to the mayor said all of the new initiatives are fully funded, but the city is seeking an additional $1 billion from the federal government for other Sandy-related needs.

Note that his plans include another major cash infusion from the federal government.


Additional articles about H. Sandy recovery are available from this HSDL site.

Emergency Medicine– positive learning after Boston Marathon Bombing

April 18, 2014

It is always good to see that tragic events can result in positive outcomes and better readiness for the future. See: A year after marathon bombs, Boston hospitals apply lessons learned

Two more sources of info:

Podcast: Response to Boston Marathon Bombing from the National Association of County & City Health Officials. In NACCHO’S latest podcast, staff member Ian Goldstein interviews Director for the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Boston Public Health Commission Atyia Martin. Listen as they discuss the health response to the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Strong Medicine: the Healing Response to the 2013 Marathon Bombing. Harvard University Center for the History of Medicine is collecting and sharing images, stories and more from the medical community’s experience of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. They are currently seeking content that will be held by the Center, as well as shared on their website.






Retro Report – video re earthquake readiness

April 17, 2014

Promises of Preparedness followed Devastation Earthquake and Yet…

This posting from the NYT Retro Report on the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake generated several comments from readers.

(1) Jay Wilson of Oregon noted that it prominently features Oregon’s influence from the California experience and also has Dennis Mileti discussing social science and preparedness.

(2) From several readers affiliated with the Natural Hazards Mitigation Association, these comments:Our thanks to Janiele Maffei and Mariann Knoy from the California Earthquake Authority for supplying information on the California Residential Mitigation Program.  While the article and especially the accompanying video is absolutely splendid, they would have been ever better if they  mentioned that:

  • The California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) conducted a pilot retrofit program called Earthquake Brace + Bolt: Funds to Strengthen Your Foundation in select neighborhoods in Oakland and Los Angles, California. The goal of the Earthquake Brace + Bolt Pilot Program is to decrease the physical and financial damage of earthquakes on soft-story single-family residential houses. A typical retrofit can cost between $2,000 to $10,000 depending upon the size of the house and the amount of work involved. The Pilot Program provides up to $3,000 to pre-qualified homeowners who make simple earthquake retrofits to help protect their largest investment and their loved ones. The pilot is currently under evaluation which will be used to inform program expansion efforts. For more information on the Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program, go on-line to:
  •  Some discussion of the Nisqually Earthquake mitigation efforts under Project Impact which significantly reduced damages following the 2011 quake in Washington State.





Recovery Outcomes in Christchurch, NZ

April 17, 2014

Christchurch has been recovering from a massive earthquake in 2011.  Here are a couple of articles about how victims and those working to help them have been faring in the nearly four years since then.

Thanks to Ian McLean for providing the citation.


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