Disasters and Faith-Based Organizations

If you are interested in disasters and faith-based organizations, the Diva has started up a new blog on that topic. See: Disasters and Faith.

Suggestions and information about training programs are invited.

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Update on Earthquake Recovery in Christchurch, NZ

Greater Christchurch Recovery report ( 12 pp.) from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. The report is insightful about the transition from short- to long-term recovery and candid about unresolved issues.

Thanks to Ian McLean for the link. As he noted to me “the briefings have rather more life than run-of-the-mill bureaucratic reports. And some of the data is a useful record.”


NOTE: Earlier reports and articles re the earthquake events are stored in the NZ page of this blog.

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“Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts”

New book available from the National Academy of Sciences:
Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coast; 209 pp.

Note that their books can be downloaded free, or you may purchase a hard copy.

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More on the Red Cross – updated

Three recent articles, two of which discuss recent criticism of the Red Cross issued by ProPublica and another that defends the Red Cross, from a philanthropy organization.

  1. Additional details about ProPublica’s complaints about the Red Cross. How Crowdsourcing Helped Bring Red Cross Problems to Light; The ability to reach a much wider universe of sources gives reporters a powerful new tool — if they know which questions to ask.
  2. Internal Survey Shows the Red Cross’ Own Employees Doubt the Charity’s Ethics. Survey results obtained by ProPublica also show a crisis of trust in the charity’s senior leadership.
  3. In defense of the Red Cross: Losing the Red Cross Would be a Real Disaster.
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Some Reflections on Recent Comments

Over the past few days about a dozen people have written comments regarding recovery and blogs. I suggest you read some of the comments that follow the last two postings for details.  Today, I want to briefly highlight two aspects:

On recovery:  At least two people have commented on the problems with the recovery phase at the federal level, noting its “orphan” status and the unwillingness of FEMA, HUD, and Commerce to adopt it, embrace it fully, and treat it kindly in the future.

On the merits of a blog:  Many people still seem to regard a blog  as a popular medium that focuses on superficial or personal expression. From the start of this blog, I have assumed it could be a means of informal education.

I want to show that a blog can provide current, substantive information and commentary. Additionally, I created an index in order to aggregate the serious studies and documents that were done recently and to provide a  ready reference for the past 4 years.

In my view a blog augments textbooks, which take years to produce. It may also be true that an assessment of blog postings could lead to the creation of a new text or guidance document.

In closing, this period of assessment by the Diva and her readers may be tedious to some, but I think it has uncovered a lot of interesting information. And The Diva appreciates the kind comments and support from loyal readers.


On Being a Temperamental Diva

As I guess you know Divas tend to be temperamental.  Although a blog is considered social media, it is not always social and interactive. So, the Diva sometimes has to check on the pulse of the readers.  Thanks to the many readers who wrote words of encouragement and said Hang In There!

I learned a number of things over the past few days, including new appreciation for the many people who work on the weekend!!

And I learned an index is a complex thing. We gave it our best shot, but we probably missed a few things. I already have a couple of changes in mind. We welcome your corrections and suggestions.

In the comments are some useful analyses of why recovery is such an elusive topic.  I hope to say more about that later.

Finally, I hope the index gets used by trainers and educators. I do not know of any other blogs that offer news and information about recovery from disasters or that aggregate existing content.



The Diva is Disappointed in her Readers

Why the disappointment? The reaction of readers to the offer of an in-depth index and summary of key recovery documents for the past 4  years was truly underwhelming.

The Diva writes this blog to informally provide educational material about the disaster recovery process. She is not a journalist and does not write to entertain readers or pass the time. This past week, the Diva spent a great deal of time and money to index 4 years of postings on this blog in order to have a lasting document useful to those with an ongoing interest in recovery.

The lack of interest is baffling, since the first index, completed last year, was quite popular and helped generate interest and donations for the blog. And it’s not as if there are many other sources of info on recovery; there are not.

So, considering the lack of response at the present time, I have to ask Why Do I Bother? 

I welcome your comments.