SBA Needs to Do Better re Disaster Assistance – GAO

The GAO issued this report recently: Additional Steps Needed to Help Ensure More Timely Disaster Assistance. Report out on the aftermath of H. Sandy.

Full report is 69 pp. A one page summary is available also. Not sure why it took 2 years to produce, but I guess they have their reasons.

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Another Post-Sandy Perspective – that of an environmentalist

An Environmentalist’s Assessment of H. Sandy Outcomes.

Thanks to Franklin McDonald for the citation.

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Extensive Article on Ebola in NewYorker Magazine

The latest issue has an indepth account of the virus, featuring details re the genomic research being done on the disease.


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Two More Items re Power Supply

(1) Apparently Princeton University has a mini power grid that which worked well after Hurricane Sandy.  An excerpt:

***Princeton’s “microgrid,” an efficient on-campus power generation and delivery network that draws electricity from a gas-turbine generator and solar panel field southeast of campus in West Windsor Township, NJ. Capable of producing 15 megawatts *** of electricity, the University’s microgrid enjoys a give-and-take relationship with the main grid available to the general public and maintained by the utility company PSE&G. When campus power use is high or utility power is inexpensive, the microgrid draws from the PSE&G grid, and when campus demand is low, Princeton’s microgrid can contribute power to the main grid.

(2) From reader James Fossett:

Your readers may be interested in a piece a couple of colleagues and I have just released on the use of solar power as a power source for the microgrids discussed in a recent posting. It will be remembered that the New York City area experienced widespread shortages of fuel after Hurricane Sandy when the power was out for over a week. Solar “supply” seems to be more reliable—power outages are generally caused by transient weather events that are generally followed by clear weather.

With the right kind of batteries and “smart” grid configuration, solar emergency systems could operate almost indefinitely. The military is investing heavily in solar powered microgrids. The paper is on the website of the Rockefeller Institute of Government.


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More Resilience Sought by Power Industry

Power Industry Seeks More Resilience

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Insurance for Weather-Related Disasters

Article in the NY times titled a Retreat from Weather Related Disasters is mainly about obtaining insurance for weather-related disasters.

Direct link to the Ceres report titled Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard: 2014 Findings & Recommendations

UPDATE: Additional info in an article from the Canadian Globe and Mail paper; see: Study finds insurers lack ‘preparedness’ in climate cases .The effects of climate change could lead to stormy conditions for global insurers – and most aren’t ready for that forecast, research shows.

Insurance companies operating in the United States show a “profound lack of preparedness in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities,” according to not-for-profit sustainability advocacy group Ceres’s Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey.

A study of 330 companies, representing 87 per cent of insurance premiums issued in the U.S., awarded top ratings to just nine firms – almost all of which of are large, global insurers and reinsurers, such as Munich Re, Swiss Re and Allianz.

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Book Review: The Tulsa River

The Tulsa River, written by local author Ann Patton, was issued in time to mark the 28th anniversary of Tulsa’s 1986 river flood. It is a beautifully illustrated, soft-cover book, 11 x 8 ½ inches. It’s available as a limited first edition from the website

The new book features stories about Tulsa’s life with the Arkansas River. According to the author,

“The Tulsa River tells the story of our city’s struggle to live in harmony with our river, which lured mankind to this spot on earth, shaped our town, occasionally terrorized and often sustained us, and promises to gather our diverse peoples together,” *** “We spent two years living with and learning about our river, and the more we learned, the more there was to explore and understand. This book is, simply, a labor of love for our river and our community.”

It’s a natural and civic story of the river from its beginning millions of years ago in snow packs of the Colorado Rockies, as the river carved its way through the now-buried Tulsa Mountains and found its way to the Mississippi River in Arkansas. The story ends with the promise of A Gathering Place and River Parks, with Tulsans describing their diverse ideas for the future.

For someone like the Diva, who has never been in Tulsa, the book provided a delightful opportunity to visit vicariously and read the stories of some local people.

Ann Patton is a Tulsa-based author and consultant with 45 years’ experience in writing, consulting, and community activities. She is a long-time friend and professional associate of the Diva’s.

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