Superstorm Sandy Recovery – Problems with NFIP

Why Sandy Homeowners Were Left In The Lurch. This is one effort to explain the many problems with the National Flood Ins. Program and what FEMA’s remedial actions are so far.

Thanks to Bill Cumming for the citation.

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Aerial Views of Recovery in Christchurch

Aerial Views of Christchurch Since the Earthquakes.

Interesting panoramic views of Christchurch , NZ before and after the devastating earthquake a few years ago.

Thanks to Ian McLean for the link.

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Mental Health Needs Post Quakes in Nepal

It is quite predictable that the two big earthquakes that were a catastrophe for Nepal caused not only deaths, injuries, and huge property damage, but left a large wake of mental health needs. And note that both victims and responders needed help.

The Nepal earthquakes have unleashed a mental health disaster
“There’s a less visible tragedy going on in Nepal: the unravelling trauma of the survivors and aid workers, which will continue long after the media has left.”

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Costco Volume Purchase Program

This is not a commercial, but just a mention of a way to get large quantities of needed supplies when disaster strikes.  I got this posting from Eric Holdeman’s blog.

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“Science-Based Response Lacking in Chemical Disasters”

See this new report from Purdue University: Studies: Science-based response lacking in chemical disasters. Three new studies suggest that when communities are hit with disasters that contaminate drinking water the official decision-making and response often lack scientific basis. Some details:

The result has been an inability to fully anticipate public health risks and effectively rid plumbing systems of contaminants, sometimes exposing residents to toxic chemicals, said Andrew Whelton, an assistant professor in Purdue University’s Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering and Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

Since 2014 more than 1.5 million people across the nation have received drinking water tainted with crude oil, diesel fuel, algal toxins and coal-washing chemicals.

“Numerous contamination incidents have been caused by chemical spills from storage tank ruptures, pipeline breaks, rail car and truck accidents, as well as algal blooms,” Whelton said.

His team has been examining recent disasters in which tainted drinking water was distributed to homes. The goal is to develop techniques and tools to help communities respond more effectively, said Whelton, who will discuss some of the results of three studies on Wednesday (May 13) during the American Water Works Association Central District spring meeting in Danville, Indiana.

Some of the drinking water catastrophes studied were a January 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia; an August 2014 toxic algal bloom in Western Lake Erie; a December 2014 accident involving a petroleum-based solvent in Washington, D.C.; a January 2015 crude oil pipeline accident in Glendive, Montana; and an April 2015 diesel spill in Nibley City, Utah

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The Diva Has Been Diverted this Week

The Diva is busy working on her other blog site:, in connection with a workshop she is assisting with.

As part of its outreach to local houses of worship, Arlington County, VA is holding a workshop next week to help them improve their preparedness and response to emergencies and disasters.  In that regard, she welcomes comments and additions to the blog site noted above.

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Reforming US Disaster Policy to Prepare for a Riskier Future

I just came across a paper titled Bracing for the Storm; How to Reform U.S. Disaster Policy to Prepare for a Riskier Future.  It does not list the authors and it does not say anything about the sponsoring organization, So, I  checked on the organization, and it an interesting amalgamation of many serious environmental and professional organizations.

It is an interesting, crisply written document of 21 pages that would useful to newcomers to the field. My reaction was sadness: I have heard most of the points made for almost 4 decades.  Promoting mitigation and encouraging reform to the NFIP are just two of the long-term issues that do not get repaired, decade after decade.

I welcome comments and indications that we are making progress.

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