Advice on Improving Disaster Recovery

From McKinsey and Co, this article and a link to the full 24 page document from which is was taken. Improving Disaster Recovery Lessons Learned in the U.S.  Not new (June 2015), but still useful.

I like the non-nonsense tone of this report. A couple of notable quotes:

Although more governments everywhere are experiencing natural disasters, the process of learning from these experiences had barely begun. Recovery remains surprising difficult of all governments…. What has been missing is a broad examination of government experiences coupled with analysis that can drive improved disaster-recovery outcomes in light of shared best practices and pitfalls.

The recommend “hard-charging, performance driven staff. “Staff for these roles… should be highly entrepreneurial, impact-oriented, and excellent project managers prepared for a high level of intensity in both work hours and public scrutiny for a sustains period of time. Governments should resist the temptation to fill line-accountable roles with external contractors. While contracts can be brought on board quickly, they will lead the decision rights necessary to perform their roles effectively…

Many thanks to David Campbell of for the citation.

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The Earthquake in Italy

Two perspectives on the recent earthquake in Italy:

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A Huge Amount of Federal Funds Has Gone to LA

From Fortune magazine, see this article titled Top Ten FEMA-Funded Disasters

This is not an easy article to follow, but what jumped out at me from viewing the chart in the middle of the article was how much federal funding has gone to the state of LA.
Clearly, some major efforts to mitigate the hazards and threats in that state are needed, not only to  to reduce human suffering and property loss, but to reduce the huge federal outlay.

Posted in Lousiana Floods (2016), Mitigation | Leave a comment

Will Lessons Learned from New Orleans be Applied in Baton Rouge?

After Baton Rouge Flooding, Learning Lessons From New Orleans. Two quotes:

“The silver lining, if there is any silver lining, is that this sits in a large region that has a lot of experience with rebuilding and recovery,” said Mary L. Landrieu, a former United States senator from Louisiana, and a veteran of funding fights during the hurricane recovery. “They don’t have to go far to find experts.”

“The fact is, disaster recovery hasn’t worked well in America, ever,” said Zack Rosenburg, one of the founders of the group, which has done rebuilding work after floods in South Carolina and West Virginia. “It’s an extraordinarily challenging process.” [ Emphasis added by the Diva.]

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Why Was the Damage So Great in LA?

From a professor of geography at LSU: Suburban Sprawl and Poor Preparation Worsened Flood Damage in LA

* * * based on my experience studying risk and resilience in this region, I see parallels between the damage of current flooding and the damage caused by Katrina. In both cases, human decisions magnified the consequences of extreme natural events. Planning and permitting enabled development in areas that had experienced repeat floods, and agencies had failed to complete projects designed to mitigate flood damage before the storms hit.

Posted in Lousiana Floods (2016) | 3 Comments

The Role of Government in Rebuilding After Disaster

From the Huffington Post, the perspective of a scientist from Columbia Univ.: The Role of government in Rebuilding After Disasters.

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A Fundamental Dilemma

As Louisiana floods rage, Republicans are blocking modest climate action. If a common sense proposal for federal agencies to consider climate change in their decisions on the environment is shot down, what hope is there?

If we needed a reminder of the importance of taking climate change seriously, the floods in Louisiana are providing a big one on a daily basis. When it comes to the big environmental issues, our country’s polarization is historically unusual, and it’s already gone way too far. That’s why the latest fight to break out in Washington over climate issues needs more attention.

Posted in Climate Change, Lousiana Floods (2016) | 3 Comments