RAND on Disaster Recovery and the Private Sector

The Diva is amazed at the number of significant recovery-related programs and reports that have come out in the past two weeks. First the Frontline TV show, then the GAO report, and now a new report from RAND.  The need for attention, improvements, and reform to recovery is coming to the fore.

New from RAND: Disaster Recovery and the Private Sector: New Roles and New Challenges. (24 pages)

The report, titled “What Role Does the Private Sector Have in Supporting Disaster Recovery, and What Challenges Does It Face in Doing So?”, provides an examination of how the role of the private sector has shifted, given the shifting nature of disasters both in frequency and nature. As disaster declarations now include those that are natural, human-caused, and technological, the question at the helm of the disaster recovery conversation is “who pays for this?”.

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New GAO Report on Disaster Recovery Framework

Hot off the presses, this report on Disaster Recovery from the GAO. As the Diva noted a few days ago, the Frontline TV Show featured the huge problems with recovery and with the National Flood Insurance Program after Hurricane Sandy. One would expect that the show would have generated a lot of scrutiny. But as we all know a GAO takes many months to complete. So it is an interesting coincidence that this report was released today.

Disaster Recovery: FEMA Needs to Assess Its Effectiveness in Implementing the National Disaster Recovery Framework. Report is 45 pages. GAO-16-476: Published: May 26, 2016.

For those of you as impatient as the Diva, the first 16 pages of the report describe what should happen, and then on pages 17 -30 the report digs into what actually happened and the problems identified. The conclusions and recommendations for action are on pages 30 and 31.

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Revision Underway of Chemical Safety Law

From the Huffpost, see: Congress Is Finally Overhauling A Decades-Old Chemical Safety Law. Should we be excited for changes to a law everyone says is broken?

Posted in Hazardous Materials, Legislation | Leave a comment

Resilience Workshops at the NAS- June 28,29

Two upcoming events:

#1: The State of Resilience: A Leadership Forum and Community Workshop.

Hosted by the Resilient America Roundtable of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  Tuesday, June 28, 2016 ; 2:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Note: This will be a webcast event.

The National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20418

#2  Community Workshop
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

To register, please visit our website.

Across the nation, innovative programs are showing exciting progress at building resilient communities. Now is a great time to take stock of these programs at federal, state and local levels. At the ResilientAmerica Roundtable, we strive to help communities build resilience to extreme events, save lives and reduce the social and economic costs of disasters. Our aim is to engender an interactive space in which leaders from across the nation can share their successes and challenges as we all strive to build resilience in our communities and around the country.

Please join The ResilientAmerica Roundtable on June 28-29 for The State of Resilience Leadership Forum and Community Workshop. This event will consider the results of years of investment, experimentation and research, bringing together policymakers and stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels to talk about what works, what doesn’t, and what should happen next in this resilience arena.

The Leadership Forum on June 28 features three armchair discussions among noted leaders in the resilience movement, each moderated by National Public Radio personality Andrea Seabrook. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities President Michael Berkowitz will be among the discussants. The Leadership Forum will be webcast, and a reception in the NAS Great Hall will follow.


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Video of TV Show “The Business of Disasters”

On May 24th, Public TV (PBS) featured a Frontline special titled “The Business of Disasters.”  The hour-long show is available as a video at this URL.

Here is a related piece, also from the PBS source, that provides background re the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Diva would like to have comments from viewers who saw the show.


Posted in Economic Impact, Hurricane Sandy | 1 Comment

Mass Care and Sheltering Guidelines – NFPA

NFPA Journal article details NFPA’s new standard on mass evacuation and sheltering

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Red Cross Criticized Again by ProPublica

Although this article appeared in Salon, the source is ProPublica, which has been on a crusade re the Red Cross. See : The Red Cross is its own Disaster.

Update on May 26. Congressman Benny Thomas presses Red Cross officials for explanation.