Cost of Extreme Weather and Climate Disasters in the U.S. in 2016

U.S. Communities Clobbered by $53 Billion in Extreme Weather and Climate Disasters in 2016 . See especially Figure 2: Community Need for Disaster Recovery Assistance.

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Comparing Business Management vs. Public Management

The new Trump administration features many key officials who are fresh from corporate life; most have no government experience.  As a person concerned with governance, I can only wonder if running government like a big business will be an improvement over the present system. I highly recommend this article.

From the NY Times, see: For Trump’s Nominees, a Billionaires’ Guide to Running the Government

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Correction: “World Risks Report, 2017”

From the World Economic Forum, the World Risks Report, 2017.  The document is 78 pages.

Thanks to Wanda Headley, Librarian at the Hazards Center in Colorado for the newest version.

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Personal Preparedness – Go Kit

Once again, the Diva departs from the main theme of this blog to share some worthwhile information about personal preparedness.  From the folks in NY City , their recommendations for a Go Kit.  

This kit is similar but slightly expanded compared with the personal kit the Diva recommended for a one-day outdoor event.

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Book Review: Consuming Catastrophe

Consuming Catastrophe; Mass Culture in America’s Decade of Disaster, by Timothy Recuber. Temple University Press. Paperback price: $28.95

Reviewer: Jono Anzalone, Vice President of International Services with the American Red Cross. Prior to assuming that position he has been a volunteer and paid staff member of the Red Cross since 1995.

Consuming Catastrophe is a must read for emergency managers and those interested in the disaster space.  Recuber provides insight into the connectivity between media and disaster which is a topic that anyone working in the emergency management space should better understand, especially in today’s environment where phenomena such as “fake news” are drivers in how disaster responses are being covered. As an emergency management practitioner I strongly recommend Recuber’s chapter on “The Limits of Empathy” which highlights the disturbing trends in “disaster tourism” and changing perceptions and reactions of the public to disasters.

Recuber look at disaster not through an emergency mangers lens, but rather sociological provides new insight into how media is playing a key role in influence public opinion and behavior, of which all are not positive.  Influencing the empathetic compass of the public, the media’s role in covering disasters also is emoting fear and impacting levels of trust which is closely examined by Recuber.

With the growth of online media, Recuber also reveals the changing dynamics in how the public are reacting to disasters, highlighting the risks associated with the public now witnessing the effects of disaster though Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other medium, but not necessarily mobilization the support that once was traditional (volunteering time or donating funds).  An eye opening read on the continued desire for media sensationalism, which may come at the expense of those impacted by disaster.

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2016 Catastrophe Losses Highest for 4 years

From HS Newswire: Natural catastrophe losses at their highest for four years

A number of devastating earthquakes and powerful storms made 2016 the costliest twelve months for natural catastrophe losses in the last four years. Losses totaled US$ 175 billion, a good two-thirds more than in the previous year, and very nearly as high as the figure for 2012 ($ 180 billion). The share of uninsured losses – the so-called protection or insurance gap – remained substantial at around 70 percent. Almost 30 percent of the losses, some $ 50 billion, were insured.

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Upcoming Transportation Webinar – Feb. 21

The Transportation Research Board at the National Academy of Sciences is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 from 2:00 to 3:30pm ET on Protecting Transportation Infrastructure from Cyber Attacks. “This webinar will focus on fundamental strategic, management, and planning activities associated with highway transportation control systems’ cyber security. The presenters will summarize information that is intended to narrow the gap between cybersecurity specialists and highway transportation operations managers. They will provide context regarding highway transportation critical systems, security vulnerabilities of typical highway transportation control systems, and effective cyber security practices.”

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