“The Science of Preparing Cities for Natural Disasters”

This article provides a review of the new book The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters, by its author, Robert Muir-Wood. He is the CEO of Risk Management Solutions.  Worth reading and considering his negative views of emergency management as presently conducted.  Some excerpts follow:

If you want to understand what really drives the risk and what you need to do, it comes down to planning decisions. It comes down to building codes and their enforcement, and avoiding corruption in how the building-code process functions, because the building sector is typically the most corrupt sector of any country. The level of corruption, we know, correlates quite strongly with casualties in disasters.

To make all this happen we need to really educate people about their risks — improving risk literacy so that people understand the need for warnings and the need for evacuation procedures. There are lots of things that a city leader can do to get their city to be resilient. It involves really engaging with people and educating them about the risks .

Flood Risk Changes Likely by Region

From Homeland Security Newswire: Flood risks changing across U.S.

The risk of flooding in the United States is changing regionally, and the reasons could be shifting rainfall patterns and the amount of water in the ground. Engineers determined that, in general, the threat of flooding is growing in the northern half of the U.S. and declining in the southern half. The American Southwest and West, meanwhile, are experiencing decreasing flood risk.

In a new study, University of Iowa engineers determined that, in general, the threat of flooding is growing in the northern half of the U.S. and declining in the southern half. The American Southwest and West, meanwhile, are experiencing decreasing flood risk.

“Global Risks: Pool Knowledge to Stem Losses from Disasters”

From Nature.com, an article by Susan Cutter et al: Global risks: Pool knowledge to stem losses from disasters.  Public awareness, rigorous risk research and aligned targets will help policy-makers to increase resilience against natural hazards, say Susan L. Cutter and colleagues.

Interesting article that is well-worth reading.

New UN Report: Global Assessment on Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015

Press Release and full report titled Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015. The full report is 316 pages, but there is a “pocket version” that is 28 pages. Some details from the press release:

The fourth edition of the United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) is a resource for understanding and analyzing global disaster risk today and in the future. The report explores the large potential losses from disasters currently face by many countries – especially those which can least afford to invest in future resilience and the cost and benefits of disaster risk management (DRM). It emphasizes as well the close link between disaster risk and sustainable development and explores prospective, corrective and compensatory risk management approaches as a way to integrate it in development activities, in order to avoid risk generation and accumulation. The report aims to promote the integration of Disaster Risk Management into development by raising the awareness that managing risks cost less than managing disasters.

The GAR series has compiled and analyzed data and information on disaster risk patterns and trends, government self-assessment of progress, and critical challenges to disaster risk reduction since 2009. GAR09, provided evidence that disaster risk is disproportionately concentrated in lower-income countries with weak governance