Transportation and Hurricanes

From the American Prospect: What cities Can Learn from Houston Metro’s Hurricane Harvey Experience.

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New GAO Report on Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery: Additional Actions Would Improve Data Quality and Timeliness of FEMA’s Public Assistance Appeals Processing. GAO-18-143: Published: Dec 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 16, 2018.

GAO usually publishes short and long versions of a report. The full report is 54 pages.

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Riverine Flooding On the Rise Worldwide

River flood risks increase around the globe under future warming.

“More than half of the United States must at least double their protection level within the next two decades if they want to avoid a dramatic increase in river flood risks,” says lead-author Sven Willner from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Without additional adaptation measures – such as enhancing dykes, improved river management, increasing building standards, or relocating settlements – the number of people affected by the worst 10 percent of all river flooding events will increase in many places …..”

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“CA Mudslides Highlight Difficulty in Getting Evacuations Right”

CA does have more than its share of risks, but usually has better than average EM capability. Here is a relatively little know issue:  California mudslides highlight difficulty in getting evacuations right

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Updated Study on Costs and Benefits of Mitigation

A key finding of the new study is: Mitigation Saves: Federal Mitigation Grants Save $6 per $1 Spent, Exceeding Building Codes Saves $4 per $1 Spent. The title of the study is: Investing in Mitigation to Build a More Resilient Nation.

Here is an article from Bloomberg on the report: Disaster Mitigation Programs Targeted by Trump Seen Saving Money.

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Essential Elements of Recovery

From MIT, as cited by Homeland Security News Wire: These 2 things matter when bouncing back from natural disasters. Use a “country-led approach.” But solicit knowledge transfers from outside actors.

The basic points have been made many times, but the examples cited are interesting.

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Congress Refuses to Budget for Wildfires

From the LATimes: Editorial Wildfires are natural disasters, but Congress refuses to budget for them.

Two decades ago, the cost of fighting fires only consumed about 15% of the Forest Service’s budget. But increased development in and around undeveloped open spaces, along with, paradoxically, decades of fire suppression, mean that wildfires are growing larger, more intense and more dangerous to communities. Many scientists believe the warming climate is exacerbating the situation.

As the cost of firefighting has gone up, the Forest Service budget has stayed relatively flat. The result is that fire suppression now consumes 55% of the agency’s annual budget, and some officials estimate that could grow to two-thirds in a few years.

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