Rebuilding Dominica for Climate Change

This Tiny Country Says It Can Beat Climate Change . Hurricane Maria turned Dominica into a foreign-funded laboratory for stormproofing an entire nation. Progress so far is hard to see. Some background:

Maria inflicted $1.3 billion in damage, equal to 225 percent of the country’s annual economic output—more than twice the corresponding figure in nearby Puerto Rico. It destroyed or severely damaged almost half the island’s 29,000 buildings, along with much of its power and telecom infrastructure; the island’s towns remain pockmarked by the husks of ruined homes, its forests littered with half-toppled trees. As many as a third of residents have fled.

U. S. Vulnerability to Disasters

From the Conversation: 3 Reasons Why the U.S. is Vulnerable to Big Disasters. An excerpt:

The factors are many and diverse, but three major ones stand out because they are within the grasp of the federal and local governments: where and how cities grow; how easily households can access critical services during disaster; and the reliability of the supply chains for critical goods.

For all three of these factors, the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction. In many ways, Americans are becoming more vulnerable by the day.

Update:  My fellow blogger Eric Holdeman has added a few more items to the list in his blog posting.

In Defense of FEMA

From the Atlantic magazine: It’s (Mostly) Not FEMA’s Fault. The problems blamed on emergency managers are often caused by the shortcomings of other governmental bodies, both before and after disasters.”

This article reinforces the points made in the June 21 posting on this blog, which cited a study documenting the failure of many Gulf Coast states to take the needed steps to mitigate known problems.

Why Not Use the Mass Care Strategy Developed for Disasters?

This posting raises a question that the Diva has been wondering about: PERSPECTIVE: DHS & HHS/ORR Sidestepping Use of National Mass Care Strategy in Immigrant Children Crisis, by Heather Blanchard

At this very moment, these children are being managed by government contractors whose expertise in “sheltering” children is focused on the judicial system of juvenile detention while our civilian system’s National Response Framework (ESF-6 Mass Care), the US crisis management doctrine sits on the sidelines.

For years DHS worked to include lessons learned from countless mass care events to compile them into the National Mass Care Strategy. This covers topics such as family reunification, case management. FEMA has experience in working to support children who cross the border without parents or guardians under the NRF non-Stafford events annex. Under ESF-6, NGOs and child care advocates can gain access and provide services to separated children and families.

Generational Perspectives on EM

This is not a new report, but one I just learned about.  I think it is well-written and provides several perspectives. See: Generational Perspectives in Emergency Management – A Glimpse into Understanding.   I am not sure where this was published.

The Diva was one of the members of the panel quoted. Full disclosure: she is not of the Baby Boomer generation but of the Silent Generation.

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Recovery Reveals Major Issues After H. Harvey in TX

From a business insurance source: Harvey damage illustrates need for disaster preparedness: Study. Excerpts:

Hurricane Harvey served as a stark wake-up call about the need to enhance flood resilience, including limiting or preventing federal insurance coverage of new properties in flood zones, according to a study released Thursday.

Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2017, as a Category 4 storm and dropped more than 40 inches of rain over the next four days, causing catastrophic flooding. Total economic damage from the hurricane is estimated at $125 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management, making it the second-costliest tropical cyclone on record after Hurricane Katrina.

But only a small fraction of these Harvey losses, about $19.4 billion, were insured, including $8.4 billion in flood losses insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, $2.7 billion in insured vehicle losses, $4.9 billion in insured commercial losses and $3.4 billion in other losses, according to a Post-Event Review Capability study on the Houston floods resulting from Harvey conducted by Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., ISET-International — a nonprofit organization committed to building resilience — and the American Red Cross Global Disaster Preparedness Center.