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Updated every Friday.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Oct 19th

What happened this week?

International Day for Disaster Reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. The 2018 edition continues as part of the "Sendai Seven" campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. This year will focus on Target C of the Sendai Framework, reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030. Read more

Among the Ruins of Mexico Beach Stands One House, Built 'for the Big One'. MEXICO BEACH, Fla. — Florida’s building code, put into effect in 2002, is famously stringent when it comes to windstorm resistance for homes built along the hurricane-prone Atlantic shoreline. But it is less so for structures along the Panhandle, a region historically unaffected by storms as strong as the ones that have slammed into South Florida. Read More

As Hurricane Michael damages the Southeast, Puerto Rico provides lessons on resilient power. A year of power outages in Puerto Rico produced a historic case study in human misery, with almost 3,000 deaths due in part to the lack of power for home health care equipment and refrigeration of medications, and from outages in hospitals and clinics. 
Recently, however, Puerto Rico has taken steps to avoid future such catastrophes. Read more

Interesting Facts

What will winter in the US look like? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that overall temperatures will be warmer than normal over much of the US, especially the pacific northwest. In relation to precipitation,  NOAA predicted that it will be wetter than normal across much of the south, and dryer than normal in portions of the mid-west and Northern Rockies. In addition, there is a 75% chance that El Niño will develop in the next several months. Watch Video

Policy Developments and Outlook

Seismologist Stresses Open Dialogue Between Scientists and Policymakers. “In the light of recent hurricanes in the United States as well as other calamities around the world like the devastating tsunami in Palu, Indonesia, conversations on Disaster Mitigation are increasingly more relevant for Cornell as a cross-disciplinary incubator for innovation,” said Rhea Lopes grad, who is part of the Disasters Working Group at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. Read More

Disaster Recovery: School Infrastructure Resilience Roadmap & Best Practices. School districts that face the loss of a school in a natural disaster like a hurricane face myriad challenges after the immediate danger passes, ranging from education and public safety to reconstruction. To improve community resilience, replacement schools can be designed to mitigate disaster risk and increase school infrastructure resilience in affected areas following a disaster. Read More

900K San Diegans participated in earthquake drill. SAN DIEGO - More than 900,000 San Diego County residents participated in Thursday's Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill to test their level of preparedness for a major temblor. The 10th annual drill took place at 10:18 a.m. At that time, millions of people across California will "drop" to the ground, take "cover" under a desk, table or other sturdy surface and "hold on" for 60 seconds, as if a major earthquake were occurring. Read More

Friday, October 12, 2018

Oct 12th

What happened this week?

Image result for hurricane michael 2018Michael hits Fla.: DR preps against 'compassion fatigue'. "The storms are simply happening a month later than they did last year," said Porter, who is coordinating with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief directors across the Southeast and NAMB's Send Relief leadership ahead of Michael's landfall. The tendency is for people to lose their sensitivity to the news of damage, flooding and homelessness, he said. Read More

How to talk about hurricanes now. (CNN) Hurricane Michael isn't a truly "natural disaster." Neither was Harvey in Houston. Nor Maria in Puerto Rico. Yet we continue to use that term. Doing so -- especially in the era of climate change -- is misleading if not dangerous, according to several disaster experts and climate scientists I reached by phone and on Twitter. Read more

Interesting Facts

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches with Argentine SAOCOM 1A and nails first West Coast landing. The launch took place from Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 4E at 19:22 Pacific Time (02:22 UTC on Monday). Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas, or SAOCOM, is a constellation of radar-imaging satellites that is being established by Argentina’s national space agency, Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE).SAOCOM 1A is a 3,000-kilogram satellite. Built by INVAP, an Argentine Defense and Space company, it is based around the same platform used for the SAC-C remote sensing satellite which launched aboard a Delta II rocket in November 2000. Designed to operate for five years, the satellite will use L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to image the Earth in any weather or lighting conditions. SAOCOM 1B is an identical satellite which will join SAOCOM 1A in orbit next year. Read more

Michael made history as one of the top four strongest hurricanes to strike the United States. The Florida Panhandle, which was devastated by Michael, has no prior record of such a strong storm. It ranked as the third-strongest storm to hit Florida, based on wind, and second-strongest, based on pressure. Michael made history by intensifying at a mind-boggling pace. It was a tropical depression on Sunday morning. At the time of landfall near Mexico Beach on the Panhandle early Wednesday afternoon, the storm was 1 mph shy of Category 5 status.  Read More

Policy Developments and Outlook

A new report of the UN urges to take measures against climate change.

Un nuevo informe de la ONU urge tomar medidas contra el cambio climáticoThis new report analyzes several ways to limit the increase in temperature to the more ambitious 1.5ºC, since it would be the only way to make the effects of climate change "less catastrophic". Among the proposed measures, the use of more renewable energies stands out, but also other actions, such as the implementation of a more sustainable and less extensive agriculture, with a greater extension of land dedicated to energy crops. In addition, it is proposed to increase the investment in technologies to reduce the emissions of polluting gases in daily life and capture more efficiently those that end up being released into the atmosphere. Read More

Hurricane Florence: Hoteliers coped with compassion. 

Natural disasters can trash a city or region, and it often falls to the hotels left standing to comfort, house and sustain a shake populace and the visitors caught up the event. 

Eric Churchill, SVP of operations at Connecticut-based Meyer Jabara Hotels, said his company went through a normal procedural checklist as the storm approached, but admitted it is impossible to be prepared for everything. As always, planning ahead of time can help cut down on the chaos a natural disaster brings. Read more

IFRC calls on governments to invest more in disaster risk reduction. This year, millions of people living in crisis have not been receiving the humanitarian assistance they desperately need—partly due to lack of sufficient investment in disaster and crisis preparedness, as well as resilience-building. In 2017, the Red Cross Movement invested more than 250 million Swiss francs in disaster risk reduction, working with local Red Cross and Red Crescent actors in the communities to help reduce the vulnerability to risk through education, community engagement and capacity building and boosting their resilience. Read More

Going Green in Dominica—Literally and Figuratively. 

(ECPA) One year after Hurricane Maria stripped Dominica’s trees of their leaves and turned the lush Caribbean island to brown, Ambassador Vince Henderson reports that nature is rebounding. “The island is looking green again, and I think psychologically that makes a big difference,” he said recently, just days after returning from a visit home. In an interview, the diplomat talked about the resilience of his fellow citizens and some of the steps his country is taking to become more resilient to climate change. Read more