hurricanes

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3 Reasons Why the US is Vulnerable to Big Disasters

During the 2017 disaster season, three severe hurricanes devastated large parts of the U.S. The quick succession of major disasters made it obvious that such large-scale emergencies can be a strain, even in one of the world’s richest countries. As a complex emergency researcher, I investigate why some countries can better withstand and respond to disasters. 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.

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Analysis of 2018's 14 Separate Billion-Dollar Disaster Events in Context

During 2018, the U.S. experienced a very active year of weather and climate disasters. In total, the U.S. was impacted by 14 separate billion-dollar disaster events: two tropical cyclones, eight severe storms, two winter storms, drought, and wildfires. The past three years (2016-2018) have been historic, with the annual average number of billion-dollar disasters being more than double the long-term average. The number and cost of disasters are increasing over time due to a combination of increased exposure, vulnerability, and the fact the climate change is increasing the frequency of some types of extremes that lead to billion-dollar disasters.

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Creating a High-Speed Internet Lane for Emergency Situations

During large disasters, like hurricanes, wildfires and terrorist attacks, people want emergency responders to arrive quickly and help people deal with the crisis. In order to do their best, police, medics, firefighters and those who manage them need lots of information: Who is located where, needing what help? And what equipment and which rescuers are available to intervene? With all of the technology we have, it might seem that gathering and sharing lots of information would be pretty simple. But communicating through a disaster is much more challenging than it appears...

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Government of St. Maarten Launches Program to Train Students in Emergency Preparedness and Response Skills

Press Release | Government of Sint Maarten | August 2, 2019

The Government of Sint Maarten is pleased to announce the launch of the Youth Emergency Hero (YEH) program that teaches school students how to prepare themselves, their households and their communities for emergencies and stay safe during disasters. The curriculum is provided by University instructors at the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine on St. Maarten.

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GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health releases report on deaths due to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and outlines steps to protect the most vulnerable communities from disasters

Press Release | GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health | August 28, 2018

In an independent report published today, researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) estimated there were 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria from September 2017 through the end of February 2018. The researchers also identified gaps in the death certification and public communication processes and went on to make recommendations that will help prepare Puerto Rico for future hurricanes and other natural disasters.

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How Do Hospitals Know What To Do When Hurricanes Approach?

We all expect hospitals to be open and operating when we need them, but extreme weather events like hurricanes are a strain on resources and pose significant challenges for hospitals. Closing a hospital is an extreme action, but several hospitals in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina did just that before the arrival of Hurricane Irma in 2017.With more than 300 hospitals and a higher share of older adults than any other state, emergency plans for Florida’s hospitals were a critical issue facing emergency planners during those storms. This is true now as well as Hurricane Dorian approaches the state.

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Moving Counter-Clockwise: Lessons from Hurricanes, Floods and Earthquakes

The plethora of natural disasters raises all sorts of complicated but expected issues – from discussions of the legitimacy of global warming to the adequacy (or lack thereof) of on the ground relief efforts. One would have thought that post-Katrina, we would be ready, willing and able to provide immediate relief to those in need of disaster relief...despite capacities, we have been stunningly slow in moving these new services into disaster areas. Instead of technology advancing the ball, it is as if we are moving our clocks backwards. Sure, in the absence of cell towers, creative workarounds have been enabled like ATT&T facilitating communications to/from the mainland for its customers.

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This Amazing House Can Be Built Just 5 Hours After A Disaster

Sydney Brownstone | Co.Exist | October 1, 2013

When the earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis of the future strike, these shelters--cut entirely from fiber board and super easy to assemble--could save us.

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