Will Rebuilding After a Disaster Come to an End?

It is the natural American reaction to negative events — We will be back, bigger and better!" Maybe not ...

See this Governing magazine article Why Rebuilding 'Bigger and Better' After Disasters Is a Mistake. It is a great article that touches on many issues that are going to impact people's ability to execute on their desire to "be back."

The first and foremost issue is the increasing frequency, severity and cost of disasters of all types. Severe weather is in a position of ascendency. All extremes are in play, flooding and drought; hurricanes and tornadoes; rainstorms and wildfires; extreme heat and extreme cold — go figure.

Costly Natural Disasters Becoming More Frequent

The frequency of billion-dollar natural disasters is increasing rapidly in the United States due mostly to the cumulative effects of climate change, according to an analysis posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“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,” says Adam Smith in a blog post released this month by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

‘It’s Making Us Less Prepared’: Shutdown Slows Planning for Hurricanes and Other Disasters

For experts who make a living forecasting hurricanes, storm season is a year-round worry. When the tropics are calm, as they are now, researchers dive into data, analyze results, improve scientific models and train state and local officials on the latest technology that can help them make lifesaving decisions.

But the partial government shutdown — the longest in United States history — has brought much of that fieldwork and instruction to a halt. Most researchers have been furloughed, and training academies and courses have been canceled, with no makeup dates in sight.

California Wildfires, Hurricane Michael Top List of 2018’s Costliest Natural Disasters: Munich Re

The costliest natural catastrophes occurred in the United States in 2018 with one of California’s devastating wildfires and Hurricane Michael topping the list, according to Munich Re.

A report from Munich Re on last year’s natural disasters pointed to “clear indications” that man-made climate change is a factor in California’s wildfires.

More Evidence Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Investments Can Pay Off

For Iowa City, Dubuque Street is an important corridor, providing an artery for roughly 25,000 vehicles to travel each day between the city and Interstate 80, which runs along the northern edge of town.

But historically the road has been prone to flooding from the nearby Iowa River, which snakes alongside it to the west, as well as flash floods caused by heavy rains. In 1993, floodwaters swamped the street for 54 days. Flooding in 2008 caused a month-long closure.

Why Every Hospital Needs a Natural Disaster Recovery Plan

In the first week of September 2018, news of a potentially destructive Category 4 hurricane that was forecast to make landfall on the coast of the Carolinas sent many of the hospitals and medical practices in both states rushing to dust off their disaster recovery and business continuity plans in preparation for it. Evacuation drills were reviewed and many other operating procedures were rehearsed and evaluated. But most of all, health IT systems were being tested and reassessed for their natural disaster recovery readiness. Most healthcare groups focused on a few aspects of their IT to ensure they were prepared for whatever outcome the storm had in store for them.

Will growing scenes of hurricanes, wildfires and volcanoes make us a go-bag people?

Will repeated exposure to vivid scenes of natural disaster – Western wildfires, a global heat wave, Hawaiian volcano eruptions, the 2017 hurricanes’ anniversary and a suddenly active 2018 season – finally turn America into a go-bag nation, prepared for calamity and ready to flee it?

Experience counsels skepticism. So does human nature.

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.

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