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Disaster preparedness ×
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New America Weekly

Emma Coleman

2 November 2018

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 stranded people incarcerated in the New Orleans jail without food or water, the city used the experience not to question its disaster preparedness but instead to rethink who needs to be...

Bloomberg CityLab

Linda Poon

22 October 2018

Houston, Texas, United States

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The city of Houston is changing its approach to measuring the full scope of damage from Hurricane Harvey so it can get help where it is most needed and improve future flood mitigation. Using data from numerous sources...

The Washington Post

Patricia Sullivan

17 October 2018

Blountstown, Florida, United States

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Small, cost-effective improvements to home construction were often the difference between houses that suffered small amounts of damage from Florida hurricanes and those that were destroyed. Knowing to ask for extra na...

Grist

Justine Calma

17 October 2018

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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After Hurricane Maria devastated much of Puerto Rico, much of the country was left without power and some were subsequently left sick due to fumes from generators. After receiving a call from a relative in his home co...

Public Radio International

Marco Werman

1 October 2018

Sulawesi, Indonesia

Radio

3-5 Minutes

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The warning system in Indonesia to alert residents of tsunamis could not prevent disaster in Sulawesi because it hasn't worked for six years after many of the surface buoys were vandalized. However, a new system is un...

High Country News

Carl Segerstrom

5 September 2018

Dufur, Oregon, United States

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In the town of Dufur, Oregon, local residents have been acting as firefighters to protect their fields and homes, using farming equipment to bury dry vegetation and tanks of water to put out the flames. While this has...

Bloomberg CityLab

Nicole Javorsky

27 August 2018

Florida, United States

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Affordable housing for Florida Keys residents is often vulnerable to damage or destruction by extreme weather. The Monroe County Land Trust has created housing that is both affordable for county residents and built to...

Eos

Jenessa Duncombe

17 August 2018

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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The National Weather Service has been helping firefighting crews better prepare for and fight wildfires. They’ve developed a model called the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh-Smoke (HRRR-Smoke) to show where there’s high...

Ensia

John Vidal

8 August 2018

Somerset, United Kingdom

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The World Nuclear Association counts 50 nuclear power plants being built, with 150 more in the planning stages. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, nuclear plants on coasts began to be built with contingenci...

Devex

Kelli Rogers

2 August 2018

Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

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Bangladesh has become a leader in disaster preparedness through its strategy of training thousands of community members to give early warnings on cyclones and other disasters. This approach has saved thousands of live...

Deutsche Welle (DW)

Shay Meinecke

29 June 2018

Cancún, Mexico

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Coral reefs can dramatically reduce the power of a wave's energy, making the impact of severe storms (such as hurricanes) less devastating. In order for this to work, however, the coral reefs have to be healthy. In Me...

Next City

Emily Nonko

18 June 2018

Mobile, Alabama, United States

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After witnessing the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina, changemakers in Alabama took control of creating a more accountable insurance system that valued weather-resilient home construction.

Slate

Sara Hudson

13 June 2018

Anchorage, Alaska, United States

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Starting small has had a big impact in Anchorage, Alaska as the city looks at low-tech composting solutions that could alleviate their growing landfill problem. By revisiting a once-failed attempt to encourage compost...

GovInsider

Nurfilzah Rohaidi

12 June 2018

Singapore

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Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality optimize limited public safety resources and help officers better respond to complex situations under pressure. As Singapore invests in such technologies...

The New York Times

Erica Green

Manny Fernandez

1 March 2018

Sidney, Ohio, United States

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Amidst a backdrop of growing conversation around gun control and reform, especially as it pertains to school shooting incidents, President Trump suggests the solution is arming teachers. Some schools, however, have al...

The New York Times

Patrick McGeehan

27 February 2018

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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When the same winter storm hit two airports only 200 miles apart from one another, the locations had very different reactions that resulted in functionality for one, and complete shutdown for the other. What can Kenne...

Rolling Stone

Molly McCluskey

26 January 2018

New York, New York, United States

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For the first time, high-profile Grammy attendees this year received an all-day security briefing on how to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. In light of recent mass shootings and bombs at concerts in Manchest...

Bloomberg CityLab

Laura Bliss

24 January 2018

Minnesota, United States

Multi-Media

5-15 Minutes

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Bridges don't last forever without at least some occasional repair, but how do city officials know when an aging bridge is in need of reconstruction? Typically, an individual has to bungee down to inspect it or specia...

Politico

Erick Trickey

18 January 2018

Houston, Texas, United States

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For patients with tuberculosis, it is vital that they take their medicine consistently and on schedule, even after they are no longer contagious, which can be time consuming and expensive for public health departments...

BBC

Fi Glover

17 January 2018

Cuba

Radio

Over 15 Minutes

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Following a devastating hurricane in the early 1960s, Cuba created a model disaster preparedness infrastructure that includes excellent forecasting, education in schools and promoting a culture of nationwide training ...

BBC

Fi Glover

Henrietta Moore

Martha Lane Fox

16 January 2018

Cuba

Radio

Over 15 Minutes

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Cuba has one of the world’s lowest storm fatality rates in part because citizens learn how to prepare and respond to hurricanes beginning in elementary school. Children know where to go in an evacuation, neighbors ope...

Houston Chronicle

Tony Freemantle

22 December 2017

Netherlands

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Over 3000 Words

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Moving away from brute force and impermeable dams, projects that focus on spatial planning and long-term investment in dynamic infrastructure projects prove more resilient to flooding and natural disasters. In the Net...

BBC

Tulip Mazumdar

19 December 2017

Japan

Radio

Over 15 Minutes

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Two schools in Japan experienced the 2011 tsunami completely differently. After the earthquake, students in Kamaishi immediately took off running to get to higher ground, ahead of even their teachers. Meanwhile in Oka...

GeekWire

Gregory Scruggs

17 December 2017

Codrington, Antigua and Barbuda

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Bringing data analysis technology into post-disaster scenarios can improve methods of allocating funding for disaster relief and reconstruction projects. The UN and Microsoft have partnered to develop the Building Da...

Houston Chronicle

Mihir Zaveri

15 December 2017

Houston, Texas, United States

Multi-Media

Over 3000 Words

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Following Hurricane Harvey, Houston officials are taking steps to better prepare the city for flooding. Two damns, Addicks and Barker, have long been in need of repairs to increase their capacity and resilience, and a...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

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