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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Which natural disasters hit most frequently?

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Which natural disasters hit most frequently? | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
These were the most frequently occurring natural disasters between 1995 and 2005.
PeerSpring's insight:

Between 2005 and 2014, there were an average of 335 such natural disasters per year. This is an increase of 14% on the previous 10 years, and nearly double the level recorded from 1985 to 1994 according to a joint report with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Being the flooding has the highest risk of occurrence, where do you propose better flood control investments should be made to reduce the risk of disasters?

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: How can governments better prepare for droughts?

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: How can governments better prepare for droughts? | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
Chris Arsenault on how governments can work better to fight drought.
PeerSpring's insight:

When a country is in a crisis of war, many governments do not have separate ministries to handle issues related to water, droughts or land management. Globally, desertification affects 250 million people, and Africa is impacted the most. According to the World Economic Forum, about half of the world's recent armed conflicts were at least partially caused by environmental factors. Do you think global warming will intensify violent strife, why / why not?

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: US Families Prepare For 'Modern Day Apocalypse'

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: US Families Prepare For 'Modern Day Apocalypse' | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
From the outside America may seem to be a land of endless optimism and confidence. But could it be in danger of falling apart?
PeerSpring's insight:

They call themselves "the preppers." Mainstream suburban Americans hoarding supplies and weapons in preparation for the "modern day apocalypse." They're worried about the next terrorist attack, a monetary collapse, cataclysmic failure in power generation or a natural disaster. Preppers fear what comes next and it's said they have no faith in either their government or human nature. There are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States. How does the American Dream contribute or dismantle the ideology of preppers? 

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RELIEF FUNDING: Extreme weather 'keeps people poor'

RELIEF FUNDING: Extreme weather 'keeps people poor' | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
A new study says that extreme weather scenarios can counter efforts to reduce poverty for hundreds of millions of people.
PeerSpring's insight:

Up to 325 million people will be living in countries highly exposed to natural hazards by 2030. If aid is not used to reduce these risks, the progress made in fighting poverty could disappear. In terms of disaster risk reduction, why do you think it is that donor countries do not prioritize aid to the countries that need it most?

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: 30 years after the Bhopal Tragedy

The official trailer of the much anticipated movie ‘Bhopal A Prayer For Rain’ starring for the first time Mischa Barton, Kal Penn and Martin Sheen in an Indi...
PeerSpring's insight:

Between December 2nd and 3rd in 1984, a leak of the toxic organic compound methyl isocyanate killed at least 3,000 people immediately, and thousands more in the weeks following. Unofficial estimates exceeded 10,000. According to the New York Times, more than a half-million people were injured, with many dying from illnesses including lung cancer, kidney failure and liver disease. In 1989, Union Carbide paid $470 million to the Indian government to settle litigation stemming from the disaster. With the support of the United States government, Warren Anderson, chairman and CEO escaped extradition and did not have to face a judge or jury. In 2001, Dow acquired Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). Since it bought UCC a number of years after the accident, DOW has maintained that it is a separate company from UCC and has no responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy -- Amnesty International claims otherwise.  The people of Bhopal continue to have health issues and believe their ground water is contaminated.  Do you think Dow should be compelled to appear in an Indian court to account for the failure of its wholly-owned subsidiary, UCC? Why / Why not?

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DISPLACEMENT: A crisis that was waiting to happen in Iraq

DISPLACEMENT: A crisis that was waiting to happen in Iraq | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
With over 500,000 people fleeing Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city in June and more than 700,000 people internally displaced in the rest country since January 2014, IDMC breaks these figures down to show the deeper dynamics affecting this current crisis.
PeerSpring's insight:

This current crisis is challenging, not just due to its association with the Syria conflict, but also because of the complexities of Iraq’s historic displacement dynamics, and how this has changed the landscape in the country following countless waves of displacement over the last 35 years. Do you think the competing needs in Syria are overshadowing Iraq's displacement crisis? What system can be used to fairly distribute aide?

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PeerSpring's comment, July 5, 2014 9:02 AM
NOTE: There are close to three million Syrian refugees, and the number of those seeking safe haven is increasing by 100,000 every month. See here: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2014/July/middleeast_July37.xml&section=middleeast
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DISPLACEMENT: Twin Tornadoes Trample Nebraska Town

DISPLACEMENT: Twin Tornadoes Trample Nebraska Town | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
A 5-year-old is dead, and at least 19 are injured after twin tornadoes tore through the small town of Pilger, Nebraska on Monday.
PeerSpring's insight:

Although rare, the phenomenon of simultaneous multiple tornadoes associated with the same severe thunderstorm is not unheard of. However, it is extremely rare for both tornadoes to be so intense and long-lasting. A more common phenomenon is to have so-called "satellite tornadoes" rotating around a main funnel, but in this case, it appears there were two independent, long-lived and powerful tornadoes about 1 to 2 miles apart.  Climate model simulations suggest that on average, as the surface temperature and moisture increases the conditions for thunderstorms becomes more frequent. Climate change decreases temperature difference between the poles and the equator. This leads to a decrease in vertical wind shear, which is a major factor determining what type of severe weather occurs. These expectations are supported by a majority of the climate model simulations that have looked at the variables.  Pointedly, NOAA records show, as of June 3rd, there have been 35 tornado fatalities in 2014. That compares to 55 in 2013, 70 in 2012 and a whopping 553 in 2011 by June 3rd in those years. (These Nebraska tornadoes took a single life.)  Though many articles suggest that severe weather has gotten worse, it may also be our ability to communicate information about it. If you think back 100 years ago, a tornado that happened 10 or 20 miles away, you might not even be aware of it. What side of this debate do you agree with?


Read more about tornadoes and climate change here: http://www.commdiginews.com/environment/climate-change-tornado-myth-update-19285/#ixzxvZRbbHhVKaPi.99

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: 2,100 bodies found in Afghanistan landslide

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: 2,100 bodies found in Afghanistan landslide | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
Afghan officials have called off the search for survivors buried under a landslide in the remote northeast of the country amid fears of a second imminent disaster.
PeerSpring's insight:

More than 2,100 people from 300 families have died in the massive landslip and there are fears the unstable hillside above the site could cave in again. Rescuers have now turned their attention to helping over 4,000 people displaced by the tragedy by providing them with water, food and emergency shelter.  According to the UN: “There have now been more Afghans killed through natural disasters in the past seven days than all of 2013.”  Although landslides are intermittent and don’t cause as much death and destruction as earthquakes or floods, there are monitoring technologies and early warning systems that can prevent mass disaster.  The problem is, these systems tend to be expensive. What alternative and more monitoring solutions can you think of?  Some examples here.

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PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT: Dealing with death at work

PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT: Dealing with death at work | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it

What's it like to lose colleagues in the Haiti earthquake and what could you do to cope with death in the workplace? Two UN Volunteers share their experiences.

PeerSpring's insight:

Haiti was struck by an earthquake on 12 January 2010. Over 100,000 people were killed, including 100 UN personnelIf you had to offer psychological support, do you know how to help others cope with death?

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SEARCH & RESCUE: Raging fire destroys homes in Chile

SEARCH & RESCUE: Raging fire destroys homes in Chile | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it

President Michelle Bachelet put the army in charge of the evacuation after declaring the city, 110km (70 miles) west of Santiago, a disaster zone.A large and moving forest fire has killed at least 11 people and destroyed more than 500 homes in Chile's port city of Valparaiso.

PeerSpring's insight:

President Michelle Bachelet put the army in charge of the evacuation after declaring the city, 110km (70 miles) west of Santiago, a disaster zone.  Thousands of residents that have been forced to flee the fire. This emergency happens just days after the Chilean earthquake, and brings to light this important question: At a time when horrific natural disasters have become an everyday part of the news cycle, are people in need more likely or less likely to get the public's assistance? 

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CLEAN WATER & SANITATION: Solomon Islands flash floods

CLEAN WATER & SANITATION: Solomon Islands flash floods | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
Forty people are missing and 49,000 homeless after entire communities washed away following heavy rains
PeerSpring's insight:

Flash floods are short-term events, occurring

within 6 hours of a trigger event -- such as a heavy rain, dam
break, levee failure, rapid, earthquake, etc. -- and
often within 2 hours of the start of high intensity
rainfall.  As much as 90 percent of the damage related to all natural disasters (excluding droughts) is caused by floods and associated debris flows. Knowing that foods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in terms of human hardship and economic loss, what can be done to better prepare for them? 

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: The Roots of Religious Conflict in Myanmar

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: The Roots of Religious Conflict in Myanmar | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
Understanding narratives is an important step to ending violence.
PeerSpring's insight:

According to this article, "Myanmar has been the site of serious conflicts between Buddhist and Muslim communities, particularly in Rakhine State where at least 146,000 persons have been displaced since the first riots in June 2012." Considering nearly one million people across Myanmar have been affected by widespread flooding, what role will religion play in getting aid to the people in need.  Source three other articles that back up your point of view. 

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Why is Catastrophic Flooding Getting Worse?

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Why is Catastrophic Flooding Getting Worse? | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
New research shows flooding in the Midwest has become more frequent over the last 50 years.
PeerSpring's insight:

As the atmosphere warms, it holds more moisture, which results in more frequent and intense episodes of precipitation -- and therefore, flooding. For the midwestern part of the United States, flood events have increased over the last 50 years. In an earlier national assessment conducted by FEMA, the government found that rising seas and more severe storms are expected to increase the areas of the United States at risk of floods by up to 45 percent by 2100.  According to reports, the U.S. has suffered more than $260-billion dollars in flood-related damages between 1980 and 2013 -- many scientists blame climate change.  Should climate science be put at the center of federal regulations? Why / Why not?

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: What Are The Greatest Dangers in the World?

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: What Are The Greatest Dangers in the World? | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it

Our 2014 Global Attitudes survey in 44 countries asked which among five dangers was considered to be the “greatest threat to the world.

PeerSpring's insight:

Many in the Middle East said religious and ethnic hatred was the greatest threat, while Europeans tended to choose inequality. Africans are more concerned with AIDS and other infectious diseases, while scattered countries, many with good reason, chose the spread of nuclear weapons or pollution and environmental problems as the top danger. Explain how the geographical clustering shows that countries’ choices often reflect regional concerns as well as internal problems. 

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CLEAN WATER & SANITATION: Let's Talk About Toilets

November 19 is World Toilet Day.  The lack of access to proper sanitation is not just an inconvenience, it impacts all aspects of the public's safety. Excrementally polluted water poses a global health risk.  

PeerSpring's insight:

The theme of UN World Toilet Day 2014 is "Equality, Dignity and the Link Between Gender-Based Violence and Sanitation." 1.25 billion -- or 1 in 3 women and girls around the world -- are without access to adequate sanitation.  Diarrhea, caused by a lack of access to clean water and safe toilets, kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria, and measles—combined. In just one gram of human feces there are:

  • 50 communicable diseases.
  • 1 million bacteria.
  • 10 million viruses.
  • 1,000 parasite cysts.
  • 100 worm eggs.

In thinking about these facts, why do you think the sanitation crisis has not taken top priority on the global agenda?

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Are heat-waves just "B-list" natural disasters?

10 yrs ago a European heat wave killed 50,000 to 70,000 people. We used to get 3 days that hot every decade, but it's going to rise to 40 days. If Europe is struggling to adapt, how will the rest of the world cope?

PeerSpring's insight:

In the summer of 2003 Europe experienced a terribly hot heat wave that led to health crises in several countries. The drought led to a crop shortfall in parts of Southern Europe. Peer reviewed analysis places the European death toll somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000. In the public imagination, heat waves remain a "B-list" natural disaster, but in reality, they are deadly. What if forecasters could predict heat waves weeks or months in advance? Would more people survive them? Are developed nations better or worse equipped to handle heat waves? Explain.

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: How Could Google Maps Help?

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: How Could Google Maps Help? | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it

Rolling blackouts, spikes in population, and natural disasters have driven home one very important point: We can’t control the unexpected. We can, however, plan for it. Preparedness starts with having a game plan everyone understands and can implement quickly.

PeerSpring's insight:

Imagine you’re the city mayor and staring into the eye of a hurricane. Before the storm hits, how will you communicate with your citizens, getting them to where they need to be — as quickly as possible?  Can mapping technology detect potential problems? Does this give cities, regions and countries the opportunity to act before they turn into emergency situations?

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EMERGENCY PROVISIONS: Bosnia and Serbia hit by floods

EMERGENCY PROVISIONS: Bosnia and Serbia hit by floods | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
Emergency teams are in action in Bosnia and Serbia after the worst floods in more than a century deluged towns and killed at least three people..
PeerSpring's insight:

Overflowing rivers have burst into towns and villages, cutting off whole communities, while landslides have buried houses. These are the heaviest rain and worst floods since records began 120 years ago.  As many as 40,000 households are living without power. The country's presidency tasked the armed forces with helping to rescue people trapped in their homes.  Because of the worsening situation, the authorities have requested assistance from the EU peace-keeping force (EUFOR) in the country. Interestingly, despite exhaustive efforts from the EU, political leaders from Bosnia have failed to move towards a EURO-Atlantic integration.  In fact, in early February, demonstrations broke out in several major cities i the country over citizens' frustration with the socio-economic depression.  How should the EUFOR respond to this crisis?

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: U.S. Braces for More Tornadoes and Flooding After Deadly Weekend

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: U.S. Braces for More Tornadoes and Flooding After Deadly Weekend | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
More strong tornadoes are possible on Monday into Monday night across parts of the south central states, a day after deadly tornadoes struck Arkansas.
PeerSpring's insight:

After deadly tornadoes swept through Oklahoma and Arkansas,the death toll stands at 17. Typically, weather systems responsible for causing tornado outbreaks move relatively quickly from west to east across the U.S., with multi-day, multi-state outbreaks in nearly the same areas standing out in the historical record.  Some scientists think global warming is making such “amplified” jet stream patterns more likely to occur by warming the Arctic and altering the heat balance between the North Pole and the equator. This hypothesis, however, has not yet been proven in the scientific literature, and remains a subject of heated debate. What responsibility do you think the federal government should have for preparedness?

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RELIEF FUNDING: Dengue: turning up the volume on a silent disaster

To know more: http://ifrc.org/dengue Over the past 50 years, dengue has spread from nine to over a hundred countries, making it the most rapidly spreading ve...
PeerSpring's insight:

Over 90 per cent of disasters around the world go unnoticed – in silence. These are too small, too inconvenient or too easily overshadowed by other events. But for the millions of people they affect, these disasters are not silent.

The speed of action is vital in responding to emergencies because without it we can't control outbreaks, treat victims or raise awareness.  This article examines the lack of funding for a Dengue outbreak.  The Dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and sub-tropics.  The cases have risen from 15,000 per year in the 1960s to 390 million today. Over 40 per cent of the world’s population is at risk from dengue. What i the most effective way to provide preventive and curative services on a large scale for this disease?

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EMERGENCY PROVISIONS: Refugees In Syria Lining Up To Get Food Aid Is Unbelievable

EMERGENCY PROVISIONS: Refugees In Syria Lining Up To Get Food Aid Is Unbelievable | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
Heartbreaking.
PeerSpring's insight:

About 9.3 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 6.8 million have been displaced from their homes but remain inside the country of 23 million.  About a quarter of a million people are stuck in besieged areas around the capital.  According to the United Nations, the size of food parcels have been cut by a fifth because of a shortage of funds from donors.  Food aid can be controversial.  One study found that an increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence, onset and duration of civil conflicts in recipient countries. Our results suggest that the effects are larger for smaller scale civil conflicts. Do you agree or disagree?  Why?

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DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: What causes tornadoes?

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: What causes tornadoes? | > Emergency Relief | Scoop.it
The U.S. has more tornadoes than anywhere else on Earth, but their sudden twists and turns still make them mysterious and mesmerizing.
PeerSpring's insight:

The U.S. has more tornadoes than anywhere else on Earth, averaging at least 10 times more twisters each year than any other country.  Their intensity is infamous — the worst can be a mile wide, rotate at 300 mph and plow along at 70 mph.  What do you think people should do to prepare for tornadoes?

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