This post was originally published on December 17, 2016 in The Hill. Recently, Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through April of next year. The final bill also included $170 million to address some of the infrastructure issues causing the lead exposure in drinking water in Flint, Mich. In addition, disaster-affected areas such as those hit by Hurricane Matthew, the floods in Baton Rouge, and others were given $4.1 billion in disaster assistance. The passage of this would be laudable were it not coming nearly a year after the governor of Michigan declared Flint to be in a State of Emergency and nearly five months after the historic 1,000-year flooding event in Louisiana. This is a cycle repeated after disasters, where emergency managers and responders are left in limbo over how to plan and pay for disasters because existing funding mechanisms are insufficient. At its core, this is a structural issue, rooted in a lack of legislative preparedness that directly impacts our ability to prepare for, respond
- Climate Change And Disasters
- Systems Readiness
- Disaster Communications
- Vulnerable Populations
This post was originally published on November 7, 2016 in The Hill Congress blog. In 2010 our center, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, published findings based on research conducted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina describing children as the “bellwethers” of disaster recovery. To put it simply, if one wants to know how a community is doing after a disaster, look to the children. If they are doing okay, then the community is probably doing okay.
This post was originally published on February 9, 2016 in The Huffington Post blog. By most accounts, December’s international climate conference in Paris was an unexpected and landmark success. Virtually every nation on earth now understands what’s at stake and all have reached common understanding about what needs to be done to slow the advance of unmitigated planetary warming. Still, in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence that dangerous levels of planetary warming and human-induced climate change are real, hard-core resistance to well-established science remains a challenge. Particularly disconcerting is the fact that the ranks of the “climate deniers” include too many influential political and policy leaders. That is not to say that every question about the impact of climate change is scientifically settled. For instance, how does climate change affect the intensity or frequency of coastal storms? And what is the relationship between climate change and weather patterns? Our sense
This post was originally published on April 29, 2016 in The Hill Congress blog. Recently the GAO released a report examining the state of emergency preparedness in k-12 schools. The conclusions in this report are alarming,