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May 2018

May we introduce you to the seventh issue of “Disaster Discourse Monthly?” In this issue, we discuss natural hazards as well as this year’s National Level Exercise (NLE). As always, we hope this issue helps grow who’s in-the-know, but if it’s not an email you’d like to receive, just unsubscribe here. Enjoy, feel free to peruse any of our past issues, and we’ll see you in June!

Earthquakes

Lucy Jones, center, stands directly on the San Andreas and points to an area of the hillside where the rocks abruptly change, a sign of where the fault is located (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)


“Natural hazards are inevitable...the disaster is not.” Seismologist and founder of the Great Shake Out, Dr. Lucy Jones’s research has “formed the basis for California’s earthquake advisory system.” Now, she’s published The Big Ones, a treatise on the history and impact of natural disasters around the world. Her book seeks to tell the stories of major disasters and thereby help a larger audience to connect to past events and better understand their personal possibility for risk. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s rising skyline presents uncertainty - as well as leaning and sinking towers - that could pose a potential hazard should the Big One occur, which has led to a call for “reassessment of earthquake risks” and an improvement of the building code.

Hurricanes

According to a study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), record-breaking warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico fueled the strength and devastating rainfall of Hurricane Harvey. Similarly, the Geophysical Research Letters have just released a study that hurricanes are rapidly intensifying at an increasing rate as the earth’s waters grow warmer. With these increasing risks, the studies call for greater planning and mitigation, as “building resiliency may well have saved billions and a lot of grief” in recent past events.

National Level Exercise 2018

This month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held the NLE 2018, which FEMA Administrator Brock Long called, “a call for individuals, families and businesses to build a plan, update your insurance and be prepared” for the upcoming Hurricane Season. The Government Technology and Services Coalition covered each day of the exercise, interviewing the participating emergency managers and hearing the lessons learned from their experience in the exercise.
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