Mitigation Overview / Analysis
- Dimming the Sun Could Be Climate Science’s Trolley Problem (The Atlantic, April 20, 2022): This article highlights how there are often hidden costs associated with some mitigation measures that need to be considered in light of any risk reduction gains to be achieved
- US Fire Administration “Community Risk Reduction” Information Page: ” Fire departments are uniquely positioned to know their communities better than most other organizations. Firefighters and emergency medical services responders see firsthand, whether through medical calls, inspections or simply driving through the community, how people live and the needs they have.” This page explains the “Five E’s of Risk Reduction”.
- Heavy rain is still hitting California. A few reservoirs figured out how to capture more for drought (NPR, January 11, 2023)
- California’s dilemma: How do you harness an epic amount of rain in a water-scarce state? Let it flood, scientists say (CNN, January 10, 2023): This article highlights the role of levees in exacerbating drought. Quoted scientists explain that reducing levee height will allow surrounding land to flood, thereby replenishing depleted groundwater resources.
- 1 million square feet of L.A. roads are being covered with solar-reflective paint (Fast Company, August 17, 2022): “The initiative covers roads, playgrounds, and parking lots, and it has already cooled the surface by 10 to 12 degrees.”
- Property owners and officials find ways around century-old laws as the West runs out of water (CNN, July : “For years, debate has raged in California about the best way to fix the water rights system for life in the modern era. Many of the senior water rights held in the state were set before 1914 when the permit system was established and when mining was big business.”
- California’s new drought rules: will they be enough to halt the ‘alarming challenges’ ahead? (The Guardian, May 3, 2022)
- Queensland floods raise questions about the ‘ethical obligation of planners’, industry figures say (The Guardian, March 19, 2022): “In the wake of the floods, some planners are advocating for a shakeup of the planning system.”
- New Park in Atlanta’s Vine City Provides Green Space and Flood Control (Atlanta Regional, November 16, 2021): “The new Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood is much more than a beautiful place to play and relax.It also doubles as a watershed management project, offering a solution to one of the area’s most pressing needs: flood control. The centerpiece pond and its surrounding greenspace can store up to 10 million gallons of stormwater runoff. That’s critical for an area that has seen its share of devastating floods.”
- NJ plans to expand buyouts of flood-prone properties (NJ Spotlight News, October 19, 2021)
- Climate Change Is Already Rejiggering Where Americans Live (Route Fifty, September 3, 2021): “Some Hurricane Ida survivors may have no choice but to leave. Sooner or later, people across the country will be in the same bind.”
- More ‘good fire’ could help California control future catastrophes (National Geographic, July 27, 2021)
- Gov’t disregard of Indigenous prescribed, cultural burns ‘created this catastrophe’: advocates (CTV News, July 27, 2021): ” Potential fuel sources of wildfires could have been burned away if both federal and provincial governments had greatly expanded the millennia-old practice of purposefully burning away entire patches of trees and dry vegetation, fire researchers and First Nations leaders told CTVNews.ca.”
- Mangrove forest study has takeaways for coastal communities (Science Daily, June 28, 2021): ” The study focused on the effects of Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida in 2017, and the damage it caused to the state’s mangrove forests. The research team found that the forests suffered unparalleled dieback after the major hurricane. “
- In spite of wildfire risk, there’s no statewide guide book for building property in Colorado (9 News, May 17, 2021): This article highlights the challenge that exists in terms of establishing building codes that reduce hazard risk, and the value individuals place on being able to do as they please on their own property.
- Plan to Reduce Massive Wildfires in US West (Associated Press, November 27, 2020): U.S. officials on Friday released an overarching plan for removing or changing vegetation over a huge swath of the U.S. West to stop devastating wildfires on land used for cattle ranching, recreation and habitat for imperiled sage grouse.
REPORT: Urban Land Institute, “On Safer Ground”: Floodplain Buyouts and Community ResilienceDownload
GUIDE: Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions – A Guide for Local Communities (FEMA, 2021)Download
- Can Seawalls Save Us? (The New Yorker, November 5, 2023): “Huge coastal barriers could protect the world’s cities. But they’ll have unexpected costs.”
- Guatemala’s first 3D-printed tiny home is 527 square feet and was designed to resist earthquakes — take a look inside (Insider, November 2, 2023)
- Automatic gas shutoffs could cut SF post-quake fires in half, expert says (NBC, October 26, 2023)
- How ‘Miracle’ Homes Survived the Maui Fires (The Messenger, September 7, 2023)
- Building Codes Save Money and Lives (Scientific American, August 24, 2023)
- Coralville seeking grants to relocate power lines underground (The Gazette, January 16, 2023)
- 3 ways to advance climate-resilient housing solutions in vulnerable communities (World Economic Forum, January 12, 2023)
- Mystery of why Roman buildings have survived so long has been unraveled, scientists say (CNN, January 9, 2023)
- Indonesia needs earthquake-proof houses. Building them is a huge challenge (CNN, November 25, 2022)
- Building for a flooded future: Architects are designing for the new climate reality (CNN, November 12, 2022)
- Burying short sections of power lines could drastically reduce hurricanes’ impact on coastal residents (National Science Foundation, September 13, 2022)
- The cheaper we build our buildings, the more they cost after an earthquake, wildfire or tornado (The Conversation, June 16, 2022): “Building-code writers, engineers and others frequently tout the benefits of modern building codes. But new buildings only keep us relatively safe; they’re not disaster proof. Why don’t we build better buildings? Because it would cost a little more.”
- For States and Localities, a Sudden Rush of Federal Water and Sewer Funding (Route Fifty, July 12, 2021): This article explains how recognition of the role that stormwater and drinking water infrastructure plain in national resilience is leading to an increased focus from lawmakers.
- How to Keep Cool Without Turning on the A/C (Northeaster University, June 7, 2021)
- One Answer to Climate Change Is Right Under Your Feet (The Daily Beast, June 18, 2021): Reflective pavement really does cool cities – but location is key (it can raise the temperature in surrounding buildings).
- Designed for disaster: These homes can withstand a Category 5 hurricane (Washington Post, May 16, 2021): ” Dick Love, who lives in Florida, owns a Deltec home on Scotland Cay, just north of Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas, that survived Dorian. Of the 62 homes that once stood there, only three escaped with minimal damage — Love’s, and two others built by the same contractor. “
- Rebuilding After a Wildfire? Most States Don’t Require Fire-Resistance Materials (NPR, November 25, 2020): While California has mandated wildfire building codes for more than a decade in high risk areas, other states have struggled to approve comprehensive rebuilding codes. In Oregon and Colorado, efforts faced stiff and ultimately successful opposition from home builders associations.
- Video: How Japan Built Disaster-Proof Skyscrapers (Bloomberg City Lab, 1/13/2021): With natural disasters becoming more and more frequent, Japanese engineers and architects have pushed the boundaries of technology and design to create resilient, disaster-proof buildings.
Building Codes and Land Use Planning
- The city that didn’t collapse: How Erzin became a haven from Turkey’s earthquake (NBC News, February 15, 2023)
- Better Building Codes Could Mitigate Climate Disasters (WhoWhatWhy, July 5, 2021): ” Updating building codes to mitigate disaster is one step toward weathering the impacts of climate change — a step that is sometimes overlooked in the effort to reduce those impacts by lowering carbon emissions.”
- As Disasters Worsen, California Looks at Curbing Construction in Risky Areas (New York Times, June 4, 2021): “At the start of wildfire season, California’s insurance regulator has backed sweeping changes to discourage home building in fire-prone areas, including looking at cutting off new construction in those regions from what is often their only source of insurance — the state’s high-risk pool.”
REPORT: NIBS – Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: ” “Adopting model building codes developed by the International Code Council (they’re known as I-Codes) saves communities $11 in disaster repair and recovery per dollar spent implementing the measures proposed in the report.”Download
REPORT: FEMA – Protecting Communities and Saving Lives: The Case for Adopting Building CodesDownload
Natural Barriers / Defenses
- Making cities ‘spongy’ could help fight flooding — by steering the water underground (NPR, October 3, 2023)
- Explainer: How Do Barrier Islands Guard the Coastline? (Maritime Executive, October 10, 2022)
- Beavers are heat wave heroes (Vox, July 22, 2022): “Animals don’t have AC. But they have beavers.”
- FEMA’s “Nature-Based Solutions” Website
- Peatlands can fight natural disasters and the climate crisis. Canada needs to stop taking them for granted (The Narwhal, October 18, 2021): “Canada has more pristine peatland than any other country but is far behind the rest of the world in protecting and restoring these valuable ecosystems”
- Nature’s Role in Mitigating Damages from Storms, Wildfires (Nature, May 19, 2021): ” To support the momentum for investing in nature-based projects, The Nature Conservancy has worked with AECOM, an engineering firm, to develop a new guidebook titled “Promoting Nature-Based Hazard Mitigation through FEMA Mitigation Grants.””
GUIDE: FEMA “Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding” (Although this guide is from 2005, it contains a wealth of good information and effective strategies for communities looking to improve flood mitigation practices). Download
- Resilience Features Can Make Hurricanes, Wildfires, Other Disasters Less Scary (Forbes, October 31, 2023)
- How Arizona, California and other states are trying to generate a whole new water supply (The Hill, January 22, 2023)
- The first-ever vaccine for honeybees has been approved by the USDA (CNN, January 7, 2023)
- One Florida community built to weather hurricanes endured Ian with barely a scratch (NPR, October 6, 2022)
- States dependent on Colorado River wonder if desalination could help the water supply (NPR, August 19, 2022): “Severe drought has states dependent on the Colorado River looking at alternatives.”
- Lakes are drying up everywhere. Israel will pump water from the Med as a solution (CNN, August 19, 2022)
- US communities are mapping heat islands to boost climate resilience (Phys.Org, August 18, 2022)
- Cooling centers are turning into next-gen “climate resilience hubs” (Axios, August 9, 2022)
- Homes aren’t designed to withstand these brutal heatwaves—but they could be (Fast Company, August 4, 2022)
- These cities are better at enduring extreme heat. Here’s what they’re doing different (CNN, August 4, 2022)
- Seawalls alone won’t save coastal cities, major UN report says (The Verge, February 28, 2022): “Seawalls might be able to temporarily fend off rising tides and storm surges, but the report’s authors say more “transformative changes in our behaviour and infrastructure” are needed as the climate crisis worsens.”
- How ‘solar canals’ could help California survive a megadrought (Fast Company, February 25, 2022): “Covering California’s canals with solar panels could save 65 billion gallons of water a year—and create energy in the process.”
- Citing danger to freshwater, scientists say we need to put brakes on road salts (Washington Post, December 31, 2021)
- FEMA, USDA and DOI Jointly Establish New Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission (FEMA, December 17, 2021): “The commission is tasked with recommending federal policies and strategies to more effectively prevent, mitigate, suppress and manage wildland fires, including rehabilitating land affected from wildland fires.”
Mitigation Programs and Capacity Development
- Build Resiliency in Your Community: 5 Reasons to Apply for FEMA’s Direct Technical Assistance (FEMA, September 11, 2023)
- FEMA Names Nearly 500 US Communities as ‘Resilience Zones’ (Insurance Journal, September 7, 2023)
- Biden’s inflation law offers up to $14,000 for home upgrades. Here’s how to qualify. (CBS News, September 13, 2022)
- Biden announces funding for infrastructure to ‘withstand’ climate change disasters, air conditioners for homes (Global News, July 20, 2022): “U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday US$2.3 billion would be provided to communities across the country to help communities build infrastructure “that’s designed to withstand the full range of disasters we’ve been seeing up to today,” giving examples of extreme heat, drought and tornadoes. He said they’d also deploy $385 million for states to fund air conditioners in homes and cooling centres. Biden added that action was needed because the climate crisis was a “clear and present danger.””
- A Better Cost-Sharing Option for State Flood Mitigation Programs (Association of State Floodplain Managers, April 11, 2022)
- Flood Mitigation Assistance Initiative Swift Current (FEMA, March 2022): “FEMA has published a funding notice called Swift Current to explore how to make flood mitigation assistance available within the disaster recovery timeframe for repetitively flooded and substantially damaged buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. Initially FEMA is offering this funding opportunity to Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, states affected by Hurricane Ida.”
- How powerful land barons shaped the epic floods in California’s heartland (Los Angeles Times, September 28, 2023)
- Two weeks of A31 closures near Alresford start today to improve resilience to extreme weather (Hampshire News, January 16, 2023): This story provides an example of the temporary hardships that must often be endured to gain long-term resilience.
- Swamped by public outcry, Oregon withdraws controversial wildfire risk map (OPB, August 9, 2022): This article describes a situation where a state communicated risk to support mitigation efforts but the scope of the problem displayed in that map was overwhelming to the communities affected.
- FEMA wants NC residents to move out of flood-prone areas. Just one problem. (Greensboro.Com, June 20, 2022): This article describes the challenges associated with buyout programs in a hot and/or unpredictable housing market.
- Did California learn anything from the last drought? ‘Gambling’ with water continues (LA Times, June 15, 2022): “Seven years later, California is once again facing urgent calls for cutbacks as heat waves, record dryness and climate change converge to create critically short supplies. But what has California learned since then? Is the Golden State really ready to do this again?”
- How to Convince People to Leave Homes at Serious Risk From Climate Change (Future Tense, April 1, 2022): “Nearly 100 million Americans live on the coasts, and they are continuing to move there at high rates. In fact, the coastal population has grown by more than 15 percent since 2000—faster than the rest of the country—and the population of coastline counties in the Gulf of Mexico region increased by nearly one-quarter between 2000 and 2016. Coastal areas have a population density that is more than five times greater than the U.S. average.”
- When Your Yard Can Kill You (Route Fifty, August 12, 2021): ” In California, state and local laws have long required that people who live in areas at high risk of wildfires create buffers of “defensible space”—land cleared of vegetation and other flammable material—around their homes. Local fire departments and Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, are tasked with going door-to-door to inspect the properties of the estimated 2.7 million Californians who live in these zones. ”
- Drought-Stricken California Hasn’t Mandated Statewide Water Restrictions. Here’s Why (KQED, July 16, 2021): This is a fascinating article that discusses the difficulty in mandating actions that have a common benefit. California is wary of becoming a ‘nanny state’, yet the ‘tragedy of the commons‘ should remind us that people given unhampered access to a shared resource will always act in their own self interest.
- After Florida Building Collapse, Task Force to Consider Changes to Condo Laws (Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2021): “A task force has been created to investigate Florida’s laws surrounding condominiums and make recommendations for legal reforms to the governor’s office and state legislature in the wake of the building collapse in Surfside, according to people familiar with the plans.”
- Lax Enforcement Let South Florida Towers Skirt Inspections for Years (New York Times, July 4, 2021)
- Historical Flood Insurance Data (FEMA – STATIC)
- Insurance prices need to reflect an increase in natural disasters: AXA CFO (CNBC, November 3, 2023)
- As Climate Shocks Grow, Lawmakers Investigate Insurers Fleeing Risky Areas (New York Times, November 1, 2023)
- Proposed Flood Zone Expansion Would Increase Need for Private Insurance (Insurance Information Institute, November 1, 2023)
- Ron DeSantis Called Out For Florida’s Severe Insurance Crisis As Rates Triple The National Average: ‘Floridians Are Getting Absolutely Crushed‘ (Yahoo, October 26, 2023)
- Home Insurance Is So High in This Florida Town, Residents Are Leaving (Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2023)
- Allianz releases web-based tool that assesses hazard risk by address (Allianz, September 14, 2023)
- 4 reasons why your car insurance premium is soaring (NPR, September 13, 2023)
- Severe thunderstorms account for up to 70% of all insured natural catastrophe losses in first half of 2023, Swiss Re Institute estimates (SwissRe, August 9, 2023)
- New Canadian homes could be too risky to insure as weather changes, experts say (Financial Post, September 6, 2023)
- Home insurers cut natural disasters from policies over climate risk (Washington Post, September 3, 2023)
- Climate risk guarantees home insurance policies will keep getting more expensive (CNBC, August 30, 2023)
- A looming insurance shock spells trouble for housing markets in Florida and California (Fortune, August 18, 2023)
- How Florida let a top insurer abandon homeowners in their time of greatest need (Washington Post, August 4, 2023)
- Florida rocked by home insurance crisis: ‘I may have to sell up and move’ (The Guardian, July 15, 2023)
- Florida Homeowners Have a Troubling New Problem — And Its Getting Worse (The Street, July 13, 2023)
- Climate change is fueling an insurance crisis. There’s no easy fix. (Washington Post, June 27, 2023)
- 10 states sue FEMA to block higher flood insurance rates (Climate Wire, June 2, 2023)
- How Climate Change Factors Into Home Insurance Pricing (NRP, April 20, 2023)
- Florida insurance crisis has some homeowners eyeing an exit: ‘I almost had a heart attack’ (USA Today, April 18, 2023)
- Chile inks $630 mln earthquake insurance deal with World Bank (Reuters, March 17, 2023)
- California just got slammed with a series of severe storms but only about 2% of properties are covered by flood insurance (Fortune, January 20, 2023)
- Florida flood insurance (Bankrate, January 9, 2023): This article explains how Florida is working to avoid the impacts of ‘adverse selection’ (where only those at greatest risk purchase insurance) by mandating all purchasers of the state’s ‘Insurer of last resort’ (policies for people who can’t get insurance on the open market) require the purchase of flood insurance even if the home is outside of the FEMA NFIP Special Flood Hazard Area (the 100-year floodplain).
- More insurance companies pull out of Louisiana: ‘We are in a crisis’ (Fox Business, January 16, 2023)
- As insurers flee Louisiana or fold, Legislature could hold special session to launch incentives (Nola.Com, January 14, 2023)
- Reinsurers Retreat From U.S. Disaster Hotspots on Climate Risks (Insurance Journal, January 12, 2023)
- Florida lawmakers reveal proposed changes to property insurance laws (Miami Herald, December 13, 2022): “State lawmakers have a plan to resolve the state’s property insurance woes: require insurers to respond to claims faster, make homeowners file claims sooner, reduce the incentives to sue insurers and offer a taxpayer-funded $1 billion bailout program for companies.”
- Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article269839242.html#storylink=cpy
- Disasters caused total of $122 bln in insured losses in 2022 -Swiss Re (Reuters, December 1, 2022)
- Insurers Are Facing a Steep Rise in Reinsurance Rates (Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2022)
- In Hurricane Ian’s Wake, Insurers and Homeowners Gear Up for Coverage Fights (Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2022)
- FEMA Must Revamp Flood Insurance Program (Bloomberg, September 15, 2022): “FEMA, as the sole administrator of the flood insurance program, has legal authority without congressional action to update its building and land-use standards so that the program better protects communities and their residents from the threat of flooding. However, FEMA has not comprehensively amended these standards since the 1970s, when Gerald Ford was president. Nor has FEMA included projected future flood conditions on any of the more than 8,000 maps the agency has updated since Congress imposed such a mandate in 2012.”
- Insurance companies will cover some additional costs for Ida victims in Louisiana after Biden push (CNBC, September 3, 2022): This article brings to question the private sector role of insurance companies, which must remain solvent and driven by risk assessments to continue to exist.
- Homeowners keep paying a high price for Florida’s dysfunctional insurance market (Miami Herald, August 19, 2022)
- As climate change threatens more homes, some properties are getting too costly to insure (CNBC, August 9, 2022): “Homeowners insurance premiums rose by 12.1% nationwide, compared to one year ago, but surges have been higher in disaster-prone states, according to Policygenius.”
- Louisiana’s insurance market is collapsing, just in time for hurricane season (Grist, June 24, 2022): “At least seven companies have failed in the nine months since Hurricane Ida, sending homeowners into a panic.”
- Biden admin: Stop flood insurance for new, risky homes (Politico, June 13, 2022): “The proposal is one piece of the most dramatic attempt to restructure the government’s National Flood Insurance Program since its creation in 1968”
- Flood and cyclone–prone areas in eastern Australia may be ‘uninsurable’ by 2030, report suggests (The Guardian, May 2, 2022)
- People Deserve to Know Their Houses Are Going to Burn (The Atlantic, March 15, 2022): “As climate risks to our property, our livelihoods, and our lives mount, to what extent should we cushion the blow of these dangers, and is there a limit to how much, or how long, we pay? Is there a point where protecting people from risk begets more risk?”
- Wildfire Risk in California Drives Insurers to Pull Policies for Pricey Homes (Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2022): “AIG and Chubb are cutting back on coverage of multimillion-dollar homes, following years of non-renewals by midrange insurers”
- Back to the future: Climate change resilience, self-insurance, and market insurance (Brookings, December 6, 2021): This is an incredibly insightful piece on the challenge of finding the right mix of self-insurance, market insurance, and mitigation.
- When frequent floods make insurance costly (The Straits Times, October 10, 2021): This article explains the risk-based changes in the National Flood Insurance Program rate structure.
- Getting burned: Battles over the cost of climate change are scorching California homeowners (Fortune, September 28, 2021)
- Uninsurable”: how urban growth and more hurricanes are making property insurance riskier (Univision Noticias, September 12, 2021): “Property insurance is forecast to grow by 5.3% annually with global insurance premiums tripling from $450 billion in 2020 to $1.3 trillion in 2040, according to the study, based on the latest scientific data, economic studies and risk modeling.”
- No matter the fire risk, California insurance companies can’t cancel your policy (August 25, 2021): California has for the third year prevented insurance companies from canceling the policies of high risk homeowners. Such policies go against insurance principles of ensuring policies are actuarially sound, but also protect homeowners who may not be able to assume accountability for their risk. A long term solution is required to achieve actual community resilience.
- Few earthquake-insured Missouri homes amid rising costs (ABC News, July 16, 2021): ” Only 12.7% of homes in the New Madrid fault area were insured as of last year, according to a survey of insurers released by Missouri’s Department of Commerce and Insurance this week. In 2000, more than 60% of homes in the area were insured for earthquakes. Earthquake insurance costs are up 760% compared to 2000, and many insurers only offer coverage with deductibles at 25% of the value of insured homes.”
- As Wildfire Season Nears, Many California Farmers Can’t Get Fire Insurance (Civil Eats, May 10, 2021): Insurance companies price policies according to risk as assessed, and in areas where risk is considered too high, insurers withdraw or rate policies at prices that are too high for most consumers.
- Insurers Struggle to Forecast Near-Term Risks in a Shifting Climate (Scientific American, April 16, 2021): “After a record-setting year for hurricanes and wildfires, the insurance industry is grappling with the role of our climate emergency in estimating local disaster damages.”
- What is NFIP Risk Rating 2.0? Here’s Everything You Need to Know (Wright Flood Advice Fact Sheet)
- The Flood Insurance Debate Returns: Here’s What to Expect (E&E News, March 27, 2021): Authorization for the NFIP are set to expire later this year. Subsidies for new construction are cited as a leading weakness in the reauthorization proposals.
- California protects homeowners from having fire insurance dropped — again (CalMatters, November 5, 2020): As places become more hazard prone, insurance companies are finding it more difficult to justify the underwriting of risk, and many times the result is an insurance ‘black hole’. Without the availability of insurance, a community may not survive.
- A Looming Disaster: New Data Reveal Where Flood Damage Is an Existential Threat (NPR, February 22, 2021): This article explains how flood costs continue to increase at a pace that exceeds increases in NFIP premiums. The program has plans in place to ensure premiums better reflect risk, but for many homeowners this will prevent an affordability crisis. Meanwhile, floods are causing people to leave their towns and never return.
- Flood-Prone Homeowners Could See Major Rate Hikes in FEMA Flood Insurance Changes, New Study Finds (USA Today, February 22, 2021): This article explains why it is critical that insurance premiums match risk, but also details how this may mean premium increases that exceed 3000 percent for some homeowners.
UNDRR/ICMIF Report “From-Protection-to-Prevention” – This is a groundbreaking, and hopefully transformation, conceptual framework to engage the insurance sector to achieve community resilience.Download
Community-Based Catastrophe Insurance (Report by Marsh & McLennan and the Wharton School that proposes a new model to improve community resilience through locally-based insurance schemes (rather than seeking such programs on a regional, national, or international scale), namely “disaster insurance arranged by a local governmental or quasi-governmental body or community group covering a group of properties within the community.”Download
Selecting Mitigation Options
- Air quality regulator temporarily suspends cremation limits for LA County amid ‘backlog’ from pandemic (CNN, January 18, 2021): A great example of how hazard risk mitigation interventions must be assessed for both their benefits and their costs, and how the management of one hazard can inadvertently impact our capacity to respond to another.
Funding for Mitigation
- FEMA Obligates $10.28 Million Through Swift Current Initiative (FEMA Swift Current Website, Current December 1, 2022)
- Pushing Ahead Projects to Protect Against Climate-related Disasters (Route Fifty, October 7, 2022): “Projects to deal with risks like flooding and hurricanes are being buoyed by new federal funding. But state and local officials say it can sometimes be a heavy lift to access the money.”
- Climate change hits poorer communities harder. For some, FEMA’s grants are out of reach. (NBC News, July 20, 2021)”Nearly 1,000 local governments applied for FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which recently announced the 406 expected recipients of its first wave of $500 million in grant funding. (Final decisions on awards will be made in September.) Interest far outstripped the available money, and many communities are set to receive nothing.”
- 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities and Flood Mitigation Assistance Webinar Series (FEMA Information Site): ” The webinars are designed for leaders in states, local communities, tribes and territories, as well as private sector entities, private non-profit organizations, and individuals interested in learning more about the BRIC and FMA grant programs and strategies for how to apply for them. “
- FEMA Earthquake Mitigation Grants Dashboard: FEMA recently published an update to the State Assistance Grant Program: A History of Mitigation Activities data dashboard to provide an overview of how grant money is spent. The projects detailed here support local earthquake safety, mitigation, and resilience activities. This grant program is part of FEMA’s National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (FEMA NEHRP).
Adaptation and Resilience
- As climate disasters mount, the world isn’t spending nearly enough to adapt (Washington Post, November 2, 2023)
- What are China’s ‘sponge cities’ and why aren’t they stopping floods? (Reuters, August 9, 2023)
- Facing floods: What the world can learn from Bangladesh’s climate solutions (NPR, March 26, 2023): “Bangladesh isn’t just ground zero for climate disaster. It’s also a hot spot for solutions.”
- As Hawaii declares climate crisis, schools hope Indigenous knowledge will save the islands (USA Today, February 28, 2022)
- A Sydney suburb is banning dark roofs to tackle climate change (World Economic Forum, September 2, 2021)
- How Brazilian Cities Are Implementing Nature-Based Solutions (ICLEI, June 21, 2021)
- How Biomass Could Reduce the Risk of Wildfires (Marsh McLennan, October 28, 2020): “The 1980s were the beginning of “biomass” — organic matter from forest floors — being used to generate electricity at utility scale through power-purchase agreements (PPAs).”
Case Studies and Best Practices
- Protecting public art from natural disasters (Washington State Standard, November 1, 2023): “A project in Washington is trying to gauge the risk that hazards like earthquakes and flooding present for public art to prevent works from getting damaged.”
- Hurricane Ian Wiped Out Homes and Power Systems Across Florida – So How Did this Small Town Escape Mostly Unscathed? (TCD, October 18, 2023)
- The Future of Climate Adaptation Is Here in the Native Village of Newtok, Alaska (The Nation, December 14, 2022): “Newtok has been moving to safer ground while facing mounting crisis. A story of both struggle and success, it’s become a model for communities in the path of disaster.”
- A text asked millions of Californians to save energy. They paid heed, averting blackouts. (LA Times, August 7, 2022): “Officials credit the emergency alert sent Tuesday night for the avoidance of widespread blackouts during record-setting energy demands.”
- Pakistan has a big idea: Send 13,000 teams led by women to vaccinate the hesitant (NPR, March 5, 2022)
- NJ plans to expand buyouts of flood-prone properties (NJ Spotlight, October 19, 2021): “New Jersey’s program to buy out flood-prone houses is being redesigned to include properties that are expected to flood in response to climate change as well as those that are already eligible for state purchase because of repeated flooding in the past.”
- $500-million in flood mitigation improvements coming to KCK, KCMO (KCTV, October 13, 2021): “It’s part of a levee improvement project along both the Kansas and Missouri Rivers that will help six key neighborhoods, including industrial ones that employ more than 100,000 people.”
- A midwestern town moved uphill to survive the elements. Can others do the same? (The Guardian, August 21, 2021)
- Mandeville (Jamaica) mayor lauds flooding mitigation (Jamaica Observer, July 6, 2021): “With Jamaica being spared the full wrath of Tropical Storm Elsa, albeit damage was evident to roads in sections of Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and Clarendon, the parish of Manchester had no such reports. “