Alert and Warning
Templates for Emergency Alert Notifications: There is often very little time to craft emergency alerts when dangerous situations arise. By creating easy-to-customize templates prior to the onset of an actual event, alerting delays can be avoided or minimized. Download
- Sample Alert and Warning Messages (CalOES, STATIC)
- Early Warnings For All Initiative scaled up into action on the ground (UN Press Release, March 21, 2023)
- Disaster experts say heat warning systems are falling short (NPR, September 6, 2022)
- Snags afflict India’s early warning systems for natural disasters (RFI, July 16, 2022): “A lack of impact-based forecasts that can identify risks and lack of localised action plans to follow warnings are some issues that plague India’s Early Warning Systems (EWS).”
- UN Plans Global Warning System to Protect Against Worsening Weather Disasters (Science Alert, March 24, 2022): “The United Nations said Wednesday it wanted the whole world covered by weather disaster early warning systems within five years to protect people from the worsening impacts of climate change.”
- In 2020, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency released two guides, one full-length and one pocket version, to assist disaster assessment teams in collecting and reporting data.
- As COVID overwhelms India’s hospitals, housing societies step in (Al Jazeera, May 31, 2021): With India’s health infrastructure overwhelmed during the pandemic’s second wave, several resident welfare associations (RWAs), representative bodies of residents within a housing community across urban India have taken matters into their own hands, repurposing spaces such as gymnasiums or community halls into isolation or emergency rooms, buying oxygen concentrators and cylinders, arranging meals for the quarantined residents and organising testing and vaccination camps.
- Neighbors are Opening Up Their Homes as the Crisis in Texas Deepens (CNN, 2/19/2021)
US Coast Guard Response
- USCG Rescues 10 From Severe Flooding in Western Washington (Maritime Executive, November 16, 2021): “10 people at a location to the west of Forks were cut off by the flooding and in danger, and county officials requested the Coast Guard’s help with a helicopter evacuation.”
Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA)
- The Productivity Secrets of the Air Force’s Disaster Gurus (GQ, July 8, 2021): “They’re an elite response unit trained to tackle enormous events that strike without warning—earthquakes, hurricanes, even invasions. They’re never harried or anxious or unprepared. And they can teach us a lot about getting things done with speed and style.”
- Canadian Military On Alert As Wildfires Rage (International Businss Times, July 3, 2021): “The Canadian military was on standby Saturday to help evacuate towns and fight more than 170 wildfires fueled by a record-smashing heat wave and tinder-dry conditions as the government in Ottawa warned of a “long and challenging summer” ahead.”
- Wolf Administration Discusses Need For Flexible Disaster Emergency Declarations For Long-Duration Disaster Incidents (Pennsylvania Pressroom, May 4, 2021): “The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) today discussed how flexible disaster emergency declarations allow emergency officials to maintain response and recovery operations for the extent of long-duration disaster incidents.”
First Aid and Medical
- Daunting medical issues for earthquake survivors are just beginning (Washington Post, February 9, 2023)
- Extreme weather: Why people risk their lives to save their homes (DW.Com, July 21, 2021): “It’s definitely at your own risk if you stay — and do not expect anybody to come and help you,” Egan told DW. “
- Miami condo collapse shows how the U.S. keeps getting disaster response wrong (NBC, July 5, 2021): “When every minute is crucial to saving lives, our inability to mandate an instant call-up of resources across city and state lines is literally killing people.”
- With Hurricane Season Looming, FEMA Aims to Stave Off Burnout After ‘Tiresome’ Year (Government Executive, 4/21/2021)
- In Texas, Price Gouging During Disasters is Illegal – It Is Also on Very Shaky Ethical Grounds (The Conversation, 2/24/2021): This article explores how and why price gouging occurs after a disaster, and the impacts it has on community resilience.
- In a swelling Turkish cemetery, a glimpse of the earthquakes’ rising toll (Washington Post, February 9, 2023)
- Overwhelmed medical examiners grapple with grim task after Hurricane Ian (NBC News, October 7, 2022): “Investigators have pinned more than 100 deaths on the historic storm that devastated southwest Florida.”
- Remains of 2011 Japan Tsunami Victim Discovered in February 2021 (The Guardian, March 4, 2021)
Search and Rescue
- Turkey halts most rescue efforts for earthquake survivors (CNN, February 19, 2023)
- Facing a Dire Storm Forecast in Florida, Officials Delayed Evacuation (New York Times, September 30, 2022)
- FEMA Wildfire Evacuation Information / Support Page
- Fleeing Disaster Is Hard. Climate Change Is Making It Harder (Wired, September 1, 2021): “Hurricane Ida and California wildfires are two sides of the same coin: On a warmer planet, it’s getting harder to evacuate from extreme events.”
- We’re Hitting the Limits of Hurricane Preparedness (Defense One, August 30, 2021): “Cities simply don’t have enough time to run from a storm like Ida.”
- Get your free evacuation tags from CMPA (June 17, 2021): This is an interesting resilience-focused campaign from Marin County, California, wherein the municipality is distributing signs in advance of wildfire season that help responders to identify which homes have already been cleared of residents, thereby reducing the amount of time responders need to dedicate to checking all homes in the community.
- Incorporating human factors in emergency evacuation – an overview of behavioral factors and models (International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 2021): “This paper aims to lay the foundations for a more realistic representation of human factors in evacuation models, which is needed to ensure the adequacy of the infrastructure, decision processes and safety of evacuation.”
- How the East Coast’s busiest highway unraveled: 36 hours of confusion and misery on I-95 (Washington Post, January 27, 2022): This article describes how an inability to clear major transportation routes during a moderate snowstorm led to the stranding of hundreds of drivers for more than 24 hours in freezing cold temperatures.
- California’s power grid operator has issued a statewide alert urging residents to cut back electricity use (CNN, July 28, 2021): This article illustrates the linkages that exist between infrastructure and hazard risk. Energy infrastructure is a contributor to risk (e.g., power transmission networks can ignite fires), a mitigation measure for various hazards (e.g., energy supports air conditioning during heat waves), and is closely interlinked with response efforts (in this case, energy rationing is implemented to avoid power demand overload failures).
- Biden races to get ahead of gasoline crunch (Politico, May 11, 2021)
Humanitarian Response / International Disaster Response
- What is humanitarian aid? Peanut butter, WiFi, and other life-saving supplies. (Popular Science, October 31, 20230)
- Thermal drones seek survivors after deadly Italy glacier collapse (France 24, July 4, 2022): “”We found bodies torn apart, in a shapeless tide of ice and debris stretching over 1,000 metres (3,280 feet),” Gino Comelli from the Alpine Rescue Service told the Corriere della Sera daily Monday.”
- FEMA rolls out text feature to help Americans find open shelters during disasters (The Hill, February 8, 2022): FEMA created an SMS text program wherein a person using a mobile phone can text the word “Shelter” and their zip code to the number 43362, and a list of shelters within 200 miles of their location will be provided.
- Catching Fire: AI is Helping Scarce Firefighters Better Predict Blazes (UNDRR, July 22, 2021)
- Accurate and Reliable Responder Location-Tracking Scheduled to Be Released Early Next Year (USFA, September 30, 2021): “Using low frequency magnetic fields, POINTER will provide the ability to locate responders quickly and precisely at challenging incident scenes.”
- How AI may be a game changer in fighting wildfires before they start (The Weather Network, July 27, 2021): ” AI technology offers several advantages. For one, machines can see a lot better than the human eye.”
- Ingenious new search and rescue drone finds people by listening for screams (Digital Trends, June 19, 2021): “Drones are already used in disaster scenarios due to their ability to survey scenes from the air, combined with their agility and ability to access difficult-to-reach areas. But until now, drones have largely had to rely on visual identification to spot people. However, using the so-called “Crow’s Nest Array” of acoustic technology, they could soon be able to fly to a disaster zone and then listen to identify people by their voices as well.”
Responding to Ongoing Effects of the Event
- Many California farmers have water cut off, but a lucky few are immune to drought rules (LA Times, August 29, 2021): This article explains how the ability to respond to specific disaster events may be heavily dictated by policy, ordinance, law, or other statutory or social mechanism.
Improving Response Capacity
- Disaster fatigue is getting worse with more billion-dollar extreme weather events (The Hill, October 10, 2021): “The physical resources and human effort needed to restore a sense of normalcy to places affected by disasters is limited, and they are tested with every new event. Because of the size of these events, they require assistance from local, state and federal governments. With a limited amount of funds and responders, the increased number and size of events are straining an already-stressed system.”
REPORT: European Commission – Compendium of Good Practices for a Greener Humanitarian ResponseDownload
- Civilian Reservist Emergency Workforce Act of 2021 (Bill passed September 14, 2022): “A bill to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to provide certain employment rights to reservists of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and for other purposes.”)
- First Responder Retirement Bill Gets a Unanimous Senate Vote (Government Executive, November 23, 2022): “The legislation allows first responders with disabilities to continue receiving federal retirement benefits in the same manner as though they had not been disabled.”