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Australia Not Ready To Cope With Natural Disaster: Experts

SYDNEY, Oct 23 (Bernama) — Around 60 bushfires are still burning across Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW) as of Wednesday, leaving one person dead and hundreds of homes destroyed, reports China’s Xinhua news agency.  It is reported that the fires have burnt over 40,000 hectares since they broke out on Oct 17.  Thousands of firefighters are battling against the fires, with Wednesday being the most severe day. The forecast bureau predicted that the temperature has hit 30s and the wind speed is 100km per hour in the state. Three teens have been charged with starting fires near Newcastle and Hunter Valley, according to the local police. The investigation is still underway. Emergency experts say a learned helplessness has left Australians in major cities unprepared to cope in natural disasters, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  Experts said people’s reliance on emergency services and recovery support such as cash handouts needs to be urgently reviewed if Australia is to better survive from the disasters…

 

Disaster resilience: the private sector has a vital role to play

We usually think of disaster preparedness and response as the responsibility of government, and from New York and New Orleans to Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur, cities are leading the way with ambitious programs to protect residents from harm. Non-profits are helping the cause by stimulating policy innovation and community engagement – witness the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge and Mercy Corps’ global disaster preparedness initiatives. But given the scale of the challenge, the inescapable fact is that we in the private sector have a critical role to play in building more resilient cities. Specifically, private companies should contribute by developing technologies and business models that support early warning, hardened infrastructure, and risk pooling – key elements of the “resilient operating systems” that cities will increasingly need…

 

What is the business case for improving the resilience of cities?

To the untrained eye, a resilient city looks like any other. A closer look may reveal some physical hallmarks: land use planning that enables drainage and protects against sea-level rise, grey infrastructure built to codes, affordable and accessible transit options, to name a few. But a good deal of what makes a city resilient is invisible – feedback loops that sense and collect data, information systems that continuously update and communicate network weaknesses, social cohesion and co-operation in and among neighbourhoods. These contribute to a sense that no matter what challenge might arise, whether it’s a great flood, a public health scare or a number of other shocks and stresses, the city is prepared to meet it…

Prepping for the Next Hurricane Sandy with the ‘Toolkit for Resilient Cities’

Between 2000 and 2012, natural disasters — including weather, health and seismic events — caused $1.7 trillion globally in damages, according to a report released today by Arup, Siemens and the non-profit Regional Planning Association. Facing such a challenge, where should city leaders turn? Engineers and planners suggest that a new paradigm, which they call “resilience planning,” is needed. “Resilience is the ability of a system to survive and thrive in the face of a complex, uncertain and ever-changing future,” the report’s authors write in a foreword to the 60-page document, titled “Toolkit for Resilient Cities.” “It is a way of thinking about both short term cycles and long term trends: minimizing disruptions in the face of shocks and stresses, recovering rapidly when they do occur, and adapting steadily to become better able to thrive as conditions continue to change.”..

 

Patrea’s notes for recovering after fires or other natural disasters

On Drive we were joined on Wednesday by Patrea King from the Quest for Life Foundation in Bundanoon. Patrea talked about the psychological aspects of natural disasters, in particular guiding children and others in coming to terms with what has been lost. Below you’ll find a link to the resources she developed after the Queensland floods…

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