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Bushfires need co-ordinated approach

BUSHFIRES are a natural hazard of this nation’s landscape and people should expect even more frequent severe fire seasons in the future – according to a review of the bushfires of 2002-2003 by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

However, the acknowledgement of Victoria’s risk has been made again and again in successive investigations of bushfires since 1939. What is consistently acknowledged is the need for a well-equipped, volunteer fire combat force; a bushfire preparation program that meets the needs of local communities, especially fuel reduction; issues around development of at-risk areas for urban land use; and comprehensive education of the entire population about bushfire risk…

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11 Natural Disasters That Led to Wars

Severe climate changes were also probably to blame for much of the warfare that apparently accompanied the collapse of Classic Mayan civilization beginning c. 800 CE. Although the Mayans lived in the midst of lush rain forests, there were actually very few sources of freshwater that were available year-round: the Mayan city-states relied on advanced techniques for collecting and storing rainwater for both agriculture and human consumption, making them especially vulnerable to repeated droughts. And that’s exactly what happened at 50-year intervals in 760, 810, 860, and 910, according to scientists who studied sediment core samples from the Caribbean Sea to determine the amount of rainfall during this period…

 

India ‘Special Case’ in Natural Disasters

India is likely to have the highest number of people living in poverty by 2030 and among the greatest exposure to extreme weather and natural disasters, but it is rare among developing nations facing climate hazards, because its national government has the capacity to manage disaster risk, according to a report…

 

Social Pressure: Can it work for Disaster Preparedness?

In terms of benchmarks, an often cited American Red Cross survey in 2008 found that only one in ten American households had accomplished these tasks. Research in this area also reveals interesting demographics regarding who is more likely to take these steps (e.g. homeowners vs renters, older adults vs those younger than 34, etc.) and why people prepare or not. There are many barriers to disaster preparedness, each with implications for messaging, but it is somewhat common knowledge that risk perception is dependent upon both how the information is communicated (Mileti and Sorensen, 1990) and how it is interpreted through social interactions (Kirschenbaum, 1992)…

 

Ireland could bring its development aid expertise to bear on emergency relief

Why does the international aid community fail to learn lessons from sudden-onset natural disasters? In Haiti, and more recently in the Philippines, the aid community has been too slow in delivering aid to those in need. In Ireland, the response to sudden-onset natural disasters is to send money, people and aid. But is that the most effective use of Ireland’s resources?..

 

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