Resilience NEWS

Polar vortex brings record cold weather to US, Canada

A polar vortex dropped over the United States and Canada on Monday, bringing life-threatening freezing temperatures to large parts of North America. Meteorologists predicted the lowest temperatures in two decades in some areas of the country, with the mercury at -37 degrees Celsius in the US city of Milwaukee. Icy roads and snow storms created travel chaos, with thousands of flights cancelled or delayed. The north-eastern US has endured heavy snow and deadly freezing conditions since the start of the year, and the extreme cold has claimed about a dozen lives nationwide…

Polar vortex in North America, heat wave in Oz
Polar vortex in North America, heat wave in Oz

Alberta Flood 2013: Comparing Canada’s Costliest Natural Disasters

As waters rose to levels that threatened to swallow vast swaths of southern Alberta this summer, it was the question that wasn’t too far back in the minds of Albertans who were then living through the second major flood in eight years. How does the flood that ravaged parts of Canmore, Calgary, Medicine Hat and that virtually swallowed up High River whole, compare to that other historic and very costly deluge, the one that besieged Winnipeg in 1997? Was what Albertans were experiencing in late June even as bad as the one that wreaked havoc on Alberta in 2005?..


Hurricane Katrina victims mostly on the losing end as lawsuits over disaster wind down

A team of plaintiffs’ attorneys has spent roughly $16 million to sue the Army Corps of Engineers over levee breaches that flooded most of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Joseph Bruno, one of those lawyers, estimates that they ultimately will recoup a mere $3.5 million of their investment.  There won’t be any windfalls for their clients, either. A string of court rulings has insulated the federal government from liability for billions of dollars in flood damage that many residents and business owners have blamed on the corps’ shoddy design, construction and maintenance of the region’s system of levees and floodwalls. The courts have been a dead end for many other plaintiffs seeking compensation for Katrina-related losses. Rulings have consistently affirmed the insurance
industry’s position that its homeowner policies don’t cover damage from a hurricane’s rising water, a blow for many Katrina victims in Louisiana and Mississippi whose homes were wrecked by Katrina’s storm surge…

Is your family prepared for natural disasters? Mine isn’t

I have never been one to pay too much attention to impending disasters. On New Year’s Eve in 1999, I didn’t flinch during the whole Y2K scare. I was doing the “Mambo No. 5″ without a care in the world as the clock approached midnight. Last December, when the Mayan calendar was supposed to end — and bring mass destruction along with it — I didn’t even pick up an extra 2L of bottled water. But this past week, we have experienced some apocalyptic weather in Eastern Canada and I’m realizing it’s time that we should start preparing for a worst-case scenario…

Impacts of Disasters since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit

In 1992, the United Nations organized a conference on environment and development in Rio de Janeiro, called the Earth Summit. The purpose of the conference was to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection…

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