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Disaster Donors Should Consider ‘Everyday’ Crises

The philanthropic outpouring that follows natural disasters is notably less effective in saving lives than charity aimed at tackling the thousands of preventable deaths that occur daily due to disease and unsafe drinking water, the author of a recent book on giving writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece. While immediate aid does help victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, and other catastrophes, such emergency interventions “are indisputably more costly and less effective than time-tested health activities” such as providing clean water and mosquito nets, Eric Friedman writes, quoting a study by the Disease Control Priorities project…

More than 4,000 homes in south east France left without power as flooding claims two lives and sees mass evacuations

More than 4,000 homes in south east France left without power as flooding claims two lives and sees mass evacuations


USC study examines how people cope after natural disasters

Research findings by a University of the Sunshine Coast Honours student aim to improve psychological intervention programs for people traumatised by natural disasters. Maroochydore’s Chelle Whitburn, 29, recently finished her Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) Honours project at USC. Ms Whitburn analysed survey responses from 835 people as part of a collaborative study involving the University of Canterbury’s Associate Professor Dr Janet Carter and USC Lecturer in Clinical Psychology Dr Lee Kannis. Most of the survey participants had been through either the 2011 Christchurch earthquake or the earlier Queensland floods…


Building resilience to worsening seasonal floods in Laos

Each year, seasonal rains bring flooding to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. It is not an unusual occurrence for communities in this part of the world. Yet in 2013, flooding in two southern provinces of Laos was far worse than has been experienced in past 30 years…


Fears mobile phone reception hindering firefighting response

The Wimmera Development Association is writing to the Federal Government this month about limited reception across the region. The Horsham council’s chief executive, Peter Brown, says the issue was raised at a meeting with bushfire affected councils, including Northern Grampians, Horsham, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh and West Wimmera, on Friday. “Lack of ability to communicate in the Wartook Valley, Laharum and Brimpaen areas was really made evident,” he said. “During the most recent fires and that affected the residents, the people fighting the fires both volunteers and people from the CFA [Country Fire Authority]. It really did make it very difficult.” The councils met on Friday to discuss a coordinated approach to fire recovery for the region. They want to develop a consistent fire response plan…


Building resilience to secondhand stress

Secondhand stress — tension that we pick up from the people and activities around us — is a natural defense mechanism that helped keep our ancestors alive, said Dr. Amit Sood, an expert on stress at the Mayo Clinic. But as soon as we pick up that tension, we risk becoming carriers, passing it on to friends, family members or co-workers — and, yes, even strangers — who we encounter…


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