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Should we be preparing for an El Niño in 2014?

318Recently speculation has been rife that the end of 2014 will see an El Niño event — the change in Pacific ocean and atmosphere circulation that is known to produce drought, extreme heat, and fire in Australia. The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest statement predicts that Pacific Ocean temperatures may approach El Niño levels by early winter, but the jury is out beyond the end of this year. Given the catastrophic effects El Niño can have, should we be getting prepared anyway?…


High-level praise — man in charge of Canadian relief in Philippines commends resilience

The Filipinos’ resiliency in the face of catastrophe is admirable, says a Canadian military leader deployed to the Philippines to help victims of super typhoon Haiyan.  Lt.-Col. Walter Taylor was the commander of Disaster Assistance Response Team’s mission to the Philippines when Haiyan hit the country last November, leaving thousands dead…


Factor disabled employee needs into planning for natural disasters

When disaster strikes, smart employers have contingency plans in place to keep the business running. Such plans need to account for the kind of emergency facing the organization—and how it will handle the needs of disabled employees during and after the disaster…


Natural Disasters and Planning: the Cuban State and Popular Participation

In the last 13 years Cuba was visited by 16 hurricanes and tropical storms. Here is a brief overview of some of the disasters. In 2005 United Nations emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland noted that the Cuban program shows that, usually,  ”You don’t get any headlines for prevention.” Thus, we seldom hear of Cuba’s unique and participatory preparedness. The New York Times has reported that “Cuba manages hurricanes well,” according to Russel L. Honoré, “who commanded military relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.”  He has noted  that the United States government “could be learning” from the Cubans…


Pocketful of helpful Maryborough locals for disasters

RESIDENTS of the Pocket in Maryborough are setting up a community group to look after each other in floods and storms. “The group brings residents together to get ready and help each other in times of crisis, such as a flood,” councillor Daniel Sanderson said. “Residents share information with each other in the lead-up to an event and look after each other during and after an event.” Large sections of the Pocket were inundated in the January 2013 flood. The Pocket group is the second community group, after Granville, to be established following the 2013 floods…

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