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Dutch water expert Henk Ovink.

Dutch water expert Henk Ovink.

What Henk Ovink Thinks: The Dutch idea-guy ponders Hoboken’s flooding problem

Perched on a stool next to a large window at the downtown Starbucks in Hoboken, Dutch water expert Henk Ovink turns his intense gaze to the sidewalk outside. “Look at the pavement,” he says. “Do you see any capacity to hold water?” Ovink is possibly the Netherlands’ most valued export at the moment. With rising sea levels and booming waterfront development occurring all over the world, his expertise in urban planning in a country built on a river delta is in high demand. Luckily for Hoboken, once an island surrounded by marsh but now filled in and urbanized, Ovink is currently working with the federal government to help the entire New York metropolitan area rethink how to live close to the water. As for Hoboken’s sidewalks, they in fact have no capacity to hold water. The problem is emblematic of the city’s larger water issues, which came to a head during the infamous Hurricane Sandy…

 

Increasing inclusion, resilience for homeless people during disasters

People experiencing homelessness are unlikely to have a TV, mobile or computer to receive disaster warnings, they can’t store extra resources, and they may be socially isolated. Homeless people are rarely included in disaster planning, have higher rates of mortality and injury, and take longer to recover from disasters. So how can we include them more fully in disaster planning? The answer is that not enough research has been done for a fully informed strategy – but there are broad principles for improvement…

 

Disaster risk reduction is everybody’s business

Rescuers ferry stranded residents from their houses due to floods caused by Typhoon Ondoy along Ortigas in Cainta Rizal. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Rescuers ferry stranded residents from their houses due to floods caused by Typhoon Ondoy along Ortigas in Cainta Rizal. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

There is a long history of cooperation and selflessness in the face of crisis and disasters. “Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (Ketsana), Tropical Depression “Pepeng” (Tarma), Typhoon “Pablo” (Bopha), just to name a few, brought massive destruction and death, and yet these times of crisis also brought out the best in people in the many ways they tried to ease the suffering…

 

Office politics are ‘biggest drain on employee resilience’

Difficult relationships at work and office politics are the biggest energy drain for three quarters of employees, a study has found. Findings outlined in the report, ‘Tough at the Top? New rules of resilience for women’s leadership success’, showed that 90 per cent of male and female employees believe resilience is key to career success. Yet only 6 per cent of employees said their organisation aided them in improving their ability to cope with workplace pressures. In response, the report urged employers to focus on building relationships and networking skills among staff…

 

Hackers from China breached the federal weather network, report says

Hackers from China breached the federal weather network...

Hackers from China breached the federal weather network…

When a handful of weather satellites went offline last October, many suspected the National Weather Service was suffering from another in a long line of technical glitches. Nope. The outage was sparked by an “an Internet-sourced attack,” Scott Smullen, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tells Mashable. Worse, the Washington Post says Chinese hackers were behind the attack — and now at least one Congressman is accusing NOAA, a federal weather agency, of a cover-up…

 

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