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The easiest way to respond to a natural disaster? Blame God or global warming

 What exactly causes storms like Katrina? Depends on who you ask. Photograph: Alamy

What exactly causes storms like Katrina? Depends on who you ask. Photograph: Alamy

Katrina was the big bad storm for which we were totally unprepared. It’s like adulthood. You know it’s coming. You think you’re ready but you’re not. You’ve completely underestimated its force and power. Of course we can blame our buddy Brownie and company for how the emergency response was mishandled, but what actually caused the storm, again? It’s uber fashionable to blame global warming in some circles and god in another – but what do scientists have to say?…

 

43% of U.S. homes are at high risk of natural disaster

Four hurricanes are currently brewing in the Pacific and Atlantic. Wildfires have ravaged more than 8 million acres in the U.S. in 2015 alone. And in just the first two weeks of May this year, nearly 150 tornadoes touched down in the U.S. Many American homeowners might still be surprised at the risk their home faces of getting hit by a natural disaster in the near future. A report released on Thursday by real estate research firm RealtyTrac found that 43% of U.S. homes and condos — that’s a total of 35.8 million homes — are at a high risk or very high risk of at least one type of natural disaster. The report examined 2,318 counties nationwide and assigned each a score of natural disaster risk score from 0 to 300 based on their risk of wildfire, hurricane, flood, tornado and earthquake; the higher the score the higher the risk of natural disaster…

 

How Cities Should Prepare For Natural Disasters

The 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has reopened the conversation about disaster preparedness in the United States. Acts of nature obviously don’t provide much warning, so it’s up to local officials to always be ready. Seattle is one city that’s particularly vulnerable to certain natural disasters, including earthquakes and landslides. There’s also Mt. Rainier, a nearby active volcano that provides an unlikely but real threat. Luckily the Seattle government continues to develop new strategies to prepare for the worst. Just ask Barb Graff, director of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management…

 

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