resilience starts with information
Hurricane Harvey First Responder Gets Flesh-Eating Bacteria From Texas Storm Water
A man in Texas says he got infected with flesh-eating bacteria while helping his neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last week.
J.R. Atkins, of Missouri City, Texas, wrote in a Facebook post that he was hospitalized after what he thought was a small bug bite turned into swelling and some numbness in his hand. He had been kayaking through flooded streets to check on his neighbors, Atkins wrote, and noticed the bite when he returned home.
“All was well and people were actually out and about taking,” he wrote. “Came home around 4pm and noticed a small bite on my left arm not huge but probably Nickel sized swelling.”
At first he wasn’t concerned, but when the swelling spread the next morning, Atkins went to Houston Methodist in Sugar Lang, according to KPRC, a local news station. The hospital figured out he had flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis, and quickly prepared him for several surgeries…
When Hurricane Warnings Are Lost in Translation
In any crisis situation, there’s preparation and then there’s reality. First responders and government agencies can train volunteers, put an action plan into place, and get everything as ready as it can possibly be. But then the hurricane hits.
For many of Miami-Dade’s 2.6 million residents, one of Hurricane Irma’s very present realities is language. According to the most recent American Community Survey, 72.8 percent of the area’s population speaks a language other than English at home—for 64 percent, that’s Spanish.
When a language community is this large, the easy answer to “How will they get lifesaving information in a language they understand?” is “From each other.” But while Spanish may be the language of choice in Miami, it’s not in Washington, D.C., where the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other first-responder and aid organizations…
We can’t afford to build cities the way we built Houston anymore
Want to design a city to maximize flood damage? Start on very flat land — any kind of slope will help water flow out of town.
Next you’d want to create incentives for people to build the city wide and low; by covering a large area with concrete and asphalt, you collect more water whenever it rains.
Then, be sure not to build much in the way of a drainage system. Ideally you’d be close to a humid body of water.
And if you really wanted to put a cherry on top, you’d devote the city to industry that contributes to the warming of the seas, thereby increasing the likelihood of extreme downpours…