Financial implications of natural disasters

Nuffield scholar rebuilds farming resilience from the ashes of Pinery fires

FIRE ripped through Derek Tiller’s family farm and went on to burn some 85,000 hectares of Pinery properties in the devastating Adelaide Plains fires, destroying 87 homes and countless machinery and livestock.

The 2015 tragedy also claimed two lives, one being Derek’s uncle, fourth generation farmer and neighbour, Alan Tiller.

It was the resulting mix of grief and intense work in rebuilding the family farm that led to Mr Tiller refocusing the Nuffield Scholarship research he was in the midst of undertaking. Mr Tiller, who farms 4000 hectares of wheat, barley and lentils with his brother Clinton, added resilience to the other important strengths he was uncovering for a family business.

Last week, Mr Tiller shared his findings at a Rural Business Support event, saying how his experiences highlighted how the strength of a family farming business rests on its “sustainability, resilience and responsiveness”.

“I soon became aware that sustainable, resilient and responsive farming businesses require much more than incremental increases…


UTA using drones to help cities after natural disasters

Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have dispatched a flying survey tool that could very soon save cities time and money after a natural disaster.

“We plan a flight plan where we can see — these are the way points through which the drone is going to navigate autonomously using the GPS satellites,” Surya Congress, the doctoral student behind the project, said.  A team from the UTA Research Institute used a drone mounted with a camera to gather thousands of pictures of debris left outside homes in Beaumont by Hurricane Harvey.

The pictures are combined using sophisticated 3-D mapping software to produce a complex map that shows height, width, and depth of the damage.

It’s all part of a $34,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

“By using some of the tools that we are developing, they should be able to get a good grip on what is the amount they need to clean up,” said Dr. Anand Puppala, an associate dean for research in UTA’s College of Engineering and a professor in the Civil Engineering Department. He’s also the principal investigator on the grant…


Financial implications of natural disasters

The number and cost of natural disasters, according to a study in the Lancet medical journal.


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