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8 Lessons for Building Resiliency After the California Wildfires

UN says urgent action required on disaster resilience in South, South-West Asia

Risks from natural hazards are gradually outpacing resilience in South and Southwest Asia and have the potential to reverse hard-won development gains in the sub-region, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said here in a report released Oct.31.

Head of the UN ESCAP Sub-regional Office for South and South-West Asia, Michael Williamson, underscored that “the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the devastating and pervasive impacts that natural disasters can have and incorporates the principles of disaster risk resilience as a central tenet of the promise to leave no one behind.”

“In South and Southwest Asia, protecting livelihoods from the impact of disasters must move to the top of the policy agenda, with the recognition that even the most efficient early warning systems may not be sufficient,” Williamson told the media.

In 2016 and 2017 alone, avalanches, snowfall and rain-related disasters have caused considerable damage in Afghanistan, while torrential monsoon rains in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have killed over 900 persons and affected almost 41 million people, said the report entitled The Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2017.

The poorest and most vulnerable sections of the society are disproportionately affected…

 

8 Lessons for Building Resiliency After the California Wildfires

Tubbs Fire

My wife Janet and I voluntarily evacuated our house in Santa Rosa, California, at 4 a.m. on October 10. We live just outside a mandatory evacuation zone, but we opted to retreat from the wildfires raging nearby when we saw a bright orange glow on the horizon and a billowing plume of black smoke—both apparently headed our way. That morning, we bundled our four sleepy hens into the back of our car and drove to the closest evacuation shelter.

We were able to return home late that same day. Nothing in our house was damaged, though electricity, gas, internet, and phone service was out; these services gradually returned over the course of the week. Air quality remained horrible until a light rain fell on October 19. Still, we were among the fortunate ones: Nineteen residents of Santa Rosa lost their lives (the death toll throughout the region stands at over 40) and hundreds—including many of our friends and co-workers—lost homes and belongings.

 

As I’ve continued to reflect on these experiences, I’ve also drawn from my work at Post Carbon Institute to compile this list…

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This entry was posted on 05/11/2017 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .

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