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Global disaster response needs a networked approach

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2018 National Hurricane Conference: FLASH names first #HurricaneStrong community Find out more here:

20 Years Later: How St. Peter Rebuilt After Deadly Tornadoes

The 14 tornadoes recorded that day was the largest number ever to hit in March. Two people were killed when the massive storm struck on March 29, 1998.

The storm also brought down thousands of trees, damaged homes, schools and businesses.

Todd Prafke lived through the disaster. He was just months into his job as city administration when most of it was destroyed.

“It’s amazing how just a few minutes makes a big difference in the trajectory of a community or how your life works out,” he said.

What happened in the hours, and days, and years after the devastating tornado might surprise some people…


Global disaster response needs a networked approach

A homeless boy from Puerto Rico said those words to presidential advisor Doug Fears as his helicopter prepared to leave the mountain town of Utuado in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The September 2017 storm had caused $1 billion in damage, wiping out all communication, and leaving 1 million people without power or water.

“Landing on the island was like being taken back to the year 1880,” Fears told an audience of 200 people at the inaugural Global Resilience Research Network Summit on Thursday hosted by Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute. “We will be working through this recovery for at least a decade.”

Fears choked up as he described the boy’s plea.

But the institute’s director, Stephen Flynn, intends to do a lot more than pray…

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