ThinkHazard! – A new, simple platform for understanding and acting on disaster risk

Too many times after a natural hazard strikes, public outcries follow once the level of devastation becomes clear. People wonder – and often rightly so – if the disaster could have been prevented.  After the 2015 Nepal earthquake for example, years of investment in school buildings was wiped away in seconds because schools were not built to withstand earthquakes – often because people were not aware of the earthquake risk. Fortunately, it was a Saturday so the schools that collapsed did not also result in unimaginable human tragedy.  

Tornado deaths to rise in USA unless radical changes to warning systems are made - Study

There will be a rise in unnecessary tornado deaths if local and federal government in America continue to rely on old fashioned warning systems and this trend in fatalities will continue for years to come unless immediate changes are made. These are the stark findings of a major year-long study into why people are still dying in twisters across America that has just been published. As the 2016 tornado season gets into full swing, the study, "Putting people at the center of tornado warnings: how perception analysis can cut fatalities, into how to cut twister fatalities" analysed historic data, each of the current early warning systems used and interviewed and surveyed more than 500 people.

United States: California Governor seeks funding for quake warning system

Even though California is in earthquake country, it has fallen far behind other areas including Japan, Mexico and Taiwan in developing an earthquake warning system. The network for California and the rest of the West Coast has been repeatedly delayed because of a lack of funding.A limited rollout of an [early warning] system in two years would mean that places such as classrooms, offices, shopping malls, amusement parks and police and fire stations could have ready access to alerts that would give seconds, and perhaps more than a minute, of warning before strong shaking comes in a big earthquake.

Prevention and preparedness: an integrated approach to disaster risk management in Turkey

In 2011 Nisanur Kepceler watched with a heavy heart as her school was razed to the ground. “I was so upset,” says Kepceler, a student in Istanbul, Turkey, “I didn’t want to see it demolished.” Her sorrow, however, soon turned to joy as she settled into her new, modern school, which was erected were her old school had once stood. Not only was this new building larger and better equipped with art supplies, laboratory tools, and other school equipment – it was also more structurally sound and better able to withstand the shock from an earthquake. “I feel lucky and special to study in such a modern school like this. I feel safer in this new school,” admits Kepceler.Resting at the confluence of several tectonic plates, Turkey is no stranger to seismic activity.

Australia: Firefighters calls for restructuring, doubling of personnel to combat climate change

The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union has called for a radical overhaul of Australian firefighting, including merging rural and metropolitan services and doubling the total number of firefighters, as they fear climate change is making bushfires more dangerous and more frequent, reports the Huffington Post.

The next-generation city: Resilient, smart and sustainable

As world leaders gather in Paris to discuss climate change and measures to control global warming, it is becoming clear that cities will bear considerable responsibility in implementing proposed solutions and management strategies, writes Jennifer Baljko in an opinion piece on Devex. Indeed, cities across the developed world and in emerging economies are already positioning themselves to be more climate resilient, competitive, sustainable and, essentially, smarter.