emergency preparedness


As Hurricane Laura Bears Down on Gulf Coast, Data Shows How COVID-19 May Affect Evacuations

, senior climate scientist

With Hurricane Laura churning toward the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands of people on the Texas and Louisiana coasts are currently under either voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders. Along with the thousands of people who have evacuated their homes due to wildfire threats in California, Gulf Coast evacuees will be adding to the ranks of those hoping to find safer shelter from climate-related events in the time of COVID-19. Read more >

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Hurricanes and COVID-19 in Florida: Are Counties Prepared to Protect Hurricane-Vulnerable Populations?

Andrea Ramos, Ph.D. candidate in Public Administration and Dr. John L. Renne, AICP, , UCS

Hurricane season is underway, and many counties in Florida, severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma (2017) and Michael (2018), may not be ready to protect lives. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this task becomes even more difficult, as evacuating during a pandemic places greater burdens on vulnerable populations. Read more >

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The Chevron Richmond refinery fire, August 6, 2012. Photo: Greg Kunit/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Flickr)

Contents Under Pressure: Speak Out Against EPA Proposed Chemical Facility Safety Rollbacks That Put Communities at Risk

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

Over the last year, we have written extensively on the actions that Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken to eliminate or weaken critical science-based protections, particularly on chemical facility safety. From the outset, Pruitt was determined to delay the implementation of updates to the Risk Management Plan(RMP) that called for the assessment of safer technologies, more accessible and quality information for communities near facilities, and improved emergency response coordination. Now with a new proposed rule, the saga continues as the EPA under Pruitt moves one step closer to eliminating hard-fought improvements to the RMP. Read more >

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Shake, Rattle, and Rainout: Federal Support for Disaster Research

Joyce Levine, PhD, AICP, , UCS

Hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes are simply natural events—until humans get in their way. The resulting disasters are particularly devastating in urban areas, due to high concentrations of people and property. Losses from disasters have risen steadily over the past five decades, thanks to increased populations and urban development in high-hazard areas, particularly the coasts. There is also significant evidence that climate change is making weather-related events more frequent and more severe as well. As a result, it is more critical than ever that natural hazards research is being incorporated into emergency planning decisions. Read more >

Graphic: NOAA
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Hurricane Matthew: What’s Next for Recovery and Rebuilding?

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Hurricane Matthew carved a path of devastation through Haiti, the Bahamas, and large swaths of the Southeastern US, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The loss of life and destruction of property is tragic. Slowly, unevenly, places that were hard-hit will be turning to recovery and rebuilding efforts. What can we do to better prepare and protect people and make our rebuilding efforts more resilient going forward?

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