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Disaster Planning

October 31, 2012, 9am PDT
After nearly a decade of ignoring warnings about the type of disaster witnessed this week, New York City and State officials may no longer be able to push off implementing drastic plans to safeguard the city from rising seas and super storms.
The New York Times
October 29, 2012, 10am PDT
On the eve of landfall of Hurricane Sandy, Matthew Yglesias recalls Mitt Romney's 2011 response to a GOP primary debate question in which he called federal disaster relief spending "immoral."
August 25, 2012, 7am PDT
Based on a range of data, including 19 different components, a new study examining cities located on river deltas has determined that Shanghai is the most vulnerable to major flooding.
BBC News
July 5, 2012, 11am PDT
Nate Berg says that planners have a crucial role in making sure cities are prepared for natural disasters.
The Atlantic Cities
October 7, 2011, 6am PDT
Drawing examples from a vast supply of disasters in recent years, this 30-page report emphasizes planning and policy for not just housing, but also land tenure and community input, with long-term perspectives.
Habitat for Humanity
September 24, 2011, 1pm PDT
Two planners with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reveal how they use GIS to coordinate their efforts, using the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan as an example.
Directions Magazine
September 2, 2011, 8am PDT
The town, designed by DPZ Associates, uses traditional building techniques (most of which are completely illegal in US hurricane zones) and fared better in the eye of Hurricane Irene at its strongest point than any other town.
The Original Green Blog
June 9, 2011, 8am PDT
Rebecca Bateman grew up in Joplin, Missouri, which was decimated on May 22nd by a tornado. The the personal nature of the disaster has caused her to reflect on some strategies for city planners to consider before a disaster hits.
Rebecca Bateman
November 8, 2010, 2pm PST
A new study finds that surface topography, not solely an area's underlying geology, contributes significantly to earthquake intensity. Researchers hope that the new information can be easily factored into local planning and design processes.
The New York Times
October 21, 2010, 11am PDT
Kathmandu, Manila, Dhaka, Mumbai and Jakarta are among the cities most prone to natural disasters, says The Guardian.
March 2, 2010, 6am PST
Chile's 8.5 earthquake resulted in a significantly lower death toll than the recent quake in Haiti. Partly it was the location of the epicenter, but strict building codes played a part as well.
The Infrastructurist
February 26, 2010, 10am PST
Andres Duany has designed a prefab house specifically for the victims of the Haitian earthquake. 1,000 of them are on their way to the island now.
January 14, 2010, 1pm PST
CNN reports that a lack of building codes and the construction of vulnerable informal settlements may have contributed to the high death toll in Haiti's earthquake.
October 7, 2009, 12pm PDT
Many of the deaths of the past few rounds of storms and earthquakes are due to inadequate drainage systems, poor building regulation enforcement, and lack of emergency planning.
The Wall Street Journal
Blog post
September 15, 2009, 10am PDT

In her new book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, journalist and essayist Rebecca Solnit describes a phenomenon that is rarely mentioned in the context of disaster preparedness: the spirit of caring -- even joy -- that can emerge in the face of calamity.

Michael Dudley
August 3, 2009, 9am PDT
Disasters happen. Being prepared is almost always the ideal, but rarely the reality. A disaster training facility in Texas is trying to change that.
Popular Science
May 19, 2009, 10am PDT
Two reports have linked patterns of urban development to disaster risk. As urban populations grow, these studies suggest developing countries will become even more vulnerable.
The New York Times
January 23, 2009, 10am PST
2008 saw one of the greatest number of deaths worldwide from natural disasters. Factors contributing to the high number of deaths include extreme weather brought about by climate change, as well as rapid urbanization in vulnerable areas.
The Globe and Mail
October 10, 2008, 6am PDT
The media's inattention to Hurricane Ike has hidden its devastating impacts on infrastructure and the environment, as well as a poor response on the part of the federal government.
Brattleboro Reformer
September 15, 2008, 2pm PDT
Having been previously destroyed by a hurricane, Galveston has always been vulnerable, despite its sea wall. Hurricane Ike is a reminder of why building on barrier islands is so risky.