Disaster Preparedness

Aerial view of Seaside, Oregon

State Study Calls For Tsunami Evacuation Structures In Coastal Communities

A Washington state study recommends the construction of dozens of tsunami evacuation facilities along the Pacific Northwest coast.

November 11, 2021 - KUOW

Harvey Floods Houston

The Racial Inequity of Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery in the Houston area has been inconsistent, with low-income residents of color continuing to struggle to put their lives and communities back together.

August 27, 2020 - Urban Edge

Paradise, California

In Paradise, Using Greenbelts to Manage Wildfires

The Camp Fire in California devasted the town of Paradise. As rebuilding progresses, local leaders are looking to protect the town using nature-based fire resilience strategies.

August 27, 2020 - Bloomberg CityLab

Downtown Honolulu as seen from the top of Diamond Head

Five Actions to Combat COVID-19 in Hawaii

A data-driven approach is needed to figure out how the disease has spread in the islands and what can be done to contain it.

August 25, 2020 - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Mexico City, Florida

Awareness of Climate Change Threats Doesn't Motivate People to Act, Study Finds

Disaster preparedness efforts need to take into account that homeowners in vulnerable areas don’t take action even when the risks are clear.

October 25, 2019 - Grist

California Wildfire

California Faces Costly Measures in Preparing for Future Wildfires

In California, recovery after wildfires means many upfront investments by communities and the state.

July 26, 2019 - The New York Times

California Wildfire

Wildfires Threaten Over a Million California Structures in High-Risk Areas

With limited action at the state level, communities in vulnerable areas have launched their own local preparedness programs and plans.

December 31, 2018 - The Los Angeles Times

Northridge Earthquake, 1994

California Considers Creating Directory of Buildings Most Likely to Collapse in an Earthquake

Cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles already keep lists of vulnerable buildings, but a new piece of legislation would require all California cities do the same. The catch? The bill will not provide funding to support these lists.

September 25, 2018 - Los Angeles Times


When Coastal States Kill Building Codes, FEMA Pays

Despite the increasing number and intensity of natural disasters, some vulnerable states are relaxing building regulations and leaving the federal government to pick up the tab when tragedy strikes again.

April 5, 2018 - Bloomberg

New York Harbor

Building Resilience? There's a Standard for That

Resilience standards—like LEED--could transform building practices. But there are many standards to choose from, and few are aware that they exist. A new report helps planners and builders choose the right standard for every project.

July 31, 2017 - Laurie Mazur


Portland Prepares for the Big One

A new report identifies key actions for the city of Portland to prepare for the certainty of a large earthquake.

February 16, 2017 - The Oregonian

View of Portland, Oregon from Pittock Mansion

Portland Digs Into Data on Seismic Vulnerabilities

With an earthquake due to shake up the Pacific Northwest in the not so distant future, Portland has provided an online map to identify potentially vulnerable buildings in danger of suffering major damage when the big one hits.

May 19, 2016 - The Oregonian

Paris, River Seine

Paris Prepares for the Worst With a Flood Drill

If the Seine rises to historic levels, Paris officials want to be ready. Earlier this month, an 11-day drill sought to prepare the city for what would happen if the Seine and Marne Rivers rose above their banks.

March 21, 2016 - The Independent (UK)

Haitians Lay Foundation for Hope 5 Years After Earthquake

Despite what some see as slow progress five years after an earthquake rocked Haiti, architect and sustainability consultant Dave Hampton writes about how he and others see hope for the future.

January 21, 2015 - UrbDeZine

Los Angeles Releases Large-Scale Earthquake Preparedness Plan

Los Angeles has been hard at work, under the leadership of Dr. Lucy Jones, to prepare for the ever-present threat of earthquakes. The Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti released the plan, called "Resilience by Design," earlier this week.

December 12, 2014 - The Architect's Newspaper

Will Benefits from $1 Billion Climate Change Resilience Fund be Limited to 'Believer States'?

A review of the federal government’s recent announcement of a $1 billion competition to provide funding for communities affected by disasters by Dave Hampton, a natural disaster resilience consultant.

July 26, 2014 - UrbDeZine

A Year Later, Sandy Recovery Shows That Building Resilience Takes Time

Despite warnings of the threats posed by rising seas and more extreme storms in the years leading up to Hurricane Sandy, the New York region's preparations lagged behind where experts thought they should be. Has anything changed since Sandy?

October 25, 2013 - Fast Company Co.Exist

New York Is One Disaster Away From a Food Crisis

Recent disasters have exposed New York's dangerous reliance on consolidated supply chains and just-in-time practices to maintain the city's food supply. Siddhartha Mahanta looks at the food system changes that've left NYC vulnerable to a food crisis.

October 22, 2013 - The Atlantic Cities

Garcetti Proposes "Chief Resilience Officer" to Tackle L.A.'s Earthquake Preparedness

Recent controversies have called into question whether Los Angeles officials have done all they can to prepare the city for its next big earthquake. Mayor Eric Garcetti is making earthquake preparedness a top priority.

October 20, 2013 - Los Angeles Times

Cyclone the Size of Katrina Strikes India

Bearing 125 mph winds, Cyclone Phailin made landfall along India's eastern coast on Saturday evening. Though hundreds of thousands were evacuated from the area, some are questioning whether the Indian authorities took the storm too lightly.

October 12, 2013 - The New York Times

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