Category Archives: Uncategorized

Building U.S. disaster resilience.

Prologue: With each passing day, the Puerto Rican disaster reveals its true extent. It’s no mere disaster (a word cheaply tossed about), but a dire – and deepening – humanitarian crisis. Three million islanders need help now with food, water, … Continue reading

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Ratcheting-up America’s resilience to hazards.

Prologue: The daily news from Puerto Rico is excruciatingly tragic. A week after Hurricane Maria’s passage, some 3.5 million people are still picking their way through 3000 mi2 of debris in a search for food and water, and despair mounts. … Continue reading

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Shelter-in-place!

“A banker lends you an umbrella when the sun is shining but takes it back when it starts to rain.” – (origin debated) Let’s get one thing straight: in the face of natural hazards, the individual- and the societal policy … Continue reading

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Time to hit the reset button on American weather-hazards policy?

Here is America’s weather-hazards policy in a nutshell[1]: React at times when weather outlooks and forecasts indicate danger. Shelter in place where practical; otherwise, save lives through emergency response, primarily evacuation. Start with action at the local level. Call in … Continue reading

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The Harvey-Irma reveal.

“Forecasting the weather” vs. “protecting life and property?” Hurricanes Harvey and Irma reveal important policy implications. An earlier pair of LOTRW posts introduced this subject. They argued that the shift from merely predicting the state of the atmosphere to use … Continue reading

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Hurricane Harvey: The REAL world intrudes on the VIRTUAL one… and sharpens minds.

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he … Continue reading

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Living on the REAL world: suffering and sorrow.

“Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.  For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” – Psalm … Continue reading

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“Forecasting the weather” vs. “protecting life and property?”

A big leap. Just how big a leap? And why? Why is it so difficult to go beyond a forecast of the weather, an inherently chaotic system, to using that forecast to protect life and property? What makes that seemingly … Continue reading

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Weather services and social science: the tail (re)-discovers the dog.

For the past year or so it’s been my privilege to be part of a National Academy of Sciences study on social and behavioral sciences and the weather enterprise. We’re in the process of concluding the study; the findings and … Continue reading

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A televised red-blue debate on climate change?

One of the topics that came up while I was on the road for the past month. Haven’t seen anything more on it this past week, so this post may be “kicking a dead horse.” (In any case, this horse … Continue reading

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