Copenhagen Consensus Challenge Paper on Natural Disasters Released.

The Copenhagen Consensus Centre has released a Challenge Paper on Natural Disasters, penned by Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan and distributed through

Summary. Downloadable PDF available below.

“In recent years, the world has experienced a series of truly devastating natural disasters that have taken many lives and triggered unprecedented economic losses. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in the United States, the 2010 massive floods in Australia and the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan, among other events, have demonstrated that even the most wealth and well prepared countries can experience large-scale damage and destruction when natural disasters strike.

The situation is much worse in low-income countries since they often do not have the financial means to protect their population and economy against catastrophes. In addition, building codes are lacking or not well enforced and the infrastructure is often poorly designed for disseminating information prior to a disaster, and assisting victims in a timely manner after its occurrence. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 illustrates the challenges of an unprepared and poor country…

…First, the authors propose designing schools that can withstand earthquakes to reduce damage and the number of fatalities to children, teachers and other staff. Retrofitting the schools in all 35 most-exposed countries around the world would save the lives of 250,000 individuals over the next 50 years. Costs obviously vary from country to country: in the Solomon Islands it would cost just $36 million to retrofit schools while the cumulative total benefits are $235 million, yielding a benefit/cost ratio (BCR) greater than 6. In Afghanistan and Myanmar the costs would be $698 million and $1,570 million, respectively, with a benefit of about five times the amount invested.”

Read the full Summary and Download the Report (PDF) from the Copenhagen Consensus website.



Survival Cooking with an Enamel Cup.

Presented by Common Sense

You can find their You Tube Channel here.

How to Wrap a Shemagh.

Hey, if you’re going to do it you should do it right. Even in the UK the need for an all-over head wrap is there. Keeping your head warm on a night watch for instance, as well as looking awesome around the campfire!!

(This isn’t me by the way)

The Catapult as a Hunting Tool | Dryad Bushcraft

Brought to us by Dryad

“In the minds of many people a catapult is nothing more than a child’s toy, or one of the weapons used by the “Beano’s” Dennis the Menace to terrorise the softies (For those of us old enough to remember). Few people these days would ever consider using a catapult for hunting, but not too many years ago catapults were the tool of choice for poachers and anyone else who wanted to “discreetly” hunt small game animals and birds for food.”

The Catapult as a Hunting Tool | Bushcraft How to’ s | Dryad Bushcraft.

Disaster Archive: Pointe Coupee 1912

Carol Ann Blitzer for The

 — One hundred years ago, the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, was the leading news story on two continents. Americans and Europeans hung onto every report of the lifeboats, the survivors, the widows, the babies, the heroes.

The Titanic held onto the headlines until a natural disaster in the far northeastern corner of Pointe Coupee Parish grabbed them in America, when, on May 1, the swollen Mississippi River tore through a weakened levee at the tiny community of Torras.

The event, known as the Torras Crevasse, was “the greatest and deadliest natural disaster in Pointe Coupee and regional history,” said Brian Costello, historian and archivist for the Historical Materials Collection of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library. “It was a defining moment in our history.”

For the full article follow the link.

Washed away: Pointe Coupee 1912 | People | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

FEMA Uses Waffle House Menus to Gauge Disaster Severity.

No really, this is actually happening. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has revealed their new method of gauging the severity of localised natural disasters. And boy howdy is it a good ‘un.

In what was possibly a ‘three-in-the-morning decision’ (if you know what I mean), FEMA has stated that in the event of an emergency their first action is to contact a Waffle House in the affected area and ask what’s available on the menu. If the full range of waffles and accoutrements is available, then the emergency index is graded as Green. If only some of the menu is up for grabs, the index is Yellow. If the restaurant is shut, God help us all.

But, ridiculous as it might sound, the plan does have its merits. Local law enforcement is always over-burdened after a natural disaster of any size so could do without FEMA clogging up their phone lines as well. Also, America being the size it is there are a large number of local emergencies in any given week. FEMA (although I’m sure they would like to be) is not big enough to have a presence in every small town and settlement. Waffle Houses however, are nearly everywhere – they have roughly 1,600 open at any one time – and if they aren’t then something similar is.

Restaurants are open for one purpose. They want people through the door and buying their food. Something has to go very wrong for a restaurant, particularly a fast food restaurant, to reduce their menu or stay closed. With the amount of competition around for people’s cash, it would take a truly large scale, red index, disaster to keep them from doing business.

So, the plan is a bit ‘off the wall’ but actually makes sense. FEMA has been routinely lambasted for their lack of ability and general attitude (bad). Maybe this will serve to bolster their reputation a little.

I only wish I was in the meeting when the idea was pitched.

Prepare for Electric Power Outages – Survival Common Sense

Presented by Survival Common Sense .com

Emergency preparedness means you should have backup systems or plans for heat, lighting and water. If you’re lucky, the power won’t be off long, but batteries are gone after a few days, unless you have a way to recharge them. A generator will only work until it runs out of fuel.

One of the more important aspects of urban survival during winter storms is lighting. Without a lighting plan, you could end up in the dark from when the sun sets at around 5:30 p.m. until dawn. The right lighting supplies can make this situation more bearable. (Source)

Although I don’t completely agree with this author’s reliance on candles (what could be worse when you are bunkering down in your house than a house fire!) I do agree that they are easily stockpiled. There are also good tips and links to other articles embedded in the text. (WCS)

For the Full Article follow the link below.

Prepare for Electric Power Outages – Survive the Storm | Common sense survival tips and safety guide to surviving an emergency or natural disaster; Survival Common Sense – Wilderness or Urban Emergency Preparedness and Safety Guide.

How to Prevent Toxin Exposure After Natural Disasters –

Presented by

In the wake of a natural disaster, it’s important to be aware of conditions that could put you in harm’s way. Though most people often think of mold as the most toxic byproduct of natural disasters such as flash flooding and hurricanes, there are several environmental hazards to watch out for too.

This is not just relevant to post-disaster times, but for general day to day maintenance of your current home or one you might purchase, or your compound, shelter, cabin.. anything. (WCS)

Follow the link to the full Article.

How to Prevent Toxin Exposure After Natural Disasters –

New UK Department of Health Preparedness Report

Released by the UK Department of Health.

Arrangements for Health Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response from April 2013“.

The Health and Social Care Act will strengthen arrangements for emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR) with the changes coming into effect in April 2013.

This document describes the principles that will underpin EPRR, and sets out the roles and functions of the Secretary of State for Health, the Department of Health, the NHS Commissioning Board, Public Health England and Directors of Public Health working in local authorities. It also describes how EPRR services will be delivered at all levels, how this will align with wider multi agency civil resilience, and the steps being taken to implement the new approach.

Download the Full Report Here.

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