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Earth Policy Institute;
Those of us who track the effects of global warming had assumed that the first large flow of climate refugees would likely be in the South Pacific with the abandonment of Tuvalu or other low-lying islands. We were wrong. The first massive movement of climate refugees has been that of people away from the Gulf Coast of the United States. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in late August 2005, forced a million people from New Orleans and the small towns on the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts to move inland either within state or to neighboring states, such as Texas and Arkansas. Although nearly all planned to return, many have not. Unlike in previous cases, when residents typically left areas threatened by hurricanes and returned when authorities declared it was safe to do so, many of these evacuees are finding new homes. In this respect, the U.S. hurricane season of 2005 was different. Record-high temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico surface waters helped make Hurricane Katrina the most financially destructive hurricane ever to make landfall anywhere. In some Mississippi Gulf Coast towns, Katrina's powerful 28-foot-high storm surge (8.5 meters) did not leave a single structure standing. There was nothing for evacuees to return to. The destruction of housing and infrastructure in St. Bernard Parish, a low-lying 40-mile-long peninsula (64 kilometers) extending southeast from New Orleans, rendered most of it uninhabitable. The Katrina storm surge that raised the water level in Lake Pontchartrain so high that it breached the levees and flooded New Orleans left much of the city unfit to live in. Even today, a year later, large parts of the city are without basic infrastructure services such as water, power, sewage disposal, garbage collection, and telecommunications. Interestingly, the country to suffer the most damage from a hurricane is also primarily responsible for global warming. Many evacuees were able to return in a matter of days, but many more were not. New Orleans' population before Katrina struck was 463,000. Claritas, a private demographic data-gathering and analysis firm, reported that after the hurricane New Orleans' population shrank to 93,000. By January 2006, it had recovered to 174,000. By July 2006, the city still had only 214,000 residents, less than half of its pre-Katrina population. Three Louisiana coastal parishes (counties) also registered substantial population declines. The population of St. Bernard Parish plummeted from 66,000 residents to 15,000 in July 2006. South of New Orleans, the population of Plaquemines Parish declined from 29,000 to 20,000. Densely populated Jefferson Parish, also bordering New Orleans on the south, dropped from 453,000 to 411,000, a loss of 42,000. Mississippi's three coastal counties each lost population. The July tabulation showed Hancock County had lost 8,000 residents. Harrison County, which includes the town of Gulfport, lost 12,000, and Jackson County 4,000. (See data at http://www.earthpolicy.org/Updates/2006/Update57_data.htm)
Examines the potential impact of climate change, including more disasters, economic stress, and social pressures, with respect to civilian and military response efforts. Calls for a coherent government approach and a strategic emphasis on long-term effect
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs;
Outlines the challenges of and recommendations for creating an effective interface between humanitarian groups and volunteer and technical communities aggregating, visualizing, and analyzing data on and from affected communities to support relief efforts.
Administrative Science Quarterly;
This article focuses on geographic communities as fields in which human-made and natural events occasionally disrupt the lives of organizations. We develop an institutional perspective to unpack how and why major events within communities affect organizations in the context of corporate philanthropy. To test this framework, we examine how different types of mega-events (the Olympics, the Super Bowl, political conventions) and natural disasters (such as floods and hurricanes) affected the philanthropic spending of locally headquartered Fortune 1000 firms between 1980 and 2006. Results show that philanthropic spending fluctuated dramatically as mega-events generally led to a punctuated increase in otherwise relatively stable patterns of giving by local corporations. The impact of natural disasters depended on the severity of damage: while major disasters had a negative effect, smaller-scale disasters had a positive impact. Firms' philanthropic history and communities' intercorporate network cohesion moderated some of these effects. This study extends the institutional and community literatures by illuminating the geographic distribution of punctuating events as a central mechanism for community influences on organizations, shedding new light on the temporal dynamics of both endogenous and exogenous punctuating events and providing a more nuanced understanding of corporate-community relations.
In the immediate aftermath of the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, the Foundation Center surveyed members of its Grantmaker Leadership Panel to gauge the reaction of top U.S. funders to the unfolding crisis. Findings suggest that a number of leading funders are considering a direct response to the crisis, with a primary focus on providing emergency assistance.
Rebuild by Design (RBD) was formally launched on June 20, 2013, to ensure that the rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy incorporated designs that built in resilience. RBD was launched with strong public leadership, philanthropic support and professional interest within the design community. The early enthusiasm for RBD came as much from curiosity about RBD's vision and ambition as from the substantial size of the implementation awards from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds that Congress appropriated to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Hurricane Sandy Recovery. Phase I of RBD held true to the vision of iteratively responding to science-based evidence and to local citizens and community groups through open-ended design techniques. These activities unfolded in various ways and to different ends throughout Phase I's three stages – Stage 1: team selection, Stage 2: research, and Stage 3: community engagement. RBD managers also kept an eye on the feasibility of design proposals from technical, financial and political perspectives – parameters that have all been heavily shaped by RBD's post-Sandy New York context. As part of its ongoing commitment to learn from the work it supports, the Rockefeller Foundation provided funding for the Urban Institute to evaluate the design competition component of Phase 1 of RBD, including its innovative aspects, partnerships and community engagement. The highly positive findings of the evaluation indicate that even though RBD itself is limited in scope to the Sandy recovery area, it has the potential to be transformational in the way disaster recovery efforts are designed, funded and implemented at a broader scale in the US. With the caveat that the evaluation looked only at the design competition phase, RBD brings hope and inspiration that collectively communities and decision makers can 'build back better' by responding in innovative and creative ways and working as a region to become more resilient. In sum, RBD has moved the mark on resilience action in the U.S.
Center for Strategic and International Studies;
In recent years, the United States has faced a growing number of severe natural disasters presenting a variety of challenges for the nation -- spanning the spectrum from federal to state to municipal and community levels -- and its disaster response, relief, and recovery architecture. On average, the United States experiences ten severe weather events per year exceeding one billion dollars in damage, compared to an annual average of only two such events throughout the 1980s.
In addition, the costs of response, relief, and recovery efforts associated with these kinds of natural disasters have increased considerably over time. Recent reports indicate that from 2010 to today, the U.S. federal government has spent an average of approximately $85 billion per year in response to severe weather events. This figure is more than double average yearly spending on such events in 2000-2009.
While there is significant debate about the reason for this increase, some experts have noted that an overall increase in the number of disasters, an increase in their severity, and an increase in the amount of vulnerable infrastructure may be factors.
Given the growing cost of disaster response efforts, the United States should consider steps that would enhance the nation's disaster preparedness and resilience. By emphasizing planning, partnerships, and capabilities development that improve preparedness and resilience, the United States may be able to mitigate some ofthe effects and costs of natural disasters.
Meaningful progress will require reform at several levels, including but not limited to changes to federal executive branch policy, additional action by the U.S. Congress, and closer partnerships and cooperation between the public and private sectors.
The recommendations are the product of a dialogue hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, who are partners -- with support from Walmart -- in the CSISPennington Family Foundation Series on Community Resilience. Launched in September 2012,
This series has proven to be a valuable forum for government officials, subject matter experts, academics, philanthropists, nongovernmental organizations, and business and community leaders to discuss strengthening the resilience of communities in disaster-prone areas. Each of these groups offers a unique perspective -- whether from a philanthropic, business, or policy point of view -- and unique capabilities. Reflecting thoughts, findings, and viewpoints gleaned from CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series events and discussions, these recommendations provide guidance for those officials who want to make meaningful forward progress to bolster U.S. planning, partnerships, and capabilities to address the real, localized, and oftentimes devastating effects of natural disasters.
Alliance Development Works;
The World Risk Report examines who is at risk from natural disasters, what contributes to this risk and what can be done about it. The record for the decade 2002 to 2011 is alarming: 4,130 disasters, more than a million deaths and an economic loss of at least 1.195 trillion dollars.
The centerpiece of the report, the WorldRiskIndex, developed by UNU-EHS in cooperation with the Alliance, determines the risk of becoming the victim of a disaster as a result of natural hazards for 173 countries throughout the world. The Pacific Island states of Vanuatu and Tonga have the highest disaster risk. Malta and Qatar face the lowest risk worldwide.
This report documents the experiences and insights of leading funders and provides the most comprehensive record available of the resources that institutional donors provided in response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes.The report includes statistical data as well as an analysis of interviews with 10 of the top 25 independent foundations that responded to the disaster.
International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC);
Report by the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) aimed at promoting the inclusion of disability in emergency, conflict and refugee programmes. The particular objectives are to assess the extent of inclusion, networking and resources in post-tsunami contexts. The geographical focus was mainly on Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia. Includes a bibliography.
Alliance for Justice;
Follows up a 2007 report on the effectiveness of foundations and nonprofits in advocating for systemic changes in the Gulf Coast and lessons learned. Calls for collaboration, regionalizing agendas, and integrating advocacy into missions and grant periods.
This report is the most comprehensive analysis to date on disaster-focused philanthropy Published by Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the report provides a snapshot of funding for disasters by the largest U.S. foundations. This analysis focuses on 2012 data to establish a baseline and is the beginning of a longerterm effort to collect and aggregate data -- from multiple streams -- in order to track disaster giving globally. As these data collection efforts move forward, subsequent reports will feature more current and comprehensive trends on disaster-related giving.