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With my studies soon to be commencing I’m going to be reading a lot more. Thus each week I’ll post a set of links of interesting articles across the web on risk and disaster management. Here’s this week’s list, happy reading:
- Chemical Weapons and the Scientists who make them – a brief history of the development of chemical weapons, some of the notable scientists who helped in their creation and the treaties prohibiting their use (did you know that Syria is not a signatory to the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention).
- What Did Chicago Look Like Before the Great Fire? – a great map comparing the city of Chicago before the great fire of 1871 and an aerial photo from today.
- Landscape Scale Influences of Forest Area and Housing Density on House Loss in the 2009 Victorian Bushfires – a new paper in PLoS One on the latest research out of the Black Saturday bushfires suggesting that for vegetation management to be effective in reducing house loss in extreme fires it may need to penetrate bushland up to 1km from houses.
- The war that isn’t going to happen – A review of a new book (Cyber War will Not Take Place by Thomas Rid) on what it claims is a vastly overhyped threat.
- The New Flood Insurance Disaster – Discusses the flaws of the US National Flood Insurance Program, the flaws of its current reforms and a possible pathway to a program that accommodates both financial sustainability and improved risk reduction.
Anyone who regularly flies in Australia will often get the announcement from cabin crew to “… as we will be refueling, please switch off your mobile phone whilst on the tarmac..”. We know that the risk of a mobile phone causing an explosion is vanishingly small, if it’s even possible. But I always see ground crew using radios, which makes me wonder:
Are the radios that are used by airport ground crew intrinsically safe?
If you know, please chime in in the comments.
If you frequent this blog you will have noticed a slight change of format. This is the soft launch of my new business – Casus Calamitas Consulting.
In this business I aim to continue what I’ve started in this blog – covering difficult topics and research to inform the emergency management community. Casus Calamitas Consulting bridges the gap between research and practice, helping organisations process complex information into sound emergency management.
Please check out the new sections of the website or get in touch if you are interested in the services I provide.
In other news I will be starting a PhD in Risk and Emergency Management at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Pavia, Italy in September.
Aside from disaster management, one of my other passions is swing dancing. It appears that I’m not the only one to combine the two – check out this video from the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Red Cross:
Illness spreads really easy at swing dance camps, with their combinations of lots of contact with many different people, lack of sleep, poor diet and less than fastidious hygiene. Some of the sicknesses even have their own names, e.g. the dreaded Herrang Flu.
It’s as good a time as any to remember that a pandemic is never far away. For information about how institutions and governments can prepare, check out the WHO website.
And Happy New Year!