Emergency and disaster management week in review for May 9, 2106
A weekly recap of handpicked emergency and disaster management news, along with analysis and interpretation from our team of experts.
Social Media & EDM
The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) recently analyzed social media use by local governments and agencies and published its findings as to what makes one agency successful at utilizing social media while others struggle. According to the ICMA, several key engagement styles and patterns were noted to be consistent among the different agencies that use social networking sites effectively.
A recent report detailed how April natural disasters in the U.S., Ecuador, Japan, Uruguay, China, Myanmar, and other regions across the globe brought billions and billions in damages. Earthquakes, severe storms, agricultural losses, flooding and other natural disasters combined to make last month the most costly April in five years.
Scientists are suggesting that the boreal wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada are a result of climate change and its impacts. El Niño has also kept warmer air flowing into the area, with temperatures in the Fort McMurray area higher than normal - sometimes nearly 30 degrees - in the weeks leading up to the fire. Earlier snow melt due to rising temperatures is causing a drying of trees, increasing the chances for wildfires. They also noted the 2015 fire season in Alaska as being one of the worst on record - the second largest ever - involving 768 fires and over five million acres burned.
A new World Health Organization (WHO) report warned that 80 percent of world's city dwellers breathe bad air. The WHO's latest air pollution analysis revealed the growing risk of serious health conditions from polluted air, including stroke and asthma. India is home to four of the five cities in the world with the worst air pollution, and only 2 percent of cities in poorer countries had air quality that met WHO standards.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reportedly considering implementing a 'disaster deductible' that would serve to help the Agency recover some of the costs of funds paid to disaster victims. A House emergency management subcommittee held a hearing yesterday morning titled Controlling the Rising Cost of Federal Responses to Disaster to discuss the "disaster deductible" topic in detail.