Weekly Wrap Up April 4-9 2022
Climate Migration’s Impact on Emergency Services
Climate Migration’s Impact on Emergency Services
Last month The United Nations’ climate research unit (the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reported that when people hit the limits of what they can adapt to, they are forced to leave. The findings showed that climate migration is poised to occur inside the borders of nations. Today millions of Americans are about to lose their homes due to climate change. According to the First Street Foundation’s Flood Model, they identified “around 1.7 times the number of properties with substantial risk compared to the FEMA 1-in-100 SFHA designation. This equates to 14.6 million properties across the country at substantial risk, of which 5.9 million properties and property owners are currently unaware of or underestimating the risk they face because they are not identified as being within the SFHA zone.”
Communities from Alaska to Maine are experiencing what is called Managed Retreat. The Union of Concerned Scientists warns that up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, more than 300,000 homes worth a combined $117.5 billion are at risk of chronic tidal flooding in the next 30 years. Although the term Managed Retreat is “new” to the public lexicon, the U.S. government has quietly relocated vulnerable residents through post-storm property buyout programs for decades.
The process starts with a declared disaster by the President. Then local governments elect to offer homeowners with damaged properties the pre-disaster value of their home to skip the rebuilding process and instead move to safer ground. The federal government usually provides three-quarters of the funding via the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. State and local governments administer the programs and fund the balance. Municipalities determine which residents are eligible based on their homes' damage and vulnerability to a repeat. In some instances, municipalities will sweeten the pot by providing extra funding if all homeowners within a designated area participate together. From 1989 to 2017, FEMA funded more than 43,000 voluntary buyouts across 49 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
Communities are Falling Into the Ocean
The problem is that there are communities that are falling into the ocean, Bonifacio, Corsica, France, Pacifica, California, Happisburgh, Norfolk, UK, Shishmaref, Alaska, Collaroy, New South Wales, Australia, Sunset Beach, Hawaii, Isla Vista, California, Vilano Beach, Florida, Skipsea, East Yorkshire, U.K., and the list goes on and on.
A story that has not gotten much attention in the media is the island village of Newtok, Alaska. National Geographic reported in October of 2019 that the people living in this village became the first climate change transplants in America. This village may have been the first in the United States; however, it is not the last.
The Isle De Hean Charles is rapidly diapering into the Gulf of Mexico. The island was once 22,000 acres, and today, it is only 320 acres. The government of Louisiana is relocating the remaining residents with a $48.3 million community development block grant.
Emergency Management Must Be Involved
Emergency management must move from a reactive posture with climate change to proactive actions that we claim to be good at. Even if the jurisdiction you work in is not coastal, the impacts of the climate migrant will impact your organization. The climate crisis is a human crisis. It is driving people from their homes.
The hazards result from the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as heavy rainfall, droughts, environmental degradation, and longer and more destructive wildland fires.
If you would like to join the conversation, on May 19, 2022 at 2:00 EDT/ 11:00 PDT, SpeaknSpark with The Emergency Management Network's present The Leader'Speak Webinar series addressing Climate Change: Where Will People Go? Climate-induced Relocation - From Retreat to Migration. Register today!
First Street Foundation. “Highlights From The First National Flood Risk Assessment.” First Street Foundation, 29 June 2020, https://firststreet.org/research-lab/published-research/2020-national-flood-risk-assessment-highlights/. Accessed 9 April 2022.
Love Property. “17 towns being slowly swallowed by the sea.” lovePROPERTY, 11 August 2020, https://www.loveproperty.com/gallerylist/93458/17-towns-being-slowly-swallowed-by-the-sea. Accessed 9 April 2022.
The state of Louisiana. “Isle de Jean Charles.” Isle De Jean Charles Resettlement Project | IsleDeJeanCharles.la.gov, https://isledejeancharles.la.gov/. Accessed 9 April 2022.
Welch, Craig. “Climate change has finally caught up to this Alaska village.” National Geographic, 22 OCTOBER 2019, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/climate-change-finally-caught-up-to-this-alaska-village. Accessed 9 April 2022.
The Todd DeVoe Show
Hummingly is the creation of Elizabeth McNaughton and Jolie Wills, a duo who have worked in disasters worldwide for more than two decades. The realization that is helping one person, one community, one disaster at a time was no longer enough lit the spark that became Hummingly. Elizabeth and Jolie set about creating easy-to-use products that people, communities, and workplaces of the world could access to do well in tough times.
These proven products are based on Elizabeth and Jolie’s knowledge gained in real disasters and crises. They have gathered wisdom from over 100 crisis leaders, feedback from thousands of disaster survivors, scientific insights from their background in cognitive psychology, and a shared passion for preparing the world to do disruption, stress, and uncertainty well.
Use code 'EMcommunity' for 20% off the Cards for Calamity and the Doing Well deck at www. hummingly.co
Business Continuity Today
We are witnessing the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis that it has brought. In addition, the conflict is hurting the economy; oil prices have gone up, food prices worldwide are on the rise, and the President of the United States told the nation to prepare for food shortages. We see the eroding of the value of incomes while disrupting trade and supply chains. Here are the three key takeaways:
1) Support needed for refugees
2) Weaker economic growth, higher inflation
3) Energy & food price rises hitting the poor the hardest
Prepare Respond Recover
In this week's latest Prepare. Respond. Recover podcast episode, learn how Capacity Building International uses emergency management principles to help rebuild communities ravished by war. Founder and Managing Director, Kyle King and his team, have been in Ukraine since 2014, and today King is looking to see how they can continue their critical work. Listen in today to learn more.
If you would like to learn more about the Natural Disaster & Emergency Management (NDEM) Expo, please visit us on the web - https://www.ndemevent.com.