Articles on natural disaster mitigation

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People take shelter during the floods in Mozambique. Antonio Silva/EPA

More people in Africa need to be insured against natural disasters

While disaster insurance would go a long way in averting losses, demand for cover is still lower than expected.
Searching for victims after a rain-triggered mudslide that blanketed a village and killed at least 178 people in north China’s Shanxi province, Sept. 13, 2008. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Global toll from landslides is heaviest in developing countries

While the Montecito, California mudslides took 20 lives, landslides kill far more people in developing countries. Tighter construction standards and early warning systems could help reduce their toll.
If more people live in the Adelaide Hills, they are more likely to be exposed to bushfires. David Mariuz/AAP

Natural hazard risk: is it just going to get worse or can we do something about it?

What decisions can we make today to reduce the future risk of hazards like floods and fire? Particularly in a time of climate change, modelling various plausible futures helps us plan for uncertainty.
Water from Addicks Reservoir flows into Houston neighborhoods following hurricane Harvey in August. Allstate expects US$593 million in insurance losses for August due to the hurricane. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The stormy outlook for insurance-linked securities

Insurance-linked securities aim to shield insurers and governments from huge costs following disasters. But they bear eerie similarities to the securities that caused the 2008 financial meltdown.
A satellite image of Hurricane Irma spiraling through the Caribbean. NOAA/AP

In the Caribbean, colonialism and inequality mean hurricanes hit harder

The Caribbean is facing its second deadly hurricane in as many weeks. This isn't just bad luck: the region's extreme vulnerability to disaster also reflects entrenched social inequalities.
Deleon Gambel, 14, fights the current from the overflow of Buffalo Bayou as he makes his way through floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey while checking on neighbors in his apartment complex in Houston, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. AP Photo/LM Otero

Response to natural disasters like Harvey could be helped with game theory

The number of natural disasters around the world has doubled since 1980, raising serious questions about how to respond. Here's how game theory could help.

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