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Alice Springs has been prone to severe flooding. NT Police/AAP

Will the Territory Insurance Office sale push up premiums?

The announcement yesterday by the Northern Territory government that it is selling the Territory Insurance Office’s insurance assets to Allianz Australia for A$236 million has many worried their premiums…
Can social media keep you safe from disasters? Flickr/Jim

Is social media responsible for your safety during a disaster?

Given the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it’s not surprising so many people use social media in crises such as floods, fires and earthquakes. Facebook has introduced Safety Check, a new tool for users…
The city of Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan, November 2013. EPA/Dennis M. Sabangan

A year after Typhoon Haiyan, poor Filipinos find a voice

On November 8 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. One of the largest tropical storms ever to make landfall, it killed more than 10,000 people and left millions homeless. The vast recovery effort…
Five years on, the bush and people are recovering well from the Black Saturday fires. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Five years on from Black Saturday, most survivors are doing OK

Five years on from the devastating Black Saturday fires that swept through central Victoria in February 2009, research shows that people and communities are largely recovering well. In the first major…
The LGBTI community has unique needs that are often overlooked during the response and recovery stages of a natural disaster event. euphoriadev via Flickr

Speaking with: Scott McKinnon on LGBTI issues during natural disasters

Speaking with: Scott McKinnon.
When natural disasters strike, the impact varies significantly across different social groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities are poorly accounted for in disaster…
It’s good that mount Sinabung isn’t a supervolcano. Binsar Bakkara/AP

How Earth’s devastating supervolcanoes erupt

Devastating supervolcanoes can erupt simply due to changes that happen in their giant magma chambers as they slowly cool, according to a new study. This finding marks the first time researchers have been…
Women: first to mobilise, last to be considered. Simminch

Women worse off when it comes to natural disasters

The Philippines. Pakistan. New Orleans. Sri Lanka. All have suffered catastrophic disasters in recent times. And the emergence of “climate refugees” – populations displaced by extreme weather events…
Path of destruction: Haiyan makes landfall. AP Photo/Nelson Salting

Eyewitness: Typhoon Haiyan strikes the Philippines

The rain is ricocheting off the roads here in Manila. Early on Friday, our car’s tyres dragged in the deep puddles. Basketball courts - remnants of bygone American rule, and a staple of every district…
Firefighters have plenty of ideas about disaster management - so why don’t we listen? AAP/Dan Himbrechts

What firefighters say about climate change

You do not find many climate change sceptics on the end of [fire] hoses anymore… They are dealing with increasing numbers of fires, increasing rainfall events, increasing storm events. – A senior Victorian…
This rapacious little critter could actually help humans one day. Larah McElroy

Worker antics could lead us to search and rescue robots

When disaster strikes, search and rescue robots could save lives by finding and retrieving people buried under rubble. But designing robots that can descend rapidly through unstable and uneven rubble has…
Blackouts remind us what life was like before cheap, readily available electricity - but it’s time to think about the true price of our power. Candle in the dark image from www.shutterstock.com/Ronen

Save now, pay later: the hidden costs of lower electricity bills

No lights, no power, no internet - and no easy solutions. Fumbling around in a middle of a blackout, hoping to find a torch or some spare batteries, I was struck by just how utterly dependent most of us…
Natural disasters don’t just leave those affected rebuilding their lives but also struggling to find meaning behind the tragedy. Facebook CFA Victoria/AAP

Floods and fires: the struggle to rebuild, the search for meaning

This summer another bout of floods, fires, and cyclones has struck, culminating most recently in out-of-control fires across Victoria in which at least one home was lost. When we see the loss of property…

Natural disasters test kids' altruism

Younger children become more selfish than older children following a natural disaster. American and Canadian researchers…
If we are plucking people from their roofs, we’re not communicating about disasters properly. AAP/AGL Action Rescue Helicopter

Planning for floods and fires now the recipe for disaster has changed

The floods in Queensland and Northern New South Wales and the extensive January bushfires which caused destruction across Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales confirm that we need to rethink how we plan…

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