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Articles on Disaster

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Hallways busy with COVID-19 patients have become temporary patient holding areas in overcrowded hospitals. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 crisis in Los Angeles: Why activating ‘crisis standards of care’ is crucial for overwhelmed hospitals

States and hospitals are starting to declare 'crisis standards of care' as the pandemic floods their ERs. The orders have consequences – both good and bad, as a medical ethicist explains.
Heat-damaged plastic pipes can continue to leach chemicals into water over time. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires – it’s a risk in urban fires, too

A new study shows how toxic chemicals like benzene are leaching into water systems after nearby fires. The pipes don't have to burn – they just have to heat up.
When deadly tornadoes struck the Southeast in April, residents in Prentiss, Mississippi, struggled to keep up coronavirus precautions while salvaging what they could from their damaged properties. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Can your community handle a natural disaster and coronavirus at the same time?

If the forecasts are right, the US could be facing more natural disasters this year – on top of the coronavirus pandemic. Local governments aren't prepared.
Domestic migrants work at a construction site in Dhading, Nepal. February 2020. (Sara Shneiderman)

Learning from disasters: Nepal copes with coronavirus pandemic 5 years after earthquake

Nepal's past dealing with multiple disasters, including the aftermath of its civil war and the massive earthquake of 2015 may have helped the country prepare for the current COVID-19 crisis.
A nurse (left) operates a robot used to interact remotely with coronavirus patients while a physician looks on. MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

Robots are playing many roles in the coronavirus crisis – and offering lessons for future disasters

Robots are helping health care workers and public safety officials more safely and quickly treat coronavirus patients and contain the pandemic. They have something in common: They're tried and tested.

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