PR Newswire: First Street Foundation releases new data disclosing the flood risk of every home in the contiguous U.S. (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: First Street Foundation releases new data disclosing the flood risk of every home in the contiguous U.S. (PRESS RELEASE). “The nonprofit research and technology group First Street Foundation has publicly released flood risk data for more than 142 million homes and properties across the country. The data, based on decades of peer-reviewed research, assigns every property in the contiguous United States a “Flood Factor™,” or score from 1 to 10, based on its cumulative risk of flooding over a thirty-year mortgage. People can look up a property’s Flood Factor and learn more about its past, present, and future flood risk at FloodFactor.com, the Foundation’s new online visualization tool, launching today.” When I was playing with this, I found that it would work for a couple of lookups and then start giving me 404 errors as I was putting in a new address. If I reopened the link in an incognito window it worked fine again for a couple of lookups.

Innovation in post-disaster data collection: From the Caribbean to the world (ReliefWeb)

ReliefWeb: Innovation in post-disaster data collection: From the Caribbean to the world. “Responding and rebuilding first requires data on what has been damaged or destroyed, and where. In the past, data collection was a laborious paper-based process that took months or years. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused massive destruction in the region in 2017, UNDP and partners launched a new tool to do such assessments in a matter of days. (UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Multi-County Office partnered with WFP, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO and UN Women.) The tool is a mobile app called HBDA, or Household and Building Damage Assessment. It works on a smartphone or tablet.”

Twitter Blog: Using data from the conversation on Twitter to help detect wildfires

Twitter Blog: Using data from the conversation on Twitter to help detect wildfires. “This wildfire season, Mayday.ai is set to combine data from the unfolding conversation on Twitter with its proprietary incident detection system, which is based on satellite sensors, an array of 35,000 traffic cameras, and IP911 to power a comprehensive detection and a highly targeted notification tracker. Mayday.ai has developed a comprehensive dispatch platform and a mobile app which will provide first responders and civilians unprecedented access to real-time incident information — and has so far had much success in detecting wildfires using its proprietary platform and is being used as a template for other disasters in Mayday’s roadmap.”

Utah State University: The Utah Fire Atlas Offers Land Managers a New Tool

Utah State University: The Utah Fire Atlas Offers Land Managers a New Tool. “Using the fire atlas, researchers will characterize both wildfires and prescribed fires in Utah so the data can inform land management and policy decisions that will create greater resilience to wildfires and optimize post-fire conditions. The institute is concentrating on fires from 100 to 1000 acres – a size relevant to managers considering prescribed or ‘let burn’ fires.”

University of Alaska Fairbanks: Online tool allows fast, free natural-hazard visualization

University of Alaska Fairbanks: Online tool allows fast, free natural-hazard visualization. “This spring, a team of scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Alaska Satellite Facility released SARVIEWS 2.0, a free online service to monitor data from earthquakes and volcanoes. SARVIEWS and its update, SARVIEWS 2.0, are automated tools that allow scientists, the public and emergency management professionals to monitor and analyze natural hazards in near real time. The tool creates products from images of the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 radar remote sensing satellites and makes them available through a dedicated interface. From the time of data collection, it typically takes SARVIEWS only a few hours to make maps or other visualizations available.”

Weather .com: Here’s Which Type of Billion-Dollar Weather Disaster Has Occurred Most Frequently in Each State Since 1980

Weather .com: Here’s Which Type of Billion-Dollar Weather Disaster Has Occurred Most Frequently in Each State Since 1980. “Billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, such as those from severe thunderstorms, wildfires and tropical cyclones, have affected every U.S. state since 1980, and a new tool developed by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) shows us how often each type of disaster has occurred in each state over the last 40 years.”

Fast Company: This site shows your home’s disaster risk, from climate to coronavirus

Fast Company: This site shows your home’s disaster risk, from climate to coronavirus. “If you want to move to avoid the impacts of climate change, you may be out of luck: Everywhere on Earth will be affected. But some places are safer than others. A new tool from a startup called Augurisk is designed to help homebuyers and business owners calculate the climate risks of any address in the U.S.—along with multiple other risks, from nuclear power plant radiation to the current spread of COVID-19 and the ability of local hospitals to handle the pandemic.”

Phys .org: Mapping dry wildfire fuels with AI and new satellite data

Phys .org: Mapping dry wildfire fuels with AI and new satellite data. “Anticipating where a fire is likely to ignite and how it might spread requires information about how much burnable plant material exists on the landscape and its dryness. Yet this information is surprisingly difficult to gather at the scale and speed necessary to aid wildfire management. Now, a team of experts in hydrology, remote sensing and environmental engineering have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states, from Colorado, Montana, Texas and Wyoming to the Pacific Coast.”

Phys .org: COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season, says expert

Phys .org: COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season, says expert. “COVID-19 may cause a drop in spring wildfires as people are still being asked to self-isolate throughout May, Alberta’s riskiest fire month, says a University of Alberta expert. ‘Since we’re still staying at home in May, there are fewer people recreating or working in the forests and human-caused fires will be reduced,’ said wildfire scientist Mike Flannigan. ‘Over 80 percent of Alberta’s wildfires in May are started by humans.'”

US Forest Service: USDA Forest Service Releases Community Wildfire Risk Website

Released last month but I missed it. From the US Forest Service: USDA Forest Service Releases Community Wildfire Risk Website. “For the first time, community wildfire risk has been mapped nationwide to help community leaders mitigate risk. The USDA Forest Service today announced the free, interactive, easy-to-use website, Wildfire Risk to Communities. This website is designed to help community leaders nationwide understand how wildfire risk varies across a state, region, or county and allow them to prioritize actions to protect their communities.”

WBTV: Hurricane season preparation includes some coronavirus considerations this year

WBTV: Hurricane season preparation includes some coronavirus considerations this year. “North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared this week as Hurricane Preparedness Week across the state. The typical hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, although tropical systems can occur outside those parameters as well. The governor’s advice is to use this week to talk about emergency plans with family members, update any emergency supplies and make sure your insurance is up to date. With the threat of coronavirus still out there, the governor also said evacuation plans should include an idea to stay at a hotel or inland with friends and family as emergency shelters may not be able to maintain much social distancing.”

Phys .org: Coronavirus forces new approaches to fighting wildfires

Phys .org: Coronavirus forces new approaches to fighting wildfires. “They are two disasters that require opposite responses: To save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19, people are being told to remain isolated. But in a wildfire, thousands of firefighters must work in close quarters for weeks at a time. Wildfires have already broken out in Texas and Florida, and agencies are scrambling to finish plans for a new approach. They are considering waivers for some training requirements to previously-certified crew members, and moving some training online.”

Phys .org: Brazilian communities fight floods together – with memories and an app

Phys .org: Brazilian communities fight floods together – with memories and an app. “Brazilian communities that are vulnerable to devastating floods are being united and empowered to defend themselves, using ‘citizen science’ and a specially developed mobile app, thanks to two research projects led by the University of Warwick.”

Asahi Shimbun: Tottori to provide flood estimates using Google Street View

Asahi Shimbun: Tottori to provide flood estimates using Google Street View. “The Street View feature on Google Maps enables users to see landscapes and scenery on the maps. Under the prefecture’s system using special software, residents can experience flooding in a more realistic fashion and become more aware of the need to plan anti-disaster measures, the officials said. Essentially, they will be able to pick evacuation routes in a more simplified way than using the current hazard maps.”

Phys .org: Wikipedia, a source of information on natural disasters biased towards rich countries

Phys .org: Wikipedia, a source of information on natural disasters biased towards rich countries. “As a source of information related to natural disasters, the authors show that on Wikipedia, there is a greater tendency to cover events in wealthy countries than in poor countries. By performing careful, large-scale analysis of automatic content, ‘we show how flood coverage in Wikipedia leans towards wealthy, English-speaking countries, particularly the USA and Canada,’ they claim in their work. ‘We also note that the coverage of flooding in low-income countries and in countries in South America, is substantially less than the coverage of flooding in middle-income countries,’ they add.”