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Learn to Adapt |  Pres

Learn to Adapt | Pres

No matter what kind of natural disaster communities face, whether in Florida or anywhere else in the world, there are always lessons to be learned to better prepare for the future. And it can be done elegantly. Pres Talked to two experts about it.


question In Florida, can you better prepare for a hurricane?

Answer “We’ve had a lot of discussion about this over the years because the majority of people live along the state’s coastlines, which is where hurricanes hit hardest,” said Geoffrey Lindsey, a professor in the College of Design, Construction and Planning. University of Florida and Emergency Preparedness Specialist. Following the hurricane Andrew, many local building codes have been strengthened, particularly with regard to the resistance of roofs and windows. Now, we have to further examine the question of the height of the residences. This has become a major problem due to storm surge. »

Exactly, have we ignored the effects of flooding for so long?

According to Isabelle Thomas, a professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Planning, people and communities have long lived with a “false sense of security” and relied on federal assistance to obtain insurance and compensation in the event of a disaster. But after the hurricane Katrina (Louisiana, August 29, 2005), things have changed. “We realized how costly events are, not only in terms of losing buildings, but also in terms of public health, the environment,” he said. Since then, FEMA [Agence fédérale de gestion des urgences] Adapting to climate change or, unfortunately, adapting to poor land use over-anticipates problems. »

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What do you mean by misuse of land?

“We cannot blame climate change,” said Mme Thomas. The problem is our use of territory. We sometimes build very close to the coast or in rivers. The US federal government has responded by awarding grants tailored to citizens, municipalities or regions. If a citizen tries to switch, their insurance premium will decrease. »

Any examples of adaptation?

Sure, keep it up Mme Thomas was a long time resident of New Orleans. “The Gentilly Resilience District of New Orleans was awarded a 141 million grant to adapt to flooding. I went back there in March with two students and I was pleasantly surprised by the results, especially because they found solutions like capturing millions of gallons of water based on nature. They didn’t go for heavy infrastructure. »

Photo taken from Construction21 website

A feature of the Romo1 district of Romorandin after the 2016 flood

So can we prepare ourselves against the flood by being good?

“Sure! That’s the goal,” says Mme Thomas. I often give the case of Madra District in Romorantin [Loir-et-Cher, au cœur de la France], was created by my colleague Eric Daniel-Lacombe in collaboration with the mayor of the state and the city. With a landscape architect, they envisioned a resilience project in a medium-risk area and built beautiful social and affordable homes with architecture similar to other homes. We all need access to quality and safe urbanization. »

Back to Florida. What should be improved in the future?

“We need to work on better evacuation protocols,” said Jeffrey Lindsay. With the volume of events, we are still experiencing difficulty in properly evacuating regions. It’s difficult to evacuate everyone at once, especially since Florida is a peninsula. Also, the state has a large population of elderly people. We need to improve our skills to move them taking into account their medical conditions. Finally, we need to educate our citizens better about what they should do. »

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Learn more

  • Mathra District in Romarantin
    The district was created in 2011 on the site of a former factory designed as a tributary of the Saltray River. In 2016, the Saltray overflowed, and the city experienced the worst flooding in its history. In Madra, the damage was minimal.

    proof’s: liberation, New Republic and francevilledurable.fr

    Cyclone Andrew
    Monday, August 24, 1992, a Category 5 hurricane Andrew Wind gusts up to 165 mph in Key West and Miami-Dade County. The hurricane killed 65 people and caused $27 billion in damages in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana.

    Source: National Weather Service