Introducing the Climate Change Risk Reduction Blog

Bullock & Haddow LLC would like to announce a new blog focused on Community-Based Climate Change Risk Reduction featuring firm partners/authors George Haddow, Jane Bullock, and Damon Coppola.

During the past four decades, while working inside and outside of government to address hazard risk reduction, we have watched climate-related disasters grow in number and intensity. In fact, the management of these hazards has gradually moved to the forefront of our work.

But this should come as no surprise. The growing body of evidence clearly indicates that climate change is already adversely impacting communities, and it will continue to do so to an increasing degree as extreme weather events become more common. Coupled with other natural and man-made hazards, communities stand to suffer greatly in the coming decades.

We feel it is critical that communities recognize early on this increasing risk to their residents, economy, and natural resources, so that they may identify and (most importantly) implement climate change risk reduction strategies and actions before the next disaster strikes.

Right now, assessments of the impacts of climate change are occurring across all sectors of the American economy. Corporate giants such as Coca Cola, Nike and Kaiser Permanente have recognized the impact climate change has had on their business lines and bottom line, and they are taking action to reduce those impacts.

We believe that climate change risk reduction is poised to become in the next decade what terrorism was in the 2000-2010 era. Our goal is to ensure that local decision- makers have the capabilities and resources they need to identify and implement effective climate change risk reduction strategies and actions.

We also believe there must be a singular focus on identifying what local decision-makers need to implement climate change risk reduction actions, thus bridging the gap between climate change science and the need for long-term community safety and security.

Our current focus is on promoting climate change risk reduction at the community level. Our vision is of a nation where local decision-makers have the capabilities and resources needed to implement actions that will reverse the rising impacts of climate change by confronting climate-related risk before the next disaster strikes.

Through our work and our writing, we are promoting a process and strategy that brings together all community elements in order to develop policy initiatives and promote sustainable disaster risk reduction strategies. We are developing the instructional support tools that will assist local leaders in making this happen.

We hope to bring together innovators and thought leaders from across all sectors of American society to support and resource our local decision-makers in the advancement, integration, and implementation of climate change and disaster risk reduction actions and strategies. Together, these strategies will enable a reduction in the human, social, and economic impacts of climate change disasters.

Our blog will delve deeply into how climate change disasters are impacting our nation’s communities, economy, and environment, and will identify and promote ongoing and future community-based climate change risk reduction activities.

We invite you to subscribe to this feed, and join us as we seek new and innovative ways to empower communities as they take action to address climate-change related hazards.

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During a 20-year career at FEMA that began in the agency’s infancy and culminated in her appointment to Chief of Staff, Jane Bullock has been a pioneer in hazard risk reduction. She worked in the National Flood Insurance Program, helped establish the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP), and was the principal architect of FEMA’s Project Impact - a nationwide initiative to build disaster resistant communities. Currently, she serves as a Presidential appointee to the National Earthquake Advisory Board.

George Haddow was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as the White House Liaison and Deputy Chief of Staff to then FEMA Director James L. Witt and in this capacity helped shape risk reduction policy at the Agency and create and implement a national public affairs campaign promoting Project Impact and community-based hazard risk reduction. Currently, Mr. Haddow serves as the Chair of the Policy Affinity Group of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP)*.

Damon Coppola’s career began at the Department of Justice, where he was focused on mitigating another common community risk – crime. While earning his Master’s from the George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management, Damon joined the Bullock & Haddow team. He has since established himself squarely in the area of global disaster risk reduction through publication of the leading text on international disaster management, and regularly consults with the United Nations and various regional organizations on climate change adaptation and other risk reduction issues.

Bullock & Haddow partners have written extensively on hazard risk reduction and climate change, includiing the 2008 book Global Warming, Natural Hazards and Emergency Management. An full revision to this book is currently under contract, to be released in mid-2015. Our team has also authored and co-authored several key reports on climate change risk reduction, including the Center for American Progress (CAP) report Forecast: Storm Warnings – Preparing for More Severe Hurricanes Due to Global Warming, and the UNISDR report Integration of Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Sustainable Development in the Pacific.

Our full resumes and list of current and past projects can be found at www.bullockandhaddow.com.

* George Haddow is the Chair of the ASAP Policy Affinity Group, but views expressed here are his own.

Image: New Jersey home damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Credit: Patsy Lynch/FEMA, November 8, 2012.

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