Governing Emergencies workshop – Emergency and Disaster Publics

We’re pleased to announce details of the second Governing Emergencies workshop on Emergency and Disaster Publics. It will take place in Rotterdam on the 4th and 5th June 2015. For the first day of the workshop, we will visit the Watersnoodmuseum in Ouwerkerk. The museum commemorates a flood event of 1953 in which over 1,800 people died. The museum is organised in the concrete caissons that were used to close the openings in the dykes during the floods. Continue reading

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Après le deluge: the UK winter storms of 2013–14

Klaus Dodds on a recent themed issue in The Geographical Journal on how we make sense of extreme flood events.

Geography Directions

By Klaus Dodds, Royal Holloway University of London

Spurn Head on the Humber being broken by the December 2013 Storm Surge Photo Credit: Environment Agency (reproduced with permission) Spurn Head on the Humber being broken by the December 2013 Storm Surge Photo Credit: Environment Agency (reproduced with permission)

The UK winter floods of 2013-14 were unquestionably severe caused by winter storms that brought with them record levels of rainfall and long standing flooding to southern England, most notably the Somerset Levels. Other parts of the UK were also affected, coastal towns in Wales were battered by stormy weather and parts of the Scotland also recorded some of the highest levels of rainfall ever recorded. Political leaders of all the main parties were swift to visit affected areas, and the government organization responsible for flood management the Environment Agency and its embattled chief Lord Smith endured a barrage of criticism for late and or inadequate flood preparation, warnings and responsiveness. For weeks, stories and images of the flood and its impact…

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