Topic 3 – disaster resilient communities

Disaster Resilience in Alaska

The Main point of the article is forced migration of Alaskan communities due to climate change, flooding, and erosion. The question that I feel is relevant to our topic is how does this relocation of a community effect its resilience? There are 3 key points that I have concluded from the article are: First, there are multiple communities needing re-locations. Second, each community is involved in an ad hoc process with state and federal government agencies that are struggling to provide protection to the communities while they grapple with the need to work out a relocation process. And finally, the list of rights that the relocating communities need to be afforded…which are:

  • allow the affected community to be a key player in the relocation process

  • ensure culturally and linguistically appropriate mechanisms for participation and consultation

  • ensure families and tribes remain together during relocation

  • keep socio-cultural institutions intact

  • protect subsistence rights and customary communal rights to resources

  • safeguard rights to safe and sanitary housing, potable water, education and other basic amenities

  • implement sustainable development opportunities as part of the relocation process (and thereby enhance community resilience).

Each of which would allow the community to be resilient even with all the extreme changes going on. I selected this article due to the fact that it is an on going process. One that I think relates to the idea of community resilience. I don’t believe that once prepared for a disaster that you are always defended against it. The idea of resiliency is an ever changing, ever on going process. Nature changes, as does technologies, and people; hence why a resilience effort would need to keep changing and keep improving.

Academic Article:

disaster resilient Alaska #5


This comic was created to show what we came together to learn about our vulnerabilities here in Alaska as well as the programs we are trying to improve on. With over 100 languages spoken some get left behind in paperwork errors, not something you would think of in today’s technological age, but it is still happening. and its unbelievable that the state has only a 5 day food supply at any given time.

with better education from schools as well as programs like CERT, we can help each other work towards goals like completing the AWARE initiative. we could then help each-other by becoming the resilient Alaska we know we can be. better educated human resources spread throughout the state, readily available to the villages and towns that need them as a disaster strikes, not after.





Disaster resilient communities

I picked an article that seems relevant to disasters in Alaska.  Its about Kivalina, a village on the coast of the Chukchi Sea, that is washing away due to erosion.  I had a hard time finding an article that I thought met the requirement, but I settled on this one because I have read about this village, and I got a chance to go to Kivalina last summer, and I think the whole situation is really interesting.

Basically, Kivalina is going to erode away.  Blame it on whatever you like, erosion, global warming, lack of sea ice, or any combination of those or any other reason, but the village of less than 400 people is eroding, and they are going to have to relocate.

Three key points of the article would be, other than they are going to have to move, the question of who is going to pay for it.  It could cost more than 100 million dollars to move the town more inland, or farther down the coast.  Another issue , or point, in the article is that no government agency is actually responsible for relocating a community, which is a problem if someone expects the government to pay to relocate one.  The last key point I thought was interesting is the mention of sea ice, or lack of.   Over the last 100 years that the village has been there (which apparently they blame the government for anyway), there has been heavy sea ice in the winter.  Ice in which the natives go out to hunt whales on.  Over the last few years, the ice has been thinner and not lasted as long, or not there at all, which ushers the erosion even faster.

I picked this article because it was one of only a few article I found that was actually about a disaster happening, and like I previously stated, I’ve been there.  I think its incredibly interesting, and I plan to go back this fall.  It’s not really “close to me,” but I do know a few people who live there, and I see it as a village that’s about to be gone.

FEMA CERT Program!

1. Summarize the main point of your article.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initiative that focuses on training volunteers to be resilient before, during, and after disasters. Throughout the course volunteers learn basic first aid, light search and rescue, team organization, and fire safety. FEMA developed campus CERT and workplace CERT to make the course attractive for people of all ages and professions.

2. Describe 3 key points you concluded from the article that are relevant to the topic.

• CERT is gaining traction. Since inception over 2,700 local programs have been established. Over 600,000 volunteers participate.

• First responders and other qualified volunteers normally teach the Basic CERT course, so members get quality instruction from knowledgeable people.

• CERT is FEMA endorsed but community ran. Formal guides are readily available to take someone from a basic member, to a trainer, and eventually a program manager over time.

3. Why did you select this article – and how does it contribute to the group?

I chose this article because I think CERT is a unique program that not many people know about. If a local program is not available, anybody can start one! CERT gives everybody a chance to learn about disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Plus, you can start networking with other members once the program gets going to spread the word. Educating your community about disasters is win-win since catastrophes can happen at any time.

Disaster resilient Anchorage

this is a great program, acronym AWARE (Anchorage Welcoming And REsilient) there are great partnerships investing in the coming action plan such as the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) and Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) to name a few.

these are some goals the AWARE program has or is in the progress of achieving:

  • Establishing food security in emergency preparedness and planning (almost all food is imported and only 5% is local).
  • Creating food security and emergency preparedness materials that are comprehensive enough to be useful and educational, but can also accommodate the nuanced needs of all community members.
  • Relaying information, documents, resources, and announcements across the language barriers—which often affect those who need the information most—in this multilingual community.
  • Getting community buy-in, engaging residents, and leading from the ground-up; many residents are focused on daily survival and lack the time and opportunity to engage.
  • Engaging residents from all populations during the planning process. Many residents are not interested in theoretical situations and typically will not engage unless it’s concrete and will have an immediate impact on their daily life.

3 key points:

  1. Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, home to over 40% of the state’s population. Over 100 languages are spoken among the city’s 300,000 residents, a diverse mix of native Alaskans, immigrants, migrants, and refugees from across the U.S. and around the world.
  2. The states high latitude brings to it a cold climate and long winters, this shortens the growing season to a point where the vast majority of food and goods consumed by Alaskan residents must be imported from outside Alaska. Most of these goods move through the Port of Anchorage, or the Al-can (Alaska – Canada Highway), both of which are vulnerable to earthquakes, severe weather, and other environmental risks, but only three to four days’ worth of food is stored locally. The Port of Anchorage is a major economic driver of the region, with much of the Anchorage economy tied to transportation and logistics.
  3.  Climate change amplifies the risks faced by the State, especially      its most vulnerable residents. Anchorage is projected to see increased average temperatures and periods of extreme heat, which will threaten the glaciers that feed reservoirs and coastal fisheries. Warmer temperatures may also increase the spread of insect-borne diseases. Reduced rain and snowfall could also result in more wildfires and a shortened ski season. The City of Anchorage is committed to addressing these risks while continuing to be a welcoming city for newcomers.

I chose this article because i was un-AWARE that AWARE was a thing, (pun intended) i knew we had the information on the potential dangers of food shortage, but this program encompasses so much more. My goal in this project is to show not only my fellow classmates how resilient Alaskans are, but to prove to you and myself that us isolated Alaskans are a disaster resilient community!