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A work in progress

My World's on Fire
A work in progress
By Colleen Hagerty • Issue #66 • View online
Thanks for reading My World’s on Fire, a weekly newsletter about disasters from journalist Colleen Hagerty. If you found this dispatch interesting, go ahead and subscribe for free!
Also, a big hello to all the new subscribers opening up their very first My World’s on Fire dispatch! Get ready for disaster deep-dives, Q&As, and context in your inbox every Thursday evening.

Well! I am totally blown away by the response to last week’s newsletter. I’ll be honest, I was pretty nervous to send it out (I always feel weird sending out newsletters about this newsletter), but the idea of “demystifying disasters” seems to have struck a chord, and I am so grateful for all of your feedback and responses.
That said, I have a lot of work to do! I’m reading every survey submitted and a whole bunch of tweets, and I’m doing my best to respond to them all this week. From there, it’s going to take me some time to conduct interviews and have some more in-depth conversations to get this series started. My goal is to get the first edition out next month, so definitely stay tuned!
While I get going on that, I thought I’d share some of the conversations this idea sparked on Twitter that offer some stand-alone information or insight. I hope this can serve as an introduction to some of the topics I’ll be digging into more in the coming weeks and that some of you will join in on this thread! Of course, if you’d rather speak with me directly, you can always reach me by responding to this email.
Now enough from me, let’s talk about…
What emergency managers (EM) do
Ashley Morris
@colleenhagerty Please highlight the misconception that FEMA runs disasters!

Disasters start local! Local level gov EM needs visibility. That is where people should look to for support.

John Snow's Haunted Pump Handle
@colleenhagerty I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't mention that public health absolutely has a role in disaster response and has a whole branch that marries emergency management with public health. Although lots of EMs don't realize we exist or what our capabilities are.
Melissa Sizemore
@colleenhagerty @rambling911 Explaining that disaster funding isn’t always available. Local emergency managers are important and it doesn’t start and end with FEMA! - From your friendly neighborhood EM
Tackling disaster myths & misconceptions
Amy Strong Vinturella, ScD
@colleenhagerty Oooh! You could address the reasons why people don’t evacuate—hint: it’s not because they don’t want to, it’s usually because they don’t have a credit card to make a hotel reservation. And the heuristics of risk perception. Happy to help you w these topics!
Rebecca Downey, MPS
@colleenhagerty Not sure if this was captured in any other replies, but a common a disaster myth is that people will panic after a disaster. This is factually inaccurate, as research and observation have shown communities will more often than not come together after a disaster.
What we say when we talk about disasters
Horry County Rising
@colleenhagerty Maybe off topic but we’re sick and tired of the term “recovery” when it comes to flooding. You never return to a normal state after you flood- and what was once lost- that sense of safety, peace, sanctuary- you’re supposed to feel at home- is forever lost.
Prof Claire J. Horwell 😷
@colleenhagerty Common misconception: natural hazards cause disasters. They trigger, but whether a disaster occurs or not also depends on the vulnerability of the impacted society/infrastructure/built environment/healthcare system etc.
(For more on this last tweet, be sure to check this newsletter about there being “no natural disasters”)
As always...
thank you for reading and subscribing to My World’s on Fire.
This newsletter is helping people all around the world better understand “these uncertain times” because of readers like you who put forward a few dollars each month on Patreon.
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And in honor of the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill today, here’s a special little something for you courtesy of my dog, Scarlett.
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