Success in flood control in the Netherlands

CBS 60 Minutes, September 23, 2018.  If you missed it, the link to the full segment is below.  Here are some excerpts and of course a comment from me here and there.

Holland is about twice the size of New Jersey and is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Much of it is below sea level, yet the Dutch don’t bother with flood insurance. They don’t need it. As the U.S. cleans up from Hurricane Florence, we were wondering, do the Dutch have a solution?

We met a Dutchman – Henk Ovink – who says it’s time to rewrite America’s disaster playbook entirely.

“The storms are perhaps man-caused and you can debate that, but the catastrophes because of the storms? Uh, those are man-made.” Hank Ovink.

Henk is the world’s only water ambassador, appointed by the Netherlands, says damage from hurricanes could be lessened with the help of Dutch-innovated storm water management

FEMA and many other federal, state and local agencies do a tremendous job in advanced warning and managing the aftermath…  Katrina, Harvey, Sandy, Florence.

But we spend billions on the aftermath …  the Netherlands spent billions on managing the storm water to eliminate the flooding.  It was not easy!

The Netherland gates took six years to build and cost $500 million.  Bill Whitaker: That’s a big investment for something that you’ve only had to use once or twice since it was built. Henk Ovink: $150 billion were lost in New Orleans. I don’t think I need to say more. How many people were killed? Sandy, another storm, $70 billion. We don’t have those damages.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/storm-water-management-dutch-solution-henk-ovink-hurricane-florence-damage-60-minutes/

Henk has been consulting with FEMA and other US government agencies for years… apparently we must be slow learners.

Why is it we can always find the money for wars, but not domestic priorities.

***** S&E *****

Responsible Companies – Telltales

Many successful companies are well-respected for a number of reasons – great values, fair employers, responsible in their communities… things you just can’t find on an Income Statement or Balance Sheet.  Fortune magazine’s annual issue, “100 Best Companies to Work For”, provides real insights to the internal makeup of responsible companies.

Fortune 100 2018And citizens will find responsible companies often publishing “Giving” reports that summarize actions that document their commitment to their communities.

In the case of environmental catastrophes, companies of all types use their vast resources to assist.  In the recent, devastating hurricane that slammed the east coast, some of the companies participating: Tide, Pepsi, Lyft, JetBlue, 3M, Eaton Corporation, Florida Power & Light, tesla, Anheuser-Busch, Chef, José Andrés.  That is far from an inclusive list.

And, you just have to respect the power companies as caravans of vehicles from many states travel great distances down the interstates in route to assist in the disaster.

In contrast…  and probably in the minority, there are companies who just don’t get it… like the cable company that billed its customers at the end of the month in which a hurricane caused the area’s residents to be without cable and power, for a minimum of 6 days, 20% of the month, some much, much longer.

It is not about the money, it is about the thoughtlessness.

Here’s to the many companies that are responsible!

*****S&E*****