Pat Shingleton for Jan. 9, 2013

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CNN reports the consensus among scientists is the climate has changed, with weather events that are more frequent and extreme. Recent analysis of Superstorm Sandy suggests natural disasters pose a greater risk because the majority of Americans live within 50 miles of a coast. Of greater risk is evidence validating the reliance of coastal communities on existing infrastructures that are more vulnerable. Gulf of Mexico residents appear to be better prepared for storms by embracing cost-effective measures to reduce the harm that disasters create and speeding the recovery in affected communities. Five lessons should be considered for catastrophes, including: predictive estimates for storm surge, infrastructure repairs prior to a storm, evacuation guidelines, rapid response and recovery and better public preparation. Fastcast: Flood watch, warm.