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2011 has been both unique and consistent in the ferocity of our social and business interaction with our natural world.  Global events like the Japanese tsunami and local events like the EF-5 tornadoes that tore through Joplin and Tuscaloosa, leaving hundreds dead; flooding along the Souris River in North Dakota and the most powerful earthquake to strike the East Coast of the U.S. in more than 60 years have been difficult to ignore.

Showing he read the memo and can react to a set of circumstances, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the New York City subway system closed as Hurricane Irene churned up the East Coast. This was a first in the system’s more than 100-year history. Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia declared a state of emergency for the first time since 1986.  Neither of them were taking any chances.

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