The Future of Disaster Preparedness

As losses increase and casualties remain frequent and widespread, the problem of natural catastrophes is topical and pressing. Expertise is gradually accumulating on how to best tackle disaster, and new agencies for managing it are forming at the local, regional, national, and international levels. For such efforts to succeed, rigorous standards need to be established for emergency planning, management, and training. There needs to be more investment in both structural and nonstructural mitigation: As it is based on organization rather than civil engineering, the latter is often more cost-effective than the former. From the point of view of understanding disaster as a phenomenon, more attention needs to be given to the role of context and culture in perceiving and interpreting the needs generated by hazards and disaster impacts. see also Economics.

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