Is the U.S. prepared for disaster?


The folks at Freakonomics pose an interesting question – What’s wrong – and what’s right – with American disaster preparedness and response? They talk with five experts who have an indepth understanding of disaster management and risk handling. Some excerpts:

Americans increasingly insist on living in dense, vertical cities near water. About 91 percent of Americans now live in places at a moderate-to-high risk of earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, high-wind damage, or terrorism.

We concentrate ourselves, and the mere fact of concentration makes for greater calamity when the hazard, whatever it is, strikes. That we concentrate ourselves in places that are naturally dangerous makes it worse. Ultimately, our disrespect and disregard for the environment (we assume we can tame nature) is something that, if unabated, will lead to more suffering.

Something that I have always believed and quoted.

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