Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Disaster Risk Reduction

Government agencies,including the United Nations, are exploring a new direction with disaster preparedness. It is called Disaster Risk Reduction, D.R.R. for short.

The United Nations has appointed a Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction. Her name is Margareta Wahlstrom. I don't know how to get the two dots over the o on her last name, so you will have to supply that yourself for now.

I particularly like this approach to prepareness because it saves a lot of money and lives. Naturally, not everyone is going to be happy with it. 

The majority of my readers are usually Americans, so I will use an example familiar to most Americans to explain how this works. Since Europeans and others like to stay abreast of international events, I am sure you will be able to keep up well.

The example I wish to use is New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Most of you probably know many people who had their homes destroyed during Hurricane Katrina are still living elsewhere or in temporary housing like trailers.

Some of the reason for this is that some of the people who relocated from New Orleans have made new lives for themselves elsewhere and do not want to go back. Some of the reason for this is because insurance and other types of assistance have not provided enough money to rebuild. Part of this is because spending money to live while rebuilding, can eat up the money to rebuild.

Part of this is because government agencies are beginning to encourage/insist residents of disaster-destroyed homes rebuild in another place less likely to get the same kind of disaster again.

I love New Orleans and it's historic value is a lot of the appeal to me. Jazz is one of my favorite kinds of music and the unique varieties of foods that developed there are wonderful too. 

In spite of my love for New Orleans, I do not think a lot of people should live there any more. It is too dangerous. Hurricanes and other storms are not going to stop hitting New Orleans. This wonderful city can be rebuilt and it will only be a matter of when it will be destroyed again, not if. Maybe they can find a safer place to rebuild it?

The climate of the world has changed for good. It is not dependable or predictable. We can no longer depend on knowing what the weather will do to us. Hurricanes, and tornadoes and floods are happening in places that were not used to these kinds of weather events. Snow and cold weather are doing the same. 

We need to face this change in our world and deal with it realistically. If we do this, we can save more lives and prevent more property damage. Our funds for helping with disaster recovery will go further if we don't keep rebuilding the same places over and over. 

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