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There is something going on here. We are watching a sick film play itself out over and over on the southern coasts of our nation.
Its the succession of smash, crash and rebuild. Its an ugly rerun that happens in Florida, Texas and many other southern states during hurricane seasons.
Why are we stuck on this unending loop of recovery? Well, its because America is missing the bus on disaster prevention and focusing too much on disaster relief.
Billions in Relief
At this moment we are funding a disaster relief model not a disaster preparedness one. That is the fundamental problem. We are spending exponential amounts of money on what happens after the disaster and very little on how to prevent these things.
We have to move into an age where we spend more time and effort on being proactive in the face of those disasters that we know are coming. There are some that we know are coming every year, yet we still take action after the fact.
Not Enough in Prevention
Its just too easy to raise money when you look out onto the landscape and see a warzone. When the news shows you people living under tarps and starving, its easy to raise money. If you see a city of bustling people long before a disaster, its very hard to raise money for disaster prevention.
We want our heart strings tugged on a bit before we reach for the check book.
Examples from Japan
Japan is the leading nation in terms of disaster prevention. Its not about recovery, the approach they take is about prevention. Japan teaches disaster risk and prevention in schools. They understand that this is very important and they put their money where their mouth is.
Disaster education is one of the areas where Japan shines and we fall short.