Monday, October 15, 2012

Disaster Planning Can Cut Costs

At a World Back conference last week, policymakers discussed how the cost of disaster recovery can be reduced by planning.  "We need a culture of prevention," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, as the Bank said insurers estimated the economic cost of disasters in the last three decades had topped $3.5 trillion.  "No country can fully insulate itself from disaster risk, but every country can reduce its vulnerability. Better planning can help reduce damage and loss of life from disasters, and prevention can be far less costly than disaster relief and response."

Some of the ideas about planning included  making sure that infrastructure and education in emerging economies should be designed to minimize the human and financial cost of natural disasters.  Having schools serve as disaster shelters by stocking blankets, water, and other supplies worked for come communities in Japan.  Children were drilled regularly on disasters and knew to go up to the roof of the school to avoid the tsunami.

All communities are vulnerable to disaster and what this World Bank discussion is about getting all communities to buy into a culture of disaster preparation.  What are your communities doing to be prepared?

The American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section is continuing its Task Force on Disaster Preparation and Response for the 2012-13 bar year with plans to publish a book based on its 2012 programming successes, maintain this blog (which you are all welcome to comment upon), and host a series of webinars based on disaster preparedness and response.  We can all join the discussion about how to be better prepared for disasters.

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