Haiti, Katrina & Hills of Rivermist remind us of the need for good government policy and building codes

A hint of climate calamity, Austin American-Statesman, 2/7/2010

What can we learn from Haiti's experience with natural disasters? "Natural disaster" is something of a misnomer. As we observed with Hurricane Katrina, whether or not a disaster kills large numbers of people or leads to large economic losses depends partially on government policy, the strength of dikes, the enforcement of building codes, the speed of response.
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Haiti's recent experience is sobering and should remind us of the importance of disaster risk reduction. Such investments in building codes and preparedness would not only be cheaper, they would save thousands of lives.

[HOT: San Antonio’s Hills of Rivermist wall collapse teaches similar lessons about government policy and building codes, but in this case the “natural disaster” was the known shrink-swell characteristics of expansive soil and a wall not built to withstand them.]

1 comment:

  1. What concerns us most from the hundreds of homeowner cases we’ve seen is the spiral of anxiety and anger of Americans made worse by unresponsive politicians and unregulated industry giants with little to no accountability. The situation can make otherwise good but desperate people do desperate things when they have nothing to lose, and that’s just what happened last week here in Austin. Andrew Joseph Stack III intentionally flew his plane into a building. See “Plane Crash: What Makes Someone Do This?” (http://www.statesman.com/news/local/plane-crash-what-makes-someone-do-this-261950.html?srcTrk=RTR_240839). Then think of disgruntled and angry homeowners forced from their unsafe homes or about to lose their homes to foreclosure after long-term unemployment and lack of health care.