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.]