Once ago we hear the age old story: by not heeding credible warnings and scientific evidence, a disaster is at least as bad as was expected; and now the state and local governments are looking for federal disaster assistance. For many years, we have known that for each $1.spent on mitigation,about $4. can be saved in response and recovery costs. Full details are in this study by NIBS in 2005. Clearly those of us who constitute society seem to have a different view of mitigation than the politicians who have the ability to initiate it. Some details on the New York situation, as noted by the Associated Press.Dec. 9. NY Mostly Ignored Decades of Storm Prep Warnings.
The good news is that the Governor of NY and the Mayor of NY now seem to have a full appreciation of the risks and the likely recurrence of flooding in the near future. Both have taken some positive steps toward future-thinking, resilience-focused actions. See earlier blogs about the actions of both officials.
MY OPINION: I think that resilience-producing actions are most likely to occur when the general public is informed and concerned about recurring threats and the risks of the and when the political will evolves. In the case of NY, the Governor and Mayor are political leaders who are confident and courageous enough to break from the status quo. They too knew about reports on threats, risks, vulnerabilities of the coastal community, for several years.
I invite your comments.
For detailed information about historic major disasters in the U.S. see the new book: Emergency Management; The American Experience, 1900-2010. Available from our sponsor, the Disaster Bookstore.com
- NY mostly ignored reports warning of superstorm (miamiherald.com)