NZ – cited as model of earthquake response and recovery

NZ sets disaster preparedness example, says Clark, NZ Herald, Sept. 16.

Former N.Z. Prime Minister, Helen Clark, praises the national preparedness efforts with minimizing the deaths and injuries in the recent Christchurch/Canterbury Earthquake, especially true when compared with the outcome of the Haiti earthquake of the same magnitude. Ms Clark also commented on the positive benefit of beginning recovery planning quickly.  The ready availability of insurance money for reconstruction is an important feature of the N.Z. system.

If you put in place the systems which anticipate what disaster might strike, then you can act to thwart the worst effects. She was critical of how international aid funding was targeted after large natural disasters like the Haiti quake or the recent Pakistan floods.   While the international community generally provided immediate humanitarian relief, early recovery schemes to help people rebuild were “the least funded part of any international appeal for help.

I think there is an immediate need for a comparative study of recovery in N.Z. and the U.S. , and I plan to engage in one. Please contact me if you are planning to research this topic.