Disaster preparedness and prevention: Managing risks & building resilience
AID AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FORUM (AIDF)
Disaster preparedness methods and prevention infrastructure have been proven to mitigate the impacts of catastrophes on citizens around the world. As shown in the infographic by the Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF), every euro spent on disaster prevention efforts is predicted to result in €4 savings that would go towards response efforts. In 2016, the European Commission released a report of its planned investments for the countries in the EU. It is estimated that the projected developments will save 13.3 million people residing on the European continent from floods and 11.8 million people from forest fires.
Despite its ability to cut response costs, disaster risk reduction has only accounted for 12.8% of the $3.3 trillion allocated globally to international aid finance during the period spanning from 1991 to 2010. Emergency response accounted for the majority of aid finance, 65.6% or $69.9 billion during these years while reconstruction and rehabilitation took up 21.7% of the total expenditure.
These figures might be accounted for by factoring in the inability of some countries to afford the cost of protection infrastructure. This proves to be unsurprising as such infrastructure projects can come with a hefty price tag. The 5th Delta Program launched by the Netherlands cost €20 billion and $15 billion was spent on the flood protection program in New Orleans. In total, an estimated $1 trillion is needed per year to close the infrastructure gap in developing countries.
In the private sector, 72% of Standard & Poor’s Global 100 companies do not conduct environmental or climate-specific vulnerability assessments. Furthermore, a majority of these companies do not engage in climate-risk management activities, such as the utilisation of climate-specific risk models and research as well as the upgrading of infrastructure and equipment; despite the fact that 77% of these companies include climate-risk management in their conventional business continuity and risk management strategies.
The importance of disaster readiness reaches beyond government and corporate level and is vital for the individual to be conscious of as well. In the United States, the National Health Security Preparedness Index, which measures preparedness for disasters and other emergencies, reached a score of 6.8 out of 10 on the national scale in 2016. However, measurements on a state-by-state basis record a 31% disparity between states with the highest preparedness scores and those with the lowest. For the 144.6 million people living in the coastal states from Maine to Texas, disaster preparedness is incredibly necessary. Especially in light of the fact that in 2016 alone there were 7 hurricanes which threatened the 61 million homes and 3.4 million business establishments on the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast.
To discuss the impact of disasters and how to enhance disaster preparedness and prevention, join the 9th Global Disaster Relief & Development Summit on September 6-7 in Washington D.C. The Summit will gather industry experts who will be sharing best practice and discussing new technology innovations aimed at improving preparedness, proactive disaster mitigation, risk management and community management. Hear from:
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