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3 [and a Bunch More] Reasons Why the U.S. Is Vulnerable to Big Disasters

We are headed for disaster trouble.

We Americans, who will celebrate the 4th of July tomorrow, are a wild and carefree collection of people who don't worry too much about disasters. Why should we? We are after all exceptionally good at ignoring disaster facts and circumstances.

See this article, 3 reasons why the US is vulnerable to big disasters which illustrates the three the author has called out.

Let me add a few to the list:

  • A failure to enact and enforce building codes that protect people from disasters
  • Land use planning that allows construction in areas that will likely cause damages to property (for the story above, coasts are an example — note, no mention of sea rise in the article, with all those people moving to the area.
  • Alluded to but not defined, is the density of populations in high-hazard areas that will make it more challenging to service those populations or evacuate them.
  • No political will to oppose risky development. 
  • The supply chain that was mentioned and sole source providers is huge. The ability to move supplies into a region to provide life-sustaining water and food can be in question.
  • The lack of a prepared population, no matter what their income level is.
  • Subsidizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to give people cheaper insurance rates so they can live in flood-prone areas. And then bail them out when there is a flood.
There are surely many more ... but, the ones above can suffice for now. It is not like any of them are being tackled by federal, state and local governments.

Claire Rubin shared the linked article.

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.