The Never-Ending Cycle of Disaster Response and Rebuilding

Such storms as the recent Superstorm Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene, and Hurricane Katrina have shown us that regardless of how much we prepare, there is always a storm that comes along and demonstrates how much we still do not know about how storms work. This has been increasingly apparent in recent years, as global climate change has fueled bigger and worse storms. A recent article by asks if this is only a direct result of the seemingly increasing ferocity of such storms, or is there another factor at play?

Growing Population

One stat not often quoted deals with the fact that 53% of the U.S. population now lives within the 17% of counties that sit on one of this country’s many coastlines. Add that to the fact that the population in this country has doubled since 1950. Both make for a deadly recipe as more people live in harm’s way thanks to land development in vulnerable places.

Preparing for Disaster

So, what are local disaster planners to do? Leaving such areas is not an option for many Americans. They have established lives in these areas or cannot afford to move anyway. This puts a burden on community disaster planners who must find ways to protect the people they represent. With funds for such protective measures in high demand, most smaller communities cannot even afford a full recovery plan, let alone protecting homes and businesses that lie in the path of such destructive storms. Most rely on the national and state government to provide the resources they need to recover once a disaster has struck.

Until everyone sees disaster planning for what it is, both before and after a crisis, things are not likely to change. In a vicious never-ending cycle, storms keep happening and residents and business owners continue to rebuild, costing billions of dollars of damage each year and taking human lives in the process.

For more information about protecting storm-prone areas, visit: