OPINION: After Irma We Need To Build Better Cities

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OPINION: After Irma we need to build better cities

For example, areas such as Haiti that are disaster prone now have pre-positioned stocks of emergency supplies — like vaccines and drinking water — for when such disasters strike.
It would mean building resilient schools and hospitals that can withstand strong earthquakes and ocean surges. If carried out properly, it means disaster-prone areas already have capacity and expertise — on location and where it is needed — after the disasters have done their damage.
I first heard the term “Build Back Better” when working as a UNICEF emergency communications advisor in Pakistan after the 2005 South Asian earthquake. The devastation from the earthquake was so severe that most government infrastructure was destroyed.
While its difficult to replace lost human capacity overnight, it is possible to rebuild communities to a standard that is more resilient to severe weather events. That approach needs to take hold now in the places devastated by Hurricane Irma.
One of the best policies implemented after the Indian Ocean tsunami was to relocate communities away from vulnerable coastlines. While this idea might be a hard sell to people who rely financially on fishing, tourism or maritime activities, it’s a policy that saves lives during storm surges and killer winds. This strategy has been successfully implemented along the coastlines of Sri Lanka.
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First responders rush to answer 911 calls

First responders rush to answer 911 calls

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    First responders rush to answer 911 calls

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