Long-term disaster preparedness is a must for local communities. With hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires and other ecological disasters now occurring more frequently and often in places with no prior record of such disasters, it is our obligation as a community to ensure that we are prepared and resilient before a disaster, kept safe during one, and that our community can make an efficient, predictable, timely recovery in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
The reality is that disasters do not end after flood waters recede and the news crews and their cameras pack up and leave. Recovery is a complicated and expensive process that continues years after national attention turns elsewhere. Inefficient recovery can have devastating impacts on individuals, families, businesses and local economies if poorly executed.
Emergency preparedness is critical for disaster resilience. This is the process of planning ahead for inevitable natural disasters like flooding, hurricane, tornadoes, wildfires etc. A viable local emergency management plan should consider pre-disaster mitigation efforts, preparation of constituents and employees, the immediate response to a natural disaster, and a long term recovery plan.
When it comes to disasters, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, every $1 spent on mitigation and preparedness saves $6 in recovery costs. With a new report showing that Intensifying rainfall fueled by climate change has caused nearly $75 billion in flood damage alone in the U.S. over the past three decades, it is clear just how critical disaster preparedness and resilience are to American municipalities.