Dull Disasters?

Dull Disasters?

By Daniel J. Clarke
Book Description

Economic losses from disasters are now reaching an average of US$250–$300 billion a year. In the last 20 years, more than 530,000 people died as a direct result of extreme weather events; millions more were seriously injured. Most of the deaths and serious injuries were in developing countries. Meanwhile, highly infectious diseases will continue to emerge or re-emerge, and natural hazards will not disappear. But these extreme events do not need to turn into large-scale disasters. Better and faster responses are possible. The authors contend that even though there is much generosity in the world to support the responses to and recovery from natural disasters, the current funding model, based on mobilizing financial resources after disasters take place, is flawed and makes responses late, fragmented, unreliable, and poorly targeted, while providing poor incentives for preparedness or risk reduction. The way forward centres around reforming the funding model for disasters, moving towards plans with simple rules for early action and that are locked in before disasters through credible funding strategies—all while resisting the allure of post-disaster discretionary funding and the threat it poses for those seeking to ensure that disasters have a less severe impact.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Dull Disasters? How Planning Ahead Will Make a Difference
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contents
  • 1: Dealing with Disasters: It should and can get better
    • What Does This Book Do?
    • The Evidence?
    • A Focus on Natural Disasters
    • Let’s Dull Disasters!
    • Recapping . . .
  • 2: Defining the Problem: Begging bowls and benefactors
    • A Flawed Funding Model
    • The Consequences
      • Ambiguities
      • Procrastination and Delays
      • Crying Wolf
      • Fragmented Responses
      • Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness
    • Moving Beyond a Medieval System of Finance
    • Recapping . . .
    • A Snapshot of the Literature
  • 3: Bring in the Professionals
    • The Politics of Credible Pre-Disaster Plans
    • The Scientists
    • The Bureaucrats
      • Pulling Together the Parties
      • Drawing Up the Plan
    • The Implementers
    • The Financiers
    • Avoiding Hot Air and Getting Results
    • Embracing Pre-Disaster Planning
    • Recapping . . .
    • A Snapshot of the Literature
  • 4: Planning for Disaster Recovery: Changing the default setting
    • The Flaws of Human Decision Making
    • It Isn’t Rocket Science (or Is It?)
    • All Systems Go
    • Lessons from Insurance
    • Applying Rules-Based Approaches to Disaster Planning
    • For Benefactors, a New Strategy
    • Recapping . . .
    • A Snapshot of the Literature
  • 5: Finance as the Glue
    • Can Financial Instruments Replace a Disaster Plan?
    • Thinking Like an Insurance Company
    • Preparing Like an Insurance Company
      • Choosing among Financial Instruments
      • The Challenges and Opportunities of Ex Ante Instruments
    • Acting Like an Insurance Company
    • The Building Blocks of a Better System
    • Recapping . . .
    • A Snapshot of the Literature
  • 6: Moving Forward
    • Why Are We Even Talking about This?
    • What Is the Solution?
    • What Are the Challenges?
      • Making Difficult Pre-Disaster Trade-offs
      • Providing Protection, Not Relief
      • Getting Others to Pay Their Share
      • Learning by Doing and Having a Backup
    • Getting Started: Taking the First Steps
    • Dulling Disasters, Now!
    • Recapping . . .
  • Glossary
  • Notes
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 5
  • References
  • Index
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