I was reading about recent storms – it was one of those hurricane season review articles, about communities beginning their recovery process, and I encountered repeated references to ‘after the storm’ …
I’ve never lived in a storm threatened area. Aside from living in ‘summer afternoon thunderstorm country’ all my life, my experience with truly severe storms have been few: driving/struck in blizzards and twice being ‘near a tornado’. Never in personal danger, never had a loss of property. For me, ‘after the storm’ has a very different meaning. But we can’t escape it – turn on your TV any given week and reports of hurricane, monsoons, floods, earthquakes and mudslides seem never ending. Wildfires too.
Which is not to suggest this is new, but there seems to be more, they seem to be worse and the world’s leaders, corporations and people seem more caught up on rhetoric about who or what causes global warming than in actually doing something differently to proactively help communities who are predictably going to be hit. Why aren’t they ‘rethinking the future’?
If Florida, Louisiana and Texas are going to be hit by hurricanes, no matter what – and if communities in tornado-prone zones in the Midwest are going to be hit by tornadoes; and if these storms and disasters are going to happen, what can they do – and why are their officials and industries not adapting to what is obvious: things are going to get worse?
Maybe nobody has seen a big profit motive in it yet.
I’m just wondering why the efforts and money spent after the storm so obviously and freely flow to band-aid-fix massive problems, maybe smarter efforts should be made ‘before the storm’ rather than after. It’s been many decades now, but California did it with building codes. What they’ve done won’t prevent earthquake but will reduce damage and loss of life when one comes. I wonder if that is a better model for other places. And speaking of California, how do you proactively prevent a wildfire? We’ve had some of those here in Alberta (Slave Lake and Fort McMurray) in recent years. There has to be more communities can do than keeping fingers crossed hoping it doesn’t happen to them. New approaches to building materials, space between structures and cleared ‘large’ buffer zones between forest and community aren’t going to prevent fires, but they will reduce damage when one comes.