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When Disaster Strikes

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There are many signs that indicate the world is indeed in trouble. From the crisis in Ukraine with Russia continually stoking the flames of terror, the humanitarian crisis of humanity fleeing their home countries only to find more hostilities elsewhere, to the unequivocal disasters from hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and other weather catastrophes have only intensified the growing tempests the world is facing today.

A case in point is the recent disaster from Hurricane Ian in Florida and along the east coast of the United States. This has once again proved how ineffective our government is in disaster relief and disaster preparedness. The state of Florida like many other states that have encountered natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes have been plagued by governmental inadequacies. Any response that would mitigate the collateral damage whenever incumbent weather or a much greater natural disaster occurs even in the aftermath is always too little and too late.

In Florida it was just a little more than a decade ago that another Hurricane named Charley struck the West coast of Florida with almost the same amount of collateral damage as Ian. And yet the response in both times has been a complete failure to ease the suffering of humanity in the aftermath. Let alone prepare for any natural disaster to the point that the damage would be less severe. Look what happened in New Orleans when Hurrican Katrina hit, the plight of humanity following the immediate aftermath was a horror show that never should have happened.

That old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds merit still today. There are other mottos that sum up what should have been done to lessen the impact when a disaster strikes, and yet governmental failures have been like clockwork. What should have been done long before a hurricane or any other disaster never seems to happen. Florida is like having a bull’s eye painted on this state. Yet the all too familiar approach has always been the same we rebuild with the same ineffective building codes, we never put in place storm levees to mitigate storm surge, or any other precautionary measures to minimize the damage if and when any Hurricane or tornado manages to strike not only Florida but any other state.

The ill-preparedness, the woeful lack of foresight, the lack of adequate provisions before and after, and the insufficient responses immediately following a catastrophe just creates another humanitarian crisis. So now we are faced with not just one calamity but many others due to the fact that all the human suffering, and the other collateral property damage should have been less severe if we had put in place the proper protocols well before any disaster hits.

What needs to be done now is first establish a universal code of conduct for Insurance companies so that whenever claims are filed insurance companies will immediately cover those claims. Too often especially in the state of Florida insurance companies renig on filed claims and abort their responsibilities to policy holders. This would assist the already Disaster relief program set up by the. Federal government. The problem has always been slow, riddled with too much red tape and not nearly enough to compensate for individual losses.

Storm surge has always been a major factor in the increasing amount of collateral damage from any hurricane. When in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the US failed to utilize the assistance offered by many countries. The misappropriations of funds, the thank you but no thank you for offers to upgrade storm levees and FEMA’s failure to immediately put in place the portable housing for the thousands of now displaced and homeless have all bee reoccurring themes. These instances have all displayed the short comings of our own government 

It is time especially when the impact of global warming creating the severity of tropical depressions that turn into major storms to use the technology and our existing resources to finally upgrade our building codes to the point that buildings and any dwelling will be able to withstand hurricane force winds in excess of 175 mph. To save our cities from the ravages of rising sea levels and the enormity of storm surge it is necessary to finally see the vital importance of storm levees that will be more than sufficient to eliminate the risk of storm surge encroaching and damaging property in major cities along coastal areas around the US.

Just think of the enormity of the cost to do nothing the next time a major disaster strikes. The cost of human lives and property damage will be far worse. Not to mention the credibility of government officials will be called into question when we know we have the ability, the resources and the technology to minimize the damage, and save lives. 

 



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