Disasters have been there throughout history. Even in the ancient civilization, floods, fires, quakes, tornadoes, and others existed and always left a wake of destruction and loss of life. Even when humanity has had a privilege of experiencing these disasters for millennia, very little seems to have changed—disasters maim and kill hundreds of thousands and destroy billions worth of property today.
This very fact leaves many disillusioned with any disaster preparation efforts. Some believe any effort is counterproductive especially when death tolls get crazier every day even in modern and civilized worlds such as ours. In this article, we look at the four global trends that make today’s disaster management ever more chaotic.
Though technology is a vital part of any management, planning or resilience preparation, in some ways, it contributes to hazards that the world did not have in the past. In 2011, an earthquake hit Japan and left a new disaster in waiting. The nuclear power plants emerged as a new threat that would potentially wipe out human life if combined with a natural disaster.
More technology trends now precipitate into a global phenomenon and efforts to tame them may not be possible. Today, even political explosions can prove extremely swift to the point that any level of disaster mitigation becomes impossible. With the advent of social media and instant communication devices, a stroke of a keyboard button can trigger a full-blown political chaos.
Skepticism in disaster training and preparation
Disaster preparation and mitigation efforts are expensive. Even for governments, talks revolving funding for such plans always fail. Even politicians, despite bearing the greatest responsibility in the wake of disasters such as hurricane Katrina and Harvey, they are reluctant to push for funds or legislative changes about disasters. In fact, the only time they make sensible progress is when the public is still rife with emotions, especially after a disaster.
The public is skeptical about spending billions in preparation. People claim preparing for disaster is jinxing yourself, not just in the third world. According to My Patriot Supply, Americans have proven equally skeptical about preparation. Were it not for legal requirements; most people would not have an emergency kit; a fire extinguisher; or any disaster response plans at all.
If you lived in the 60s and 70s when the clamor for freedoms and civilization was at its peak, you would have expected that the 2010s would feature more harmonious societies. Sadly, we are more divided than ever before.
Today, stable countries easily degenerate into failed states—case in point Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan. Terrorism continues to get more sophisticated, erratic, dangerous, and unparalleled source of hatred between and among communities.
Tensions continue to grow between and among people of conflicting ideological predispositions notably religions, political alignments, races, tribes, clans and even regions.
Hazards seem ubiquitous like never before. Where you are not at a risk of a blizzard or tornado, a fundamentalist might blow you up or randomly be shot by a deranged sociopath.
- Vulnerable societies as attention shifts to hazards
Unfortunately, preparation usually looks at the dangers. For example, American populations continue to move southwest as they age. That is a serious vulnerability because such regions are traditionally prone to floods and storms.
This evident vulnerability will haunt us—but the focus remains on the hurricanes and such hazards and not on the ever-growing vulnerable population. My Patriot Supply believes that on average, a senior citizen is twice unlikely to take disaster preparation seriously.