Does disaster mitigation really help?

When a house burns down, once you check everyone is safe, the next most important question is whether the homeowners have fire insurance.   Insurance is a form of disaster mitigation. It protects families and businesses from various types of harm as the result of disasters. We cannot imagine modern society without this type of disaster mitigation.

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Why should we care about disasters?

This question should not need to be asked. Just the fact that lives are lost due to disasters, makes it a moral imperative to act. The question to always ask is ‘If my child, sibling, parent could get killed in that disaster, would I do anything?

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Disasters are so rare, why do we have to act?

Conventional wisdom thinks that disasters are rare and unpredictable. And that we cannot really act on them.

In the last 20 years, we have had three global emergencies- 9/11 terrorism-related wars, the 2008 financial crisis, and now the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Plus, one more if you count the effects of climate change. In addition, there are innumerable national and local disasters every year.  We can easily name hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, fires, nuclear accidents, etc immediately.

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If you had money to invest what problem would you try to solve now?

I watched 3 days of rains in Chennai, India take down all infrastructure including transportation, hospitals, mobile towers, ATMs and credit card machines. In a city of ten million in 3 days even money stopped working. The knock-on effects were disastrous.

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Would you like to hand out people money?

Founder Institute asked me this question, recently. Not exactly.

They asked if I would be interested in joining their brand new program to create new venture capital funds. They felt that there needed to be more innovative funds in the marketplace to fund all the startups they were launching.

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If you had money to invest what problem would you try to solve now?

I watched 3 days of rains in Chennai, India take down all infrastructure including transportation, hospitals, mobile towers and ATMs such that even money stopped working. The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say, according to the Washington Post.  9/11 and its source- terrorism, cost the USA alone $2 Trillion in unproductive expense. 


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