Lessons on Disaster Preparedness From the Nepal Earthquake

The Nepal earthquake, which left widespread damage and thousands dead, is a clarion call for other countries to become better prepared for disasters.

The recent 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal left a wide swath of devastation, and the death toll keeps rising. As the Nepalese cope with the tragedy, there are lessons for the United States and other countries to learn when it comes to disaster preparedness.

To discuss this topic, Knowledge@Wharton sat down with Howard Kunreuther, co-director of Wharton’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center and professor of operations and information management.

In the interview, Kunreuther notes that Nepal is not alone when it comes to being taken off guard by such disasters. Even developed countries such as the US have seen their fair share of events that have stressed the limits of their own preparedness, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“What happened in Nepal is something that happens everywhere in the world. If something doesn’t happen for a long period of time, ‘it isn’t going to happen to me’ is basically how people feel,” he says.

*[This article was originally published by Fair Observer’s content partner, Knowledge@Wharton.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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