Natural disaster management has seen its share of new ideas
in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Certainly such a major
disaster warrants national attention. Better disaster management, however, is not going to be enough to prevent the damage that occurred during Katrina. It could cost $8 billion to restore all the utilities, roads and transit systems destroyed or damaged by the storm. Katrina was the costliest and is among the five deadliest hurricanes on record, making it somewhat anomalous. However, there are more common-place disasters occurring all the time. Mud slides, wildfires, and floods are other disasters that affect the coastal regions of the United States every year and are often the result of overdevelopment along America’s coasts. The immediate tragedy aside, the problem arising from these disasters is the “build-destroy-rebuild cycle” for homes and other types of development that does nothing more than cost taxpayers’ money without providing any defense through prevention. Currently, there is no national policy in place that will help to break that cycle.