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AMU Emergency Management Opinion Public Safety

Natural Disasters Are More Relevant Than Ever

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Which disaster is your favorite?

As we’ve noted before, disasters come in basically two flavors–natural and human-caused. We, in fact, may be guilty of focusing on human-caused — terrorism, war, cybersecurity, the failing infrastructure of civilization, etc. These type of events are more sexy, in most cases, than floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.

However, that doesn’t mean that we can set aside natural disasters while we focus on the others. Far from it. In fact, [link url=”http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/apr/24/world-heading-for-catastrophe-over-natural-disasters-risk-expert-warns” title=”natural disasters are more relevant than ever“].

Missions

So please read over the above analysis, and DO take this to heart: Yes, as an emergency and disaster manager, often a person in the military or otherwise involved in national defense or homeland security, your first obligation is to protect the homeland from human-caused attacks, including war and terrorism.

However, an important component of your oath to protect the pubic includes, or should, protection from natural disasters. This is becoming more common as you, our defense boots on the ground, don’t need to be overseas so much and can protect the public in more effective ways.

Recommendation

DO advocate that an incredibly valued contribution to homeland security is disaster response. I personally advocated this approach to operational readiness inspection (ORI) officials back in the 1980’s. In my mind, there was no better test of readiness than to respond to a natural disaster. I was laughed off the stage, so to speak.

But maybe times have changed. Maybe now we have a better concept of how you, our military, could be utilized to protect our country by both protecting our citizens during disaster AND deploying to protect our neighbors when the hurricane or earthquake strikes. It is certainly an honorable mission.

Edge relies on the valuable input of many different authors and contributors. Sometimes the final article is a result of a collaboration between various individuals. Rather than credit an individual writer, the "Edge Staff" account was created to distribute credit to all the people who contributed to the article's success.

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