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The devastation in the Gulf Coast and New Orleans from Katrina is unprecedented in recent US History. Yet, our nation’s history and the world’s history provide ample evidence that large natural disasters occur frequently and with a vengeance. Whether we are discussing tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, or earthquake, natural hazards remain a primary force that can bring about catastrophic consequences to every region of the United States. Once the monumental job of attending to the pressing human needs through rescue and relief, immediate response and short term recovery is well underway, the nation will turn its attention to the rebuilding of the heavily damaged communities and properties. All of us will contribute to this rebuilding through not only our personal contributions, but with our tax dollars. Likewise, there must be an evaluation of how we plan, mitigate, and respond to natural hazards that ensures the nation is not ignoring natural hazards while positioning to deal with human caused disasters and acts of terrorism. We must rebuild in a way that will reduce the risk of flooding and hurricanes in the future, and the human suffering that follows.
This paper will outline some of the approaches that should be incorporated to reduce that risk.
Reprinted from www.floods.org with permission from Association of State Floodplain Managers, Inc.
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