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What we must do to prevent future tragedy like Philippines after Haiyan Typhoon?

Relief efforts have been implemented significantly in the Philippines these days. But these are actions after a disaster. We are totally passive in this event of Haiyan Typhoon. Thousands of people already died and thousands more are waiting for basic needs and relocation.

After this event like this, people always want to take some actions like donating and volunteering. But these are simply not enough. We need bigger-scale solutions that are implemented before the tragedy not after one.

People rely so much on large conferences on climate change every year. But somehow, this does not work as too many countries are involved and do not want to compromise their benefits for a solution. An example is UN climate change conference.

I think there are two approaches to make people in countries like Philippines suffer less: initiatives to reduce global warming (main cause of stronger storms) of course. The other approach is to make people less vulnerable when disasters happen.

With the second approach in mind, what should we do? Who should take actions?

Some ideas I have but I am not sure if they work. I will be more than happy to hear from experts in this field.
Build concrete shelters underground?
Massive evacuation of people in advance by airplanes and ships?

Please contribute any idea you have on how to solve this solution


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  • Nov 19 2013: Perhaps we should define tragedy before we can think about preventing it?

    Tragedy is nothing more than people in the way of natural processes. If you take the same storm and an unpopulated land mass, there is no tragedy.

    If we accept that people shouldn't live in areas prone to [severe] natural processes (earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes) we can then realize that people "reap what they sow". So where does that leave us?

    a.) We have to understand that people will continue to live in areas subject to [severe] natural processes which leads to
    b.) We shouldn't seek to prevent it as much as RESPOND to it. How do we RESPOND in such a way to minimize the suffering? The suffering will come - you can't change that. We can change the RESPONSE however.
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      Nov 21 2013: Yes, of course, people will continue to live in places where natural disasters happen because their families and ancestor lived there at the time that disasters are not deadly like currently. People are not going to abandon their countries, they will settle no matter what.

      I think tragedy is when a natural disaster is so strong that people cannot cope with like in the case of 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake demolished countless buildings although buildings had been made by Japanese architects to survive earthquake. Also when people are unprepared for disasters, and then they must face the undesirable outcome.

      Therefore like you say, disasters will come and we must respond well to it. But in order to respond well to a disaster, we must act even before the disaster's appearance. Japanese invented buildings that can deal with small earthquakes. So Philippines should think about a program to make shelters less vulnerable to typhoon too as the poor country has to deal with so many storms every year.
    • Nov 29 2013: It's an odd truth Chris. People seem to be able to ignore the dangers of a given region. California is an excellent example. They've had numerous earthquakes, and all evidence indicates there will be a major quake in the near future...yet that dense population remains firmly entrenched.

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