Despite all of the proactive steps humans have taken to prepare for the worst, we are still "remarkably unprepared" for a cataclysmic natural event.
This warning comes from geologist Susan Kieffer, whose new book, The Dynamics of Disaster, makes a strong case for an all-hands-on-deck approach to disaster preparedness. That's where the codes and standards community may come into play, says Kieffer in the latest edition of NFPA Journal.
"I see the setting of standards as being very much along the lines of preparation for hazards," she says. "The more preparation we can do, the more we're going to minimize the impact these disasters have on us, and the less remediation we'll have to do."
Kieffer exemplifies her points by highlighting some of Earth's most recent natural disasters, including the Icelandic volcano eruptions in 2010 and Italy's L'Aquila earthquake in 2009. Read the entire Q&A in the November/December issue of Journal.