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Learning from Catastrophes: Strategies for Reaction and Response by Michael Useem, Howard Kunreuther

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2. Acting in Time Against Disasters: A Comprehensive Risk-Management Framework

Herman B. “Dutch” Leonard and Arnold M. Howitt1

John F. Kennedy School of Government

Harvard University

Overview

This chapter presents a framework for comprehensive analysis of how society can reduce the aggregate loss in social welfare resulting from disasters, identifying five leverage points in which investments in capacity can make a difference. Substantial emphasis is generally placed on two of these leverage points: emergency response at the time of a disaster and preparation for response. In addition, in the wake of a disaster, society often commits massive resources to recovery for those individuals and communities directly affected. Less attention is typically ...

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