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

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6. Can Poor Countries Afford to Prepare for Low-Probability Risks?

Michele McNabb, Freeplay Energy

Kristine Pearson, Freeplay Foundation

Overview

This chapter examines how less-developed countries can prepare for low-probability risks in the face of so many other pressing needs such as health care, education, clean water, and roads. The case of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma) is examined, among other recent disasters. Although it would be easy to vilify the globally unpopular government of Myanmar and blame it for the deaths of 130,000 people, the truth is more complex. Cyclone Nargis hit a part of the country with a low probability of cyclones. Can poor countries like Myanmar build comprehensive cyclone warning systems for areas that might ...

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