Surviving future disaster depends on how we plan and build today
Recent disasters have brought attention to the importance of disaster resilience, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. From earthquakes to wildfires, the region has experienced a range of natural and human-caused disasters that have sparked conversations about the future of infrastructure and development.
Climate change has played a significant role in the intensity of these disasters, yet it remains a lower priority on the global agenda. The reluctance to prioritize reducing fossil fuel emissions has led to a focus on climate adaptation as the primary solution for mitigating the impacts of a warming climate.
The growth of communities and construction industry in states like Florida, Arizona, and Texas highlights the demand for new housing and infrastructure. However, this growth also raises concerns about the location and resilience of these developments, particularly in areas prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires.
The Pacific Northwest, with its temperate climate and abundant water resources, may become a desirable destination for climate refugees seeking a cooler and more sustainable environment. But the decision-making process regarding construction and development in this region will be crucial in determining its disaster resilience in the future.
It is important for local planning commissions, businesses, and individuals to prioritize disaster resilience in their decision-making processes. While the cost of constructing disaster-resilient buildings may be slightly higher, the long-term benefits in terms of safety and sustainability cannot be overstated.
Eric Holdeman, the director of the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, emphasizes the need for governments and businesses across the Pacific Northwest to prioritize disaster resilience in their planning and development strategies.
In conclusion, the future of disaster resilience in the Pacific Northwest will be shaped by the choices made today, and it is imperative that these choices prioritize safety and sustainability in the face of a changing climate and increasing disaster risks.