By Mary C. Comerio
Through case reports of six contemporary city disasters—Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina, typhoon Andrew in Florida, the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes in California, in addition to earthquakes in Mexico urban and Kobe, Japan—Comerio demonstrates that numerous basic elements have replaced in modern city failures. the major swap is in scale, and as extra american citizens stream to the 2 coasts, destiny losses will remain ambitious due to elevated improvement in those high-hazard parts. in addition, the visibility of failures within the information media will guarantee that reaction efforts stay hugely politicized. and eventually, the government is now anticipated to be at the scene with body of workers, courses, and monetary information at the same time inner most insurance firms are chickening out catastrophe assurance from householders in earthquake- and hurricane-prone regions.
Demonstrating ways in which latest restoration platforms are insufficient, Comerio proposes a rethinking of what restoration capacity, a entire revision of the government's position, and extra equitable courses for development financing. She bargains new standards for a housing restoration coverage in addition to actual monetary incentives for preparedness, for proscribing harm before failures take place, and for delivering a weather the place deepest coverage can paintings. Her cautious research makes this booklet vital analyzing for policymakers, homeowners, and a person eager about catastrophe mitigation.
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Extra info for Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery
Even one year after the event, reporters were estimating the number of housing units lost at more than double the official estimate and the number of deaths as high as 30,000 (Burt 1986; Gaddis 1986; Kultenbrouwer 1986). (California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, Earthquake Program) economic difficulties, Mexican officials were eager to downplay the impact of the earthquake on the capital city. Buildings Damaged Although counting the number of damaged buildings in any given area also appears to be a simple exercise, in actual postdisaster circumstances, difficulties emerge.
Together, these factors provide better information on the short and longterm needs of disaster victims, specifically the availability of alternative shelter and access to capital for rebuilding. No taxpayer would begrudge the help of a few months' or even a year's worth of temporary housing assistance to victims whose homes were destroyed. All of these government entities, along with insurance companies and banks, depend on having information on the num Page 23 ber and types of units damaged before they assess the scope of the problem and estimate the need for funding.
If properties are habitable, minor damage claims should still be settled quickly, to avoid inflationary costs, even if the owners want to delay the repairs. At the same time, before providing such coverage both insurance companies and government programs ought to be asking what that property owner has done to lessen the potential for damage. Insurance claims and government grants and loans provided during past disasters need to be reviewed to distinguish the actual cost of repairs from refinishing and redecorating, and from the replacement of contents and personal possessions, which may or may not have been im Page 29 disasters have changed our understanding of disaster losses and called into question our ability to finance repairs.
Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery by Mary C. Comerio