Listen: Behind This Week’s Column:
The principal lessons Americans should learn from the Japan earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster is that no country, no matter how large, prosperous, or technologically sophisticated, is safe from disasters that overwhelm government rescue, relief, and recovery resources; and that life or death may depend on how practically and psychologically we prepare for them.
Knowing there is only so much government can do to prepare for and protect us from the unpredictable, and because mega-disasters are relatively rare, Americans generally don’t prepare for them, especially if we don’t live along hurricane prone coasts or in tornado alley. Now, however, might be a good time to start. (More)
Note: I updated my column and my audio blog to revise the U.S. Death toll from 43,000 to 70,000, still the total is small by comparison.