Preparation and response in case of natural disasters: Cuban programs and experience
Preparation and response in case of natural disasters: Cuban programs and experience. Mas Bermejo P. J Public Health Policy; 27(1): 13-21, 2006.
Inadequate preparation for national disasters is frequently particularly devastating in lower income countries. The Cuba's location has a diversity of potential natural disasters, including hurricanes, non-tropical depressions, tropical storms, tropical cyclones, and severe local storms, all with intense rains and winds, earthquakes and droughts. Cuban preparation, at all levels, is geared to these predominant threats. Planning for natural disasters is integral to the political and economic life of Cuba, nationally and locally. On several occasions, United Nations (UN) officials have pointed to Cuba as a model for developing countries preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters. A global policy for managing the risks of natural disasters could improve continuity of assistance for development and reduce the necessity of humanitarian aid. Planning in advance of disasters is a feasible way of helping people, by reducing expenses of emergencies, recuperation, and reconstruction. As climate changes accelerate, many researchers fear a period of irreversible and uncontrollable change. While the atmosphere continues to warm, it generates more intense rains, more frequent heat waves, and more ferocious storms. Thus, achieving better protection of developing countries from an increasing onslaught of natural disasters will only grow in importance. Even though Cuba's contribution to know-how has been recognized by United Nations' officials, progress toward more adequate preparation worldwide has been slow. To support other countries beyond conveying the lessons, Cuba now offers specially trained personnel to cooperate immediately with any country suffering a natural disaster.