Let’s shift the focus to resilience folks, let’s stop fretting about what may happen tomorrow, we have the ability to take control and carve the path for our future.
Preparedness is not just about stock piling food in the basement. Preparedness is about family, friendship, resilience, future planning, organizational planning, business continuity, food preservation, and so much more. The new reality is that our world HAS CHANGED! We all need to accept this and take personal responsibility and make the conscious decision to accept our new world. We no longer know our neighbours, we fear what lies ahead, we live just in time and constantly face the uncertainty of tomorrow. December 21, 2012 is a reflection on our accountability. People would rather assume that the world would end in a day than take steps for resilience tomorrow. After December 21, it is only a matter of time before the focus shifts to the next pending catastrophe. I am not saying that nothing is going to happen on the 21st, I do not have the authority, the knowledge or the ability to see the future. I believe that the 21st is an icon for the change that has already happened.
We face food and water shortage, energy crisis, and climate change; this is not the future, this is today. Over the next 40 years the population will grow by 2.6 billion people around the globe, we need to make change happen now. We face more and more disasters, climate change is adding to uncertainty, we have a path of urbanization that the world has never seen before. What do we do?
We can start by changing our growth path, become greener and more inclusive, adapt to climate change and invest in disaster risk management. We need action in the public sector, frameworks in public policy, awareness and investment in the private sector, and we need our communities to become more engaged. Every country can take the steps to start to invest in their own resilience. Often we offer to little too late, between 1980 and 2009, 90 US billion dollars was spent internationally on disaster related assistance but only 3.6 % was invested in prevention and preparedness, it was all invested in emergency response and reconstruction. We clearly have to switch from a tradition of response to a culture of prevention and resilience.
You can begin today by becoming actively engaged in your neighbourhood and your community. Communities that have stronger social bonds do better in disaster. Resilience is found in public policy, private investment, international community and the mayors that we elect to get us through uncertain times. So I say, Happy December 21,2012, mark this as a day of change and about the building of community, this day is about you and me and the bonds that bring us together.
Please view the TedTalk below by Rachel Kyte, the motivation and fact behind todays blog followed by a little bit of R.E.M. J