The cost of disaster: Putting a price tag on climate change

Is post-recovery gain possible?

How can new strategies lead to better post-disaster results?

The first thing is to encourage an understanding of disaster not as a specific event but as the entire process that includes boosting economic growth after the initial trauma.

Sometimes that may mean not jumping to repair what’s been damaged so much as stimulating areas that weren’t damaged in order to make the economy grow, says Mutter. That’s mainly because it can be harder to make places grow “when they’ve been trashed,” than to start on a new track somewhere else.

The point, says Mutter: “Focus on things that are still OK and invest in those. It may sound the wrong thing to do, to throw money elsewhere, where things are more or less OK. By analogy, if, in a family of five wage earners, one loses a job, the four others might work overtime to compensate. It follows the general logic of the market.”

Image of Conceptual - Earth globe by Oria via Shutterstock