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Don’t be scared, be prepared: How disaster preparedness can save lives and money

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This report argues for further investment in people-centred disaster preparedness in order to help save lives and the costs of disaster clean-up and reconstruction.The paper recommends the following:the new Indian Ocean tsunami warning system must be coupled with an effective method of alerting communities and teaching them what to do when a tsunami strikesnational governments must recognise that they have a central role to play in making disaster risk reduction part of their development programmesnational governments should support the implementation of the Hyogo framework, agreed at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Japan in January 2005, which calls fora global commitment to speed up disaster response timesset guidelines for disaster preventiondevelop people-centered early warning systemswestern governments need to focus on and commit resources to help high-risk countries prepare for disasters and mitigate their impact before they strike, rather than responding to their aftermathwestern governments need to develop more flexible funding arrangements for disaster risk reductionthe UK government should continue to increase funds to help vulnerable countries prepare for disasters and raise the profile of disaster risk reduction internationallythe UK government should use its influential position to encourage other donors, institutions and governments to follow suitinstitutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and international donors must ensure that the development and humanitarian programmes they fund do not increase people’s vulnerability to disaster and actively attempt to incorporate risk reduction.