Large-scale Disasters

Lessons Learned

image of Large-scale Disasters

The September 11th terrorist attacks, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Hurricane Andrew and the Kobe earthquake are all recent examples of large-scale disasters that have taken a massive toll in human lives, wealth and property. They have disrupted vital systems such as transport and energy supplies and spilled over into neighbouring as well as distant regions. They have also generated widespread anxiety, and in some cases created deep-seated public mistrust of governments' ability to protect their citizens.

This book is based on a report prepared between May and July 2003 by a multi-disciplinary team of experts from inside and outside of the OECD. It examines the economic and social impacts of past large-scale disasters, and draws a number of key lessons for the future. Its focus is on better prevention of disasters, and on restoring trust and securing recovery in their aftermath.

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Lessons learned

Many OECD countries have been affected by major harmful events in recent years. The considerable human and economic costs of such events and the repercussions they might have for the global economy have become recurring causes for concern. Given its intergovernmental and multidisciplinary nature, and its experience in risk and disaster management in a variety of fields,1 the OECD is well positioned to analyse the impact of major disasters on societies and ...

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