The Collapse of Compassion (October 2010)

Unless you have been living on a remote island with no phone, radio or Internet, for the past 2 months you know Pakistan is facing an up-hill battle. While floodwaters started to recede, still about one-fifth of the entire country is under water; 20 million people are affected. Yes, we said 20 million! The United […]

9/11 victims remembered

On September 11, 2001, four commercial planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania killing nearly 3,000 people. I was in Paris, France, on 9/11. As many I saw live the second plane crashing against the WTC tower, then the videos that were replayed in loop […]

Pakistan’s Challenge: How to Lead in the Wake of Catastrophe (Sept. 2010)

As I write this, more than 2,000 people have died from Pakistan’s worst-ever floods, another 4 million are homeless — a total of 20 million have been affected (more than the combined total of individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 Haiti and Chile earthquakes). As a reference, nearly 1,800 people […]

Ensuring that Our Economies Remain Terror-Proof (July 2010)

Who should pay for the next major terrorist attack? In a world under budgetary pressure, where huge sums of private and public fiscal resources have been mobilized to cope with the financial crisis and a series of unprecedented natural and man-made disasters, governments and enterprises are not eager to assume more risks. Yet, when economic […]

Judgment Call on the Oil Spill (June 2010)

This technological and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico illustrates the increasing degree of interdependence in today’s world. In financial terms, this means that numbers of organizations not only mis-manage their risks internally, but impose the negative consequences on others outside (notion of security externalities introduced in the book Seeds of Disaster, Roots of […]

Reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): Introducing Long-Term Flood Insurance (May 2010)

This article also appeared in the Huffington Post (April 28, 2010) —– Five years ago, the United States was reeling from the destruction caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, and by the four other hurricanes that made landfall the year before. These extreme events caused historical human and economic consequences. Developing America’s resiliency to […]

A More Dangerous World (March 2010)

” The earthquake in Haiti is an omen for what the new decade has in store. We will see more natural disasters, and of larger scale, in the coming years. The trend is already accelerating: more than half of the planet’s 20 costliest catastrophes since 1970 have occurred since 2001. Because of the world’s quickly […]

Very intense quake hit Chile (February 2010)

8.8 magnitude earthquake (understand hundreds times more intense than the January 2010 7.0 quake in Haiti) occurred on February 27, 2010 in Chile.

Haiti Earthquake, One Week After: Post-Disaster Economic Recovery Will Be Key (Jan. 2010)

Although many thought in the following hours after the quake hit that “only” thousands could have been killed, it is now clear that hundreds of thousands died in what remains one of the most devastating catastrophes to hit this small country of 9 million people. The lack of preparedness and coordination of crisis management capacities […]

2000s Was Indeed a Decade from Hell! (Dec. 2009)

TIME magazine recently declared “00’s: Decade from Hell”. For those of us who have been focusing on catastrophe-related topics, the years 2000-2009 have certainly been extraordinary. While many countries, citizens and corporations shared the burden of the decade’s extreme events, America has been hit on almost every front in the past 10 years: Bookended by […]