An area that is still rebuilding after the tsunami of 2004 now faces another challenge in the wake of what might be noted as disaster fatigue. High profile disasters such as the tsunami and New Orleans post-Katrina have perhaps sucked dry the open pockets of concerned citizens across the globe. The earthquake in Pakistan of October 2005, I believe, also suffered from disaster fatigue.
As the frequency of disasters continues to rise, when will the generosity give out? How will we choose which disasters to give money to? The ones with the most devastating pictures on the New York Times front page? The ones that devastate major economic hubs? The ones that affect more white westerners and foreign tourists?
This should be an even greater reason for country and city governments to develop and implement disaster preparedness plans. Foreign aid might be better spent before the fact rather than after the fact - a lesson that could be learned the hard way as we head into what is predicted to be another monster hurricane season, since there's nothing like someone else's disaster to remind us how vulnerable our own areas might be. But how many disasters will it take?