If a massive earthquake were to occur where you live tomorrow, how would your community respond?

The Global Disaster Preparedness Survey from the National Center on Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University

In a global terrain of more frequent extreme climate events, increasingly complex political tensions, and a technological infrastructure that’s straining to just keep up, there is a growing awareness of the need to understand how countries around the world are preparing for the worst. The urgency of understanding what disaster preparedness looks like around the world was most recently made clear in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The hurricane, which clocked wind speeds of up to 160 miles per hour, slammed the Caribbean and North America in early October, leaving in its wake destroyed livelihoods and communities.

In Florida, despite declaring a state of emergency, ordering evacuations, and suspending tolls so that residents could quickly leave, the state was heavily impacted by the hurricane. Some estimates put the U.S. death toll as high as 46, and in Florida, reported insurance claims from the weather event have already reached $549 million. In contrast, Hurricane Matthew is reported to have taken the lives of over 500 people in Haiti (although some estimate that number may actually be over 1,000) and displaced over 175,000 residents. In the island nation’s city of Jérémie alone, 80% of buildings were destroyed.

Whether it is climate events such as Hurricane Matthew or man-made catastrophes, there is a glaring lack of knowledge as to the steps that regions and countries around the world are taking to best protect their citizens. In response to this critical research gap, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness has launched the Global Disaster Preparedness Survey, a 5–10 minute questionnaire designed to ask citizens around the world about the disasters they’re most concerned about. Through a short series of questions, the survey allows respondents to identify what they know about community or national plans that would kick into gear in times of crisis. You can take the global survey here. Your participation is a critical first step in the global effort to prepare for a safer tomorrow.

Global Disaster Preparedness Survey from the National Center on Disaster Preparedness, Earth Institute | Columbia University, New York