Preparedness saves lives that relief efforts can do nothing about. Preparedness empowers those in harms way of natural hazards to protect themselves, their families and communities. It reduces fear and encourages self-reliance. It also improves living conditions and quality of life.
We cannot prevent natural hazards, but we can prevent natural disasters.
Whether a natural hazard causes a natural disaster is a choice between ignoring the inevitable or developing resilience. Resilience is learning from past experiences and improving future protection by implementing risk reduction strategies (UNISDR, 2009).
Prevention is different from emergency services and relief efforts. The later are necessary, but the ounce spent on prevention by far outweighs the tons used for relief. Prevention brings local communities together to implement local solutions for the common goal of greater community resilience.
An ounce of disaster prevention is worth a ton of disaster relief.