"People tend to think that nothing will happen to themselves (in times of disaster)," said Abe, who conducts science shows to raise awareness of disaster prevention. In his science show, Abe manually creates electricity, cuts styrofoam with a heating wire, and uses a blow dryer to suspend a ball in midair -- all in an effort to draw children's attention to the subject. At the end, he usually wraps up the show by talking about how disaster preparedness is important. He started placing more weight on the disaster prevention theme in his science show starting this summer after the earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture.
While they acted quickly, finding unique ways to circumvent the red tape typically associated with disaster relief efforts, other communities have not been so fortunate. In the lessons of recent disasters, both the failure of major government programs and the success of small, community-driven initiatives, policymakers should seek to give local residents and entrepreneurs the space to drive recovery rather than throwing more funding at failing programs. The more barriers we eliminate to disaster victims the faster they can get the resources they need, the faster disaster victims will return and rebuild, and the community becomes more resilient.
HONOLULU – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday approved federal emergency housing aid and other relief for victims of the 6-week-old Kilauea volcano eruption on Hawaii's Big Island, where hundreds of homes have been destroyed, state officials said. The approval came a day after Gov. David Ige formally requested assistance for an estimated 2,800 residents who have lost their homes to lava flows or were forced from their dwellings under evacuation orders since Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has said that rivers of molten rock spewed from volcanic fissures at the foot of Kilauea have engulfed roughly 600 homes. The governor's office put the number of residences destroyed at 455. Either tally marks the greatest number of homes claimed over such a short period by Kilauea -- or by any other volcano in Hawaii's modern history -- far surpassing the 215 structures consumed by lava in an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued nearly nonstop for three decades, experts say. The latest volcanic eruption also stands as the most destructive in the United States since at least the cataclysmic 1980 explosion of Mount St. Helens in Washington state that reduced hundreds of square miles to wasteland.
In addition, Congress in early September approved $15.25 billion in disaster aid. Of that, $7.4 billion was earmarked for the Federal Emergency Management Disaster Relief Fund. Another $7.4 billion is for Community Development Block Grants to help rebuilding efforts and $450 million for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan program.