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Using the lessons from COVID19: Getting ready for earthquakes in the future


May 21, 2020

Even though the COVID19 pandemic is not over yet, this catastrophic event has already taught us a lot; so, we tried to reflect on the lessons that could be drawn and carried into the future to reduce earthquake risk.


Recently, GEM has completed a short social media campaign on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 that can be used in dealing with future earthquake risk. In case you missed it, here they are:


1) There is a need to strengthen open and transparent cooperation among the scientific community, businesses and political leaders. Especially in our field of work, dealing with an earthquake disaster that encompasses nations and regions, implementing science-based solutions will need economic and political will.


2) There is a need to develop a stronger system that can quickly translate scientific knowledge into practical and workable mitigation and emergency response strategy at the local and community level.


3) There is a need for governments and institutions to provide the population with simple, clear and understandable information and to take active actions against fake news and misinformation.


4) There is a need to reorganize, restructure, refocus, and ‘retrofit’, so to speak, our global institutions to become more efficient and readier in dealing with future risks such as earthquakes, pandemics and any disaster that can endanger human lives.


5) There is a need to urgently finance research and development before the next global crisis occurs. Investing in scientific research and development plays a critical role in addressing the challenges in understanding, assessing and responding to the time-dependent nature of disaster risk. Moreover, sustained preparedness and awareness are pivotal for reducing risk from natural hazard events and for ensuring that people can act on warning in timely and appropriate ways. However, in order to achieve them, significant financial, human and material resources are needed at the national, regional and international levels before, during and after disasters.


To sum it all up, before the next global disaster or crisis occurs, greater efforts are still needed in order to clearly communicate: science-based disaster risk assessments, socio-economic impacts, evaluations of mechanisms for risk reduction, and prescriptive options for translating scientific findings into practice.


Here at GEM we will always work to do our part and give our contribution with openness, collaboration, commitment to science and a special focus on serving the public good.


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