How Long Before Disaster Fatigue Kicks In?

Climate scientists have long predicted that with increased climate change will come increasing precipitation in the North Eastern US. The prediction has been in the climate models for at least ten years is based on the past increase. This means more heavy snowfalls, more heavy rain, increased humidity and more flooding.

But what they didn’t predict is the disaster fatigue that will go along with that.

“A year after severe flooding in Indiana forced hundreds of residents from their homes, disaster response organizations are facing a dearth of volunteers who can help speed recovery for people’s lives limping back to normal” says Disaster News Network


Flooded homes in 2008

At some point in our future, this increasing number of disasters will simply overwhelm the common humanity that leads neighboring states, counties and towns to pitch in and help.

We will no longer take heed of our neighbors in trouble. Worldwide, disasters are up fourfold. Insurers are already balking. Insurers’ re-insurers have already bolted. Even a competently run future competently run FEMA would eventually become overwhelmed.


It is startling to see how soon on our journey into our climate-unfriendly future that this “future” scenario is starting to happen. Here’s three quotes from that Disaster News Network story about Indiana’s struggle to rebuild:

“Since there are so many other disaster sites around the world, volunteers tend to go to the most recent disaster.”

“The… many ongoing Midwestern flood recovery efforts, has been overwhelming for local communities. Our state has not faced the kind of vast devastation of the 2008 floods before. While there was much attention initially, it was quickly overshadowed by Iowa and the Gulf.”

“Due to unprecedented numbers of disasters across the country the organization has embarked on a campaign to reengage local business, service and faith-based communities in the recovery efforts. That involves education and building relationships.”

Flooded _Downtown
Nobody is helping Indiana quietly struggling to rebuild and repair after the floods of 2008. If you don’t live nearby, who even knows about it?

It’s only news on the Disaster Network.

Source: Disaster News Network
(Oh, and these pictures are of Iowa’s floods last year.Just another state with floods.)

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Author: Susan Kraemer

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