Saving Up For A Rainy Day


Sarah Goodyear underscores the advanced anti-flooding management of the Netherlands and acknowledges "the societal mindset that undergirds the Dutch approach":

[F]loods have been a part of life, and death, for at least 800 years. That uncomfortable reality led not just to a series of engineering advances, but also to a robust governmental institution – the water boards, which emerged in the 13th century as the nation’s first democratically elected bodies. “The water boards formed because farmers realized that living on mounds surrounded by water wasn’t a good way of making money,” says Morris. “Instead, they pooled their resources."

Relatedly, Evan Soltas advocates for better disaster response in America:

All [the US government] needs to do is treat natural disasters as predictable and do what every insurance company does: predict damage in advance and allocate sufficient money to cover the payments. The federal government currently treats disasters as unanticipated emergencies because it chronically underbudgets the programs that are meant to do the insuring, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency. After leaving these programs short of money, Congress is forced to provide additional relief funds whenever disaster strikes.

(Photo: Flood water rises in Dordrecht, Netherlands. By Marco De Swart/AFP/Getty Images)