EDITORIAL

Preparing for Disasters

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Science  09 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6146, pp. 592
DOI: 10.1126/science.1244097

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Summary

Disasters are inevitable and can strike anywhere at any time. Whether it's a natural event (such as a hurricane, flood, or earthquake), a disease pandemic, or a purposeful or accidental human action (such as an act of terrorism or fire), the consequences can be wide-ranging and devastating. Scientifically trained personnel often play vital roles in emergency response and recovery efforts. Under the right circumstances, they can mobilize research to better understand the nature of the event and how best to respond to similar events in the future. But the scientific community also needs to plan carefully for disaster preparedness and mitigation for its own infrastructure and resources.*