After the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 donor countries subscribed to post-disaster relief appeals so copiously that all the money could not be spent quickly enough to justify the reasons for which it was donated. For other contemporary disaster, there was an alarming dearth of funds and a general failure to respond to international relief appeals. It does, however, highlight one of the many contrasts inherent in current approaches to disaster. As worldwide involvement in the relief and mitigation of catastrophe deepens and becomes more complex, so the approach becomes more fragmentary in some respects.
Over the last half-century the massive growth of worldwide travel and telecommunications has brought what were once essentially regional and local problems onto the world stage. In considering such momentous changes, We should analyze modern systems of emergency preparedness and processes of disaster relief, with particular attention to the problems of creating resilience and the moral and practical dilemmas of prevention and response.
We should examine the impact of disasters with respect to changes in societal vulnerability and growing imbalances in economic development.