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Disasters impose huge social and economic costs on societies. By reducing exposure and adopting new strategies to increase resilience, these costs can be reduced. While experience from recent disasters provides useful lessons, a more effective guide to building resilience can be based on systematic scientific risk surveillance and ranking.
Since a strategy built on this basis is common to a range of disasters, regardless of their cause, implementing these strategies can be an important investment. It is urgent that national governments build resilience strategies into national, as well as international cooperation and development assistance plans.